IDEA 2016 Wrap Up

June 9, 2016

Companies convened in Boston, MA to show off innovations and make connections.

Attracting more than 7000 attendees and 555 exhibitors, IDEA16 broke all prior exhibitor and attendee records for its recently wrapped up triennial event May 2-5 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Attendees from more than 60 countries came to the City of Science for three days of exhibits, market intelligence, education and face-to-face interaction.

“This record-setting turnout confirms IDEA as the world’s preeminent event for nonwovens and engineered fabrics,” says INDA president Dave Rousse. “We are delighted with the enthusiasm of exhibitors and visitors alike regarding the value of this show to advance their business interests. The new Boston venue was well-accepted. We are all fortunate to be in a dynamic, innovation-driven industry with continued great prospects, as evidenced by the many announcements of new products, new machinery and new capabilities during the show.”

A total of 555 companies exhibited their products and services at IDEA16, an increase of 15% compared to IDEA13. This year IDEA occupied all 500,000 square feet at the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center, about 25% more than in Miami Beach. “With the increase of 6% in registrants, this provided the larger crowd with additional space to move about and comfortably interact with each other,” says Rousse.

IDEA will return to a newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center, in Miami Beach, FL, March 26-28, 2019.

Event Highlights
Over 700 attendees at IDEA16’s Welcome Reception were entertained with a live band, energizing dance music and eclectic Southern cuisine at the House of Blues sponsored by Velcro Companies.

Other event highlights included the presentation of awards for outstanding achievements. Mogul, a Turkish nonwovens producer, and Diaper Recycling Technology/Mobi-Air, a Singapore-based manufacturer of modular plug-and-play air handling systems, were both presented with Entrepreneur awards by Nonwovens Industry magazine.

The IDEA16 Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Leo Cancio, advisor at Clopay Plastic Products.

INDA’s IDEA16 Achievement Awards, presented in partnership with Nonwovens Industry, recognized the brightest innovations from the leading companies, individuals, and new products in the nonwovens and engineered fabrics industry.

Winners included ITW Dynatec’s Ultra Strand Coating System for machinery; Jacob Holm’s SoftLite lightweight nonwoven in the roll goods category; BASF’s Saviva SAP technology for raw materials; WipeMeWorld’s WipeMe flushable wipe on a roll for short life converted products innovations and Impossible Objects in the long-life converted products category.

A.Celli Makes a Splash at IDEA
At IDEA, A.Celli Nonwovens exhibited its broad production range and dedicated technical solutions—winding and rewinding lines, lines for packaging, palletizing and reel handling for nonwovens, printing technologies for different supports including nonwovens, PP/PE film and tissue in a wide range of grammages and much more.

A.Celli’s offering is completed by a reliable 24/7 post-sales service and by MySp@res, the service born to be able to identify, localize and request an estimate for what concerns all spare parts components.

In other news, A.Celli has recently announced it will move its U.S. headquarters from Florida to North Carolina in an effort to move it closer to its U.S.-based customers.

Barnhardt Shows Off Cotton Blends
Barnhardt Natural Fibers Group  displayed through-air bonded fabrics containing 30% HyDri or HiLoft cotton blended with 70% Fibervisions PE/PP sheath core fiber. Other samples are available on request of the same level HyDri and HiLoft cotton fiber but blended with PE/PET. One of the target markets for these fabrics is ADL or surge layer in diapers.

Bostik Introduces Brilliance
At IDEA 2016, Bostik announced the forthcoming launch of Brilliance, a major technological leap forward in the use of polyolefins in high-stress hot melt adhesive applications. The new adhesive is designed to hold elastic strands in place in diapers and adult incontinence articles. The bonding of elastic strands in these products is critical to the function and fit of the disposable product. In the past, adhesives based on polyolefin chemistry were limited to low stress applications due to performance and processing restrictions. This breakthrough not only offers best in class performance it also removes trade-offs while expanding benefits in certain applications over traditional technology.

