Athea Laboratories continues capital investment in new machinery to further improve manufacturing capabilities. The purchase of a second new high speed perforator machine and additional high volume mixing tank emphasize Athea’s capabilities as a full turnkey wet wipes and liquid product manufacturer with the ability to handle all of its manufacturing in house.
With over 50 years of experience, Athea Laboratories is a leader in specialty wipes, liquid and powder contract manufacturing and packaging. Its expertise and experience gives companies an extensive variety of product formats to serve numerous end-user markets with private label products. As an EPA and FDA facility, Athea’s manufacturing capabilities include custom wipe converting, custom formula development, blending services, on-site chemists, formula-substrate compatibility testing, graphics, and technical and regulatory support. Athea can offer companies turnkey solutions to their packaging needs at low minimums.
Beckmann Converting delivers important value to original product manufacturers and textile suppliers through volume production contracts and new product development services in the toll laminating space for multiple layer textile composites. The company specializes in ultrasonic laminating and hot melt adhesive laminating (Gravure applicator rolls) processes, utilizing proprietary equipment and technologies that provide unique competitive advantages in meeting demanding customer requirements.
Ultrasonic laminating lines can process materials up to 130” wide with finished product incorporating from two to seven layers combining nonwovens, films, knits, wovens and meshes. By eliminating the use of adhesive materials, ultrasonic bonding is truly a “green” process, and textiles in the layers retain their unique properties including strength, loft, breathability, filtration and chemical resistance while optimizing composite performance. Beckmann Converting can process materials up to 80” wide in hot melt adhesive laminating. A wide variety of adhesives can be used to achieve the in-use requirements, from true thermo-plasts to PURs (Reactive Polyurethane Resins). A range of adhesive add-on weights can be applied by using 4 gram, 10 gram or 16 gram/square meter, random computer dot engraved rolls.
Developments implemented recently position Beckmann Converting with the capacity to handle growing production volume requirements in multiple industries including filtration, environmental, protective apparel, protective covers, healthcare products, cleanroom wipes, among others. Through continuous improvement programs, the company has shortened the lead time to production startup when taking over manufacturing of existing products. When it comes to working with customers on new product development projects, Beckmann Converting employs expert hand sample, roll trial and pre-production verification programs focusing on achieving manufacturability while retaining end use performance of the finished product. These critical processes are formalized in its ISO 9001:2015 standard Quality Management System, recently recertified through September 2022.
Boyertown, PA-based Berk International manufactures a broad line of nonwoven wipes, paper towels and bath tissue. The company is an expert in converting an assortment of materials including DRC, spunlace, airlaid, hydroentangled nonwovens, meltblown, needlepunch, TAD, tissue and towel. The Berk family has been in the wipes converting business since 1975 and has established a reputation of producing high quality products at reasonable prices. CEO Larry Berk and president Jeff Berk, who is head of sales, started Berk Wiper in 2000 and have grown the business every year since.
With 17 production lines running 24 hours a day in its 275,000 square foot facility, no job is too big or too small. From private labeling to contract converting to their own brands, Berk has it all. The company converts wipes for every market including Jan-San, food service, healthcare, automotive and industrial. Its capabilities include flat sheeting, interfolding, 1/2, 1/4, 1/6 and 1/8 folding, perforating, printing, rewinding, laminating and slitting.
BMP America Inc. is part of a global manufacturing group specializing in the manufacture and conversion of technical nonwoven textiles, engineered polyurethane elastomers, mechanical components and sub-assemblies used in a diverse range of industrial applications. BMP America is a tier one supplier of components to major OEM companies in the appliance, construction, printing, automotive, filtration and renewable energy market sectors.
BMP America, Inc.’s headquarters and manufacturing facility is located in Western New York along with a subsidiary manufacturing facility located in Juarez, Mexico. The company also has technical sales offices in Oregon, Connecticut, Iowa Michigan and Maine.
The Western New York and Mexican facilities primarily manufacture engineered nonwoven products and assemblies for OEM accounts in North America. Meanwhile, sister companies, BMP Europe, which is located in England, manufactures similar products as well as engineered polyurethane elastomers for accounts primarily in Europe, and BMP Asia manufactures similar products for accounts located primarily in the Asia-Pacific region and is a contract manufacturer for BMP America and BMP Europe.
