A strong showing of international visitors and exhibitors, along with a significant presence of first-time exhibitors, were among the highlights of the IDEA10 International Engineered Fabrics Conference and Exposition, held April 27-29 in Miami Beach, FL.
IDEA10, the triennial event sponsored by INDA, featured 379 exhibiting companies from 22 countries, filling almost 400,000 gross square feet (37,000 square meters) of the Miami Beach Convention Center. Exactly one half of the exhibitors were from outside of the U.S.
In addition, there were approximately 5500 attendees and more than one-third of them came from countries outside the U.S.
“IDEA10 was one of the most successful IDEA shows ever and the continued strong participation of foreign exhibitors and attendees is proof of the show’s importance within the international engineered fabrics community,” said INDA president Rory Holmes. “IDEA10 was truly a global event.”
Of the 379 exhibiting companies, 143 were first-time exhibitors. “These new exhibitors, combined with the continued growth of international participation, speaks well of the continuing vibrancy of the engineered fabrics industry here and abroad,” said Mr. Holmes.
In addition to the thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors on the show floor of the Miami Beach Convention Center, many more were doing business at the 40 meeting rooms utilized by many of the leading companies in the industry to facilitate their business discussions. The intense activity in this growing segment of the event enhanced the quantity and quality of business conducted during the three days of IDEA10.
A. Celli Nonwovens
A. Celli Nonwovens S.p.A., a designer and manufacturer of customized winders and slitter-rewinders, presented its downstream solutions for roll handling and packaging known as Slittopack. Completely modular in design, Slittopack is designed around the individual needs of the production line. Over 20 systems have been sold since its commercial launch in 2007. These range from fully automated for top performing nonwovens lines to basic configurations for less demanding lines.
A. Celli has sold more than 400 winding machines to serve nonwovens production lines around the world for different fabrics including spunbond, SMS, meltblown, spunlace, air-
through-bonded and airlaid. The company featured its winding and slitting solutions for the production of hygiene, medical and industrial applications.
In addition to its vast array of winders, slitter-rewinders and unwind stands, A. Celli Nonwovens presented Wingformer, its airlaid forming technology.
Ahlstrom is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of high performance nonwovens and specialty papers. Ahlstrom’s products are used in a large variety of applications, such as filters, wipes, flooring, labels and tapes. At IDEA, Ahlstrom presented its innovative portfolio of nonwovens and filtration media for a wide range of market applications, with a special focus on sustainable materials and technologies. Sustainability is an underlying driver of many recent Ahlstrom developments.
Ahlstrom highlighted its expanded range of sustainable wiping fabrics. The range of Ahlstrom wiping fabrics is backed by a versatile global manufacturing platform spanning through all carded, wetlaid and composite technologies. Within each of these technologies, Ahlstrom continues to develop innovative wiping fabrics that contain natural, renewable or recycled components that are biodegradable or dispersible or that can be reused several times. These developments include the Ahlstrom patented Hydraspun dispersible wipes, fully compliant with INDA and EDANA’s flushability guidelines.
American Trutzschler told IDEA 2010 attendees that it is now a manufacturer of a complete nonwovens line, from opening, blending, through carding, crosslapping, and needlepunching to hydroentanglement for broad applications of nonwovens products.“As a leader as a nonwoven machinery manufacturer we offer state-of-the-art equipment as well as mechanical design, electronic components and PLC controls. In addition, we also engage in the manufacturing of card closing metallic wire in Charlotte, NC,” said Detlef Jaekel, vice president of Trutzschler's technical division.
For the first time ever, now sister companies, Andritz Kusters and Perfojet, were together at IDEA2010. Kusters purchased Perfojet earlier this year combining Kusters' twin calender technology with Perfojet's know-how in spunlace and spunjet systems as well as through-air dryers. Now, Andritz Group customers have the choice of two first-class bonding technologies: Kusters’ thermal bonding and Perfojet’s hydroentanglement. Both have been configured meticulously with a view to achieving the highest efficiencies and reductions in energy consumption.
First-time exhibitor Aurizon Ultrasonics demonstrated its high-power ultrasonic technology for rotary bonding and die cutting, continuous liquid processing and atomizing liquid. The company will also share its expertise in applying the power of ultrasonic technology to processes and systems in ways that are capable of revolutionizing the operations of manufacturers and converters in a wide variety of industrial processes and markets.