“Olefins are not new and have been the object of rapidly developing technology, that focus has not necessarily been on adhesives,” says Jeffrey Merkt, senior vice president of Global Nonwovens. “At Bostik we didn’t wait for new materials to be developed. Instead, we cast a wide net with our R&D teams to find and develop new materials. This proactive approach to has yielded some remarkable results, such as Brilliance, and has contributed to our global reputation as an innovator.”

Calemard Presents Spooling Options
In 1998, based on its 10 year experience and around 70 slitting and spooling lines installed in various industries, Calemard, the machinery division of Spoolex, presented its first spooling line dedicated to the ADL (acquisition and distribution Layer) producers.
Today, with more than 240 spooling heads delivered worldwide, the Calemard brand is now recognized as a leader in providing proven and efficient solutions for spooling sensitive nonwovens.

The company’s Pegase is a leading solution to produce jumbo spools which help increase productivity of baby-diaper and femcare production lines: Thanks to Calemard self-traverse technology which can produce at high speed (600 m/min) spools of a strip with no stress, no tension, no elongation and no twist, and to the Decoup+ ultrasonic solution for the production of invisible splices, on average, a strip on a jumbo spool is 10 times longer than slit pancakes/reels.

Calemard is also offering the third generation of its Pegase spooling line. Engineered as a global concept, this state-of-the-art complete line is offered with new technical development for higher productivity, reduction of the labor contents in production, reduction of downtimes, optimization of the cycle time, reduction of wastes, improvement of the tension control. Designed to convert large mother rolls (up to Ø 2 m x 1 m – 500 kg) into jumbo spools up to Ø 1200 mm x 850 mm width, this complete line can be equipped with the latest Spoolex Converting solutions for Automatic mother roll loading, Automatic Ultrasonic splicing for Automatic & Simultaneous spool unloading and production wrapping and labeling.

CCS Showcases Innovation
CCS displayed various technological state-of-the-art platforms for baby pants, baby diapers with zero and reduced trim back panels, feminine hygiene, adult pants and briefs and male/female light inco products at IDEA. This year the motto “Sharing, Building, Running” was well highlighted by the company’s consolidated existing technologies for having supplied worldwide customers with tailor-made solutions for current and future market trends.

One of CCS’s latest innovations is the completion of a new consolidated converting platform—the baby pant line with a guaranteed production speed of 600 ppm. There is a huge expectation from this platform as the design is slowly taking over the traditional open type diaper all around the globe. The CCS baby pant platform is renowned today for its excellent workmanship and quality as well as price factors.

Today CCS technology is moving towards thinner products on machines of all platforms with its own core formation technology or via a special technology with the elimination of the pulp (pulp free design). These efforts respond to market trends.
Also at IDEA, CCS showcased technology for adult pant underwear and adult briefs, two areas that are growing globally and require stretchability, body fit and elasticity.

Colquimica Introduces Adhesives
Valongo, Portugal-based Colquimica introduced new Kmelt hot-melt adhesives for the hygiene industry.

Kmelt W 3034 is the new adhesive for the elastic application adhesives range, featuring superior performance and improved creep results. W 3034 is a rubber based adhesive developed with the highest quality raw materials available in the market. The new adhesive is suitable to be used on different application systems including surewrap and allegro applicators, offers improved cohesive strength and low odor.

The new feminine care hot-melt W 209 delivers high performance and enables continuous development of end-use product. It is specially formulated to be applied at a low temperature and across a wide variety of garments. W 209 offers optimized peel performance, low melt characteristics, excellent aging test results, good machinability on slot and spray application, good thermal stability, low odor and is very light in color.

Colquimica’s new Spraycare is a revolutionary portfolio of hot-melts for the hygiene industry. It is the first range of products in the market based in APAO polymers, suitable for construction applications with ability to be sprayed at very low temperatures. Thermal Stability of Spraycare hot-melts has proved to be superior when compared with standard rubber based hot-melts. Their low density and enhanced adhesion properties will allow its customers to reduce the adhesive consumption.

Consolidated Fibers Showcases Fiber Line
Consolidated Fibers, a Charlotte-based fibers company, continues to expands its product line in thermal bond products including short cut, Co-Pet/PET, PE/PP and PE/PET.