In general the manufacturing process is short run and job shop in nature with many processing, converting and assembly operations. Both the U.S., European and Asian manufacturing facilities have similar capabilities and equipment enabling the transfer of business between its sister companies with minimal disruption if conditions warrant.
BMP offers contract converting services worldwide to include the following capabilities: slitting, laminating, die cutting, sewing, pleating and assembly.
BMP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Andrew Industries Ltd., a privately owned company whose core technology is in the manufacture of industrial textiles, specifically, needle felts and thermal bonded nonwoven for various applications including filtration, insulation, laundry and business machine applications.
Canopus Wet Wipes
Founded in February 2017, and beginning production in May 2018, Canopus Wet Wipes strives to serve the growing middle and upper classes in India with wet wipes in various categories. Located in Karnataka, India, the company is producing hygiene wipes (baby, intimate, hand), cosmetic and facial care wipes, medi-bath wipes and homecare wipes (furniture, glass cleaning), pet care wipes and eye glass cleaning wipes, among others.
Six months after the plant went into operation, expansion had already begun. Today, Canopus has three fully automated machines, increasing capacity from 15 million pieces to 45 million pieces per year. To serve all types of requirements around the world, the company introduced Z-fold with and without interlock, one machine solely designed for Z-fold or C-fold with cross fold facility to serve beauty care five pieces to 30 pieces, as well as single or double pieces with five-fold small pouch to carry easily. The single wipe pouch serves airlines, travel, five-star hotels, conferences, etc. Currently the company has its own brand, Canopus, which is well received in India.
The factory is situated at Harohalli, KIADB Industrial Area, Ramanagara District, in a 12,000 square foot manufacturing facility.
Part of Canopus’ strategy to stand out from the competition is to launch innovative products that Indian consumers haven’t seen before. One of these products is sports wipes, furniture/glass cleaning/ multipurpose wipes, as well as eye glass cleaning wipes which the company says no other company has introduced to the Indian wipes market.
“We can manufacture at competitive rates and produce flushable wipes with GD4 certification,” says Ashok. Kulkarni, consultant for technical textiles. “We can make biodegradable wipes. Currently we have 22 variants to serve the world market, and water and chemical content will remain intact for a longer period without drying. Our quality of product and packaging will be the standout point of our company. Very few companies in India adhere to REACH, INCA, ECHA, EUP, INDA and EDANA standards. Our wipes will be affordable, the best quality and easily available in the nearest stores.”
In 1993, Converted Products, Incorporated (CPI) opened for business with the simple idea of providing quality contract converting services in slitting and die cutting. Twenty-six years later, CPI has kept that same simple premise but has expanded its contract services to include wider width, high speed slitting, hot melt laminating, traverse (spool) winding, rotary and flatbed die cutting, warehousing/logistics and product/process development. Certified in ISO 9001:2015, Converted Products’ 160,000 square foot facility is located on the northwest side of Milwaukee, WI.
CPI’s slitting capabilities include score, shear, razor, single knife and rotary, in widths ranging from 1/8 to 136 inches along with experience in a wide variety of flexible materials. CPI also offers a full-service Quality department performing on-site analysis, certifications and reports to meet a wide array of industry needs.
In 2017, CPI upgraded its high speed, wide-width equipment by installing a new winder with a drive assist unwind. President and founder of CPI Chris Gorenc says, “We had the opportunity to keep our equipment on the leading edge by installing a high speed, wide-width surface winder with a drive assist unwind. There aren’t many contract converters who have the drive assist technology. It gives us an opportunity to work with low tensile materials that need a driven unwind to ensure a quality wound roll.”
But CPI’s work on efficiency didn’t end with just a machine. It went to work on eliminating as much waste in its process as well by implementing and adopting its own version of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). “We started by using whiteboard’s and worked into a more sophisticated database. Regardless of the method, we had to reduce our downtime as much as possible. It is a never-ending process to drive out wasted time and make sure our customers get the best price we can offer,” Gorenc adds.