Aurizon Ultrasonics has patented technology and years of experience in implementing rotary ultrasonic processing systems that offer an exciting alternative to pressure, thermal and adhesive bonding systems as well as other types of existing ultrasonic technologies used in nonwovens converting.
Nonwovens precombined closures for adult and baby diaper applications and feminine sanitary products were among the many innovations being displayed at Avery Dennison's IDEA booth.
Avery Dennison’s Specialty Tape Division offered samples of its nonwoven, precombined closures that deliver the look and feel of fabric or cloth and incorporate multiple components such as mechanical closure hooks and finger lifts. The company also showcased its engineering services, which can satisfy virtually any closure application and demonstrated its ability to provide closure products that are wound on large capacity spools.
BASF featured its broad range of products of technologies for the nonwovens market in its booth at IDEA2010.
“BASF has long been recognized as a provider of superabsorbent polymers for hygiene applications as well as adhesives and colorants for nonwovens,” said Simon Medley, group vice president, Care Chemicals and Formulators for BASF in North America. “With the acquisition of Ciba Corporation in 2009, BASF enriched its solutions capabilities and enhanced its product portfolio for this market, including specialized additives for medical and surgical nonwovens and home and personal care wipes. BASF can now truly approach customers and the nonwovens market as a complete solutions provider.”
BASF promoted HySorb superabsorbent polymers that feature specific innovative properties for diapers, adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products and additives and colorants that add functionality, durability and appeal to nonwovens, including halogen-free flame retardants, polymer modifiers that enable spun-bond to perform as meltblown and colorants that offer design options and brilliance.
Other products include Acrodur Acrylic Thermosets, innovative binders for a variety of applications, including natural fiber composites, technical nonwovens and filtration media. These binders are formaldehyde-, phenol- and VOC-free and thus present no hazardous emissions or costly emission control equipment, no odor and no labeling issues.
Reicofil and Biax-Fiberfilm announced a new collaboration at IDEA10. The two companies signed an agreement cooperation concerning meltblown technology in February to develop a line technology offering a perfect process at all times.
The Reicofil technology works with air laterally blown onto the complete row of boreholes while the Biax technology enables air to be blown around the circumference of each individual filament. The difference between these two processes has a significant effect on filament strength, porosity, hydrohead and filter separation degree of the meltblown fabric.
The two companies are working to combine their technologies to offer the highest possibility to cover a broad spectrum of applications. Reicofil customers will be able to retrofit their existing lines with the switchover technology in a process that takes about two to four days.
Birla Cellulose put the spotlight on its manmade cellulosic fibers at last month’s IDEA show. According to company sources, the global need for Earth-friendly products has never been greater and the criteria for evaluating green solutions are being scrutinized more than ever. Trees grown in managed plantations provide a 100% natural raw material for Birla’s fiber and offer many environmental benefits.
Birla Cellulose creates the highest quality eco-friendly fiber in the world. The company patented the first heavy metal-free viscose fiber manufacturing process. SpunShades is the company’s vibrant heavy metal free shades of spun dyed viscose fiber made with a technique that places color pigments in the fiber itself.
Bob Marquette, general manager/global nonwovens business for Bostik who was recently promoted to the Bostik worldwide executive committee, was at IDEA this week to disccuss Bostik's future direction in localizing its business to new geographies.
“We heavily invested in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia, India and Latin America so we can localize products and service capablities to global and regional customers around the world. Unless you develop the market it’s not going to grow. In Egypt we have a manufacturing operation and business office and technical service center. We’ll service customers in the Middle East and Northern Africa. It's not just about making glue. It's helping customers develop their products through adhesive technology. Bostik has also expanded in China and is building a second site in Shanghai. Today in the Middle East our business is small. We’re investing in Latin America ahead of the curve. If you put capabilities in, business will come," said Mr. Marquette.
At Colbond's IDEA booth was information about Colback SMR, the only primary backing in the market today using 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. According to the company, the development of this product is part of its efforts to develop environmentally sound processes and products that reduce energy consumption of virgin raw material usage. The PET used in Colback SMR is derived from locally sourced bottle scrap.