A leader in providing fiber solutions for manufacturers across a range of industries including hygiene, medical, filtration, automotives, furniture, home textiles and more, Consolidated Fibers has been focusing on relentless professionalism, unwavering integrity and establishing long-term relationships with its customers for more than 50 years.

Whether it’s low cost fiber raw material needs, specialty fiber sourcing, custom fiber development, financing options, inventory management or manufacturing processes know how, Consolidated Fibers offers a host of value added services to improve its customers’ ability to deliver products in the marketplace, according to executives.

Chase Exhibits Custom Machinery Business
Chase Machine and Engineering designs and builds custom web handling equipment that processes films, foils and woven/nonwoven/knit fabrics while controlling, speed, tension and guidance with a primary focus on integrating technologies such as ultrasonics, impulse welding, hot air welding, adhesive dispensing, RF welding, band sealing, extruders and CO2 lasers.

Chase is a specialist in manufacturing unwinds, rewinds, slitters, laminators, traverse winders, cut-to-length machines, festooners, accumulators, ultrasonic sewing machines as well as custom machines that produce a plethora of consumer products such as face masks, wipes, safety vests, air and liquid filters, medical devices and hygiene products. Chase employs its 60-plus years of web handling experience to benefit its customers who serve the filtration, medical, packaging, automotive, textile and geotextile market segments.

EDANA Gearing Up for INDEX
At IDEA, EDANA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, spend IDEA  promoting INDEX17, next year’s major nonwovens exhibition. Planned for April 4-7, 2017, at PalExpo in Geneva, Switzerland, INDEX is expected to exceed the 2014 edition, which featured 586 exhibitors from 41 countries and more than 12,000 visitors from 103 countries.

Like the IDEA exhibition, INDEX will feature a conference program and awards competition.

Elsner Shows Off Glueless Line
Elsner Engineering Works’ Ultrasonic Tail tie provides users with complete tail control for seamless downstream packaging applications without concern of material compliance issues. Compared to a glue closure, this new innovation eliminates compliance concerns, mess, inventory/consumables or charring or discoloration. This enhanced tail orientation also offers highly repeatable roll positioning and continuous rotation adjustment.

The patent pending application works with meltblown, spunbond, spunlace and thermal bonded applications.

Fameccanica Explores Glueless Options
Fameccanica’s project Life Glueless, “Petrol-based glue and energy consumption reduction in the diaper production process,” aims to demonstrate to industry and policy makers that a significant environmental reduction in absorbent products, such as diapers, can be achieved with appropriate solutions. Solutions include the glueless lamination of back ears in baby diapers using the Fameccanica laminating machine model FLS, and glueless application of ADL on the diaper topsheet. Fameccanica has also researched a glueless absorbent core concept and glueless elastics, a new solution for intermittent elastic lamination. These solutions have both been tested successfully.

In other news, together with Microsoft, Fameccanica has developed EasyLife, an innovation that combines cutting-edge applied manufacturing technology with the latest in digital innovation, creating a company collaboration network that facilitates the management of factories and manufacturing through the collection, exchange, distribution and use of ordered information, guaranteeing a significant advantage both in performance optimization and economic terms, allowing easy, non-stop monitoring production plant performances every time.

Moving forward, all Fameccanica lines will come equipped with the EasyLife digital platform, allowing data to be stored in the Azure cloud. The data can then be shared among the different organizational roles and will even allow Fameccanica to respond to production glitches and provide support based on data collected directly from the production plan. Existing Fameccanica lines can be retrofitted with EasyLife.

Focke Showcases New App
Focke & Co. machines are able to communicate through different channels allowing data exchange between machine and computer or mobile system.

At IDEA, the company showcased The Focke Format Change App, which provides a new way to support during a format change via the mobile system. It can be used on a phone or tablet to support the operator during the format change process of a Focke machine. This app evaluates and indicates the needed changeover values and guides the operator through the format changeover as well as through the HMI operation. All data is managed by an internet-based backend. After getting a personalized log in, the customer is entitled to manage and adapt the formats for its machines. It is also possible to establish new formats. The data exchange between backend and mobile application is based on a push message system.

