The biennial event brought a wealth of energy, enthusiasm and education to Shanghai.
China’s role in the global market – in just about any industry – has grown exponentially over the last decade. Talk to residents of Shanghai, the country’s economic and business center, and they’ll tell you about a city whose impressive skyline they’ve watched develop before their eyes in a very short amount of time. Again, the city – for the 14th time – played host to the biennial Shanghai International Nonwovens Exhibition and Conference (SINCE 2011), October 12-14. And based on the energy and sheer enthusiasm of the show floor, it’s apparent that the nonwovens industry is booming in the region, and will only continue to pick up steam, and a healthy share of the market – at home and abroad.
The exhibition floor at the new World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center in Shanghai covered 25,000 square meters and featured more than 400 Chinese and overseas exhibitors, from over 30 countries worldwide. And according to the show’s organizer, CNTA Science and Technology Co. Ltd., more than 15,000 industry professionals attended the three-day event. Nonwovens Industry was on hand, not only to check out the latest from exhibitors – some with running machinery – but also to take in the wide range of educational sessions available, with topics spanning machinery design and innovation to the latest global trends taking place in the market.
American Hygienics Corporation
Walking the show floor, attendees had access to every aspect of the nonwovens supply chain, at booths both big and small. And it seemed there was something for brand owners of all sizes, with budgets also both big and small. Many of the exhibitors NWI met with, proclaimed that booth visitors showed keen interest in their products and services, and did indeed express serious buying interest. The following is a sampling of just some of the products and services featured at SINCE.
Walking the aisles
NDC, a hot melt gluing system manufacturer based in Quanzhou City, China, showcased its RISE Series Hot Melt Machine, designed for high-end applications. The machine features a Siemens PLC control system, a cast-in tank to reduce charring and is equipped with a large capacity high-density filter, improving filtering precision while extending replacement time.
Equipment for applying adhesives, lotions and liquids to nonwovens products was featured at the Nordson booth. Adult incontinence products, baby diapers and child training pants, disposable medical products and surgical drapes and gowns, feminine hygiene products, tissues and towels are all among the markets being targeted by the company in China and beyond.
Entertainment at the Bostik booth
American Hygienics Corporation (AHC), based in Shanghai, was established in 2001 as one of the first foreign-owned wet wipes converters in China. Since its inception, the company has expanded from its initial 4000 square meter facility to a brand new, state-of-the-art 12,000-meter space. At the show, AHC featured its range of capabilities compatible with a wide array of substrates, including large format flow packs with plastic flip lids, a variety of tubs with custom tooling available, small format packaging with hangar holes and its new Micro-Mini Pack format.
Relative newcomer Shanghai Fengge showcased its plain-net hot airthrough technology designed to eliminate fuzz. Established in 2008, the company features carding machinery from Taiwan as well an impurity tester from Germany, allowing for the production of top-of-the-line health materials.
Delia Ju, general manager, JWC-Group, discussed the company’s products, services and growth.
Quanzhou Orient Machinery featured at SINCE its Cast/Embossed film line machinery. The T-die cast film line produces flat or micro-embossed films for hygiene, medical and packaging applications. Raw materials used can be LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, PP and EVA. Sales manager Ariel Chen discussed the company’s compliance with international standards. She said, “We comply with the international standard management system, and every process of machine design, production, assembly and test is done accordingly.”
Diatec showcased its Core Formation modules CF and CF-H, machines designed to produce high quality ultra-thin cores, with high ratio of superabsorbent material versus fluff, optimal pad integrity, extreme stability and consistent savings on cellulose. The company said the raw material savings provided by the process produces a fast return on investment. Diatec provides complete converters or standalone modules for pad formation on a wide range of existing baby diaper or AI production lines.
AAB Group focused on its diverse product line, including baby diapers, pull-ups, sanitary napkins, panty liners, adult diapers, underpads and wet wipes. Its products are exported globally, and the company was recently honored as one of the top ten exporters by local Chinese government. At SINCE, the company showcased its recently launched branding strategy with lines such as “Mignon Baby, COAICOM, and Siting. Raw material suppliers include Weyerhaeuser, Sumitomo, Universal, 3M and Bostik Findley.
TechAdhesion’s SINCE booth.