Fabrice Ferretti, Diatec's area sales manager, was at IDEA explaining his company's latest printing technology. Sanyprint is a line capable of printing onto sanitary napkins at speeds of up to 350 meters per minute.
Also on display at the show was Diatec's fifth generation of compact disc mills for high quality defibration. “We are the first company to offer flexo printing on sanitary napkins,” he said.
Edelmann Technology unveiled to IDEA2010 attendees a new hybrid winding system to increase throughput of winders and slitters for hygiene nonwovens. The Hybid machine combines inline and offline processes and gives customers the opportunity to utilize one piece of equipment for two processes and techniques.
Edelmann Technology also announced a strategic alliance with Trascar. The alliance enables Edelmann to be in a position to complete its offerings with technical solutions for packaging including packaging solutions for the Hybrid machine.
"We are here with Edelmann to introduce the strategic alliance,” said Paolo Cremonini, Trascar's sales department executive, at IDEA. “Trascar has had the opportunity to serve everywhere in the world its product for nonwovens since 1997. We’ve known Edelmann for many years. From our customers we found they are a serious and competitive company for nonwovens products. Trascar has been the first to make packaging lines for nonwovens. It is an opportunity to finally match the two companies.”
Chinese airlaid machinery manufacturer EPS was at IDEA 2010 presenting its third generation lines including the wide-width and high speed forming head with web widths from 800-3200 mm, lower energy consumption and higher capacity, perfect airlaid process and super formation of the web. This line can reach speeds up to 300 meters per minute. Also on display was EPS high efficiency hammer mills with a series of specs with fluff pulps widths from 500-100 mm, nit-free defibration, untreated, treated and semi-treated fluff pulp, lower energy consumer, higher capacity and reliable capability. It is easy to operate, fully automatic and has low maintenance costs.
Fameccanica used IDEA to demonstrate its renewed machinery line-up and product features
innovations. Aiming at being the natural choice for any customer, the Fameccanica line up has been re-designed as well. By deploying flexibility, innovation and development at any manufacturing stage, Fameccanica’s range of products is more than ever ready to match the demanding market challenges from entry level to top speed solutions.
Patented solutions for re-fastenable pull-up baby diapers, new high efficiency process units for elastic waist application and pulp-fiberizing are some of the innovations that will come along with the introduction of the top-speed light incontinence model and the new multi-piece adult incontinence high-speed line, with shaped front and back panels. These innovations, and others like them, helped Fameccanica continuously save its customers money by minimizing scrap and excess raw material expenses, according to marketing manager Alessandro D’Andrea.
Hygiene machinery maker GDM used IDEA to launch the new GIS (Global Investment Solution) for hygiene disposable markets. GIS is an interactive system that assists producers in their manufacturing processes to improve their business profitability through real-time communication between producer and machine suppliers. This new solution is based on the following features:
• CPS (Capital Protection System): payment scheme customized; margin sharing; market risk sharing; reduction of networking capital; global support from OEM side; continuous effective production; focus and updating on product features and quality; and machine upgrade packages.
• IPL (Interactive Platform Line): Machines for baby, lady or adult products with the following features: extensive servo drive transmission; LPP (Line, Process and Product) local and remote monitoring; easy and fast size change; self diagnostic features; integration with in-line wrapper for single packing; an exhaustive list of options are available upon request.
• APS (Asset Protection Service): local assistance; spares management; preventive maintenance; efficiency enhancing program; periodical survey; software updating; real time/remote machine inspection.
H.B. Fuller introduced PD8081H, an aqueous superabsorbent polymer system at IDEA. PD8081H is an aqueous, patented solution polymer that is readily complexed with polyvalent cations. Product features include the following: water soluble character aids in clean-up; infinitely water dilutable; low viscosity; film formation is realized at room temperature; polymer crosslinks after drying; and safe to use.
According to a company spokesman, the system is targeted for fem care, baby and adult diapers. “The system allows you to put it in specific, targeted areas. It captures a lot of moisture in specific areas.”
Ibis International presented Hydrex, the latest development in drum filter media designed specifically for hygienic products and the nonwovens industry. Hydrex technology employs a proprietary silicone-based coating on the fiber allowing better particulate extraction from the media pile. The extraction or exceptional depth cleaning of the media yields higher efficiency without any sacrifice in the media life. Ask Ibis for additional information on how Hydrex can assist you in balancing the benefits of high filtration efficiency with extended media life and lower maintenance down time.