Hills Shows Off Machine Range
Hills Inc.’s meltblown lines feature bicomponent cross sections, spin hole sizes between 0.1-0.5mm in diameter, high pressure capability and fiber sizes less than 250 nanometers. Devoted to the design, development and manufacturing of custom machinery, Hills offers in-house mechanical, electrical and process engineering as well as in-house pilot equipment. Meanwhile, in spunbond, Hills has created the world’s first commercial islands-in-the-sea spunbond machine, which is specialized in multicomponent fibers. The company offers lines ranging from 0.5-6 meters and high spinning speeds greater than 6000mpm.

Hills is the world leader in design, development and manufacture of custom built machine and technology for the synthetic fiber industry. Its mechanical, electrical and process engineering is done in-house using computer-aided technology and state-of-the-art testing facilities. The company also makes staple machinery for thermal bond, hydroentangled, needlepunched and airlaid products.

Joa Showcases New Pant Machine
At IDEA, hygiene equipment machinery Curt G. Joa introduced the J7I-AP adult pant production machine. The new J7I-AP uses the same industry-leading technology found in the current J8T-AP machine available but offers lower speeds and an economical footprint.

Joa designed the J7I-AP, which features a production speed of 300 products per minute and a machine speed of 300 meters per minute, to serve customers in diverse international markets. According to Curt G. Joa president Gene Kiela II, the new product offering allows Joa to support corporations with production facilities in new markets.

“The J7I allows Joa to serve more markets by offering an alternative version of its current J8T adult pant machinery,” he says. “With our new J7I machines, we can provide Joa-quality equipment to customers with global operations that require a more economical footprint and design.”

Joa, a global leader of custom and premium machinery to produce disposable products, uses its own independently developed and patented technologies in its machinery.

At IDEA16, Joa exhibited with its new European arm, Bikoma, which it acquired in 2015.

Lenzing Focuses on Skin Health
At IDEA16, Lenzing  focused on promoting its botanic lyocell fiber Tencel for use in personal care applications. The company says the fiber’s special properties—skin sensitivity, purity, and high storage capacity—make it ideal for cosmetic wipes, baby wipes and other wet wipes. Tencel fibers used in these wipes absorb lotions in an optimum way when applied and allow the controlled release of moisture when in use.

Tencel Skin fibers are increasingly being used in nonwoven facial masks. According to Lenzing, Tencel Skin is especially fine and tender on the skin and transports the lotion in an ideal manner. Meanwhile, short cut Tencel fibers are being produced for the growing flushable wipes market. Tencel short cut fibers offer enormous fiber strength, which makes it extremely breaking-resistant in comparison to other materials commonly used, such as pulp and viscose. Tencel is both biodegradable and ideal for high-quality cleansing and care wipes with a flushable function.

Maxcess Launches Wi-Fife Wireless Interface
Maxcess, a global leader in innovative products and services for the web handling industry, has released the Wi-Fife interface for its FIFE-500 web guides. Allowing wireless monitoring and control of the FIFE-500 from any tablet or smartphone, the Wi-Fife ushers in a new era of wireless web control.

“The Wi-Fife interface for our FIFE-500 allows operators remote access of their FIFE-500 operator interface through a wired Ethernet or wireless connection,” says Shomari Head, global product manager of Fife. “Featuring embedded web pages that can be accessed through the web browser of any Wi-Fi-enabled device, the Wi-Fife allows the operator freedom to monitor and control their guides from anywhere on the factory floor, without requiring a physical operator interface.”

By connecting to a network of motor control units and operator interfaces, the Wi-Fife can connect up to 30 devices on a single network, with the ability to monitor and control any unit. This allows for a seamless connection, flexibility and accessibility of all networked guides wirelessly from anywhere on the factory floor.

“Maxcess has a storied history of introducing groundbreaking technology to the converting industry,” says Greg Jehlik, CEO of Maxcess. “Just as the FIFE-500 introduced color touch screens to web guiding, we believe the Wi-Fife interface will become an industry standard, one where operators are no longer tied to a fixed station to monitor or control their operation. Moving forward, customers can expect to see this exciting technology applied throughout our other brands under the Maxcess umbrella.”

