The awards recognize brilliant innovations in the nonwovens and engineered materials industry. Winners will be announced and honored at IDEA 2019, the World’s Preeminent Event for Nonwovens & Engineered Fabrics, March 25-28, at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Florida.
Finalists range from next generation machinery with digital tools for intelligent production, breathable multi-layer composite fabrics, and fibers that are tailor-made for use in disinfecting wipes.
Finalists range from an innovative new feminine hygiene item to a pad to keep seniors for suffering injuries to vision inspection systems to bio-based nonwovens. All of the finalists are contributing to the rapidly changing pace of technology in the global nonwovens industry.
The finalists are:
IDEA 19 Equipment Achievement Award – Best new equipment introduction
A.Celli Nonwovens S.P.A.: A.Celli Vision System (DMS 4.0)
Currently, vision inspection systems are installed at the end of the nonwoven forming line, before the pope winder and have the target of checking the quality of the newly formed sheet. The solution that A.Celli has developed and presents consists in installing a camera inspection system after the slitting section and as close as possible to the winding point, in order to be able to inspect the sheet immediately before winding. This new location for the camera system allows the inspection of the web just before it becomes part of the reel and to certify the roll to be free from defects: not only the defects coming from the forming process but also any other imperfection that might be added in the later stages.
Some the most relevant advantages obtained by the installation of a vision system inside a rewinder. include: detect all the defects of the sheet due not only to the formation of the sheet, but also to the later roll handling and web handling process; the system can verify that the rewinder operator has effectively removed the defects detected by the first vision system (and / or by the metal detector), installed upstream of the winder; check that no longitudinal folds are formed during the slitting and rewinding process.; heck that the strips, due to aerodynamic effects, do not skid to the right or left, compromising the flatness of the side of the reels, and therefore the quality of the reel.; check the quality of the cut edges in order to monitor the wear of the blades that create these cutting edges; check whether a cutting unit has stopped cutting, compromising the good quality of all the reel doffing ; measure the width of the strips and measure the width of the “neck-in” between the various strips; monitor and maintain the reel quality index consisting of the constant width of the wound web
Curt G. Joa, Inc.: Infinity Roll vacuum roll
The Infinity Roll from Curt G. Joa, Inc. uses a patented design and ensures complete control of nonwoven materials throughout the entire production process. Regardless of material shape or size, materials remain in control without deviation, increasing production efficiencies, material savings and product quality. The unique Infinity Roll™ has three key benefits for customers:
1. Maximum Product Control: Control the whole product throughout the entire process.
a. Products are controlled, even oddly-shaped material corners as well as other fine details.
b. The product can be positioned anywhere on the roll with the same amount of control, repeatable with no deviation in the process.
2. Superior Flexibility: Transfer previously difficult-to-control materials and product shapes with ease.
a. Use material that is very low in gram per square meter (GSM) or other previously difficult-to-control materials and gain material savings.
b. Use previously difficult-to-control shapes with fine details, increasing flexibility for product designs.
3. Maximum Production Efficiency: Increase product quality and decrease downtime.
a. Consistent product control reduces the variability in product placement which means more products will meet standards, improving the product quality and reducing the number of products rejected.
b. Reducing the number of products rejected means reduced material scrap for greater efficiency and material savings.
c. The ability to produce a variety of product sizes, with reduced or eliminated need to change the roll for different size products, reduces production downtime.
Reifenhäuser Reicofil GmbH & Co. KG: Reicofil 5
Reifenhäuser’s Reicofil 5 technology was introduced two years ago, more than 15 years after introducing its Reicofil 4 line technology and more than three decades after first developing Reicofil technology for the nonwovens industry.
One of the highlights of RF5 is the significant reduction of failures within nonwovens. When running standard raw materials, hard pieces will be reduced by up to 90% in comparison to RF4 technology. With this, Reicofil provides a solution for one of the major issues of contamination that exists in the industry. Producers running an RF4 line will be able to make use of this advantage by upgrading the line to RF4.5.
