World of Wipes Attracts Record-Setting Attendance

September 15, 2009

The World of Wipes was once again a success. The INDA-organized conference was held June 22-24, 2009 in Atlanta, GA and, despite the global economic crisis, attracted a record-setting crowd as attendees from all segments of the wipes industry. A highlight of the event was the 2009

WOW Innovation Award, which was claimed by Windex Outdoor All-in-One Glass Cleaning Tool, a highly successful new product from S.C. Johnson.

The WOW Conference, organized by INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, is devoted solely to wipes, with a concentration on substrates, active ingredients, packaging, market metrics, industry challenges and market opportunities, particularly in Asia and Europe.A record setting 267 attendees took part in the three-day conference held at Grand Hyatt Atlanta Buckhead.

The WOW Awards recognize and reward the industry members who bring new and value-added processes and products to the wipes market. Following presentations by five finalists nominated by the industry, attendees at the WOW Conference voted Windex Outdoor All-in-One Cleaner Glass Cleaning Tool as the recipient of the second annual WOW Innovation Award. Windex's Special Sheeting Action Formula wipes prevent streaks and spotting and allows the user to clean 20 windows with a single pad. Users can reach up to 11 feet, so they can safely clean outside windows without using a ladder.

“We are very honored to receive the 2009 WOW Innovation Award for Windex Outdoor All-in-One Glass Cleaning Tool,” says Brad Goodwin, S.C. Johnson Business Vice President, Home Cleaning Division.“At S.C. Johnson, we are dedicated to innovative, high-quality products. Windex Outdoor All-in-One helps today’s fast-paced families get a streak-free shine for their outdoor windows without having to spend a lot of time or effort, leaving consumers more time to enjoy the outdoors.”

The four other finalists, chosen from products nominated by the industry earlier this year, were Clorox Green Works, Evolon Exfolia Beauty Cloths developed by Freudenberg and Beauty Cloth International, PGI’s Spinlace Nonwoven Fabric and Prime Label & Screen Rigid Lens II Resealable Flat Pack.

In addition to the awards competition, this year’s WOW conference features conference sessions on markets and innovations, tools and flushability, material briefs and process briefs as well as a tutorial: Manufacturing Process for Wipes from A to Z which was led by INDA President Rory Holms and Larry Wadsworth of the U.S. Pacific Procurement Company (formerly of TANDEC).

Next year’s World of Wipes conference is scheduled for June in Chicago, IL.

Wet Naps Expands North American Range with Automotives Wipes

Israeli-based Wet Naps Ltd., has announced an aggressive plan to expand in the U.S. with environmentally friendly wipes for the automotive market. The company plans to introduce dashboard, window and interior wipes in about three months. “The company is very keen on environmental issues. We believe that eventually people will pay a little bit more money and will start buying products which do not pollute the environment,” asserted Ilan de Vries, CEO.

To support the new effort, Wet Naps has invested close to $1 million in an Elsner perforation machine as well as filling accessories. “We are working with two main suppliers, N.R. Spuntech, and Vaporjet. Spuntech has developed a very interesting cloth for household/automotive products that is made from a combination of cotton, viscose and polyester,” Mr. de Vries said.

In addition to supplying antibacterial wipes, the firm is developing antimicrobial products that it anticipates will meet EPA guidelines. Wet Naps already sells adult, baby, and cosmetic wipes in the U.S.

On another front, Mr. de Vries noted that Wet Naps’ chairman Mr. Aron Grunfeld is a mold maker and a manufacturer of silicon products. The company is developing molds for plastic packaging. “There is a lot of innovation in this area. It’s important to be able to offer the market correct packaging," Mr. de Vries said.

Ahlstrom Streamlines Wipes Business

Earlier this year Ahlstrom announced it would restructure its Italian spunlace business in response to weakened demand for wipes. The measures, including the shutdown of its Gallarate plant as well as a single production line in Cressa Italy, affected 48 employees.

“The planned actions will consolidate Ahlstrom wipes manufacturing organization in Europe into fewer, more efficient sites. This will additionally allow focusing the organization even more on quality and service. We will not exit any market segment or discontinue products; we’ll continue serving customers as usual despite the restructuring actions,” said Marco Martinez, communications director for Ahlstrom’s nonwovens business.

A second effort was announced in June, when Ahlstrom decided to shut down one of its spunlace lines in Bethune, SC and moved the products previously produced on that line to Green Bay, WI.

“The wipes market growth slowed in the first part of the year but has strengthened since. Private labels continue to steal share from the brands as consumers use a “buy down” approach for cost reasons.” Mr. Martinez said

Rieter Sells Chinese Line

Rieter Nonwovens Systems recently sold a new spunlace line to China’s Zhejiang Shaoxing County Zhuangjie Nonwovens. Announced at ANEX 2009, the new line can make 5000 tons of material per year with fabric weights ranging from 30-100 gsm and will largely target the hygiene wipes market. This is the third Rieter line for Zhejiang Shaoxing.