Kleen Test Launches Snap Pad
Kleen Test Products introduced Snap Pad at IDEA16. Snap Pad is a patented, all-in-one single-use applicator that allows the user to saturate the nonwoven at the time of use. By gently squeezing the outer casing of the applicator, a burst of solution is released onto the nonwoven pad. The volume of solution and the diameter of the pad applicator can be customized to meet users’ product specifications. Snap Pad can be used for first aid, beauty care, personal care, sun screen, topical OTC, home care and automotive applications.

KNH Showcases Entire Range
Founded in 1969, ISO 9001/ISO14001/ISO 22716 certified, Kang Na Hsiung (KNH) is a leading manufacturer of specialty and technical nonwovens. With production sites and R&D centers based in Taiwan and China, KNH has constantly advanced its technology platform covering everything from personal care hygiene to skin care and later into industrial, medical and filtration specialty areas. 

KNH has 92 issued patents. Its nonwoven technology platform covers air-through, calendar bond, meltblown, airlaid, composite airlaid, circular needlepunch, spunlace, SAP sheet, and composite coating. KNH is committed to continuing investment in technology innovation. KNH’s facilities in both Taiwan and China are being strategically coordinated to supply the Greater China, the Pan-Pacific and worldwide markets.

Since two new sites’ commercial operating were completed in 2011, KNH has been looking for any opportunities to extend and enhance localized services in different regions. Through dedicated research and development, it has brought a wide range of products to the industry.

Currently, KNH makes a variety of nonwovens targeting a number of personal care and environmental care categories.
The current chairman of the board, J.C. Tai, is the former chairman of ANFA (the INDA equivalent in Asia). He has dedicated more than 40 years of his career to the development of nonwoven innovations.

At IDEA 2016, KNH presented developments in antibacterial, elastics, all functional wipes, adult care absorbent materials and three-dimensional topsheets.

Mobi-Air Showcases New Technology
Mobi-Air’s new cyclonic briquetting technology enables direct close-coupled briquetting of dust streams as they are filtered from the hygiene manufacturing process. Optimized for Mobi-Air hybrid filters, the new technology can also fit any drum filtering system on the market today. The company showcased this technology as well as its existing innovations at IDEA16.

The new technology incorporates multiple industry first features such as internal HD 16:9 video process supervision, real-time dust flow and pressure drop measurement, and direct coupled 6D high density briquetting capability. The new platform follows the same plug & play ethos as the Mobi-Flex filter range with no assembly required and drop-in-and-go methodology. The platform also comes in a variety of configurations all the way from single to quad systems.

James Barton, president, Mobi-Air Europe, says: “The new integrated process offers multiple new features that allow the hygiene producer to enhance operational efficiencies in dust separation and also maintain daily online operational efficiency.”

New inline HD video supervision brings live video streams of the actual internal cyclone process directly to the convertor. Line crews can now monitor their offline operations without having to leave their operational area. The continuous measurement of dust flow rates warns the line crew of abnormal changes. Damaged laydown drum screens or seals no longer go unnoticed until the next equipment inspection.

Osprey Launches Mobile App
Raising the bar in automated factory filtration, Osprey Corporation is introducing a new mobile app that is designed to enable factory personnel to have full time remote data sensing, reporting and analysis for its installed base of hygiene factory systems. The new app features a simple user interface and secure VPN providing easy, remote access to data trending, predictive maintenance, diagnosis and troubleshooting. In addition to custom alerts and analytics, the toolset also provides manuals and installation videos with direct links to technical service and spare parts ordering. 

RKW Shows Off Values at IDEA
AT IDEA 2016, RKW reaffirmed its core values: ‘Reliability and Respect.’ These core values are firmly embedded in the RKW corporate culture and form the backbone of the international group. A recent stakeholder survey showed that not only does the company live its core values, but also that the corporate culture provides a competitive edge.

“Adapting in line with changing market conditions is key to further profitable growth,” says CEO Harald Biederbick. “Gearing our operations toward the core values gives us a clear advantage. By way of our exacting demands placed on reliability and respect  we aim to provide certainty in business dealings with our customers and business partners, and to be an attractive employer.”