With the latest two additions to its SafeLeigh line of fire-retardant, recycled fibers, Leigh Fibers has extended those benefits to many more spinning and nonwovens applications. SafeLeigh Natural and SafeLeigh Premium are predominantly meta-aramid and made with 100% recycled post-industrial materials. These were among the developments the company showcased at IDEA2010.
SafeLeigh meta-aramid recycled fibers are ideal for flame-retardant fabrics and other heat shielding applications. They are suitable for coarse yarn spinning and for the nonwoven fabrics used in bedding, filtration and many other products. SafeLeigh Natural is a natural colored fiber while SafeLeigh Premium is a multicolored fiber.
SafeLeigh recycled fibers help manufacturers meet flame retardant standards without the use of chemical additives. They are high-quality, cost-effective alternatives for companies who want to capitalize on the growing consumer demand for environmentally-friendly products.
Leigh Fibers offers a wide array of recycled materials, including technical, synthetic and natural fibers, textile by-products, and single- and multi-polymer materials for plastic applications. All products are custom-blended to meet specific customer needs, with special attention to consistency, quality and cost-effectiveness.
At IDEA, Lenzing featured Lenzing Viscose and Tencel, which are produced from wood. This makes them the ideal choice for numerous demanding applications in sensitive areas. More than 70 years of experience in manufacturing viscose fibers set the international processing quality standard. Lenzing Viscose provides the purity, skin friendly, breathable properties important for hygiene and other sensitive applications.
Tencel provides a combination of performance, purity and softness. The high performance fiber combines strength—especially in the wet state—and low linting with natural absorbency. The Tencel production process minimizes emissions to the environment and conserves the Earth’s resources because the solvent is almost completely recovered.
Lenzing fibers are used in many products such as wipes, medical applications, tampons or technical nonwovens.
At IDEA, Nordson Corporation introduced its new Fulfill retrofit system, which allows owners of Nordson ProBlue 4,7 and 10 liter melters to add maintenance- and labor-saving automatic adhesive filling capability to their existing operations. Automatic filling maintains optimal hot melt adhesive levels to increase uptime and consistency while decreasing waste, to advance sustainability.
As adhesive is dispensed, levels in the melter tank decrease. When a “low” level is reached, a sensor transmits a signal to a vacuum wand, which conveys adhesive pellets, pastilles or mini-slats directly to the melter tank. By automatically adding small quantities of adhesive at needed intervals, the system keeps the tank from running dry, minimizing missed beads and package rejects. A constant adhesive level also reduces variations in adhesive temperatures, resulting in better bonding.
The system is closed to ambient air, preventing adhesive contamination by dirt, dust or other debris.
Standard Fulfill retrofit system features include a vibrating vacuum wand to help prevent adhesive from sticking in the tote container, an external control box with membrane panel, a fill/fault indicator and a disposable filter, for easy maintenance.
Factory pre-assembled and pre-calibrated components allow simple, fast, on-site installation.
Nordson ProBlue melters are used in end-of-line packaging of disposable hygiene products. Fulfill retrofit systems for use with Nordson VersaBlue melters used in disposable hygiene products manufacturing will also be available in 2010.
Nordson Corporation also introduced the Universal TruFlow Adhesive System, a new hot melt adhesive applicator, flow-monitoring and control package that minimizes ramp-up time and variance in adhesive volume while reducing product rejects and downtime.
High-speed, disposable-hygiene product manufacturing operations that dispense adhesive intermittently or continuously using spray- or slot-applicators can increase process control, reduce adhesive waste and improve product consistency.
RKW Group presented the RKW ProLife range of products at this year’s IDEA show in Miami. The ProLife brand covers a wide variety of products and services related to hygiene and medical applications. Customers benefit from RKW’s expertise and experience in the development and manufacturing of filmic and nonwoven components for diapers, feminine hygiene products, personal care and industrial wipes, incontinence products, wound care and drapes and gowns used in the operating theater. The range of nonwovens covers both thermal bonded and spunbonded technology, as well as hydroentangled spunbond nonwovens under the trade name of RKW HyJet.
