News from the World of Technical Textiles

Excerpt: Cinte Techtextil China is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA).

Technical textile may grow 20% annually for next 2 years

THE country's technical textiles BSE 0.96 % sector, which is currently pegged at USD 13 billion, is expected to grow at 20 per cent per annum in the next two years.

"We see a huge potential of the technical textiles sector, which is currently USD 13 billion in size and expected to grow at 20 per cent per annum in the next two years. With imports touching USD 5 billion, India needs to develop indigenous products to boost domestic growth," Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, FICCI Committee on Textiles and Technical Textiles, said at Technotex 2014 here.

Highlighting on the theme for this year which is 'accelerating technical textile usage and strengthening institutional buying', Jaipuria said that technical textiles has a major role to play in the growth of the overall textiles sector in India.

Calling it the next sunrise sector for India, Zohra Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, gave a detailed insight into the vision of the government for the technical textiles sector. The government is looking at a five-fold increase in the fund outlay for the sector during the 12th Five Year Plan. A major initiative will also be to drive up the growth of the sector in the north-eastern states.

A pilot scheme budgeted at Rs 500 crore has also been proposed for geo textiles. There are also plans to hike the FDI for this sector. The government has already launched an integrated skill development scheme to train 15 million people in this field by 2020, Chatterjee said.

Sujit Gulati, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, said that this year Technotex aims to build and enhance the 'investment' environment for the technical textiles sector in the country. He threw light on the initiatives of the government focused around promotion of technical textiles in India.

Gulati highlighted a few schemes, starting with the four centres of excellence that were doubled to eight in the Technology Mission programme of 2010, along with encouraging entrepreneurs and start-ups to take part in this sector.

The government aims at strengthening research in this field, organising buyer seller meets, providing a national policy framework and also promoting the agro technical textiles in the north eastern states where two demonstration centres are already underway, to showcase the benefits and usage of technical textiles, especially natural fibres.

To generate skilled manpower, the subject has also been made part of the curriculum in schools and colleges through the intervention of the Indian Textiles Association (ITA).

Technotex aims to provide the further roadmap for the industry to explore the repository of technical textiles in India, Gulati said.

Arvind OG announces entry into Nonwoven fabric manufacturing; targets Rs 100 cr revenue

ARVIND Ltd, the Ahmedabad-based denim maker has entered into equity partnership with Japanese major OG Corporation to set up a greenfield manufacturing facility at Dholka, about 70 km from Ahmedabad -- Arvind OG Nonwovens

With this venture, Arvind has added a new capability in its portfolio offering of technical textiles, in the Nonwovens space and the JV will manufacture high quality Nonwoven fabrics using Needle-punch technology for Bag house filtration, artificial leather and a variety of other applications.

The company has already acquired 300 acres, which is partly being used for the technical textiles vertical. The company plans to utilise the remaining land as per the expansion requirements in other business verticals.

"This is a big milestone for Arvind and for AMD. It marks our entry in the highly attractive Nonwoven fabrics space, and we are looking to aggressively grow this vertical with our Japanese partners. Having been pioneers in tapping the technical textiles segment in India, we are well placed to take advantage of this fact and become a global player. The initial investment by the joint venture is about Rs 50 crore. We will achieve Rs 100 crore topline by the next couple of years. By 2017-18, we hope to reach Rs 1000 crores in Advanced Materials Division (AMD) through the four segments that include Protective textiles, Industrial fabrics, Composite application fabrics and non wovens. This is our first venture into non- wovens which is the largest segment globally in technical textiles and we hope to break even in a year's time. With this fleet of business and our textile heritage, we will look to try and build scale now. We will be looking at two product categories with this JV; namely bag house filtration and artificial leather and later plan to get into automotive interiors, industrial filters and geotextiles in the near future," said Punit S Lalbhai, Executive Director and CEO of the Advanced Materials Division at Arvind Limited.

The joint venture also has technology alliance with Kureha Ltd of Japan.