Continuous improvement is a staple of CPI’s ever-evolving capabilities.
The new surface winder features the following capabilities: total width: 130”; slit widths: 3” to 130”; unwind OD max: 100”; rewind OD max: 72”; drive assist technology; unwind ID’s: 3”, 6”, 6-3/4”, 8”, 10”, 10-5/8”, 12” (others available upon request); rewind ID’s: 3”, 6”, 6-3/4”, 10” (others available upon request); and speeds in excess of 4000 ft. per min.
EFFE 4, an Italian company specialized in second grade spunlace processing, has doubled its turnover in the past three years.
All this was possible thanks to two huge investments—new slitting lines were started in October 2017 and in May 2018.
These are not standard systems but designed and built ad hoc by a specialized workshop and by EFFE 4 management, which has taken care of every detail in order to optimize the working processes.
Four new employees have recently joined EFFE 4, and one will soon be added to the small and specialized team of 13 people.
The second grade spunlace sold by EFFE 4 has enormous success, thanks to the good quality in relation to the price. All the material is verified and subjected to cutting and slitting according to the customer’s requests.
The great work carried out in recent years has led the company to have very low quantity of non-recoverable waste, 95% of the non-workable material is in fact sold to various Asian companies that are involved in recovering several types of fibers.
Gelok International manufactures a wide range of hydrogen-bonded superabsorbent laminates and airlaid cores for multiple markets including feminine hygiene, adult incontinence, food pads, filtration and medical packaging. It custom designs absorbent cores to meet a client’s exact performance needs and then manufactures it under strict quality and process control standards conforming to ISO 9001-2015. Gelok can design the cores to target specific performance characteristic such as reduced rewet, acquisition rate, high permeability or high capacity.
The laminate is produced and shipped in rolled goods format either as the master rolls or slit down to customer specified widths. These products can have an absorbency up to 15,000 gsm of 0.9% saline.
The TotalCore Airlaid range of products can have an absorbency up to 10,000 gsm of 0.9% saline and are produced and shipped either as master rolls, slit rolls or festooned bales. Because of their high absorbency, thin profile, flexibility and softness, these products are ideally suited for skin sensitive application such as feminine hygiene, incontinence and wound care dressings.
National Wiper Alliance
Located in Swannanoa, NC, National Wiper Alliance (NWA) continues to be known as the largest private label and contract converting operation in the U.S. focused on dry wipes. National Wiper currently has over 35 converting lines. However, with the increasing customer demands, both domestically and internationally, NWA has recently completed the installation of four new converting lines; including its fifth slitter, a floor pad line and automated lines for the production of sheets and pillowcases. In addition, NWA has completed the renovations of its 152,000 square foot warehouse. Lastly, as of September 12, National Wiper launched its new website. Its user friendly and interactive website allows customers to learn more about its products and services. NWA is registered to ISO 9001:2015 standards
National Wiper Alliance and its owner, Jeff Slosman, have received numerous awards over the past years. These awards include: SBA-North Carolina 2015 Small Business Person of the Year – Jeff Slosman; NC Chamber of Commerce – 2015 Manufacturer of the Year – Honorable Mention; Business NC Magazine – 2015 NC Small Business of the Year and Wake Forest Family Business Center – 2016 NC Family Business of the Year; 2018 WOW Innovation Award Finalist – Rhino Wipe Tote System; 2018 Governor’s Export Award – Top Global Reach Exporter.
Nonwovens of America
Nonwovens of America, Inc. (NOA) is located in Swannanoa, NC, operating a 5.4-meter air-lay needlepunch line and running colors in a weight range of 3.5 ounces per square yard to 34 ounces per square yard. In addition to the needlepunch line, NOA provides custom converting services including 10-color, 99” wide rotary screen print line, blanket lines, an inline calendar, and slitting and re-rolling.
NOA offers toll converting services, as well as all other converting services. The main areas of focus are automotive, retail, geotextile, industrial and emergency blankets. NOA provides in-house customer service, product development, warehousing, logistics and distribution support.