ShaoXing Hezhong Makes Chinese Investment

China’s ShaoXing Hezhong Fiber Co. has ordered a fourth Fleissner spunlace line, a 3.6-meter, medium-speed line which will largely be dedicated to the domestic and exported wipes market. The new line can make plain, perforated or embossed wipes.

Tufco Gains FDA Cert

Tufco Technologies, the largest contract converter of branded wet and dry wipes in North America and a leader in specialty printing services and business imaging products, has received its Labelers ID for FDA registration. This will allow the company, which is already registered with the EPA, to expand into additional markets. “Our goal is to be the premier outsource manufacturing partner for our current clients and potential new clients,” according to the company.

Teknoweb Opens North American Site

Teknoweb S.r.l., Cremona, Italy, in partnership with Triune Consulting Services, Inc., Monroe, GA, has

opened a new facility in North America. Teknoweb NA, located in suburban Atlanta, will provide sales, service, spare parts and commercial support for the full line of Teknoweb machines for the production of wet wipes, wet gloves and custom products. Support will also be available for the wet wipes machines previously produced by Fameccanica.Data S.p.A , which since 2006 have been licensed to Teknoweb.

The new facility is a 6000-square-foot (557-square-meter) office and warehouse and includes space for a new Teknoweb Futura wipes machine. The Futura machine will be installed early in 2010 and will be available soon after that for demonstration, trials and product development for North American customers.

Lenzing, Weyerhaeuser Forge Partnership In Sustainability

Lenzing, the world market leader in cellulose staple fibers, and Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest forest products companies, will work together to develop novel lyocell-based nonwoven fabrics. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on July 15, 2008. The objective of the collaboration is to develop a technology for the large-scale industrial production of an innovative and sustainable cellulose-based material for industrial and personal care applications. The technology will provide an alternative to petroleum-based materials in nonwoven products with raw materials based on renewable wood fiber.

The product is based on lyocell technology in which a solution of cellulose is processed directly and without intermediate process steps into a nonwoven fabric. Lenzing, the leader in lyocell technology, is the only commercial global supplier of lyocell fibers. The company brings over 20 years of expertise in the development of this environmentally sustainable technology to create cellulose products from the renewable raw material wood. The company has a strong intellectual property portfolio in lyocell technology and the brand name Tencel stands for excellence in lyocell fiber production.

Weyerhaeuser is a global forest products company that grows and harvests trees, builds homes and applies technology to cellulose to create innovative, sustainable products essential to everyday living. The company has an extensive intellectual property portfolio in forestry, wood products and cellulose fibers. Its focus on technology and innovation has resulted in the introduction of a number of new cellulose-based products such as peach pulp.

Weyerhaeuser has invented and patented unique technology to form nonwovens. This technology is based on the extrusion of a cellulose solution through a multi-hole nozzle to directly form lyocell nonwoven material. The new collaboration combines the expertise of these two innovative companies in an ideal manner. Both companies are dedicated to expanding the range of applications for renewable resources and both are committed to the principles of sustainability.

Elsner Engineering Works Celebrates 75th Anniversary

When Franz and Johanna Elsner launched an engineering and machinery manufacturing business in Hanover, PA on August 4, 1934, they probably didn’t realize that their business would grow and earn a reputation as one of the leading world suppliers of converting and packaging machinery to rewind, fold and package consumer sized products.

Today, the company, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary has been transformed from a small business located in a broom factory in Hanover, PA to a state-of-the-art facility located across town from its original setting.Typical products manufactured on Elsner machines are gift wrap, wall covering, self-adhesive paper, tear perforated wet wipes and fabric softener sheets, baby wipes, industrial wipes, cosmetic wipes, household aluminum foil and kitchen wrap.The company currently services and supports more than 2400 machines worldwide with equipment in service in nearly 60 countries.

With humble beginnings, the first machine developed by Elsner Engineering Works was a potato chip slicer. Later work included cigar box machinery and special machinery for the production of custom packaged fruit products.

In 1945, a major plant expansion was launched.Following the war, many unusual projects were launched, including the rebuilding of a newspaper press to produce books for the new Hanover plant of Doubleday and Company. Elsner Engineering Works is also credited with producing a corrugating machine for Oxford Container Company, food can handling equipment for the D.E. Winebrenner Company and special paper converting machines for the Jiffy Manufacturing Company.

On November 1, 1966 the company celebrated a major milestone in its growth, breaking ground for a new manufacturing plant to be constructed on a 10-acre site in Hanover. By 1983, the company was recognized for its commitment to the international sales marketplace and was awarded the Presidential “E” Award by the U.S. Department of Commerce for its outstanding five year export achievements. Elsner Engineering Works has a sales office in Bremen, Germany, and offers field support from sites in Germany and Shanghai, China.

Commenting on the firm’s 75th year history, F. Rusty Elsner, president and CEO stated, “Bert and I are proud to be carrying on in the tradition of our grandparents and fathers who labored so intently to build up the business. For 75 years, we have earned a reputation for designing and manufacturing robust, quality equipment and we zealously guard that reputation. We are indebted to those who have gone before us to allow us to carry on such a fine tradition.”

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