It has imported custom-built machines from Japan specifically designed to achieve Japanese quality standards and capable of handling various fibres such as M-Aramid, Homopolymer Acrylic, Poly-phenelyene Sulfone (PPS), Polyimide Polypropylene and Polyester. AOG has installed custom-built machines specifically designed to achieve Japanese quality standards and capable of handling various fibers such as M-Aramid, Homopolymer Acrylic, Poly-phenelyene Sulfone (PPS), Polyimide Polypropylene and Polyester. These will be manufactured at the newly installed facilities following the highest global standards of quality while leveraging the advantage of India costs of production. The unit has started production in May 2014 with 1 line of needle-punching technology.

"Out of the total raw material that we will use, over 50 per cent will be imported. While we are planning to export about 60 per cent of our total production," he said.

"Beyond this, we are also looking to invest in other technologies and product categories in the non-wovens space going forward," Lalbhai said.

H. Machino, Managing Director of OG Corporation India, and Director of India joint venture, further added: "Keeping the future in mind, India is a very important marketplace for OG Corporation. We are therefore delighted to partner with Arvind and establish a non-woven fabrics manufacturing facility in India."

The OG Corporation is a $1.1-billion company engaged in specialised materials manufacturing and trading. Besides a joint venture with Arvind, OG Corporation has invested about $10 million for a joint venture with Metropolitan Chemicals for a speciality chemicals making facility near Mumbai.

Arvind holds 74 percent in this financial partnership while OG Corporation, a specialized trading company from Japan holds 26 per cent stake in the JV which has a technological alliance with Kureha Ltd, which is the leading Nonwoven fabrics manufacturer of Japan. Arvind has been aggressively growing its technical textiles business in recent years through the verticals of fire-retardant fabrics and garments, industrial fabrics and glass reinforcement of Composites, through its Advanced Materials Division (AMD).

With the size of the Indian technical textile market according to government estimates is around US $ 12 billion (Rs 70,000 crores), Arvind has currently 10 percent of the market share. The chunk of the revenue pie of Arvind is driven by its core traditional textiles and garments business, with brands and retail making up around 30 per cent and the rest is driven by other businesses and technical textiles that make up around 5 per cent out of the total Rs 6000 crore revenues clocked by Arvind Ltd.

EDANA delivers nonwoven statistics to members

Greater Europe breaks 2m tonne production, and fastest volume growth identified in Turkey and CIS countries

THE annual report on "Nonwovens Production and Delivery in Europe for 2013" has been made available to all EDANA member companies as part of their membership benefit and service.

"For the first time ever, we have published this report before the end of May, making this valuable information available to our member companies when they need it for their business planning purposes," said Jacques Prigneaux, Director for Market Analysis and Economic Affairs at EDANA. "In addition, we know uninterrupted data, like our series produced since 1972, is highly valued by our members and regarded as a reliable resource for their business." he continued.

In 2013, nonwovens production in Greater Europe (which includes Turkey and the CIS countries of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus) increased in volume by around 2.0% to reach 2,044,215 tonnes. This compares with growth rates in the two previous years of 1.7% in 2012 and 6.2% in 2011, on a comparable basis. The same production in square metres grew faster (+2.9%) and reached the level of 59,833 million last year. The production in CIS countries and Turkey continued to grow, respectively by +4.8% and +12.9%.

The report made available to the more than 240 EDANA member companies answers questions such as:

  • how fast have spunmelt nonwovens sales grown, compared to staple-fibre based technologies?
  • was hydro-entanglement again the fastest growing bonding technology within drylaid nonwovens?
  • what are the leading end-uses in Greater Europe in 2013?

The EDANA nonwovens database and statistical methodology, which was established around 40 years ago (and has been refined over the years using the latest IT features), is unique in its size - it is the largest of its kind in the world, and is based on an exhaustive annual survey with direct input from nonwoven producers.

With all significant players from Greater Europe and a large number of companies participating already from the Middle East and Africa (whose data is currently not published), more than 100 major nonwoven producers are directly involved, representing over 85% of the production in both regions. The remainder of the market is covered by qualified estimates for an equivalent number of generally much smaller producers.

This year, for the first time, details of these compiled results were made available to participants by the time of INDEX14 in early April 2014. EDANA is grateful to responding companies for their cooperation in making this report unique by its exhaustive and consistent character.

"While it is always a challenge to collect, compile and deliver in final format such data within a reasonable time frame every year, we recognise the value to our member companies to deliver the data in a timely manner, and to keep the information meaningful and sufficiently relevant to play a useful role as a benchmarking and planning tool for companies. As a result, not only brought the collection and analysis in-house several years ago, but continue to commit significant resources towards this project every year, in order to deliver this valuable service to our members." Said Pierre Wiertz, EDANA General Manager.