Phoenix Fabrikations bv, The Netherlands - since 1968 one of the first European Nonwoven pioneers, promotes microfilament nonwoven fabric that cleans intensively, due to an unique ultra thin fiber structure. Phoenix is ready to personalize the fabric by dyeing in any Pantone color, converting to wipes and printing customer’s logo, based on a very low minimum volume of only 2000 sqm. Additionally, packaging services can be arranged according to the customer’s requirement and specification.
In addition, Phoenix recently launched a bamboo spunlace nonwoven for wiping applications like wet wipes, baby wipes and cosmetic wipes. Phoenix anticipates the trend that requires greener products.
RubberMill die cuts, laminates and fabricates non-metallic materials for roll goods suppliers and OEM manufacturers serving the appliance, automotive and other noise mitigation and insulation markets. Its facility in Liberty, NC, near Greensboro, and new manufacturing site in Hickory, NC, provide convenient access to a large variety of nonwoven manufacturers and distribution channels to meet customer requirements. Its experienced production team utilizes flatbed belt presses up to 76 inches wide, automated travel head presses, CAD driven die-less cutting, rotary presses and a variety of slitting and adhesive application equipment.
RubberMill is registered ISO 9001:2015 and certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business by the WBENC. It also maintains a UL Yellow Card on its high loft, fiberglass-free FibraMat insulation product to simplify customer product registration.
RubberMill’s goal is to ensure customer satisfaction by exploring ways to reduce costs, simplify supply chains and/or improve processes. It has been awarded the Innovative Supplier Award by a large OEM two times in five years.
Sidwin Fabric is one of India’s largest manufacturers of polypropylene spunbond nonwoven fabric with two double beam lines—one 3200 mm and the other a 2650 mm width line having online hydrophilic kiss roll system can deliver up to 1200 mm roll diameter on 3”, 4” paper core. The range of fabric 8 gsm to 200 gsm with functional properties like hydrophilic, hydrophobic, softness, anti-static, flame retardant fabric, etc., are available. The company has facilitated with advance testing labs to ensure gsm, tensile test, elongation, liquid strike through test and MFI of raw materials inspection for continuous quality control supply. It exports up to 60% materials to the international market.
Sidwin Fabric specializes in agriculture crop protection fabric that is UV stabilized, having its own registered brand name “Grow Cover.” It can supply up to 18 meter wide fabric for agriculture use which is known as row cover, low tunnel fabric, landscape fabric as well fruit protection products.
Southeast Nonwovens, Inc. (SENW) is the only independent North American facility for manufacturing, converting and developing staple fiber-based nonwovens.
SENW offers contract roll good manufacturing using the wet-lay, dry lay, and air lay processes: Wet lay lines - 36” and 63” wide; card and needlepunch line - up to 90” wide; and air lay line - 1 meter wide.
SENW also offers boutique contract converting services via slitting, sheeting and die-cutting. In 2019, SENW added a 72-inch wide double-belt laminator with the capability to combine multiple layers of material or to include functional additives.
SENW continues to offer industry leading product development services – supporting wet lay, carding, hydroentangling, needlepunch, calendar bonding, coating and air lay manufacturing processes. Its material science experts have extensive experience understanding a customer’s requirements, designing products and then using its laboratory and pilot scale equipment to produce distinctive prototypes.
Headquartered in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Web-Pro is a leading Asian producer of spunlace nonwovens, breathable films and laminates roll goods for medical, hygiene and wipe industries around the world. These products are developed for applications such as medical gauze, wet wipes, makeup removers, facial masks, industrial wipers, poly-laminates for under pads and protective clothing, flexographic color-printed films for nursing pads, baby diapers and adult incontinence products.
Web-Pro opened its first overseas manufacturing plant in Vietnam in the third quarter of 2019, and the Vietnam operation is mainly serving customers in the local and global hygiene and wipe markets. The Vietnam operation offers value-added supply chain integration services and contract manufacturing services such as three-layer laminated medical nonwovens and converted wipes to its customers to mitigate potential risks from trade conflicts and to enhance the company’s business continuity strategy.