At the Rando booth, the focus was on the Macedon, NY-based company’s SBD Webber, in two configurations, SB and SD. The Rando SB style Webber uses a round steel condenser drum, and features a combination cylindrical condenser screen and apron. Plus, the whole condenser subassembly rolls out for easy maintenance. The SD style uses a polyester condenser screen apron that works well with light deniers and delicate webs. It features a condenser apron that runs on ball bearings, thus allowing the machine to run faster than the SB version. The SD configuration’s advantages include less fiber loss with short fibers, reduced web distortion, and can produce webs for applications of more than 150 feet per minute.
At SINCE, Maxcess brands of fife guiding and inspection systems were on display, along with Tidland slitting and winding as well as MAGPOWR tension controls. Popular with booth visitors were product demonstrations that enable nonwoven and technical-textile manufacturers to increase their quality production objectives with innovations designed specifically for the industry.
H.B. Fuller does business at SINCE.
Under the headline of “Success Loves Partnership,” BASF presented its range of additives and pigments. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of additives such as light and process stabilizers, flame-retardants and colorants for hygiene, filtration and medical applications. An innovative technology, Irgatec CR 76, for nonwoven production, was presented at the booth. This technology enables converters to adapt material properties to their specific requirements, for example, to make use of more cost efficient raw materials or to convert in-house scrap to a high-quality nonwoven. Another focus at the BASF booth was its halogen-free flame retardant Flamestab NOR 116, which combines flame retardancy and light stability in one molecule. One area of application for Flamestab NOR 116 is in textiles for roofing.
Rando’s Greg Moran (L) and Michael Flaherty
Lenzing, a company that has been active in Asia for many years, focused on sustainability at its booth.
Lenzing fibers are made from wood, a renewable resource. This allows them to biodegrade fully after use. Geoff Collins, Lenzing's head of sales – Asia, said, “We can see an ongoing trend towards high quality fibers that combine top performance with environmental responsibility. Lenzing is driving this development since our fibers come from nature and return to nature.”
Elmarco demonstrated to its booth visitors the end products of Nanofiber usage, and introduced its equipment for the mass production of Nanofibers (1.6 meter width) by an electrospinning method. Elmarco also gave a technical presentation at SINCE called “Nanospider – Mass production equipment of nanofibers and the possible applications of nanofibers.”
oerlikon neumag’s SINCE booth personnel.
Wonderful Nonwovens featured its SMMMS medical barrier fabric at the show. The fabric features a unique multi-layer spunbond and meltblown construction which achieves a high barrier of protection and a high level of permeability, all while offering a cloth-like softness for comfort. The company said it’s an ideal fabric for conversion into different medical and protective products, for both patients and medical practitioners.
SINCE sessions provide an industry education
While the aisles of SINCE '11 were teeming with inquisitive, potential buyers, the educational sessions available to attendees also proved to be a popular spot. Here, a learning experience was provided covering the latest nonwovens trends and technologies. Session topics ranged from global SAP trends and market developments to descriptions of nonwovens processes by industry experts. Sustainability was also among the subjects discussed.
Chemical company BASF presented a session titled “Global Trends and Market Developments for Superabsorbents.” Tina Valerius, global marketing manager – hygiene business, BASF East Asia, discussed the company’s views on the latest SAP and nonwovens product trends. She said the global SAP market in 2010 was 1600 kilotons, with a current growth rate of 5%.
“Adult incontinence SAP products will grow strongest,” she said, “and femcare will stagnate as the smallest segment. Baby diapers will remain the largest of the SAP market segments.”
“Most of the world’s babies are being born in emerging markets,” Valerius noted, adding that in India, however, the penetration is quite small, as people are still not accepting of disposable diaper use.
Valerius emphasized that although the adult incontinence market is half the size of the baby diaper market, it's growing at a much faster rate. “China has a huge population, and life expectancy in Asia is increasing,” she said, noting that due to this, and the increasing wealth within the region, the retail channel is gaining in importance.
Edward McNally, sales director, nonwovens, for Oerlikon Neumag, explained in detail to attendees the basics of different nonwovens manufacturing processes, and also discussed the latest technological advancements that have improved these processes. Among these advancements include alternate spinhole densities, and Oerlikon Neumag’s 30 years of bi-component spinning allows for a wide range of fabric attributes, McNally said.
McNally also addressed what he sees as the nonwovens industry’s biggest growth drivers: cost reduction, improved fabric performance and sustainability.
On the subject of sustainability, Geoff Collins, Lenzing’s head of sales – Asia, described his company’s eco-certified offerings. “Sustainable fibers from Lenzing are made from wood, a renewable resource,” he said, “and will lower your environmental impact.”