At IDEA, Schober introduced its new VentPerf line of needling tools and systems for films, paper, laminates and foil. These tools are designed for products used in the agricultural and consumer goods packaging industries as well as in certain technical areas that require ventilation, moisture release and expansion enhancements.
VentPerf-Cold is designed for micro-hold patterns while VentPerf-Hot provides consistent quality holes in film and foam materials. The hole sizes are adjustable and tools for virtually any pattern can be supplied. Up to 600 holes per square inch and speeds of up to 600 feet per minute can be achieved with no special operator skills required.
Meanwhile, VentCut is ideal for agricultural and packaging products that require airflow and structural expansion.
Stein Fibers unveiled Infinity Polyester, a domestically produced 100% recycled fiber with up to 100% post-consumer bottle flake content, at IDEA this week. The product can be customized for specfic processes and applications. Product capabilities include three to 40 denier, 25 to 102 millimeter cut lengths and a variety of shade specific colors.
Teknoweb introduced its Futura Machine to IDEA attendees. The Italian wipes machinery maker was running a wipes system right on the show floor, reaffirming to the North American market, its commitment to the wipes market.
At IDEA2010, needlepunch nonwovens maker Texel announced plans to install a new coating line at its facility in Ste-Marie, Quebec, Canada. When complete in July, the new line will especially coat medical and consumer fabrics.
The line will include the coater itself featuring unwinder, web guiding padder, a Bruckner stenter frame, accumulator, winder and a coating line preparation with sanitary stainless steel tanks. This line will provide a safe and effective environment for the coating of products with strict contamination-free and microbiological activity requirements.
According to Texel executives, the new line will allow the company to get closer to the end user and offer value-added products to several different segments of the medical market. Other capabilities will be the coating of water-activated chemistries for the consumer wipes market.
The investment is the third coating line for Texel.
Pierangelo Mandotti, president, general manager and founder said, ”We have a new facility in the U.S. We had requests from the U.S. market to have support available in North America. We started a joint program in November last year to offer support and service, spare parts, as well as a machine for customer demonstration and development. We will be installing the Futura
Machine and later we will be installing some other machines as well.”
The IDEA exhibitor was showcasing its latest innovation Velvtouch to attendees. “We put special treatments on the surface over plastic films, nonwovens and elastic materials,"said Federico Michelotti, business manager. "The benefit of Velvtouch is that it has a very soft touch. By using Velvtouch, you can avoid the plastic sensation."
Velvtouch is targeted for the topsheet of feminine hygiene sanitary napkins.
At IDEA 2010, Tredegar introduced FlexFeel, an elastic laminate for side ear diaper applications. Matt O'Sickey, global products marketing manager and technical advisor said, “We are pleased with the success that FlexFeel is seeing in the market. It is showing up in major retailers in North America and has a great deal of interest in international locations. There is a trend toward more cloth like garments–in the feel and in the appearance. There is a trend toward making hygiene products more underwear like. With a zig zag stretched appearance, it has a lot of appeal in training pants and incontinence products (briefs). It provides more of a garment look and less of a diaper look.”
Tredegar also unveiled Flowertool, a system that calculates six indices to create a concise and accurate vision of a business’s or project’s eco-efficiency. Flowertool has six indices to calculate eco-efficiency: carbon footprint, electric power consumption, renewable power rate, natural gas consumption, biomaterials rate and water footprint. Flowertool will be rolled out as a web-based tool sometime in the second half of 2010.
The Warm Company
Using state-of the-art manufacturing equipment, The Warm Company cards, crosslaps and needlepunches virgin polyester fiber (manufactured in the U.S.) into a uniform breather bleeder cloth. And, in an unprecedented move and within keeping of Boeing’s Green Initiative, The Warm Company is pleased to announce the only breather recycling program available. Scheduled to begin in 2011 in Elma, WA plant, The Warm Company will reclaim all of the Warm FORM that has been used as breather material to recycle into a variety of products, keeping it out of area landfills while saving Boeing and Boeing sub-contractors enormous disposal expenses associated with used breather today.
The company has announced that construction is underway on the building adjacent to its plant in Elma, WA that will house the West Coast program. In the meantime, The Warm Company’s Hendersonville, NC plant will reclaim and process the fiber beginning the fourth quarter of 2010.