RF5 Technology also fulfills the market demand for finer and finer filaments: the technology can produce up to 20% smaller fiber diameters. Thereby titers lower than one denier are producible for the first time. Compared to the RF4 technology, the same titers can be achieved with higher outputs or finer titers are feasible with the same outputs, but can provide for better uniformity, strength and softness.
In terms of productivity the RF5 technology also raises the bar significantly: the output increases by up to 35%—to up to 270 kg/h per meter beam width for spunbond and to up to 70 kg/h per meter beam for meltblown. So, producers can run their lines at maximum speeds even for higher grammages.
The meltblown technology benefits from the increased output by a much wider process window, which raises the flexibility. Producers can decide now depending on their requirements whether to use the maximum output capacity and increase productivity by up to 35% or to produce 20% higher meltblown quality at the present throughput levels.
Looking at the line speed, the new RF5 technology reaches the new peak value of 1200 meters per minute. As this value is the actual speed on the conveyor belt and not, as before, the speed at the winder, it can be fully utilized in production. Effectively, producers can run their lines 30% faster than they could on RF4 lines.
When it comes to energy efficiency Reicofil lives up to its own claim of reducing the specific energy consumption with every new line generation. For the production of composite nonwovens RF5 saves up to 15% compared to RF4.
IDEA®19 Roll Goods Achievement Award – Best new roll goods introduction
Fitesa: Fitesa 100% BioBase PLA Soft
Fitesa’s 100% bio-based materials combine comfort with sustainability. This bio-based material is made from renewable, compostable resin with a soft touch that is superior to standard polypropylene spunbond materials and other BioBase spunbond products. PLA is a renewable source resin produced from the lactic acid extracted from plants’ glucose. Fitesa applies state-of-the-art technology to process this material into spunbond fabrics. Its monopolymer composition makes recycling easier compared to bicomponent structures and a proprietary soft bond pattern makes Fitesa 100% BioBase PLA Soft one of the best sustainable solutions in the market.
Freudenberg Performance Materials: Evolon New Generation
Building on the success of its unique Evolon product, Freudenberg developed Evolon New Generation. This high tech textile is made from super microfilaments that are half the thickness and twice the density of those used in the original Evolon. Evolon New Generation complements the original Evolon by opening up entirely new applications in the fields of bedding, technical packaging and many others. The increased density of Evolon New Generation is able to filter even smaller dust particles, allergens and down filling because the super-microfilaments are twice as fine as the original material. Evolon New Generation has become a much softer and non-abrasive technical packaging material, which provides protection for ultra-sensitive surfaces. It is 200 times thinner than human hair which gives the material great resistance to mechanical stress, abrasion and repeated washing while maintaining high performance. When compared to cotton, it takes far less water to produce the material. The super microfilament textile is available in a wide range of weights and variations, allowing it to be adapted to the specific requirements of different uses. Non-fraying edges mean that there is no need to hem the fabric and it can be dyed, printed and sewn just like any other textile.
Tredegar Personal Care: FlexAire 771 Breathable Elastic Fabric
FlexAire 771 breathable elastic fabric from Tredegar Personal Care is a multi-layer composite fabric for use in disposable garment applications. FlexAire 771 has been used in baby pants made in Europe since 2016 and in the U.S. since 2018. The elastic fabric consists of a regularly aperture elastic film sandwiched between two nonwovens. The breathable elastic film is designed to mimic the easy and comfortable extensible nature of conventional stretch textiles, readily stretching to 200% with minimal force of less than 1000 grams per 50 mm strip. While maintaining consumer desired breathability. The unique pattern of apertures used to create the breathable elastic layer provides a subtle underlying woven appearance contributing to the overall impression of being conventional underwear.
The outer nonwoven layer of FlexAire 771 provides a combination of silkiness and cottony softness to satisfy varied consumer preferences. Additionally, the nonwoven layers are selected to provide the right mix of strength and extensibility to best combine with the breathable elastic film to deliver a range of fit to make a truly underwear-like disposable product. The lamination technology used in FlexAire 771 delivers a fabric that does not require bunching to achieve extensibility, which is unlike breathable laminates created via stretch-and-bond of spandex strands with nonwovens. When converted into disposable absorbent baby pants, side panels made with FlexAire 771 maintain a flat textile-like appearance both out of the package and while being worn.
