Industrial Wipes - Delivering New Value

By Susan Stransbury, Converting Influence | October 10, 2007

hard working products move into mainstream nonwovens applications

Hard working is the image that comes to mind when industrial wiping tasks are identified. Hard working is also the image projected by industrial wipes producers and marketers. Now, it appears their time has come to move, if not into the spotlight, at least into the mainstream of nonwovens applications.

Market Growth

Beginning with the landscape for wiping products, industrial wipes are sharing in overall growth. This means industrial wipes are playing a solid role in global dollar growth expected to be 6.5% per year. According to the new Freedonia Group wipes study (see accompanying sidebar on page 38), two-thirds of the total is within the U.S. and Western Europe. According to the report, “Many developing areas are experiencing rapid economic and industrial expansion, providing opportunities for wipes used in manufacturing processes, as well as in janitorial activities in service sectors and various other businesses.”


While the Freedonia references to industrial wipes are interesting, it’s still relatively unusual for the industrial segments to be thoroughly detailed in any studies. One of the problems is in defining industrial products. Some reports miss a number of the segments; others overlap consumer categories. With that noted, these are the areas often cited and, yes, they overlap too:

— Shop towels, including automotive, solvent, oil, grease and water cleanup items

— Janitorial wipers for general cleaning, glass cleaning, dusting

— Specialty wipes for abrasion resistance and polishing

— Spill cleanup and emergency wipers

— Hand cleaners to remove solvents, grease and contaminants

— Hand wipes with additives to lotionize and more

— Surface and sanitizing cleaners for general and task-specific uses

— Geotextiles for agricultural, road bed and construction uses

— Light, medium and heavy duty task wipers

— High-tech and critical task wipes

— Low linting, precision and delicate task wipes

— Parts cleaning and preparation wipes

— Instrument and lens cleaners

— Corrosion removal, paint removal, removing weld marks

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