Suominen Launches Nonwovens for Workplace Wipes
Suominen, a leading supplier of nonwovens, announced the launch of suominen@work, a product line designed to serve manufacturers of workplace wipes. End-use applications of these nonwovens could include, for instance, wipes used in fast food restaurants, healthcare facilities and factory workshops.

The multitude of possible applications and availability of unique product features set suominen@work products apart from conventional nonwovens for industrial wipes.

The Suominen@work product line consists of Suominen’s current nonwovens offering for workplace applications as well as engineered substrates still in development. All suominen@work products are designed for wipes that have to perform in the most demanding work environments, where health and safety of employees and consumers or patients is vital. “The key to a good workplace wipe is to provide the user with a time-saving solution that delivers required functionality and provides tangible cost in use.
As a global market leader in nonwovens for wipes, Suominen’s professional product development skills help to meet the extensive array of requirements in workplace wiping applications,” says Eileen Calder, product manager for Workplace market segment at Suominen.

SC&T Shows Spunbond Technology
Machinery maker SC&T was at IDEA displaying its meltblown and spunbond lines for nonwovens production.

The meltblown line is unique because it almost exclusively uses microfibers rather than the fibers in the size of normal textile fibers. Meanwhile, spunbond, which SC&T makes using PP or PET, offers superior technology with the latest engineering and manufacturing techniques.

Sonobond Ultrasonic Technology Combats Bed Wetting
Sonobond Ultrasonics’ SeamMaster High Profile Ultrasonic Sewing Machines are helping assemble children’s underwear used for bedwetting protection, the company reported at IDEA. Several dozen machines have been purchased by companies needing to produce fully-sealed seams that prevent leaks from occurring between the absorbent insert and the rest of the panty. Sonobond’s machines bond the insert pocket’s water-repellent material to form a strong and comfortable leak-resistant barrier.

“Our rotary sewing machines utilize ultrasonic technology to provide the waterproof seams needed in the panty’s inner pocket,” says Sonobond vice president Melissa Alleman. “Since both the horn and pattern wheel rotate during the fabric bonding process, the seams are also soft and smooth against the skin.”

TAL Showcases SAF Range
Technical Absorbents (TAL), the manufacturer of Super Absorbent Fiber (SAF) exhibited at IDEA for the second time. TAL has been manufacturing SAF and developing SAF-based super absorbent solutions for over 20 years, and the application of super absorbents has progressed a lot in recent years. SAF is already incorporated in numerous technical nonwoven fabrics and spun yarns. SAF absorbs up to 200 times its own weight in demineralized water and 60 times its own weight in saline at extremely fast absorption rates. TAL prides itself on taking this core functionality and working with clients from the ground up, supporting development programs and creating bespoke absorbent solutions that are specifically tailored to meet their requirements.

Teknoweb Showed Off Exige Line
Three times per day at IDEA16, converting equipment manufacturer Teknoweb operated its new Exige wet wipes converting line, which has already been sold around the world.  This production platform is designed to produce cross-folded wipes in high speeds at the lowest cost per unit on the market, according to the company. Available in two, three and four lanes in single or double frames, the Exige features high efficiency and low scraps to save money and is fully customizable to tailor it to a customer’s needs.

Texel Named One of Canada’s Best Managed Companies
Saint-Elzéar-de-Beauce, Quebec, Canada-based nonwovens producer Texel was named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2015 for excellence in business performance. The Best Managed program recognizes Canadian-owned and managed companies demonstrating strategies, capabilities and commitments to achieve sustainable growth.

Established in 1993, Canada’s Best Managed Companies is one of the country’s leading business awards programs recognizing Canadian-owned and managed companies. Applicants are evaluated by an independent judging panel on business performance, including leadership, strategy, core competencies, cross-functional collaboration throughout organization, and talent.

Texsus Launches Sloopy Tape
Texsus, a designer and manufacturer of nonwovens for the hygienic and medical markets, recently made a €3.5 million investment in a converting line that produces the softest loop in the market--Sloopy. The unique product has a three-dimensional look and touch, and offers top-level technical performance.