IDEA 19 Raw Material Achievement Award – Best new fiber/raw material introduction
H.B. Fuller Conforma Core
H.B. Fuller’s Conforma Core is an adhesive solution for absorbent cores. Conforma stretchable adhesives for absorbent cores were designed to help manufacturers of absorbent hygiene products respond to the end consumers’ concerns about leakage of disposable articles caused by deformation after insult. Conforma can be coated directly to the absorbent core using traditional hot melt application equipment to create any desired pattern. Elastomeric properties of Conforma adhesive have been proven to provide lift to the wet core integrity without impact on the absorbent core softness and capacity. Conforma adhesive fibers act as a shock absorber within the core due to their elastic nature and help to minimize core sagging, improve fit and reduce leakage occurrence.
Kelheim Fibres: Danufil Fibers
Kelheim Fibres GmbH’s Danufil(R) QR fibres are speciality viscose fibers for disinfecting and cleaning wet wipes. Quaternary ammonium compounds are not tightly bound to the cellulose but can do their actual job. Other unique benefits of renewable wood based viscose are outstanding absorbency and distribution of lotion as well as sustainability and biodegradability.
Lenzing AG: Veocel Lyocell fibers with Eco Cycle Technology
Lenzing AG will present a technology that enables the production of lyocell fibers using a blend of wood and recycled cotton waste as a raw material. Key benefits are the reduction of the virgin feedstock as well as a reduction of pre-consumer waste from the textile industry. The final fiber product keeps its full performance compared to a standard lyocell fiber.
IDEA 19 Short-Life Product Achievement Award – Best new disposable product utilizing engineered fabrics
Callaly’s Tampliner is a new tampon innovation, designed by a gynecologist and developed by a garment specialist. It’s the only period product to combine three components into one—a high quality organic cotton tampon that won’t shed, a soft organic cotton mini liner that folds between the labia to provide extra protection without the bulk of a pad and a breathable virtual applicator that keeps the finger clean during insertion and neatly wraps the tampon on removal.
DiviDiaper, Inc.: DiviDiaper
DiviDiaper is a unique, provisionally patented diaper designed to prevent/reduce diaper dermatitis/rash (infants) and Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) in adults; Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs); candida/yeast/fungal and other genital infections, and susceptibility to pressure sores.
The divider’s unique shape and elasticity contour comfortably to the perineal area to effectively separate urine from fecal matter, reducing/eliminating diaper rash and a range of infections. The optional-use catheter hole and flap permit safe and effective separation of a catheter tube or super-pubic tube from the perineal/anus area to reduce many infections (including CAUTIs) and contamination of the catheter. DiviDiaper also has designed a diaper insert/pad with the divider that is in further development. This product will allow the wearer to have the benefits of DiviDiaper using other diaper brands. The company created workable prototypes by hand, which have already been in used in post-op application, under the direction of a world-renowned pediatric urologist and surgeon, Dr. Dix Poppas (chief of Pediatric Urology, NY Presbyterian/Weill Cornell).
DiviDiaper won INDA’s 2018 RISE Innovation Award, competing against Freudenberg Group and Suominen. This innovative product, which was initially presented at Carlos Richer’s Absorbent Hygiene New Trends workshop in November 2017 and featured on FOX 5 News this year, has been recognized by doctors and nurses as, not only being infection-reducing to the AI and infant populations, but also as potentially life-saving in cases where diaper- and catheter-associated infections resulted in fatal sepsis (not to mention having short- and long-term cost benefits). According to Dr. Poppas, “It should be used by all [needing diapers because] it’s just a better diaper [that] makes good sense.” (July 2017).
Surfaceskins Ltd.: Surfaceskins Push Pads and Pull Handles
A collaboration between Nonwoven Innovation & Research Institute (NIRI) and a team of industrial design consultants, Surfaceskins have been selected as finalists for the Short-Life Product Achievement Award, for best new disposable product utilizing engineered fabrics.