EDANA's leadership in this area is based on a multi-dimensional expert system with internal consistency checks, based on verified reports of the consumption of raw materials, production of roll goods by process, and deliveries both by process and end-uses. Other systems, relying on less frequent direct input, on nominal - published or estimated - capacities of installed nonwoven production lines and/or random telephone interviews, often result in much less accurate data.

“Our leadership in nonwoven market surveys, with a scope representing well over 30% of the world's nonwoven production, gives EDANA both an advantage and responsibility for the future provision of global nonwovens statistics." said Wiertz. "We will continue to work with our partner associations around the globe towards the objective of global harmonised data of a comparable scope and quality".

INDA acquires INSIGHT Conference from Marketing Technology Service, Inc.

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has purchased the INSIGHT International Conference from Marketing Technology Service, Inc. (MTS) and will combine the long-standing event with its VISION Consumer Products Conference. Both events have focused on the absorbent product and disposable hygiene market segments.

The combined INSIGHT + VISION conference will be the largest of its kind in the industry and deliver greater value to attendees and exhibitors. The event is expected to draw attendees from around the world with an interest in buying, supplying or manufacturing absorbent products, high- performance fabrics and nonwovens in consumer products. It will continue to feature high-level business and technical presentations, networking opportunities, social events, tabletop exhibitions and award recognitions.

The acquisition, approved by the INDA Executive Committee and its Board of Directors, closed on May 29. Terms were not disclosed. Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, MTS will continue to operate its other lines of business, including other nonwovens conference events, airlaid production facilities, consulting, testing equipment, product and material testing, market research and publishing, which are not part of the sale. Jim Hanson, Director of MTS, commented, "I started INSIGHT in 1979 and it has been held every fall since then at many locations in North America. It's had a consistent following of senior-level international delegates that we consider to also be our friends. So, as we organize and look forward to INSIGHT 2014, we won't be saying goodbye to the industry - just shifting our focus. MTS will continue to sponsor Executive Short Courses and Absorbent Product Design Symposiums in Michigan, as well as continuing its Nonwovens Technology and other absorbent product conferences located outside of the Americas."

"We will operate our final MTS INSIGHT this Oct. 19 to 23 in Indianapolis. As INDA merges its VISION conference with INSIGHT, starting October, 2015, I encourage our loyal following to support this new consolidated industry event. I look forward to INSIGHT + VISION advancing the interests of those in the absorbent products and disposable hygiene space."

INDA President Dave Rousse added, "INSIGHT is a well-established, long- running event primarily serving the absorbent hygiene market, as is our own VISION conference. We are delighted to be able to combine these two respected industry events to create a single, larger and more impactful conference that streamlines the event calendar, consolidates attendee travel dollars, and better serves our members and the industry."

INDA's acquisition of INSIGHT has a significant impact on the event calendar for nonwovens and hygiene products overall. Below is a summary of these changes in the 2014-2015 time frame:

  • INSIGHT 2014 will take place as scheduled in Indianapolis, IN on Oct. 19- 23 and will be organized by Jim Hanson and MTS, as previously planned; there will be no change to that event this year and INDA will provide promotional support.

  • INDA's VISION 2015 Conference, currently scheduled in Miami, FL, Feb. 9- 12, will be moved to the Oct. 26-30, 2015 time slot in St. Petersburg, FL and combined with INSIGHT.

  • INDA's growing RISE (Research, Innovation, and Science for Engineered Fabrics) Conference currently scheduled for this Sept. 8-11 in Atlanta, GA will be moved to the VISION calendar slot and held Feb. 6-9, 2015 in Miami, FL.

Rousse added, "These are major changes to the industry event calendar that we believe will simplify and enhance the value of both VISION + INSIGHT and RISE. We encourage support of this year's INSIGHT event in October, and added support for the movement of RISE out of a crowded fall slot into its own space in 2015. Once settled, we believe this sequencing of events offers a better value to the industry we serve." INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serves hundreds of member companies in the nonwovens/engineered fabrics industry doing business globally.

