It's that time again. Time for the nonwovens industry to once again convene in Geneva, Switzerland for the INDEX show. For me personally, it's my fourth trip to Palexpo and I know many of you have many more INDEX shows under your belts.
At INDEX, amidst the delicious meals, the cramped bus rides between downtown Geneva and the expo center and the beautiful mountain and lake views, there has traditionally been a lot of work done in nonwovens. INDEX, like other trade shows, is a time for companies to introduce new products and technologies, announce new investments and, of course, find out what is going on with their customers and their competition.
The last edition of INDEX was three years ago, just a few months before the world economic crisis began, but companies were already weary of dealing with raw material prices and battling overcapacity situations. One of the big highlights of that show was Albis' presentation of spunmelt materials made on a new Neumag line but in the years since Albis has faced bankruptcy troubles. Another announcement was DuPont's foray into elastic nonwovens technology but the company has since abandoned these efforts, instead focusing on nanotechnology battery separator technology and other specialized markets.
So the question now is what will be the hot topics of this year's INDEX show? Will everyone be talking about the explosion in spunmelt capacity announced around the globe and speculating on where it will be sold? Or, will the focus continue to be on sustainability as the nonwovens industry supply chains looks for ways to help customers differentiate themselves with green alternatives?
If history is any indication, we probably won't know what the "big news" of this year's INDEX show is until after the fact, once the many new products and services being introduced at the show have the chance to prove themselves (or not) in the marketplace. Still, to help you get better acquainted with this year's show—or to make you feel like you are going even though you're not—this month's edition of Nonwovens Industry is rife with material about the show. From exhibitor previews to company listings and even a run down of the week's events, the issue is a complete guide to the show.
And, don't forget to check back after the show for a comprehensive guide to the show. Not only will it include printed reports of virtually every aspect of INDEX 2011, we will be featuring news interviews with nonwovens industry experts—taped live from the show floor—on our website. These interviews will provide information about the show as well as the state of the global nonwovens industry. Be sure to check them out each day of the show.
See you in Geneva!