Kicking off WOW 2014 the night before the conference was a reception at the Mill City Museum sponsored by Kimberly-Clark Professional Partnership Products. After networking with fellow attendees at the welcome reception, executives listened to two and a half days of outstanding presentations on diverse topics such as flushability, sustainability, new Industrial Wiper regulations and wipes to reduce Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI’s). Among the other topics that were presented were branding strategies, industry forecasts and analytics, ethnography, regulatory compliance, certification and technical advances.
The conference presentations began the morning of June 3 with a session called Sustainable Options, moderated by Dave Deising, director of product management, Rockline Industries. Starting the session was a Sustainability Roundtable that featured Jan O’Regan, Cotton Incorporated’s director of strategic initiatives who spoke about cotton trends; Tom Carlyle, technical customer service manager, Americas, Lenzing Fibers, Inc., who talked about synthetic cellulosic fibers including rayon and lyocell; and Robert Green, director of fibers and nonwovens at Natureworks LLC who talked about PLA. Next in the session line-up was Wipes 101 — A Look at Things to Come, presented by Rob Johnson, principal, Smith, Johnson & Associates. Johnson talked about INDA’s upcoming 2-day short course on the wipes market.
After a lunch break, the conference resumed in the afternoon with the session called Wipe Markets & Users, moderated by Brad Kalil, director of market research and statistics, INDA. Kalil kicked off the session with, The North American Nonwovens and Wipes Markets, followed by, Wipe Your Tears Away: Washington Isn’t Completely Dysfunction, presented by Jessica Franken, director of government affairs, INDA. Deborah Schultz, vice president of global strategic programs, Neo Innovation, next talked about Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences in a Participatory World. The rest of the afternoon included, Why Compliance On Its Own Is Not Enough – Working with the U.S. and U.K. Retailers, presented by Matt Clegg, commercial manager, UK retail, Rockline Industries; Brand Your Wipes, Dude, presented by Sean Riley, CED, Dude Products, Inc.; and, Ethnography: What It Is and How Can It Help the Wipes Industry Grow, by Greg Prang, director of global insights, The Hartmann Group.
The lineup for the morning of June 4 began with a session called Wet, Dry & HAIs, moderated by Nick Santoleri, vice president of operations, Rockline Industries. It featured The Industrial Wiping Market, by Chris Luettgen, senior research and engineering manager, Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Technical ABCs of Wet Wipes (or) What Every Store Brand Retailer Needs to Know, by Alan Perlman, chief architect, retail and consumer brands, NSF International; Regulation 1223/2009 EC on Cosmetic Products – New Legal Demands for Production of Wet Wipes, by Wolfgang Siegert, technical support manager international, Schulke & Mayr GmbH; Wipes – Playing a Critical Role in Food Service Cleanup, by Susan Stansbury, CEO and consultant, Right Angle Concepts; and The State of the Union with Healthcare-Associated and Community-Acquired Infections: A Tale of Antimicrobial Resistance, by Hudson Garrett, vice president, clinical affairs, PDI and Nice-Pak.
After lunch the afternoon session was Flushability, moderated by Rob Johnson and Cotton Inc.’s Jan O’Regan, and included INDA’s
WOW 2014 concluded with a morning session June 5 called Tech Specs, moderated by Ginny Casstevens, vice president of sales and business development, Jacob Holm Industries (Americas) Inc., and included Methods & Trends for Coloring Nonwovens, by Chris Plotz, business development manager, ITW Professional Brands; Quaternary Ammonium Disinfecting Solutions Optimized for Use with Cotton-containing Nonwoven Disposable Wipes, by Doug Hinchliffe, research scientist, ARS-USDA; Finding Sustainability Opportunities along the Product Value Chain – A Systematic Approach, by Denise Petersen, sustainability manager, care chemicals and formulation technologies North America, BASF; First-Ever Ecologo Certification Gives Wipers the Edge, by Bill Hoffman, senior scientist, UL Enviornment; and lastly, Novel Engineered Biopolymer Binders for Nonwoven Wipes That Help Manufacturers Achieve Productivity and Sustainability Targets, by Phillip Mango, principal, Phillip Mango Consulting, and Udhav Doctor, director, business development, nonwovens, Ecosynthetix.
In addition to the presentations, a highlight of WOW 2014 was the announcement of the recipient of the 2014 World of Wipes Innovation Award. Four finalists competed for the Innovation Award, which recognizes the wipe that most expands the use of nonwovens and demonstrates creativity, novelty, uniqueness and technical sophistication within the entire nonwoven wipe value chain; the finalists were chosen by INDA’s technical advisory board.
All four finalists made 10-minute presentations to WOW attendees as to why their product was the most innovative and deserving of the award, after which attendees were then allowed to cast their votes.
This year ITW Professional Brands took home the award for its Sertun Rechargeable Sanitizer Indicator Towels. Sertun towels feature patent-pending Color-Check technology that changes the towel color from blue to yellow when there is not sufficient sanitizer in it. This gives restaurant operators peace of mind that they are effectively sanitizing hard surfaces and are in compliance with restaurant health codes.
“We are excited to receive this great honor from INDA,” says Tim Rasmussen, director of marketing, ITW Professional Brands. “The wipes were in development for more than seven years and will change the way restaurants clean hard surfaces. Sertun towel users never have to wonder if their sanitizer is out of spec.”
Sertun towels reduce worries about health code violations and fines, and illness from poor hard surface cleaning. As Sertun towels deploy quat, the color of the towel changes from blue to yellow, indicating there is not sufficient sanitizer in the towel. By placing the towel back into properly mixed sanitizer, the towel recharges and turns blue again. When the towel no longer turns blue, it’s time to change the sanitizer.
The Sertun Rechargeable Sanitizer Towel was selected as one of four finalists for the award by the INDA technical advisory board, technical director and association members from the wipes market segment. It was then voted the winner by attendees of the 2014 WOW International Conference.
The other finalists competing this year were Andritz for their Substrate Patterning Process; Pacon Manufacturing Company with their Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths; and Nice-Pak for their Moist Flushable Wipe.
“The resounding success of WOW 2014 demonstrates the vibrancy and positive growth of the entire wipes industry,” says Dave Rousse, INDA president. “The program contained relevant and informative subject matter along with opportunities for making connections at the exhibits, receptions and meetings interspersed throughout each day. We are particularly pleased to see a 25% increase in the number of exhibitors and an ever increasing percentage of new exhibitors to the industry. The highly-anticipated announcement of the World of Wipes Innovation Award winner continued the dynamic energy of WOW to the very end.”
Also this year, the WOW conference launched a new event that afforded wipes professionals an opportunity to “Dine with Industry Thought Leaders” in a small group setting. The goal was for these attendees to learn about what these leaders are watching and buying as well as what is trending, fading, and on the horizon for market and business intelligence.
The 9th annual World of Wipes 2015 will be held June 16-19, 2015 at the Hotel InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit www.inda.org.