Studies show that up to 80% of infections are transmitted by hands. While gel dispensers and hand washing make hands clean, Surfaceskins keep hands clean, when passing through a door. You are in a hospital, office, restaurant or bar and have just washed your hands, or used an alcohol hand rub. By now touching a door handle or push plate you may become contaminated with germs left by previous users. Every surface you now touch may also become contaminated. Surfaceskins work in conjunction with gel dispensers and hand washing, a vital infection control measure designed to complement existing hand hygiene practices and protocols, breaking the transmission chain.
Each time the Surfaceskins pad is pressed, the surface self-disinfects, releasing a small quantity of antibacterial gel via the micro-valved top sheet and providing a self-sterilizing surface to protect every door user. Independent NHS Laboratory in-vitro trials have proven kill rates of seconds against E.Coli, Salmonella, Norovirus, S.Aureus and E.Faecalis, compared to the many hours taken to achieve a similar germ-kill level by alternative products. Recent trials have also demonstrated that Surfaceskins improves hand hygiene compliance by increasing hand washing and gel usage.
Surfaceskins are ideal for hospitals, SCBU’s, HDU’s, ICU, elderly wards, food preparation, washroom, toilet, factory, schools, offices and other high risk traffic areas, across multiple sectors. Launched in 2018, the range comprises: an introductory educational range; new custom Surfaceskins providing a high-visibility communication platform to deliver key messages, branding or third party advertising; and, new for 2019, Surfaceskins have developed a round pullhandle, using the same self-disinfecting technology as the pushpads.
Globally-patented, the technology behind Surfaceskins has won a raft of awards since launching including: Medilink Innovation in Healthcare Award; Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award; Venturefest Innovation Showcase Award; Innovation of the Year (Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards), and was a finalist at The Spectator Disruptor of the Year Awards.
IDEA 19 Long-Life Product Achievement Award – Best new durable product utilizing engineered fabrics
Propex GeoSolutions: PETROMAT Enviro
For 50 years the paving industry has relied on PETROMAT as the most trusted asphalt paving fabric in the market. This year Propex GeoSolutions is thrilled to launch PETROMAT Enviro. Combining innovation and sustainable design, this patent pending technology is engineered to easily mill into small pieces so it can be recycled into reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and used in new hot mix asphalt (HMA) without additional processing. Additionally, Enviro provides unmatched moisture protection for roads and highways while absorbing stress to prevent fatigue and reflective cracking in asphalt pavement. There is no other technology like it in the industry.
Soteria Battery Innovation Group: Soteria Battery Architecture
Existing lithium ion batteries use solid foil current collectors and plastic film separators. When damage or a defect occurs, the current collectors deliver the battery energy to the defect in a short period of time, generating heat and melting the plastic separator which sends the cell into thermal runaway. Soteria is using a new architecture based on nanofiber nonwoven separators (made from fibrillated lyocell reinforced with aramid fiber) that will never ever melt or shrink and current collectors that are made from metallized plastic film that retreat in the presence of a defect like a fuse. In addition, they eliminate over 90% of the copper, reducing weight and cost and increasing energy density.
Soteria is forming a consortium of interested companies to bring the technology forward. There are now 29 members including NASA, DuPont, Teijin, Mercedes, Voith, Ingevity, Ahlstrom, Domtar, Delfort and DNV-GL. These companies and others provide materials, equipment and expertise and license the technology so that an appropriately broad supply chain can be set up to supply the global battery and automotive industries.
TiGUARD, LLC, Augmentum Division: Compressa Senior Fall Safety
In 2015, medical costs related to falls alone totaled more than $31 billion. Because the U.S. population is aging, both the number of falls and the costs to them is likely to rise even further. Tiguard Augmentum has developed a solution to this problem that has been validated in University-based biometric studies.
Compressa Senior Fall safety uses nonwoven fabric, sublimation and dye transfer with a flox surface. Flock technology beyond aesthetics is also employed for Z-direction impact absorption together with technical mini air bag created cushions, similar to automotive air bags. Adhesive bonding, plastic scrim and membrane components are installed with portable induction generations. All of this is finely designed to create G-Force Gravity Attenuation of the fall impact for the human body.