Medical nonwovens market to grow at five percent rate

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA (Lubbock, USA, May 27, 2014) -Single-use medical nonwovens market, has rebound from saturation level and is expected to grow at about 5 percent.

Dave Rousse, President of the United States based Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry-INDA, in speaking recently in a webinar organized by the Rodman Media Corp., said that due to the Affordable Care Act, Center for Disease Control and Prevention advisories and also payment qualification criteria imposed by private insurers, the disposable nonwoven market is expected to grow at 5% rate. This growth figure is more than the earlier expected growth rate of 2 percentage.

According to Rousse, medical nonwovens in the United States has a share of 9% in the total nonwovens market. Allied product such as absorbent hygiene has 21% share, wipes has 17% share and filtration has 11% share. The Affordable Care Act emphasizes the shift from quantity to quality, which will aid the growth of disposable nonwovens.

Nonwoven products such as underpads, adult incontinence products, face masks, sterile wraps and packages and health care related wipes will be in demand, which will push the sector towards growth trajectory, said Mr. Rousse.

In ending his presentation, Mr. Rousse stated that nonwoven industry should innovate, enhance the value of the overall package of the nonwoven products and should better communicate with stakeholders.

This webinar was sponsored by ANDRITZ Nonwoven and RKW-Group.

Challenges for Nonwoven Materials

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA (Lubbock, USA, May 30, 2014) -Three big challenges were highlighted by Dr. Bryan Haynes, Director, Global Enterprise Research and Engineering, Global Nonwovens, Kimberly-Clark for effective utilization of nonwovens in the medical and consumer product sectors.

Dr. Bryan Haynes in delivering his keynote talk at the recent NET Innovation in Nonwovens Conference (NETInc) of TAPPI held in Nashville emphasized the importance of market differentiation; raw material cost and scalability. These major issues have to be taken into consideration by the nonwovens medical and consumer products industry.

Bryan Haynes said by differentiation in product design, developing composites for new functions and creating novel materials, new opportunities will evolve for the nonwoven industry.

Investment in new process technology that could develop new nonwoven products should be the way forward. Although incremental development is good, emphasis should be placed on new and disruptive technologies, said Haynes. Sustainability and recycling should also be taken into consideration. Finally, Haynes commented on the importance of taking laboratory products to commercial reality.

Partnering to develop disruptive technologies should be an important mantra for the nonwovens industry. The keynote session was chaired by Uday Raval, Chairman of NET Division of TAPPI.

Tencel Skin - bags INDEX Awards from EDANA

DURING Index, largest Nonwovens fair held recently in Geneva, EDANA announced the winner of the EDANA's INDEX 14 Awards.

INDEX14, the largest global meeting place for the nonwovens supply chain and its customers, was launched, with a ceremony to showcase excellence in the nonwovens and related industries.

EDANA's INDEX 14 Awards are the highest accolade for excellence in the industry and highlight some of the innovations from businesses of all sizes, and from all parts of the nonwovens supply chain.

Winner in the "most original marketing campaign for a product made from, or incorporating nonwovens", was Lenzing AG with the Tencel Skin promotion campaign.

"Especially the highly aesthetic and artistic video which lends life to the fiber and connects it to people, and effectively conveys the main properties of the fiber was the reason for the award", stated the EDANA jury.

Tencel Skin is specifically developed for the use in facial masks. The smooth fiber surface creates a silky feeling.

The unique structure provides optimum absorbance and compatibility with lotion. The Fiber is of botanic origin, since it is extracted from the raw material wood.

Compelling content for nonwoven provided at INDA's converting and bonding meet

INDA's second biennial Converting and Bonding (CAB) Conference May 6-8 in Greenville, SC satisfied attendees by delving into topics such as technology advancements, converting treatments and techniques, as well as global trends in the nonwovens and engineered fabrics industries.

The conference addressed market needs largely met by needlepunched fabrics with a focus on the automotive and furnishings market segments. It gave attendees the latest information on government policies; recycling, repurposing, and reusing automotive waste; new nonwoven applications; and unique flame retardant processes and applications.

A few of the outstanding highlights of the conference included:

  • Steven Yializis with Sigma Technologies presented the plasma self-assembly process for the functionalization of synthetic textiles
  • David Roisum from Finishing Technologies, Inc. shared solutions for winding nonwovens
  • Steven J. Grossman of Grossman, Tucker, Perreault & Pfleger, PLLC reviewed the new U.S. patent law
  • Jaime C. Grunlan from Texas A&M University showed attendees how anti- flammable nanocoatings can be used for textiles by using renewable and/or environmentally-benign materials

John Gearhart, Nonwoven Textile Solutions, LLC, and INDA's CAB 2014 Conference Chairman, said, "This very successful conference brought together a diverse audience for the most recent information in converting, bonding and needlepunch technologies for the automotive and furnishings markets. The conference explored multiple solutions to very specific challenges, including handling automotive waste during the manufacturing process."

Dave Rousse, INDA President, said, "This event encompasses multiple market segments in the durables sector. It focuses on critical technologies and processes for the carded side of the engineered fabrics/nonwovens industry. Attendees gained an increased awareness of market and business intelligence as well as regulatory updates. This event delivered knowledge and enabled business connections to help their organizations improve their sales and processes."

Other features of the conference included a Speed Networking luncheon in which attendees gained an opportunity to meet 50 professional industry contacts in two hours. The conference also included multiple business connection segments during evening receptions, tabletop displays and activities.

At the conference, Roland Zimmer, President/CEO, Zimmer America, said, "INDA provides excellent industry representation from manufacturers to machinery to suppliers to recycling. It's very inclusive."

Cinte Techtextil China scheduled for Sept. 2014

THE countdown to Asia's leading biennial trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens continues as the industry's leading players prepare for Cinte Techtextil China. Held from 24 to 26 September at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre nearly 500 exhibitors are expected to participate, an increase compared to the previous edition which sees an extra hall and a total of 35,000 sqm of exhibition space in use.

This year marks a change from the last fair held in 2012, with the show no longer held concurrently with Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics. According to Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of fair co-organiser Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, this stand-alone version will be more beneficial for participants. "Holding the fair independently from Intertextile ensures the visitor profile will be more specific to the industry," she said. "This gives overseas companies greater opportunity to promote their products and enhance their brands in the fast-growing Asian market."

Growing potential in Asian technical textiles market attracting overseas exhibitors

This expanding market is providing a range of new opportunities for overseas firms to tap into. Industrial protective equipment is just one of these, as countries in the region, in particular China and India, still have large numbers of unprotected industrial workers. Couple this with the fact that Asia remains the leading global manufacturing hub, and there are huge opportunities in the region. Concordia Textiles is one exhibitor that sees this potential in the region in the near future. "More awareness of protecting workers will enlarge the demand for protective work wear that meets specific quality standards," explained Dirk De Locht from Concordia. The Belgium company will showcase their European- and Chinese-made fabrics for heavy-duty work wear, waterproof & breathable and heat & flame protective garments at the fair that meet a range of EN and IEC standards. In addition to these they are also exhibiting new multi-risk protection fabrics.

German firm PHP Fibers GmbH, producers of industrial filament yarns and exhibiting for the fifth time, see the same potential. "We are already selling to China and Korea, but we see potential for growth due to the increasing demand for cars in Asia and the resulting boost in production in the region," outlined Guangze Song from PHP's Shanghai office. "As the automotive market grows in China and throughout Asia, we forecast increased demand for our airbag fabrics."

Leading companies from 12 sectors to take part

Companies from the full industry spectrum will be at the fair, with product groups and application areas including technology and machinery, woven and knitted fabrics, nonwovens, coated textiles, composites, surface and bonding techniques, fibres and yarns, and more on display. The Santex Group from Switzerland is one such exhibitor and has more than 30 years of experience producing textile finishing machines, laminating and coating plants, and prepreg lines. Their Santex brand features machinery for knits and woven fabrics, while the Cavitec brand focuses on prepreg and impregnation lines for high-tech composites, and laminating and coating machines.

French exhibitor Protechnic is a regular attendant of Techtextil fairs around the world,and produces hot-melt thermoadhesive webs, nets and films for dry lamination. They sell to more than 50 countries across the globe and make products for industries as diverse as automotive, aviation, building, renewable energy and sports. According to the company, the complexity of the polymers they use, such as copolyamide, copolyester, polyolefin and polyurethane, enables them to provide a wide range of customised solutions for the lamination of many composite materials.

Cinte Techtextil China is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA).