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8th Annual International Show in Print of the nonwovens industry.

8th Annual International Show In Print of the Nonwovens Industry

The following pages consist of the Eighth Annual International Show in Print edition of Nonwovens Industry. This special section, featuring advertising and "Advertorial" material written by the suppliers themselves, is designed to give our thousands of readers around the world a glimpse behind the scenes of the firms with which they deal everyday. The companies participating in this feature offer an impressive array of machinery, fiber and raw materials, fabrics and converting services for the growing worldwide market. What follows is a unique, more personal look at the products, people and companies that comprise our multi-billion dollar industry.

1932 to 1990...58 Years of Experience Sets The Trend for Curt G. Joa, Inc.

It is a philosophy of Curt G. Joa, Inc. to design for the future by building on experience. The J2 Series Baby Diaper Machine continues in this tradition. It is our pleasure to share with you some of the history that is built into the J2 Series.

Pulp Fiberization

JOA has been making fluff since 1942, when the company patented its first pulp fiberization and mat forming system designed to replace tissue wadding in sanitary napkins.

Today, we offer a complete line of JOA designed fiberizing systems, sized according to throughput requirements ranging from 500 Kg/hr. for sanitary napkins to 1500 Kg/hr. for baby and adult diapers.

For the J2 Series, we have dedicated the JOA Screenless Mill to the task of pulp fiberization. The close running tolerance between rotor and housing that is built into this JOA hammermill allows it to produce fluff without the conventional hole screen.

Removing the screen eliminates fluff surge problems, reduces fiber damage with a "one shot" working of the pulp and, with a modest 100 horsepower (75 kw), the mill can process 1500 Kg/hr.

Drum Forming of Absorbent Cores

JOA began drum forming absorbent cores for our sanitary napkin machinery more than 25 years ago. Six years ago our engineering group began a transformation of this process.

The result is a production proven drum forming system for the much larger baby and adult product cores.

With product advantages like strategic three-dimensional fluff distribution and superabsorbent blending and process advantages like the elimination of the leg cut-out operation and related chip return, drum forming of the diaper core has become a JOA standard and is a vital component in the J2 Series.

Modular Frame and Drive

The classical JOA approach to machine design is based on a sectionalized frame and drive construction with modular subassemblies arranged according to process and product requirements. The J2 Series demonstrates this proven concept.

This fundamental approach extends the life of any JOA machine by allowing for retrofit of new process modules, designed to produce the latest product features. Many existing JOA machines, some placed in production in the early 1970's, have been prepared for the 1990's with this type of conversion.

Examples of some current product, hence machine, upgrades include: multi-strand leg elastic, blue poly barrier, elastic waistband, standing leg cuffs, reinforcing frontal tape and tri-folding.

Product Handling

No single component in the JOA process is more universally known throughout the world than the Model 115 Stacker.

The concept of arranging a counted stack by gathering product in a moving paddle chain dates back to September 2, 1941, when JOA was issued its first patent for a sanitary napkin stacker. This stacking principle has been applied to virtually all of our product handling needs, including baby diapers, adult products and tri-folded and wrapped sanitary napkins.

Simply stated, the JOA stacker has proven to be the most efficient way to handle product. It is included as standard equipment in the J2 Series.

58 Years of Experience

The J2 Diaper Machine is representative of the JOA experience. We have designed a machine to produce the most complex of today's diapers at speeds up to 300 diapers a minute. We have included process modules that increase efficiency, improve product performance and reduce product cost.

The J2 is prepared for the future.

Steady Growth

Experience not only sets the trends in machine design, but also guides JOA through its growth.

Curt G. Joa, Inc. has engineering offices and manufacturing plants in both of its U.S. locations--Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin and Boynton Beach, Florida. Over the past five years, steady growth has been realized with an increase in manpower and output of 40%.

The Sheboygan Falls group has recently moved into its newly-constructed assembly and testing facility, which adds 8500 sq. meters of needed floor space.

For the European market, JOA established service representation in 1980, with an office and parts warehouse in Markbreit, West Germany.

In October of 1989, JOA opened its new plant in Volkach, West Germany. With 1500 sq. meters of factory space, we plan to place converting machinery in Volkach for demonstration and development purposes.

Relationships

Perhaps the most important lesson experience has taught us is the value of a trusting relationship between supplier and client.

JOA is proud of its heritage and reputation as a company with which our clients can work confidentially to develop machinery for their specific needs.

We appreciate the many years of opportunity we have shared in this industry. With excitement, we invite you to contact us to discuss the future.

Aerodynamic Web Forming -- The Potential For A New Generation Of Nonwovens

In the 70's and 80's, the trend in the nonwovens industry shifted toward nonwovens in the lightweight range. This tendency was confirmed by the fact that sales of nonwovens in 1988 in applications with an average weight below 100 gsm constituted more than 50% of the total sales figures of nonwovens.

For many applications in this lightweight area the users of nonwovens require webs with balanced MD/CD strength ratio.

Until now, the following systems have been available to produce such nonwovens:

* Random cards such as the Fehrer K12 or the Rando Webber, which deliver an absolutely randomized product, but with a moderate output only (production rate).

* Conventional cards equipped with condensing and randomizing devices. The use of such machines improves the MD/CD strength ratio, but does not deliver absolute randomization.

* Card with cross lapper and subsequent web drafting units, which deliver a balanced MD/CD ratio, but which--due to the lapper--still have preferred directions with higher strength values in the web. Because of the lapper and the web drafting unit such a plant also represents an additional investment and maintenance effort.

The tendency towards a balanced MD/CD ratio again required aerodynamic web formation to produce random webs in the range of 10-100 gsm at an acceptable output rate. The primary aim compared to existing aerodynamic systems became the increase of the performance and obtaining higher production speeds while at the same time maintaining good quality.

These development tendencies were the reasons why a high-capacity machine according to the aerodynamic principle was developed specifically for the production of lightweight webs.

The result of this development was the K21 high-performance random card.

The main difference of the random cards existing up to then is that the K21 uses four carding drums.

On the K21, a preweb is fed into a system consisting of nose bar/high-speed rotating carding drum. These fibers are further separated by a pair of worker/turner rollers. In contrast to other random cards that mostly have only one drum, only part of the total fiber flow is emitted from the first carding drum. The larger amount is passed on to the following drums. On each of these drums a part of the total fiber flow is emitted. Each of these drums is also equipped with a pair of worker/turner rollers.

The fibers are transported to the perforated conveyor in fiber ducts formed according to aerodynamic principles. As a result of the centrifugal forces caused by the fast rotations, the fibers are separated from the carding drum. This is supported by the evacuation of the perforated conveyor. In this process, the system of aerodynamic web formation again is brought to bear.

As a result of the four separately emitted fiber flows a web is produced out of four layers because individual fibers are deposited on four different sites onto a joint perforated conveyor. This system provides an excellent quality even at high speeds.

However, on the K21 the layers cannot be separated, since the web is formed under suction and the fibers are deposited also three-dimensionally, which connects the fibers inseparably.

The Fehrer K21 high performance random card is specifically designed for the use of synthetic and viscose fibers in the range of 1.7-3.3 dtex. Moreover, the system is also suited for processing cotton.

On the K21, it was found that when the total fiber flow is divided onto four carding drums the four-fold performance rate of a single-drum machine is achieved, which in the case of a 1.7 dtex fiber is in the range of 60-80 kg/m/h.

The range of achievable web weights on the Fehrer K21 high performance random card is between 10-100 gsm, depending on the performance. The major advantage when compared to conventional plants is that all weights in this range can be varied indefinitely.

Major fields of applications for nonwovens manufactured on a K21 are medical and sanitary products as well as disposables and incontinence articles. A large field of application are also the fields of webs for household articles and interlinings.

The K21 system offers the advantages of the aerodynamic web formation at an increased output rate. With this system, a randomized web is formed already during the web formation process due to the deposition of individual fibers, which then are deposited in free flight onto a perforated conveyor.

Here, no additional devices which mechanically change the fiber position are used. When using condensing and randomizing devices tensions may build up in the web. An aerodynamically formed web, however, is free of tension.

Webs produced on the K21 are characterized by their absolute randomization. The MD/CD ratio of these webs is between 0.9:1 and 1.5:1. This ratio depends on the fiber specification and refers to the bonded web, with drafts occurring due to transfer points during transport of the unbonded web and drafts occurring during bonding.

The strength ratio in the unbonded web can be assessed easily by means of a simple test. When the unbonded web is lifted up by hand, a symmetric cone-shaped formation appears--due to the homogeneous web structure--with the diameter of the basic intersection line (circular or elliptically shaped) being directly proportional to the web strength.

The result of such a simple test can, of course, be also verified by evaluating the strength at the finished web. If the draft in production is known one can re-establish the original ratio, and the result will confirm the simple test.

Heinrich Jakob Textilmaschinefabrik Dr. Ernst Fehrer AG

Latexes For All Your Nonwoven Needs

As you develop nonwoven products, we at BFGoodrich develop new latexes to help you. Thanks to our extensive R&D efforts, we have expanded our broad line of latex products to meet the ever more demanding requirements of the nonwovens industry. We have also sharpened our process controls and manufacturing efficiencies. As a quality producer of a broad line of latex products, we will maintain a leadership position well into the future.

New Developments

We have a family of new flame-retarding plasticizer-free Geon vinyl latexes. They are heat-reactive latexes for paper, textile and nonwoven applications where flammability, resilience and water-resistance are the critical properties. These new products join our family of plasticizer-free latexes, developed for applications where the presence of plasticizers may be undesirable because of their potential extraction or migration.

We also added new heat-moldable latexes for the nonwovens market. These are finding application for automotive, filtered and textile uses--particularly as resin replacement systems. In recent years, the presence or evolution of formaldehyde has been the cause of government regulation and product modifications. For many years, BFGoodrich has produced formaldehyde-free vinyl chloride and acrylonitrile butadiene latexes. BFGoodrich also has new reactive formaldehyde-free acrylic latexes to expand the choices available to the nonwoven producer.

Broad Product Line

The number of applications for nonwovens is rapidly expanding, and we have four lines of versatile latexes to meet the industry's ever-changing demands:

Geon Vinyl Chloride Latexes--These emulsions of vinyl chloride and vinylidene chloride copolymers are designed for coating, impregnation and saturation of fibrous materials such as nonwovens, textiles and paper. Their resilience, adhesion to polyester, resistance to laundering and dry cleaning solvent, flame retardant capabilities and good color retention make them excellent binders for high loft nonwovens as well as nonwoven coatings.

Hycar Acrylic Latexes--This varied latex line features a broad range of glass transition temperatures (-55 to 103 C). These dispersions of acrylate copolymers combine properties such as heat reactivity, excellent adhesion characteristics and wet and dry strength to offer nonwoven binders durability, light and heat resistance and good resistance to dry cleaning solvent.

Hycar Nitrile Latexes--These acrylonitrile-butadiene copolymers help finished nonwovens achieve a pleasant, soft hand, high tensile strength and dry-cleanability. Hycar nitrile latexes are distinguished by the combination of solvent, oil resistance and resilience that they impart to nonwoven fabrics.

HyStretch Elastomeric Latexes --These unique elastic materials have the unusual ability to stretch and recover better than most rubber latexes. They also have excellent heat and light stability properties. When applied to nonwovens, these binders lend resiliency and liveliness, as well as ultra softness and durability.

Applications Development

Latexes are giving nonwoven fabrics added benefits in a variety of application areas:

High Loft Products--Geon vinyl latexes can be used to bind high loft polyester nonwovens. A properly fused nonwoven pad will have resiliency, loft retention and flame retardancy. In addition, Geon latexes render these nonwovens formaldehyde-free, washable and dry cleanable.

Filters--Lofty nonwoven fabrics, bonded with Geon and our Hycar latexes, are ideal for use in flame retarded and industrial air filter applications. Many of these latexes have broad FDA acceptance, such as 177.2260 for use in filters for milk and potable water.

Medical/Surgical Products--Surgical drapes demand a very soft latex binder. Surgical packs consisting of face masks, hand towels, etc., are composed entirely of single use disposable nonwovens. Hycar latexes help develop quality nonwovens for medical applications with low levels of lint and emulsifier.

Semi-Durable Towels--Binders made with Hycar latexes give the extra advantage of oil and solvent resistance to industrial towels. In addition, they offer wet tensile strength, abrasion resistance and soft hand. For household towels, Hycar acrylic latexes provide absorbency, toughness and solvent resistance.

Other Products--Latex binders provide a host of added benefits to a vast number of nonwoven products. Interlinings, sleeping bag fillers, scouring pads, disposable diapers, personal hygiene products, fabric softener sheets, synthetic leather, permanent care tags and wallcoverings are just a few application areas where latex binders can improve the strength and flexibility of nonwoven products.

Consistent Manufacturing Quality

To strengthen supply capabilities and ensure product lines of uniform quality, the BFGoodrich Latex Unit has manufacturing facilities in Louisville, Kentucky; Akron, Ohio; Avon Lake, Ohio; and Pedricktown, New Jersey. This increased manufacturing efficiency and more effective use of capacity and personnel are deigned to position BFGoodrich Specialty Polymers and Chemicals division as a dependable supplier of quality latex products--the same every time--now and in the future.

lydall Manning Nonwovens ... New Product Capabilities

New Fire-Resistant Mat Withstands High Temperatures, Resists Flame Penetration

Manniglas [R] 1150 and its foil-laminated version, 1151, are non-asbestos, lightweight fiberglass/inorganic nonwoven mats specifically designed to provide outstanding high-temperature and flame-resistant performance for construction applications.

Easily saturable, the mats can be laminated to other materials or custom-modified to provide hydrophobic, hydrophilic or chemical-resistant properties. Both grades are available in rolls up to 102" in width.

A Major Resource for Cryogenic Superinsulation Media

A leader in the development of glass-fiber nonwoven products, Lydall Manning Nonwovens has manufactured cryogenic superinsulation media for many years. Lydall Manning currently manufactures three leading cryogenic products: Manning Cryotherm [TM] 1000, 233 and 1303.

All three high-quality glass-fiber products are lightweight, binderless and highly uniform in structure thanks to Lydall Manning's expert use of the wet-laid fiber-forming process.

Manning's cryogenic insulating media are used between layers of foil to form a multi-layered superinsulation for cryogenic tanks and tubing. The superinsulation systems are able to hold super-cold liquefied gases such as liquid oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, helium, argon and carbon dioxide at low temperatures for prolonged periods.

A New Resource for State-of-the-Art SLA Battery Separator Material

An advanced glass-fiber nonwoven designed to provide the highest possible performance in sealed lead acid batteries, Acupore [TM] Battery Separator Material offers exceptional uniformity of pore size and fiber distribution for maximum acid absorption and wicking.

Manufactured to precise standards controlled by in-plant SPC, Acupore separator material offers more than just uniform quality. Its high tensile strength and elongation also allow it to meet demanding processing requirements.

Acupore separator material can be custom-engineered to meet precise customer specifications. Custom conversion, packaging and shipping as well as partnership product development are all part of Lydall Manning Nonwovens' total response to customer needs.

Thermal Barrier Material Offers High Performance for Critical Applications

Manniglas 1200 is a glass-fiber nonwoven designed specifically for critical thermal barrier applications. Tough, dimensionally stable and flexible, Manniglas 1200 has achieved UL 94 V-0 recognition for non-flammability.

Available in roll, pad and sheet form in thicknesses from .005 to .125", Manniglas 1200 offers excellent thermal resistivity, corrosion and mildew resistance, and superior wettability for saturation.

Appliances, gasketing, muffler wrap, lighting and sensitive fluid connectors are just a few of the applications for this highly engineered material.

Full-Color Brochure Highlights Capabilities of Lydall Manning Nonwovens Division

Lydall Manning Nonwovens offers a full-color brochure that showcases the company's capabilities in custom development of unique nonwovens and technical papers for specialized applications.

The 6-page brochure outlines advances in process and product development achieved during Lydall Manning's 140+ year history.

Featured products include the Manniglas line of glass-fiber nonwovens, the Manniweb line of highly efficient synthetic-fiber air and liquid filtration media, and Lydall Manning's super-strong, tear-resistant long-fiber technical papers.

Baby and Business Benefit from New Design and Color with LYCRA [R] XA Spandex

Multi-thread designs with Du Pont LYCRA [R] XA elastomeric thread are rapidly displacing strip elastic products in diaper leg applications worldwide. Diapers benefit from improved comfort and aesthetics. Manufacturers benefit from significantly lower elastic material costs.

An expanded color range for LYCRA [R] XA reflects growing consumer preference for gender-specific diapers. LYCRA [R] XA spandex thread is now available in little-girl pink, in addition to little-boy blue and standard white.

The worldwide trend toward LYCRA [R] XA began in the Far East, where elastomeric thread is produced and marketed as OPELON [R] spandex by Toray-Du Pont Co., a joint venture of Toray Industries and Du Pont. Conversion from elastic strip products to spandex thread continues to expand, throughout Europe, North America, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. To meet growing demand, new production facilities are in place in Canada, Japan and Northern Ireland. Du Pont has opened a major U.S. distribution center for LYCRA [R] XA in Waynesboro, Virginia. With this facility, Du Pont can offer U.S. manufacturers the benefits of "just in time" deliveries.

LYCRA [R] XA is delivered to the diaper machine by commercially available positive-feed unwinders (see Figure 1). These unwinders are electronically linked to the diaper machine to precisely follow linespeed changes. Du Pont now offers LYCRA [R] XA in larger packages (up to three kilograms), which reduce handling and downtime.

A unique advantage of LYCRA [R] XA is its relatively flat stress/strain curve (see Figure 2). This allows manufacturers to process LYCRA [R] XA at stretch levels from 150 to 350 percent with essentially constant retractive force on the leg of the wearer. This provides the more efficient use of the elastic properties of the material: Less elastic is used because it can be stretched farther. Uniformly performing diapers can be produced over a wide range of machine settings. To vary the retractive force in leg elastics, the size or number of LYCRA [R] XA yarns is varied accordingly.

Elastic thread designs with LYCRA [R] XA spread the compressive force over a wider area of the leg for greater comfort, enhanced appearance and secure containment.

LYCRA [R] XA has been used for more than 25 years in swimsuits, hosiery, intimate apparel, leotards and many other apparel applications. In traditional apparel uses, LYCRA [R] XA must be specially treated to perform satisfactorily in highspeed knitting, weaving or covering equipment. To perform in the hot melt gluing applications of diaper manufacturing, the surface of LYCRA [R] XA spandex yarn was modified. The suffix "XA" indicates that LYCRA [R] XA or OPELON [R] XA can be readily glued into a diaper, while apparel-grade LYCRA [R] or OPELON [R] cannot.

The rapid evolution of LYCRA [R] from an apparel yarn into one of the leading diaper leg elastics is a direct result of Du Pont's determination to tailor the properties of its fiber products to meet specific customer needs. Du Pont is expanding its worldwide capacity for LYCRA [R] spandex products in anticipation of new challenges in new markets. [Figure 2 Omitted]

PHOTO : FIGURE #1 Unwinder for LYCRA [R] XA

Small Probe Continuously Scans, Measures and Controls the Weight of Nonwoven Materials During Manufacture

In the arena of on-line weight gauges, NDC Systems is unique with a small flashlight-sized probe that measures the weight-per-unit area of nonwoven materials from just one side of the sheet. Compared to traditional transmission gauges that require a large source and detector on each side of the web, the NDC single-probe gauge has the advantages of easier installation and mountability, smaller space requirement, lower cost, and greater reliability because of its inherent simplicity.

Typical applications include measurement of diaper cover material in the range of 20 g/[m.sup.2], interlinings at 80 g/[m.sup.2], skin wipe cover stock at 15 g/[m.sup.2], and heavier materials.

Coatings, adhesive weight, latex addition, and similar processes are measured by placing a probe before the coater to measure the base material, and a probe after the coater to measure the total of base and coating. After a predetermined lag to effect same-spot measurement, the two readings are subtracted to yield net coat weight.

NDC has developed a modular, building-block approach to gauging, allowing the user to choose from simple, fixed-probe systems with digital readout of weight, to state-of-the-art systems featuring 19-inch color CRT split-screen displays with touchscreen controls for unparalleled ease of use and flexibility. Two-way communications with a host computer and optional automatic controls assure

upward compatibility with ongoing plantwide automation. A mid-range system combines a simple scanning gauge with a PC (user's choice) for display of sheet profile, X-bar and R charts, and more.

NDC has been supplying gauging systems to industry for 20 years and has over 2500 installations worldwide. Whether the application calls for a simple gauge or a sophisticated system, NDC can help increase quality, save material, reduce waste, and permit faster start-ups.

The people you need to know.

The Celbond [R] Team.

I'm proud to introduce the members of the Celbond team. Together, we've pioneered an innovative series of new bicomponent fibers offering performance simply not possible before. Our improvements in adhesion, concentricity and processability now let you design nonwovens with a broader selection of fibers than ever before. Best yet, the same people who are steadily advancing the state of nonwovens fiber technology are ready to share their expertise with you. And to offer you a level of hands-on, customized service you just can't get anywhere else. That's the Celbond Team: dedicated to designing superior products, and equally dedicated to tailoring them to your needs. Let me introduce to you some of the team members. They're eager to help you be successful. Dave McKinnon Director Nonwovens Business Unit Hoechst Celanese Corporation Terry Gibbons Project Manager Overall responsibility for the product, process and market development for Celbond. Frank Bowers Quality Assurance Engineer Responsible for adherence to the established quality criteria on the new Celbond products. Charles Brock Mike Hodge Technical Service Responsible for assisting our customers in the use of the Celbond family in their nonwoven processes. Richard Morris Barrie Davies Chuck Cooper Allan Hastie David Morgan Product and Applications Development Responsible for the creation and design of new and novel bicomponent products in the Celbond family. John Wilson Bob White Chris Vance Account Executives Responsible for bringing the new Celbond products to our customers and representing their needs to the team.

Air Products -- Focusing on Customer Needs

For over 20 years, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. has been meeting the needs of nonwoven manufacturers by continually developing a variety of cost-effective binders for use in durable and non-durable nonwoven applications.

The company offers special capabilities in airlaid processes, wet wipe production, industrial wipes, underpad coverstock, highloft applications, needlepunch fabrics, a variety of flame retardant applications requiring MVSS-302 and NFPA-701 approvals, protective clothing, filtration media, automotive fabrics, antimicrobial formulations, flushable wipes and formaldehyde-free binders.

Newly Developed Products

To further extend its product line for the nonwovens industry, Air Products recently developed and commercialized Airflex [R] 113 emulsion, a low-cost, nonionic self-crosslinking binder suitable for applications requiring high wet strength, along with compatibility with cationics such as water repellents and antimicrobials. This product is gaining acceptance in food service and medical product applications.

A long-time, major supplier to the wet wipe industry, Air Products holds two patents for producing wet wipes using the company's polyvinyl alcohol-based binders. The company expects that products made with these binders will be flushable.

Still another new product developed and recently commercialized by the company is Vinac [R] 810L emulsion, a self-crosslinking binder that has found considerable acceptance in automotive applications where strength and moldability are required.

Mainstays in the company's vinyl acetate ethylene product portfolio include its Airflex 105, Airflex 109 and Airflex 120 emulsions. These relatively low-cost emulsions have continued to gain market share against more expensive acrylic systems because they offer acceptable performance at a lower price. The company has developed other custom polymers as derivatives of these mainstays.

Selling Performance - EVCL's

The company's product line also includes several Airflex ethylene-vinyl chloride (EVCL) emulsions that serve as binders and coatings for nonwoven products. These versatile emulsions are widely used in applications that require fire retardancy. They also are being used increasingly by manufacturers of needlepunch fabrics because they offer a wide variety of benefits.

For example, EVCL films are heat sealable at low temperatures and when using dielectric or ultrasonic processes. Their adhesion to a broad range of synthetic fibers and their compatibility with various crosslinking additives contribute significantly to fabric moldability. And, when used in conjunction with commercial flame retardant additives, these emulsions also greatly reduce the flammability of fibers. This allows fabric manufacturers to meet MVSS-302 and NFPA-701 requirements. This can usually be achieved at a substantial cost savings over current compounded systems based upon acrylics, styrene butadienes, vinyl acetate-ethylenes, and polyvinyl acetates.

Customer-Oriented R&D

The company backs its broad product line with a highly skilled technical team that works closely with nonwoven manufacturers to formulate the right latex binder system to meet their specific needs. This team has developed an in-depth understanding of the customers' end-use applications and manufacturing processes. It's all part of Air Products' commitment to its customers in the nonwovens industry.

PHOTO : The company offers emulsions for manufacturing wet and flushable wipes.

PHOTO : Air Products' EVCL emulsions improve the quality of needlepunch fabrics.

Hercules' Fibers Technical Center

Hercules is committed to maintaining its leadership position in polyolefin staple fiber technology. The Fibers Technical Center at Oxford, GA, is the focal point of our technological efforts. The recent addition of the Absorbent Products Laboratory, emphasis on liquid management research, new fabric characterization techniques and polyethylene fibers are just a few examples of our commitment.

Absorbent Products Laboratory

The Hercules Absorbent Products Laboratory (APL) is a customer-oriented state-of-the-art facility. We have pilot lines for carded or air-formed webs that can be either thru-air or calender bonded. This facility, part of our Fibers Technical Center, is located at the site of two fiber plants operated by the Absorbent & Textile Products Group. This laboratory is available to our customers on a contractual basis for development of processes and products incorporating "Herculon" staple fiber and "Pulpex" polyolefin pulps. The APL offers a broad range of absorbent product testing including the gravimetric absorbency testing system (GATS) and the Textilforskning-sinstitutet (TEFO) testing system.

Liquid Management

Product and process development at the Fibers Technical Center spans both fundamental and applied fiber science. One recent example is our development of a new model of fabric wet pore radii that we are applying to our next generation of products. The model was developed using Textile Research Institute procedures for fabric and absorbent core wet pore radii. These studies will be published at the June INDA-Tec meeting. Fabric uniformity and softness are important fabric parameters.

Fabric Uniformity

Hercules has two image analysis techniques available for the fabric producer that can help improve uniformity of its nonwoven products. One technique utilizes the Omnicon Image Analyzer. The relative fiber orientation is determined by analyzing the holes in a nonwoven fabric and the fabric uniformity is determined by checking the variability of the transmitted light through the sample. The second technique uses a camera, a digitizer and a PC. Fabric images are digitized and stored in computer files. Analysis of the image reveals brightness histograms that can be correlated to fabric uniformity. Another software program analyzes the image to determine the relative size and frequency of the holes in a fabric. The test is reproduceable and shows good correlation with subjective uniformity ratings.

Polyethylene Fibers

The distinctive softness and better radiation resistance of polyethylene fibers is generally well recognized. Staple fibers from Aspun (Dow Chemical) resins have been developed for hydroentangled and needlepunched fabrics. These fibers are tailored for troublefree processing in opening, conveying and carding. A readily processable 3.0 dpf staple is now available and being evaluated in many demanding applications. Polyethylene fibers in three-30 dpf range are also available for binder fiber applications in needled fabrics.

Cellulose Converting Equipment Spotlighting Baby Bib Machine As It Heads Into the 1990's

An innovative baby bib manufacturing machine model CCE/BB is the latest in a long line of innovations for the disposable absorbent products industry from Cellulose Converting Equipments, Sambuecto, Italy. With six of the machines already sold and in operation around the world, Cellulose Converting highlighted the model CCE/BB at the recent INDEX `90 Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland.

The novel disposable baby bib machine contains a number of features that make it attractive to disposable product manufacturers. One of the key features, according to Cellulose Converting president Walter Cestaro, is the ability of the one model machine to be converted to produce two different kinds of disposable baby bibs; one version has a folded and self-opening crumb catcher and the other has an inverted crumb catcher that is folded out by the mother when being used. The machine can be altered to produce either style depending on market demand. Another flexible feature is that both machines can be adapted to produce "adult bibs" up to a width of 420 mm.

In addition to the crumb catcher feature, the model CCE/BB offers such options as adhesive tape placement, tummy tapes and the ability to include different designs on the bibs themselves.

Mr. Cestaro said a number of companies around the world are realizing the potential of marketing the disposable baby bibs as complementary products to disposable baby diaper lines. The two disposable products can either be sold together or offered as a premium product as part of a promotion.

Other Machinery Innovations

While the baby and adult bib machine is its latest new product, Cellulose Converting Equipments remains extremely active in the development and improvement of its other absorbent product production equipment. The company also offers converting equipment for baby diapers, adult incontnent diapers, underpads with fluff or tissue multilayer absorbent core, feminine hygiene napkins and panty shields.

Among its improvements for converting of baby diapers, according to Mr. Cestaro, are:

* Equipment for the inclusion of frontal tapes. The Cellulose Converting machines are capable or applying the tape inside and outside of the diaper product.

* Components for the tri-folding of diapers, an increasingly popular option among European diaper producers.

* Equipment for the application of a poly blue waist shield.

* The capability for horizontal stacking that can push out up to 52 diapers in one motion, a key feature for any high speed production machine.

* The capability for the newly-popular "ultra pack" diaper packaging concept.

* The machines are capable of producing baby diapers at speeds of up to 300 pieces a minute.

Cellulose Converting is also strongly developing thermal bonding units for the production of adult and baby diapers and sanitary napkins. Mr. Cestaro reported the company has already delivered machines for thermal bonding of sanitary napkins, producing more than 400 pieces a minute.

In addition to these newer features, Cellulose Converting Equipments offers complementary units and other variations of its lines for cellulose pulp defibration, thermobonding units for synthetic pulps, tape tab units, frontal tape units, three folding and individual wrapping units, counting and stacking units, poly bag packaging units (flat and tubular film) and carton box packing units.

Cellulose Converting Equipments, headed by Mr. Cestaro and technical manager Pietro Tamma, was founded in 1985. It currently employs 70 persons in Sambuceto and has achieved annual sales of about $12 million.

Groz Beckert: A Lesson In Needling

About 100 years ago, people searched for a way to produce sheets of textiles from waste fibers and fibers that did not get tangled. This development was the beginning of mechanical consolidation of fibers by means of felting needles. In this early period, waste fibers and fibers such as jute, sisal, hemp and similar fibers were made into mats. The demands at that time were not very high. All that was achieved was that the mats held together.

In the 100 years since, many discoveries have been made regarding designs to barb shapes and styles, as well as other working parts of the felting needles.

Around 1968, the first needles with round barb edges appeared on the market. This was considered to be a great improvement. Despite numerous patents and ideas for new blade designs whose cross sections are not an even sided triangle, but have different shapes in order to achieve optimum and balanced mechanical char-acteristics together with well formed barbs, this has not been fully established yet.

The needles used to process these fibers had a relatively big triangular blade with corresponding large barbs. These needles were appropriate for the heavy fibers used, which they had to carry during the needling process.

Since such a wide range of deniers and diameter of fiber is used today, it is not always possible to select or come up with the proper barb size; therefore, a compromise is the only solution.

Another important part of the needle blade is the point at the end of the blade.

The point or tip of the needle guides the needle through the fibers and base material, and in doing so, spreads it apart.

In doing this, the point or tip of the needle should not damage the fibers or base material.

In order to avoid possible fiber and base material damage, various point styles were developed and applied to the needles depending on their application.

The dimensions of the points, using a 32 gauge needle as an example, are different compared to a 40 or 42 gauge needle. As a rule, the dimensions and radii of finer gauge needles are correspondingly smaller and those of coarser gauge needles are correspondingly larger.

Points are never sharpened to an absolute sharp point; they will always have some small radius, even if it is not specified for manufacturing purposes.

The question most often asked is what influence does the point have to damage done, for instance, to the monofilaments of a base material used in papermaker felts and filtration fabric, or any other fabric where base materials are being used?

In order to find an answer to these questions, we made several tests.

Needles used for this test were 3 inch long, 36 gauge felting needles without barb.

One set of the test needles had a triangular blade length of 22 mm, or .865 inches.

The other set of test needles had a triangular blade length of 30 mm, or 1.181 inches.

As a base material, we used a woven fabric consisting of twisted monofilaments in both directions.

As our tests of the points have shown, the length of the triangular blade, or any other blade configurations, influences the treatment of the base material.

The conclusion we can draw from these tests is that recom-mendations for point styles can be made that most certainly will benefit the customer.

Engineered Adhesive Coatings Provide Versatile Solutions for Diverse Converting Applications

From Smart Cards to Disposable Medical Packaging

With the demand increasing for custom adhesive coated materials, Oliver Products has developed a comprehensive response. Through a combination of materials expertise, proprietary adhesive technology and innovative converting capabilities, Oliver Products produces materials for:

* photographic film cartridges * disposable medical device

packaging * super-absorbent pouching * smart cards * dry toner packaging for copy

machines * desiccant pouching * skin scrubs * food lidding and numerous other products that require specialized performance characteristics.

Product development operates on several levels, beginning with exclusive hot melt adhesive formulations. Base compounds are modified to exhibit properties compatible with specific product requirements, such as porosity and permeability (to allow controlled passage of gases or liquids), controlled peel strength, and time, temperature or pressure sealing properties. Hot tack properties can be engineered for automated packaging and assembly. Coating weight can be increased to accommodate rough surfaces. Adhesives are available in heat-sealable and pressure sensitive formulations, and meet U.S.P. toxicity testing and F.D.A. regulations for bio-chemical compatibility.

In packaging applications, adhesives are applied by an Oliver-designed gravure process described as dot pattern coating. The dot size and density can be varied to meet substrate and packaging requirements, a capability that ensures greater process control and produces a uniform mechanical bond, regardless of the materials or number of layers involved.

Considered superior to continuous water dispersion coatings in selected applications, dot pattern products allow for consistent gas/liquid flow between layers. They are resistant to moisture and less susceptible to delamination. Oliver also provides extrusion coatings to produce liquid barriers, anti-skid materials and pliable coatings for surgical drapes.

Converting capabilities mesh with coating technology to provide a range of finished product opportunities. These include:

* laminating two or more substrates

into a composite material * pre-press graphics through

printing plates * printing, with a broad selection of

methods * slitting, die cutting, punching and

related precision finishing

operations * custom application machinery

design and manufacturing

Automated documentation and

traceability are built into this

service--mill roll data, material

certification and customer specifications

are stored in a computer data

base for immediate and ongoing

reference.

Quality control drives design and manufacturing through Oliver's Continuous Improvement Process. This companywide program incorporates such standards as Statistical Process Control (SPC), Just-In-Time (JIT), waste reduction and cost control management, and preventive maintenance.

Oliver's concept through completion capability can significantly shorten development time, help reduce product costs and provide new adhesive coated products with marketable advantages.

PHOTO : For disposable medical product packaging, Oliver engineers adhesives with controlled

PHOTO : cohesive separation properties to protect products from contamination by paper fibers.

PHOTO : Super-absorbent pouching materials are made with water-resistant thermoplastic adhesives

PHOTO : and composite materials bonded by a uniform dot pattern coating.

PHOTO : Oliver has the capability to design and manufacture custom application machinery.

Cotton--The Natural Choice

Edward Hall, Europe's largest commercial bleacher and dyer of loose stock cotton fiber, has been processing cotton at its English plant in Whaley Bridge for 160 years.

Traditionally the company has relied on the kier bleaching method of cotton processing. However, several years ago Edward Hall was licensed from the U.S. to commercialize a revolutionary continuous bleaching process.

Today, after substantial investment and development, Edward Hall's continuous process line is now in full operation with a capacity of 5000 tons a year.

Already the line's end product--"Luxicot"--has stirred a great deal of interest within the nonwovens industry.

Together with Edward Hall's kier bleaching process, total capacity is around 20,000 tons. Bleached cotton has traditionally been supplied to many of the world's leading companies for both surgical and personal care applications.

The advent of Luxicot brings further opportunities. As a result the fiber is beginning to establish a presence within new nonwovens markets for uses in wipes, drapes, gowns, swabs and also feminine hygiene products.

Luxicot is also proving its potential in semi-durable applications and, as yet, the product is so new that markets have not yet been fully identified. Obvious applications include curtaining, sheeting and pillowcases, though it is possible that semi-durable Luxicot fabrics could even replace other fibers used in traditional durable applications.

Luxicot's inherent qualities originate from Edward Hall's unique continuous process. The fiber's open, less tangled characteristics make Luxicot much more processable than traditional bleached cotton fiber. Also, the continuous process gives a much cleaner fiber--rendering Luxicot highly suitable for use in medical and surgical applications.

Luxicot's advantages were proven recently during INDEX '90 in Geneva. Edward Hall's INDEX Cotton Challenge helped to demonstrate the fiber's superior characteristics over the synthetic fibers normally associated with the nonwovens industry. The practical test revealed Luxicot's unparalleled absorbency and other recognized properties; namely those of comfort, the fact that it is a natural fiber and its ecological acceptability. Understandably, with such unique qualities, Luxicot generated an enormous interest at the exhibition.

At the time when consumer preference for natural cotton fiber is at a peak, it is understandable why cotton represents 48% of the world's total fiber consumption.

Luxicot brings with it new properties and new applications and Edward Hall is confident that this newest type of centuries' old fiber has a significant future within the nonwovens industry.

Product Development for Veratec's Easy Street [TM], Super-Opened Cotton Opens New Doors

Consumers have long shown a preference for cotton products based on their absorbency, softness and overall comfort. Until now, only the woven or knitted cloth industry has effectively capitalized on cotton's unique properties. These industries have taken advantage of the natural oils and waxes on the greige fiber to card and spin it into yarn. Once the cotton is woven or knitted into cloth, it is scoured and bleached to remove these natural lubricants, making the fiber highly absorbent and ready for dyeing. Unfortunately, in the case of nonwoven manufacturers, once these lubricants are removed through bleaching, the carding of fiber is much more difficult. Typical kier-bleached cotton emerges from the scouring and bleaching kier as a large, compressed cake. The cake is broken into coarse clumps for drying and opened prior to baling. For heavy-weight products such as pharmaceutical coil and cotton balls, no further opening is needed. However, for lighter weight nonwoven fabrics, it results in poor web uniformity and appearance and therefore, requires further processing. At Veratec's Natural Fibers Group, we feel we have solved this problem for nonwoven manufacturers with the introduction of our newest bleached fiber, Easy Street [TM], super-opened cotton. Easy Street [TM] was developed to meet industry requests for a cotton fiber which could be used in nonwoven processing, without the need to change machinery. It was developed with the goal of being able to perform like synthetic fiber while bringing the added value of the desirable properties only found with cotton. Extensive research, customer feedback and supportive trials were integral in determining that a significant key to the process is to card the cotton using coarse card wire at high throughput. Our customers ran Easy Street [TM] through a variety of nonwoven technologies and produced positive results. The results proved very exciting--product appearance and performance met industry and consumer needs, thereby establishing a significant demand for Easy Street [TM], super-opened cotton. Veratec is now building a production line to meet commercial demand for Easy Street [TM]. We are also expanding our bleaching capacity. But we haven't stopped here. We are also investigating the effect of the carding finish used on the fiber. Veratec is the industry leader in developing new finishes for cotton to enhance processability and performance. So it is only natural we'll come up with new and better finishes to maximize the processability of our fiber. We, at Veratec's Natural Fibers Group, feel we have made a significant step forward in bringing cotton fiber to the forefront of nonwoven manufacturing. And as we discover more ways to improve this natural fiber, to make it more suitable for manufacturing lightweight nonwoven products, the more it will be in demand.

PHOTO : Ed Johnson, Purchasing Mgr., Bart Morse, General Mgr., Ed Hart, Product Mgr.

Dan-Web Process Revolutionizes Dryforming

Modern technology has produced yet another boon for the pulp and paper industry.

An innovative, air-laid web-forming process is making it possible for companies traditionally involved in the pulp and paper and textile industries to expand operations to include products that go head-to-head against traditional nonwovens made primarily of more expensive synthetic fibers. This is a market that is growing at two to three times the rate of the nation's gross national product.

Since Dan-Web's new air-laid process is economical, virtually pollution free and space efficient, it offers a vehicle for many companies to enter the burgeoning nonwovens marketplace.

The resultant products have bulk, absorbency, fluffiness and a textile-like hand. They range from consumer specialties such as diapers, moist towelettes, feminine hygiene products, kitchen towels and adult incontinent products to industrial filters and wiping rags as well as the wide range of disposables required in such institutional markets as the restaurant and hospital arenas.

Dan-Webforming's technology is already being used in pilot lines in research and development facilities of three major U.S. corporations, and has been installed in two USA locations. Flakt Drying Systems holds the North and Central American license to the innovative process that was developed in Aarhus, Denmark by Dan-Webforming International.

Dan-Web Process Revolutionizes Dryforming, add 1

Explaining the Dan-Web process, Dr. Von L. Byrd, a dryforming product specialist from Flakt says, "The air-laid process converts relatively inexpensive pulp fibers into materials that can be marketed at a price comparable with that of conventional nonwovens made of relatively expensive synthetic fibers."

Dryforming is an emerging technology where dry wood pulp fibers are formed into a clothlike product. The end product is made primarily of cellulose fibers with a small amount-perhaps 10 to 15 percent of the wholemade up of synthetic fibers introduced either for bonding or reinforcing. By comparison, most nonwoven products produced through traditional spun bond or blown methods utilize polymers or synthetic fibers. Dr. Byrd describes the Dan-Web process as a "kind of marriage" between the paper industry and the textile industry.

"This technology combines nonwoven capabilities with paper producing capability," he says. The process gains flexibility from the fact that components such as super-absorbent powders for hygiene products, epoxy resins for oil filtering products and cleaners for cleaning wipes can be added according to product requirements.

Air-laid products can be either thermal-bonded or latex bonded.

Dr. Byrd points out that, unlike a number of nonwoven technologies, the air-laid process allows the finished product to be manufactured without adding water to (and subsequently removing water from) the fibers during the process. The system is smaller and less expensive to operate than traditional systems, which allows manufacturers to produce their own air-laid product without having to purchase synthetic filler fibers.

Dan-Web Process Revolutionizes Dryforming, add 2

The process is so pollution-free, that it could conceivably be set up in a non-industrial area. Particulate from the process is handled by filters. Noise associated with the process can be controlled by soundproofing materials.

The operation takes roughly half the floor space required by competing nonwoven producing equipment. "A 2,000-pound-per-hour operation could, for example, be housed in a 20,000 square foot space," says Dr. Byrd, adding that many manufacturers' vacant warehouse space could easily be converted into a production area.

ABB-Flakt Drying Systems works with clients to implement the process from start to finish.

"Although the Dan-Web technique is a relatively new technology, we feel it offers nonwoven manufacturers the best and most cost-effective approach for the future," says Jan Kreminski, vice president and business manager for Flakt Drying Systems. "With this air-laid system, manufacturers can produce the same product at a lower cost, a higher quality product at a cost equal to their current process or radically new products that haven't been introduced yet."

Synergy: On The March

Lohmann opens the 1990's with expanded range of nonwovens

The nonwovens specialists (parent company Neuwied, West Germany) introduced its latest developments in nonwovens at the INDEX '90 show in Geneva.

A further essential aspect was clearly illustrated at the Lohmann stand: Synergy. Lohmann proves through integrated know-how of its various divisions--nonwovens, adhesive tape systems and surgical dressings--the sum is greater than its parts.

"Nonwovens plus...," the most logical and promising motto for the 1990's. For Lohmann's current and prospective customers, this means getting the most out of nonwovens, be it die-cutting, coating, stamping, cutting to format, impregnating, laminating or adhesion. Lohmann's experience makes it possible.

Meeting Individual Needs

Lohmann incorporates a wide range of procedures in the manufacture of nonwovens. Unique, only to Lohmann, are four fiber strengthening methods via dry processing:

* alkali bonded fibers

* binders

* heat

* needle process

The characteristics and properties of Lohmann Nonwovens can be adapted to, thus meeting, all individual requirements. Our nonwovens are integrated into the manufacture of a multitude of products. Look around you, nonwovens are not always easy to identify.

For example, their applications range from building construction, personal hygiene, medical, filtration in the metal industry and chip removal, food filtration and packaging, sanitary products such as diapers and feminine hygiene, coating carriers, to the most varied industrial manufacture.

Applications for Lohmann Nonwovens are unlimited. For a versatile material that can be used for ceiling linings, automobile roof linings, battery separators and state-of-the-art surgical dressings, nothing is impossible. Once again, Lohmann recently demonstrated all these important characteristics of nonwovens at INDEX '90 in Geneva.

New Diaper Features From PCMC

New Series 530 Diaper Machine: Improved Reliability for Higher Production.

PCMC recently completed a major redesign of the popular Series 510 elastic leg baby diaper machine. This effort was directed toward making a good machine even more reliable through improvements like heavier drive components. Many details--which by themselves are small--collectively add up to important gains in machine reliability. Many features have also been redesigned for easier operation and improved access for maintenance.

Improved Drum Forming System

The Series 530 diaper machine is also available with a drum forming system. This configuration, termed the Model 530-D, provides an effective means to produce specially contoured and shaped fluff pads, which cannot be practically done on the alternate flat wire forming system. The system includes a newly designed hammermill, which results in better quality fluff for higher pad integrity.

Barrier Leg Cuff

The barrier leg cuff (BLC) feature--also known as the standing leg cuff--is a new feature currently marketed by brand name diaper producers. The BLC is an important feature that improves diaper containment (which, by the way, is not available on cloth diapers).

It is predicted that this feature will be added to diapers manufactured by nearly all private label producers. PCMC can provide a barrier leg cuff system--tailored to the design requirements of existing or new machines.

Foam Elastic Waistband

Another important option available on the 530 diaper machine is the foam elastic waistband applicator. The system adds a cushioned foam waistband between the nonwoven and poly at each end of the diaper. The module design incorporates a two-position flying splice unwind stand complete with constant tension control system and edge guiding. It is available as a combination unit for the application of the blue poly barrier waist shield for those producers who still require this feature during a transition stage.

The complete unit can be retrofitted to most existing diaper equipment.

Model 610 Adult Diaper Machine

Designed to provide the added production flexibility and efficiency required by the rapidly expanding adult incontinence market, the Model 610 Adult Diaper Machine now includes changeover capability to produce all sizes of adult briefs--in addition to underpads and chair pads.

Integrated Packaging

The development of a new machine for the high compression of baby and adult diaper products is nearing completion at PCMC Schifferstadt, Germany. The unit operates in conjunction with an in-line TR101 automatic bag loading and sealing machine.

National Starch: From Hot Melts To Emulsions

National's growth in 1989 is the result of basic commitment, using our knowledge of specialty polymer chemistry to continually develop new specialties and improve existing products.

Progress in Hot Melts

A leading supplier of hot melts to the nonwovens industry, the Adhesives Division of National Starch and Chemical Company has been active in the disposable products market for many years. In 1990, the division has committed itself to further research and development of high tech products for this expanding market.

In 1984, National introduced "Dispomelt" 34-2881 to improve the integrity of multiline diaper end seals. Its excellent specific adhesion to tough polyolefin substrates allows the Dispomelt adhesive to be applied at low coating weights and low application temperatures. National has now gone beyond that capability with Dispomelt 34-5547. It has been developed to have excellent adhesion, longer open time and a wider operating window than previously available products.

Another product developed by National, Dispomelt 34-5540, has been designed for diaper construction spray applications where there is a need for lighter weight polyolefin substrates. It offers low viscosity for low application temperatures to reduce distortion of the polyolefin substrate.

A new product, Dispomelt 34-5548 adhesive, is being used as a one-product approach for both diaper construction and elastic attachment applications. It offers low viscosity for both ease of spray and low application temperatures to minimize distortion of polyolefin substrates.

International Supplier Of Polymer Emulsions

National's Resins and Specialty Chemicals Division continues to expand its efforts to supply binders for nonwovens and disposables worldwide. This past year, it made major expansions in personnel and equipment, in order to produce a greater amount of quality emulsion polymers than ever before for this industry. Major EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) capacity increases were accomplished at the Woodruff, SC polymer facility and at Geleen, the Netherlands. In addition, National opened up a new technical service facility for textiles and fiberfill in Woodruff.

National Starch continues to be the only manufacturer to offer the same vinyl acetate-based polymers in Europe, North and South America and the Pacific Rim. This will help multinational companies to expand their product lines worldwide. This capability strengthens National's position as a major supplier to the fiberfill and fiber pad industry throughout the world. National Starch and a European subsidiary, Vinamul, headquartered in the U.K., work together to provide the same product continuity with EVA polymers in North America and Europe.

Nonwoven producers continue to find new uses for EVA polymers. This ongoing interest is based on EVA's unique cost/performance balance. EVA polymers are now being utilized in many applications that traditionally used acrylic or SBR based polymers in the past.

As the disposables industry continues to expand into the Far East and Third World countries, so does the need for further research into the expanding technology. National hopes to stay ahead of this technology with its hot melts and binders, thanks to its international marketing and manufacturing capabilities.

PHOTO : National's Dispomelt hot melts that are applied at lower temperatures work exceptionally

PHOTO : well with the thinner gauge materials now being used in disposable diapers.

Irving Textile Begins 30th Year

Irving Textile Products, Inc., of Atglen, PA, has entered its 30th year as a manufacturer of specialty nonwoven fabrics. The company originated in Chester, PA in 1961. It was formed as an outgrowth of James Irving & Son, Inc., a family-owned, woolen-yarn spinning mill, which was established in 1843. In 1968, the company moved to Atglen, situated between Philadelphia and Lancaster, PA.

Irving Textile is a major supplier of white, solid color and print-bonded pattern nonwovens. Its fabrics are converted into disposable pillow cases, head rest covers and shoe shine cloths for the transportation and travel industry. Its "Context" nonwoven fabrics are also made into disposable dusting and wiping cloths for industrial, institutional and consumer end uses. Irving Textile also supplies nonwoven roll goods for use in medical/health care disposables, filtration and other consumer products and commercial/industrial application.

The Atglen facility produces dry laid, carded nonwovens in basis weights ranging from 0.5 to 3.5 oz. sq. yard. Roll goods are slit to customer requirements in widths up to 72 in. Special treatments available include nonwovens with variations of hand, FDA ingredients and flame retardant and liquid repellent characteristics. Irving also specializes in color applications, supplying pad-dyed and solution-dyed nonwovens to various markets.

Bill and Steve Irving and the management team at Irving Textile have more than 50 years combined experience in nonwoven fabric manufacturing and product development. The company's smaller size relative to the industry's giants allows it to offer greater flexibility in product design and modification, production scheduling, minimum run size, service, delivery and other aspects of a satisfactory business relationship.

Irving has the ability to develop a material to meet specialized requirements in a very short period of time. This has turned out to be an important consideration for present and potential customers alike. The fact that Irving does not convert end-use products, and therefore will not be competing with its customers in the marketplace, remains the cornerstone of our corporate philosophy.

Stephen Irving Vice President

The Success Of The Wet Laid Process

One of the oldest processes in the production of nonwovens, the wet laid process, virtually lived in the shadow of other classical processes such as carding and spinning. New processes such as airlaid and melt blown very quickly became known beyond their real significance.

The reason for the little importance of wet laid from the textile producers' point of view was the fact that wet laid products were compared with carded products in an inapplicable way.

On the other hand, one attempted to adapt the wet process to base materials that definitely were intended for carding, i.e., fiber lengths of more than one inch.

In the meantime, three main groups of products have developed that are made more or less only by, or made advantageously by, the wet process.

* Filtration Media. In the wet process, the long fiber mat is built against its own filtration resistance. Thus, a product having a very uniform filtration resistance is built.

All nonwoven fiber materials--as long as they don't exceed a certain fiber length--are applicable and can be mixed with each other. By a suitable fiber selection and a controlled embedding of fibers in x, y and z direction, the best filter for each individual application can be developed.

Several layers can be produced and combined in one wet operation. Thereby multi-layer filters, i.e. a fine filter covered by two coarse filter layers, in any desired combination, can be made.

* Textile Nonwovens. The possibility of mixing all kinds of fibers enables the application of wood pulp in a considerable percentage. Wood pulp is a relatively cheap fiber material and also contributes to bonding of the product.

In this section, the air laid process competes with wet processing. However, not every kind of fiber can be used in air laid and the bonding capability of the wood pulp cannot be achieved.

Arising environmental conscience brought into discredit some of the products of this section thought to have a great future, whereas the wet laid process using cheap fiber materials was mainly suitable to produce disposables.

Just recently one has established that especially in the medical and sanitary sector disposables are necessary and will have a great future. That is if, and there is a great if, these products can be made completely biodegradable, from fiber via binder to adhesive tapes. Developments in this direction are well on the way and believed to be resolved within a reasonable period of time.

* Technical Nonwovens. Nearly all of today's glass fiber mats are made by the wet laid process. Based on this, a new industry branch has developed, producing nonwoven mats out of steel, glass, stonewood, fluor, carbon, aramid and other fibers, not to mention recycled textile fibers in some areas. This branch has grown nearly unnoticed by textile and paper industries.

Insulation mats up to 2000 gsm and more for building engineering purposes made of cheap and recycled fibers belong to this group just like mats with 10 gsm or less made of the most expensive special fibers like titanium, for the aeronautics industry.

The number of combinations of fibers is uncountable and the applications range from wall covers to missile bodies, from rocket motor insulation to clean room filtration.

This vast range of products can only be made on machines exactly built to handle the base fibers and to care for the requirements of the product.

Based on the general concept of the wet laid process that is valid for all of the products, special machines had to be developed for some of the variants.

Only by continuous contact with fiber suppliers and manufacturers of nonwovens, the machine builder is able to establish the best machine design for each application, for each single product as well as for each range of products. Only by experience with production lines can the process by improved and adapted to new requirements.

Slightly more than one year ago, NBM handed over a compete plant for the manufacture of thin filters and tea bag paper into the customer's responsibility.

Since that time,

* one glass mat machine and

* one machine for two-ply filters were started up,

* one glass mat machine is being started up,

* one complete plant to produce thin technical nonwovens is being erected on site,

* one machine to produce filter paper is being assembled in our workshop, and

* several other plants are in the planning and project stage.

The high number of deliveries enables Neue Bruderhaus to continuously improve its machines in every detail and consider these improvements again when projecting new plants.

Besides production lines, the delivery of laboratory machines has become a full part of the manufacturing program with Neue Bruderhaus. Originally designed for its own R&D, this laboratory machine today serves product developments at the customers.

The fact that very often the cost for one trial at a production line with expensive fiber materials alone equals the investment cost for a laboratory machines, gives proof of the economy of such machines.

The laboratory machines--almost 20 of which have been delivered--are built in two sizes: 300 mm width (12 inches) for laboratories and quality control and 650 mm (approx. 25 inches) as small pilot machines for product trials.

Neue Bruderhaus would like to thank its customers who have contributed to this development.

Custom Web Handling Machinery for the Competitive Advantage

Few firms fully appreciate the "fit" that must exist between roll and machine. Webex does. We've been designing and manufacturing precision rolls for the web handling and converting industry for nearly twenty years.

Tension, balance, speed and process control are operating factors that apply not only to a roll, but to an entire machine. At Webex, you'll find we've combined our expertise in roller design with machine design, and mastered the details that apply to both.

Nowhere is this attention to detail more critical than in the design and construction of custom web handling and converting machinery. These are the machines upon which an entire process (in some instances, an entire business) will depend. The processes are often proprietary. Exotic materials are sometimes used. In some cases, multiple materials might be converted simultaneously.

The Webex experience in providing precision custom machinery is as diversified as the industry itself. Our related knowledge of design and construction ranges from simple machines to highly sophisticated machines that employ microprocessor-based controls. Whatever your machinery needs, Webex will offer you the expertise that can only come from this depth of knowledge.

Here are two examples of custom machines that demonstrate the kind of design and manufacturing expertise you'll find at Webex.

Versatile Self-loading Unwind

This versatile self-loading unwind has been engineered to integrate with hundreds of process lines while providing the flexibility to handle a wide range of web widths and diameters. Hydraulic arms load rolls from floor or cart without the need for overhead cranes or hoists. Handles rolls up to 40" in diameter and 4,000 lbs. with web speeds up to 500 fpm.

Heavy-Duty Cantilever Unwind/Rewind

This unique roll handling system is capable of running jumbo rolls -- up to 6,000 lbs. -- in either direction at speeds up to 125 fpm. Automatic outrigger arms swing down and retract in less than 30 seconds to secure and support cantilever ends. Handles rolls up to 60" in width and 48" in diameter. Two-inch thick sideframes and 8" tubular tie-bars provide exceptional stability. The cantilever design is ideal for cart loading and unloading by a single operator, and wherever roll staging or overhead loading is restricted.

In each case, these machines are unique one-of-a-kind designs that demand the most of an engineer's expertise. At Webex, these are the only kinds of machines we design and build. Custom solutions, not stock or "standard" stand-bys.

Other typical machines we design and manufacture include: laminating stations, coating stations, turn bays, pull roll stations, casting roll units, accumulators and heating and cooling roll stations.

Today, the Webex name is on some of the industry's finest one-of-a-kind web handling and converting machinery. And rightfully so. We understand machinery from the inside out -- from roll to control.

European Polymer Technology Now Manufactured In U.S.

West Germany, long a leader in the development and manufacture of acrylic polymer technology, is now manufacturing its products in the U.S.

Rohm Tech, a subsidiary of Rohm GmbH in Darmstadt, West Germany, is located in Fitchburg, MA and has manufacturing and R&D facilities that produce a variety of acrylic emulsions for the nonwovens and textile industries.

The company's "Rohatol" and "Rohagit" emulsions and additives were developed by Rohm, one of Germany's leading makers of polymers and monomers. For more than 45 years, customers throughout the world have benefitted from the versatility of applications made possible by its acrylic polymers. This global experience has provided innovative solutions to the challenges presented by an increasingly sophisticated industry.

Today, a wide variety of Rohatol emulsions are available in this country, designed specifically for nonwovens. As a result, nonwovens bonded with these emulsions provide hands from very soft to very firm. These acrylic binders are geared to providing excellent resistance to light degradation and heat discoloration along with strong dry clean resistance and wet tensile strength. Compositions are available ranging from hydrophobic to hydrophilic in nature.

This wide range of Rohatol emulsions provides proven performance in many areas of the nonwovens industry. These emulsions are used extensively in applications such as medical and household nonwovens, wadding for clothing, air/dust filters, liquid filters and insulating materials. The very highest quality interlinings and carrier fabrics also benefit from the use of Rohatol emulsions in their manufacture. For very demanding applications such as battery separators, automotive needle felts and glass/fiber webs for bitumen and PVC applications, Rohatol acrylics are available to provide consistent performance under severe service conditions.

In addition to providing a wide range of products for these industries, Rohm Tech is also committed to high quality customer service. Its technical staff is geared to offering assistance to customers with special application needs. The company has pledged to respond to any specific custom formulations or delivery systems required.

Rohm Tech stated that its long-standing technical experience in the area of emulsion polymers coupled with customized product design is bound to give manufacturers a winning edge in today's competitive marketplace. The company invites queries, promising it will put a special task force to work on any problems a customer might encounter.

Parkinson Winder Protects Fragile Nonwovens

Parkinson has introduced a new series of Mark II-2SMWT-HW winders for nonwovens manufacturing. They are specially designed to wind fragile webs such as high loft nonwovens. These machines incorporate a new concept of winding the web roll from a horizontal plane instead of vertically as with traditional Parkinson designs. This method prevents the increasing weight of the wound roll from creating damaging pressure on the material, protecting its integrity and quality. These Mark II's will have capacity for jumbo rolls up to 72 inch diameter and up to five meters wide.

Another recent Parkinson innovation is the Model Mark III-2SMWT PosiTran Winder that was designed to meet FDA clean room standards. It features die panels that isolate drives and bearings, restricting environmental contamination and open easily for cleaning and servicing. This is a continuous winder with capacity for multiple slitting and can also be equipped with other options to meet particular winding needs.

Parkinson specializes in the amazingly diverse technology of web winding, unwinding and rewinding and builds every machine based on the idea that there is really only one that precisely matches a processor's product, process and budget. Starting with a basic unit, Parkinson adds standard and optional components to create a special winder that can vary in operation from basic winding to a fully automatic system that virtually eliminates operator involvement and error. Features can include electronic counters, programmable controls, tension controls, multiple slitting and automatic web cut-over and transfer so you don't waste precious time changing rolls.

It can be built for a new nonwovens process line or to retrofit an existing one with limited available space.

It all adds up to Parkinson can help make your nonwovens line more productive and profitable.

Fibre Converting Machinery Expands Its Range

The increasingly complex requirements of the baby diaper and incontinence products industry are providing challenges to machinery builders that Fibre Converting Machinery AB of Sweden is rising to meet. As a leading European converting machinery builder, FCM is already well known for its production lines and fiber economy systems, but in the last year it has added new features to all its equipment in-line with the rapidly changing development of the market.

Compressed Packaging - Flexible and Economical

Apart from such features as elastic waist, tape landing strips, blue barriers and sophisticated leg elastic configurations, the benefits of compressed packaging in terms of distribution economy and shelf space allocation have been widely accepted by many sectors of the industry. Because of the need to maintain existing pack types while moving to new, compressed packs, diaper convertors have stipulated a system which is flexible as well as economic in terms of capital cost. Many private label producers can not afford high capital cost installations that concentrate only on compressed packing; they need to keep both types of pack in production without lengthy changeover times or space-hungry extended systems.

The FCM CD350 Compressed Diaper Packaging Unit allows for this necessary flexibility and has been developed to fit baby diaper machines which run both the existing uncompressed packs and new, compressed packaging with a 50% reduction factor. By fitting the sliding-shuttle system to the end of the line, the production machine is given the capability to run either type of pack, or even both at once, with a changeover time of only 15 minutes required to effect the necessary pack alterations. The unit has two outlet nozzles for operators to receive the pre-counted and compressed packs and to transfer the bags to a sealing unit. With the large variety of pack references--stack quantity, product size, bag quantity, amount of compression, etc.--likely to be needed in the foreseeable future, the FCM CD 350 packing unit provides the solution to market demands which diaper convertors seek to satisfy.

SAP Separation As Well As Fluff Recycling

Fiber economy has long been a Scandinavian pre-occupation and FCM was one of the first entrants into the waste recycling field. The Fluff Reclaimer produced by FCM allowed many types of fluff-filled reject products--diapers, inco pads, sanitary napkins--to be processed and for the clean fluff recovered to be metered accurately back to the converting line. Now the system features the addition of an SAP Separation unit--which receives the fluff/SAP mixture separated from the other product components such as tapes, elastic, plastic, etc.--and allows the fluff to be divided from the SAP granulate or powder in a three stage process. This extra economy feature also resolves the problem of SAP placement when recycled fluff material is used because without SAP separation there is a tendency for the granulate or powder to accumulate in the system and emerge in concentrations which affect product quality detrimentally. The FCM SAP Reclaimer overcomes this problem.

Bale Pulp Processing--Further Fiber Economics

In Europe, Asia and South America, the compellingly low price of bale pulps, especially CTMP, propels convertors towards this form of raw material. In Eastern Europe, now waking up to new consumer products, both price and availability are paramount considerations because roll pulp is simply not available in some countries. The MBF system made and perfected by FCM over 20 years of operating experience makes investment in equipment to use this lower-cost absorbent material highly attractive. As a means of making fiber economies and of sourcing pulp from a much wider range of suppliers, the MBF system is the key to profitable operation in many disposables factories.

A New World in Superabsorbent Product Design

Superabsorbent fibers are ready to create the absorbent products of tomorrow--new products for existing markets and completely new markets. FIBERSORB [R] superabsorbent fibers provide an opportunity to use superabsorbents where never before possible, and to achieve a higher level of performance in standard superabsorbent applications.

Absorbent product design has been liberated from the constraints of powders. FIBERSORB offers accurate metering and no migration, and requires no binder or tissue layers. The fibers can be fed with pulp directly into the hammermill, and can be blended with a variety of fibers prior to the bonding process. In blending, finished products require only a small percentage of superabsorbent fibers to achieve desired absorbency.

Because the entire cross-section of each fiber is superabsorbent, FIBERSORB fibers absorb 45-55 times their weight of 0.9% saline solution, and about 200-300 times their weight of water. Using proprietary technology, ARCO Chemical Company is producing FIBERSORB fibers in a variety of deniers. They can be formed into thin fabrics and yarns with excellent fluid retention under pressure. Absorbent characteristics can be tailored to specific needs through various forming processes, and by blending with a variety of materials. The fibers can be bonded by blending with fusible fibers prior to the bonding process. Fabrics have been made by needling, calendering, melt bonding, weaving and stitch bonding.

FIBERSORB superabsorbent fibers produce thin, lightweight, soft fabrics, with outstanding vapor absorption for wearable comfort. Thinner fabrics mean thinner diaper and incontinence products with excellent wet strength, but without binder or tissue layers. That means more comfort, and less disposable waste for the consumer.

A concern for many operations is the effect of humidity or moisture on superabsorbent materials. FIBERSORB superabsorbent fibers have a virtually limitless shelf life if stored in sealed plastic bags, or at humidity under 70%. The fibers should be processed between 45% and 70% relative humidity.

Superabsorbent fibers have five primary functions: absorb water, absorb and retain water under pressure, absorb and swell, absorb and disappear, absorb and provide a barrier. Standard market opportunities are in the absorption and retention of liquids, but the unique properties which can be engineered into fabric structures will create market potential in many other areas. Five examples follow.

1. Removal of water, water vapor or mist--The fabric provides a method of placing superabsorbent fibers specifically or generally in or around a product. Demisting has been observed to be very effective as a result of the superabsorbent's large surface area and high absorption speed. Product applications include fabrics to seal out water or mist/moisture in packaging, filters, or humidity control systems.

2. Liquid or solid separations--Fabrics can be made to remove water from oil, or a liquid from a solid. Product application areas include filters and medical products.

3. Controlled-release geotextiles--Commercial horticulture is a major potential market for FIBERSORB superabsorbent fibers. Plants require controlled amounts of moisture and nutrients over extended periods of time. Superabsorbent fibers or fabrics can contain large volumes of water and nutrients in gel form, held for osmotic release. The fabric also acts as a soil separator or erosion control mechanism.

4. Gas permeable liquid barriers--Needlepunched fabric or composite yarns with superabsorbent fiber will allow gas passage when dry. When water contacts the fabric, the resultant swelling of the fiber can be designed to fill holes and stop water flow. Some specific applications examples are protective clothing, filters, protection of communication cables, and "lightweight sandbags" to dam chemical spills.

5. Heat absorption--A saturated fabric absorbs large amounts of heat, as water changes phases. Consider the possibilities for emergency heat barriers, fire barriers, and cooling methods.

Clearly, the market opportunities are many for these superabsorbent fibers, because fabrics allow so many exciting new product designs. This promises to be a rapidly growing product area, with innovations soon appearing in the marketplace.

Introducing: Synpel-SS

TSG Incorporated is presenting a new dust-attracting finish for nonwoven wipes and filter media that they call Synpel-SS. This finish gives nonwovens an almost "magnetic" attraction to dust and airborne dirt. It can be applied to lightweight nonwovens for cleaning cloths that are designed to remove contaminants from delicate electronic equipment such as circuit boards, wire connections, tape heads, etc.

When applied to special nonwoven or lint-free knitted fabrics, Synpel-SS creates an excellent "optical wipe" for cleaning eyeglasses and photographic lenses. It has also been used for filter fabrics to trap dust and dirt in ventilation systems for laboratories and clean rooms.

B.C.D: Tackling Cutting Problems

Best Cutting Die Company has been a manufacturer of dies of envelopes, labels, diapers, sanitary napkins, bandaids, and other paper products for over twenty years. The company is located in Skokie, II, approximately 15 miles north of Chicago. The company is a family business with Ed Porento, Sr. as president. For the past fifteen years his kids Ed Jr., Marion, Gary and Rob have been working for the company in a variety of capacities including technical, administrative, sales and customer service.

Best Cutting Die was founded some twenty years ago by Ed Porento Sr. Progress came slowly, but Ed believed his knowledge of envelope dies and his sincere concern for his customer's satisfaction would prove to be a winning combination. Today Ed is recognized as the leading expert in the envelope field. His business philosophy of doing whatever it takes to satisfy the customer has B.C.D. without equal in terms of service and quality. This philosophy has been ingrained in the management staff of Best Cutting Die as well as in the worker on the floor. Although the number of employees has grown drastically in the recent years, many of Best's original people remain. This gives Best a reservoir of knowledge, experience and dedication to customer service.

As the Best's list of customers grew, Ed looked to expand both in plant size and equipment. Today Best has over 20 pieces of computer numerically controlled equipment. All in-house facilities have further allowed B.C.D. to improve and maintain its short turn around cycle. B.C.D. recently installed vacuum heating equipment that allows it to ensure consistent high quality heat treating. This helps increased anvil and die life.

Best has successfully tackled the uniquely different cutting problems in the nonwovens industry. Dies for disposable diapers, sanitary napkins and bandaids all have different problems associated with them. Best's history of "staying with the problem until it's solved" has gained it knowledge and expertise in all cutting applications.

In addition to its many customers in the U.S., Best also services customers in many countries such as Mexico, Australia, Belgium, England, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland and others. Many overseas customers claim that even with the transportation time included, Best gives better service than their local source.

New facilities, high tech equipment and solid experience allow Best to be competitive in large quantity precision dies. At the same time, its continuing devotion to the customer allows it to respond to unique, one of a kind problems. This has not gone unnoticed in the industry. In the past three years Best Cutting Die has been honored five different times as "Supplier of the Year." These awards have come from major manufacturers in the converting industry.

Enhancing Performance And Extending Equipment Life

The demands of today's high-speed, high volume production and packaging challenge the nonwovens industry to find innovative ways of improving manufacturing performance while meeting the problems of accelerated wear of machinery. Thanks to the latest coating and surfacing technologies of General Magnaplate Corporation, there's a high-tech way to enhance the performance and extend the life of wear-prone equipment parts.

Name the Problem, Call Magnaplate

Name the equipment and parts--pulp crushing machines; tri- and bi-folding machines to bulk packing and bagging machines, fluff forming equipment and a wide variety of others. High speed production and packaging runs abrade the surfaces, alter dimensions and tolerances, and cause sticking and machine jamming. Over time, metal parts wear or corrode. Production levels drop. Downtime becomes a problem.

How Magnaplate Coatings Work

Magnaplate-applied "synergistic" coatings are impregnated into the metal substrate through a series of proprietary steps that include an infusion of selected engineering polymers. Unlike "paint-ons," Magnaplate synergistic coatings become an integral part of the base metal and won't chip, peel or rub off. They are called "synergistic" because the resulting surface is superior in performance to the base metal or any of the individual coating components.

Originally developed to solve problems encountered in NASA's space vehicles, a wide variety of Magnaplate coating families has been designed for use on specific types of metal substrates and to meet special performance problems of wear, abrasion, corrosion, and chemical attack. They all feature an extremely low coefficient of friction for material flow, mold release, and other non-stick applications.

Restore Worn Parts

A new enhanced plasma-sprayed ceramic coating, Plasmadize, now also permits the restoration of worn or damaged parts to better-than-new condition. Not only can worn surfaces on even very large parts be built up and machined to exact specification, the restored part can be returned to effective service with greatly enhanced wear and corrosion resistance. This extended service life on new and used parts means reduced replacement costs and long-term, cost-effective manufacturing and packaging operations.

Headquartered in Linden, NJ, the 40-year-old company provides coast-to-coast and border-to-border service. Its R&D subsidiary, Theoretical Research Institute (TRI), is a world leading center for new developments in tribology and surface-enhancement processes.

Thwing-Albert: Meeting The Information Challenge

Our society is in the throes of an information revolution. We have the capability, and the desire, to:

Collect, process and store more information than we ever could before.

Communicate that information more quickly, to more people.

Perform new types of analysis that are more robust and more data intensive.

Be more flexible in the way we handle information.

And, ultimately, be more responsive to the information needs of people inside our own organization and outside of it.

At Thwing-Albert, we are meeting the challenge of this revolution. Our customers in Quality Control and in Research and Development tell us they want and need a new generation of testing instruments and systems.

They want to collect data directly from the testing instrument to a computer file. They want to be able to perform a wider variety of tests and conduct more complex types of analysis. They need to communicate quickly between remote sites and to store data in a way that is both compact and easy to access.

Our customers want instruments that are precise, reliable and quick. And they want instruments that take full advantage of the latest breakthroughs in computer and communications technology.

Like any smart company, we take the wants and needs of our customers very much to heart. And, unlike some of our competitors, it is our standing policy to meet customer needs with specialized testing instruments, grips and fixtures, and software development. You know what you need from a testing instrument and you have our word that we will do everything in our power to see that you get it.

Our current development projects include innovations in the areas of Data Acquisition, Statistical Process Control, and Robotic Testing. In addition, we are working hard to develop and maintain a line of physical property testing instruments that facilitate data analysis and computer interfacing.

Fast folds with Overfalz-Elsner!

No other piece of folding equipment in its class can make Z-folds, C-folds and Quarter-folds on one machine faster than the Overfalz-Elsner A-100-V Folding Machine!

This high-speed folding machine features web speeds from 590 to 984 feet per minute -- without using vacuum! It's the productive way to fold wet wipes, medical swabs, surgical drapes, napkins, liners, towels, and table cloths.

Other folding machines are restricted to producing only one size of folded merchandise. The A-100-V machine can easily be converted to fold products of many sizes simply by changing the optionally supplied fold cylinders.

As a result of this built in versatility, you can increase productivity two-fold without the expense of purchasing a second machine.

Other productive features on the A-100-V include automatic tension control, infinite set count control, product stacking, and an automatic photo-electric shut-off switch, along with many options to customize each machine.

The A-100-V Folding Machine is produced by Elsner under an exclusive licensing agreement with Overfalz Maschinenbau GmbH of West Germany. Over the years, versatility, productivity, efficiency and value have become synonymous with the Overfalz design. Today that proven design is being produced by Elsner to meet domestic size standards and customer requirements.

All manufacturing, sales, and service of Overfalz-Eslner equipment is done in Elsner's Hanover, PA, facilities.

Elsner provides the same high quality, dependability, and reliability they have traditionally provided to all rewinder and overwrapper customers ... this includes a full supply of parts in a large, ready inventory.

Elsner Engineering Works was founded in Hanover in 1934. Since then, they have earned a worldwide role in the design and manufacture of rewinding and overwrapping equipment.

The combined line of Elsner and Overfalz products is represented by the large, established network of Elsner representatives, who arrange on-site service when and wherever it's needed.

Elsner also makes other converting equipment to produce wallcoverings, giftwrap paper, napkins, wipes, surgical pads, fabric softener, films, foils, and other consumer-sized roll goods. Virtually every type of consumer paper product can be folded, wound, or rewound on an Elsner-built machine.

Recent technological innovations include an automatic wallcovering border processing line and a sonic tension control device for web-fed machinery.

The Passaic Engraving Story

Since before the turn of the century Passaic Engraving Co. has been serving the converting, textile, packaging, paper and related industries. The firm specializes in die and mill type embossing rolls for texturing vinyl, foil and other materials. Applicator and anilox rolls, roller manufacturing, chrome plating and mirror polish and dull matte rollers are among its products backed up by complete cylinder repair facilities.

Although Passaic Engraving dates from before the turn of the century, the firm is a leader in engraving technology. Today, for example, its new Control Density Chrome (CDC) deposit for anilox rolls is used by corrugators and laminators to solve most of the problems caused by corrosive waterbased inks and coatings.

A decade before the turn of the century, Thomas Foxhall, Sr. brought from England the art of engraving economically, tubular copper design rolls for the growing textile industry. Mr. Foxhall, finding an old, abandoned "buggy whip factory" in Passaic, NJ, started the Passaic Engraving Company in 1889. Mr. Foxhall's company, the first of its kind, grew because of the "art of the pantograph."

In 1918, the company was incorporated as Passaic Engraving Co. and moved to its present location--41 Brook Avenue. The building was designed specifically for the efficient processing of engraved rolls. Over the years, as markets changed and with the advent of vinyls after the war, Passaic Engraving gradually changed its processes to handle rolls designed for new product areas. To accomplish this, a new division was initiated in 1961--Passaic Machine Engraving Co. It is devoted to the production of mechanically engraved steel embossing cylinders for paper, film, foil and vinyls, as well as nonwovens.

A Commitment To Nonwovens

Passaic Engraving has made a commitment to the nonwovens industry by developing engraved rolls specifically for flame retardant and surface embossing applications as follows:

* In 1971...We developed the first successful roll coating using electroless nickel deposits with chrome covering over an engraved cylinder. This process makes the roll corrosion resistant to salts used in making flame retardant nonwoven fabrics.

* In 1977...We were instrumental in developing a laser cut relief embossing roll used for surface embossing woven polyester and nonwoven fabrics. This process enabled the firm to produce new designs and engravings faster and more economically than was possible at the time.

* In 1985...We offered the nonwovens industry "thermal bonding" embossing rolls with tolerances as close to .0002 inches TIR (Total Indicated Runout).

* In 1986...We developed point bonding rollers specifically for nonwoven goods. These rollers can also be used for thermo or ultrasonic bonding when nitrated or induction hardened. You can select the roller type that's right for you: point bonding, thermobonding or ultrasonic bonding.

After more than a decade of service to the nonwovens industry, Passaic Engraving has the know-how to help you design a decorative and functional nonwoven product.

Stearns' Thermalbonded Fabrics...

--Superior in Quality --Competitive in Price --Greater Flexibility and Versatility Stearns' thermalbonded fabrics are produced on the most sophisticated line of its type in North America.

The line, which measures 180 feet in length, produces material as wide as 126 inches in weights from 12 to 50 grams per square yard.

Superior blending is the key to Stearns' extremely uniform webs. The blending process begins by laying down up to 20 bales of fiber, 60 feet in length and then taking fiber from the top of each bale via a program controlled Blendomat. The fibers are then fed into a 10 chamber Multimixer machine. Different blends of fiber can be used, such as polypropylene/rayon, polypropylene/cotton, etc. Pre-dyed fibers can also be introduced into the system.

Following blending, the fibers are transported to the first stage opener, which gently opens any remaining bundles of fiber. The final opening and blending is achieved through two fine openers.

The last stage of fiber processing, before the fiber enters the carding process, is carried out in the chute feed unit. This machine prepares a feed unit of uniform density for entry into the first card. This card lays down two webs. A second card lays down a third web. This layering effect helps improve uniformity.

Next, the web is conveyed into the calender. There are 338 bonding points in every square inch of fabric. By closely controlling temperature, fiber blend and line speed, these bonding points can provide a very soft surface (for diaper and feminine pads) or a more abrasive surface (for glass or hard surface cleaning pads). The heat is controlled to +/- 1 C to ensure a consistent finish.

Immediately following the calendering process, the web passes through a vacuum system, which both cleans and cools it. At this stage, the web passes through a nuclear source measuring gauge. This scanner continuously monitors the web and checks basis weight and profile, among other things. The web is also under constant visual inspection.

Any defects are removed and the web is spliced ultrasonically to ensure our customers minimal loss of finished product.

Quality control standards and procedures meet the criteria of the largest North American consumer goods manufacturers. Stearns is probably the most diversified manufacturer of nonwoven fabric in North America, with four plants in the U.S. and three in Canada.

The major markets supplied by Stearns are:

--Single-use Fabrics--diaper topsheet, feminine pad topsheet, wet wipes, fabric softener substrate, etc.

--Medical--bandage components, cast padding, coil for swabs

--Filtration--food, air, coolants

--Automotive--dielectric padding, fusible facings for fiberglass

--Apparel--interlinings, fusibles, shoulder pad components

--Home Quilting and Crafts--batting, stuffing, pillow forms

In addition to thermalbonded fabrics, Stearns produces resin bonded, spray bonded, needled and glazed fabrics and combinations of these various bonding techniques.

Stearns also has considerable expertise in adhesive and thermal laminating, fire retardant treatments, fabric softener coating, fusible coating, die-cutting, automated sealing, and other specialty processes.

Converted and packaged products include:

--Mountain Mist Batting, Stuffing, and Pillow Forms

--Dryer Cycle Fabric Softener Sheets

--Incontinent Pads

--Milk Filters for Dairy Use

--Grease Filters for Use in Restaurants and Food Processing Plants

--Horse Leg Wraps

FILMS FOR DISPOSABLE HYGIENE, MEDICAL, SURGICAL AND INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS

Each product code corresponds to a formulation and well defined properties. When choosing, one should bear in mind the required characteristics, both for the finished product as well as the convertability of the film.

THICKNESS 12 to 150 microns. WIDTH * In-line slitting: 90 mm to 2 400 mm, depending on type of product. Tolerance [+ or -] 1%, with a minimum of [+ or -] 2 mm. * Off-line slitting and rewinding (max. O.D. 500 mm): 43 to 900 mm. Cutting tolerance: [+ or -] 2 mm. STANDARD COLOURS Clear, white, blue, green, beige, pink. Other colours available on request. CORONA TREATMENT Male or female side by request. Treatment level: Minimum 35 mN/m Maximum 44 mN/m.

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES Each code corresponds to precise formulation and properties. REEL DIAMETER Maximum 580 mm. Depending on embossing and thickness, some reels may be less than the nominal length. STANDARD CORES ID 76 mm (3") or 152 mm (6"). WINDING Female or male side inside. ADDITIONAL CHARACTERISTICS Sterilizable, antistatic, antiblocking, stress crack resistant, UV resistant, ... depending on formulation.

EXTRUSION - LAMINATION Direct application of a thermoplastic film (PE, PP copolymers) on a substrate in order to give either additional mechanical properties or an impermeable barrier for nonwovens. FILM THICKNESS: * PE: normally 20 to 100 my. * PP: normally 15 to 100 my. WIDTH OF LAMINATES: Up to 1 850 mm for full lamination if not up to 1 900 mm. TYPE OF EMBOSSING: Satinflex, Velvaflex. PACKAGING: Reels or sheets. Sheets are folded and packed in cardboard boxes. SHEET-CUTTING: Possibility of cutting laminated products and films above 30 my. Width of sheets: 1 900 mm max. (tolerance [+ or -] 10 mm). Length of sheets: 300 mm min. (tolerance [+ or -] 25 mm).

STP Impianti Seeks Customer's Advantage

STP Impianti, as a manufacturer of extrusion systems in general and as a spunbonded machinery manufacturer in particular, always puts itself in the "shoes of the customer" when designing their machines. The objective is to make the machine really fit the requirement of the end user. STP Impianti management and personnel are always guided by the philosophy of giving the customer a friendly machine. A couple of examples:

Flexibility And Ease of Operation

STP Impianti spinning systems are based on a high number of spin packs, located very close to each other, each spin pack being fed by a spinning pump. Each pump can be stopped independently from the other pumps, therefore it is possible:

-- To replace in a very short time (a question of minutes) a spinning pack, if necessary, without shutting down the production, as all remaining spinning packs keep working. There is no need to stop production for a long time, no need of long work to take out a large spinnerette, no waste and no off-quality for the new start-up. -- To adjust the width of the produced fabric, if necessary, as an exact multiple of the width of the final rolls to be delivered, so reducing trimming and slitting waste to a minimum. This can be achieved by purposely shutting down one or more side spinnerettes.

Besides being friendly to the operators, the STP Impianti spunbonding lines are designed with the purpose of achieving the best in the necessary compromise between productivity and quality.

Quality and Productivity

In order to produce light weight fabrics with saleable quality, some characteristics must be achieved:

a. good and even coverage

b. soft hand

c. sufficient strength in both machine and cross direction

The characteristics a and b are achieved because of the lower denier per filament. The STP system has enough strength to draw single filaments in order to obtain the fine denier.

The characteristic c, especially with regard to cross direction, mainly depends on the entangling of single filaments. Entangling is achieved on our system by overlapping the filament bundles on the conveyor belt through a specially designed traversing system.

Productivity? At equal investment cost, the productivity of STP Impianti lines is higher than the productivity of other available machinery.

Be sure, go with STP Impianti. STP Impianti keeps seeking the customer's advantage.

NAEF Laboratory Punch Presses

NAEF has been the leader for over 81 years in manufacturing high quality presses and precision dies for the laboratory. Our presses have been subjected to rigorous testing cutting soft materials, from roofing shingles with pebbles to Kevlar vests...from baby diapers to rocket propellant. Whatever your need, we guarantee that our equipment will meet your greatest expectations. Through outstanding engineering and responsive service we have helped thousands of laboratories produce precise and accurate test results every time. We are pleased to offer you the following three types of presses:

The Manual Punch Press NAEF B-36 with a capacity of 5000 lbs/25kN and a net weight of 1000 lbs.

The Pneumatic Punch Press NAEF P-44 with a capacity of 7000 lbs/35kN and a net weight of 215 lbs.

The Manual Punch Press NAEF D-37 with a capacity of 17,000 lbs/80kN and a net weight of 640 lbs.

NAEF Dies

For safety, our NAEF cutting dies are equipped with an expulsion system that leaves your specimen flat on the table. Changing dies can be done within seconds without tools.

In addition, our NAEF team can offer you a wide variety of dies: round, straight edge, ASTM, DIN, pinked edge and dies manu-factured according to your drawings and specifications. NAEF presses and NAEF dies have proven themselves to be cost effective and efficient and will last a lifetime.

We are also proud to be able to provide you with our specialized sharpening services. Our Tool Room technicians are here to help you and will sharpen your dull or nicked dies and bring them back to their original specifications. Our turn-around time for sharpening is approximately eight hours.

May we have the opportunity to serve you in the near future?

TUFCO...Adds thermo--bonding to combine your substrates into engineered composite structures

PRINTING -- We are printing light-weight MG and facial grade tissues as well as light non-wovens. We can also print wetlaid metalized papers and polyethylene. Print widths up to 74", roll dia. up to 80". Flexographic and letterpress printing processes are available. SLITTING and REWINDING non-wovens and light-weight tissues are our specialty. We also convert all types of krafts as well. Our equipment can accomodate rolls up to 120" wide x 102" diameter. Slit widths as narrow as 1 1/4". FOLDING -- Our custom-built, highly specialized, folders can fold finished sheet sizes of 4" x 4" to 60" x 240". We can C-fold, Z-fold, W-fold, inter-fold, fan-fold, 1/4 fold, 1/8 fold, 1/16 fold or 1/32 fold. We can supply virtually any fold you desire. PACKAGING -- Bulk-packing, packing with sleeve wraps, dispenser cartons and poly bags (individually over-wrapped or multi-packed). We also collate the various products into specific put-ups. We will private label to meet your or your customers special requirements. OTHER CAPABILITIES: Hot-melt seaming in-line with folders, perforating of dispenser rolls, calendering, scenting, embossing, adhesive laminating, heat and pressure laminating, (120" wide) impregnating. NEW CAPABILITIES:

* High Speed 1/4 folding in infinite increments up

to 24" cut-offs.

* 120" slitting and rewinding

* In-Line folding, impregnating, packaging.

* 120" wide thermo-bonding

* 74" wide flexo graphic printing

* 57" wide letterpress printing

Get going with Elsner's roll production line!

Now you can get high-speed, low-cost-per-piece production of cored or coreless nonwoven rolls with the fully automatic roll production line from Elsner.

Virtually a one-man factory, the basic production line consists of an Elsner automatic perforating rewinder and an Elsner log saw available for web widths of 30 and 36 inches.

The Elsner Model V-4-30 Rewinder runs up to 50 rolls per minute, cuts to length, and tapes each roll closed. Web speed is constant regardless of roll length. There is no slow-down for cut-off or restarting. Standard cut lengths are from 50 to 150 sheets, with longer or shorter lengths optionally available.

Elsner perforated roll production lines use completely integrated Elsner equipment for dependable, efficient operation. The Elsner Model LS-30-4 Log Roll Splitter is added to the rewinder for completely automatic roll production. From mill roll to finished product cut to width, this production line is perfect for fabric softeners, wet wipes, and other similar products.

The roll splitter can produce two to six products from each roll. These machines are available in core and coreless models, for roll widths from 12 through 36 inches.

Elsner can also build equipment to your specifications with the perforation pattern, sheet pitch length, and sheet count you need.

You can rely on the full backing and service of Elsner for all components in our entire roll production line. With proven Elsner reliability, your production won't suffer from downtime. Our machines feature fast setup, fast adjustment, and low maintenance.

Count on Elsner to provide the same high quality, dependability, and reliability we have traditionally provided to all our rewinder and overwrapper customers ... which includes a full supply of parts in a large, ready inventory.

Elsner Engineering Works was founded in Hanover in 1934. Since then, we have earned a worldwide role in the design and manufacture of rewinding and overwrapping equipment for consumer rolled goods.

Elsner's line also includes Schultz rewinding equipment, with the combined line represented by a large, worldwide network of Elsner representatives, who can arrange on-site service when and wherever it's needed.

Elsner equipment converts wallcoverings, giftwrap paper, self-adhesive decorative coverings, sheet posters, tear perforated wipes, fabric softener, films, and foils. Virtually every type of consumer nonwoven product can be wound, rewound or folded on an Elsner-built machine.

Nobody does more to make converting more profitable for you than Elsner.

Honeycomb Systems: Quality For Nonwovens

In 1989, Honeycomb Systems joined forces with Valmet Paper Machinery of Finland to form a team that is stronger than ever at serving the needs of the nonwovens and paper industries.

During the year, eight Honeycomb Through Air Dryers were sold to major corporations around the world, reinforcing Honeycomb's position as the premier supplier of high performance through-air systems.

In the area of hydroentanglement in 1989, Honeycomb shipped the largest rolls ever built for this purpose and also delivered a Honeycomb hydroentanglement system to Japan for the first time.

Performance Advantages

Honeycomb's president Donald F. Beaumont says, "Our technology offers such distinct competitive advantages for our customers that most of them won't even let us talk about the fact that they purchased Honeycomb equipment. For more than a quarter of a century, we've been providing solutions for the nonwovens processes of our customers...and honored their wishes for confidentiality.

Through-Air Benefits

Honeycomb's technology specialists can provide solutions for virtually any drying, curing or bonding application...and Honeycomb's top-of-the-line through-air equipment offers many benefits to customers:

* highest drying rates * high percentage of open area * complete mechanical reliability * uniform air flow rate * uniform temperature distribution * positive control * customized systems

Honeycomb research and development personnel are constantly improving systems and developing new ones. A recent development was a multiple-purpose compact through dryer using a Trexcell roll and designed for nonwovens manufacturers looking for an economical way to benefit from Honeycomb's superior technology.

Recently a wet laid nonwoven manufacturer in France ordered a through air dryer with an eight-foot diameter roll and a complete air recirculation system with a direct gas burner. The company expects the dryer to increase productivity by up to 60% on certain grades of material.

Hydroentanglement equipment

This is another Honeycomb specialty. The equipment allows manufacturers to entangle individual fibers through the use of high velocity water jets. The process provides excellent flexibility in fiber selection and considerable choice of properties for the end product.

The major features of nonwovens made from Honeycomb's process are the softness and strength of the resulting material--two properties hitherto mutually exclusive. The process is a versatile one that can use hydrophilic natural fibers such as cotton or synthetic fibers or blends. It can also be used with non-wettable webs based on polyester or polypropylene fibers.

Variety of products

Honeycomb's hydroentanglement is used to create products for use in the medical and surgical professions (where demands for quality are especially high), specialty industrial materials for disposables wipes, home furnishings, interlinings, clothing and many other products.

Watermaking

Materials can also be watermarked through the Honeycomb hydroentanglement process, if desired. The product strength is in no way diminished, and the watermark--corporate logo or whatever--is sharp and well defined.

Honeycomb offered samples of its watermaking capability at the INDEX `90 trade show.

Honeycomb Rolls

Honeycomb's reputation was originally build on its top quality custom-built rolls for drying, curing and bonding. The rolls are made of welded or nicklebrazed stainless steel with an open area of about 90%. The rolls can handle a wide variety of web products and do so with less vacuum, less force on the web, lower operating costs, less maintenance, maximum production line speed and excellent control.

Honeycomb has perfected several types of vacuum rolls including tension, transfer, extraction, porosity, cooling and forming.

LESS Equipment For Nonwovens

Less introduces to the nonwovens field an application system for fluorochemical treatment of flatgoods. The Model T-100 is microprocessor controlled to provide the highest quality finish available. Among outstanding features of the direct system is the single pass application capability with no chemical loss due to overspray, waste or recycling. Chemical is applied from either side or both for uniform coverage and controlled penetration. Savings in chemicals are said to be 20% minimum due to direct application and no waste. The low wet add-on makes T-100 energy efficient and cleaning is easy because there's no plugging of spray tips to cause streaks. Average wet pick-up is 10% or less. This is a standard piece of equipment adaptable to most materials 54 inches and up.

Less also custom designs if needed and prides itself on JIT delivery worldwide. Other equipment of interest to the nonwovens field includes machines to apply binder, adhesives for laminating and fluorochemicals. The company has a ten year history of serving companies in the nonwovens field, in filter and media bonding, automotive and mattress padding and carpet underlayments.

PHOTO : LESS's T-100 foam system

"The" boy and girl diaper from Fameccanica

With the aim to be of service to our customers worldwide we, at Fameccanica, always keep a very close eye on market and product developments in the field of hygienic disposable articles and engage, with our R&D facilities, to develop the most appropriate production technologies.

Among the results achieved, in the last period of time, is Fameccanica's new technology for the manufacturing of boy and girl diapers (a number of pieces of equipment already delivered and in production). Such a new technology consents for a real improvement in diaper design since a dual core structure can be easily and efficiently achieved with maximum respondence to the performance characteristics requested for these particular products.

A contoured pad constitutes the base fluff layer of the absorbent core while an individually formed extra pad guarantees extra absorbency capacity in a specific area of the core: the crotch for girls and the front for boys.

Being the two pads independently formed, several product configurations are possible and different absorbent materials/compounds may be used, leaving to the user maximum flexibility to design its own product for its specific market or market segment. As special features the two pads may be formed with different grammage and/or density so as to better respond to product's requirements and the S.A.P. can be efficiently and exactly positioned in a target area without resorting to expensive, and not always reliable, application systems.

The pad formation is based on the well known Fameccanica drum hammer mill or the new "Mode" multidisk mill located above the formation chamber; pocket wheel for the individually formed extra pads placed before or after the contoured pad forming drum. The special design concepts employed for such a pad formation system allows for easy and fast change-over from boy to girl configuration.

The system has been engineered and constructed to be easily and rapidly retrofitted to existing Fameccanica machines or to any other baby diaper production equipment.

Fameccanica Non-Stop Innovation

Innovation In Web Processing For Nonwovens

An established leader in the design and fabrication of custom-built web processing systems, Independent Machine Company of Fairfield, New Jersey, continues to lead in the development of specialized systems for slitting and spooling of tension-sensitive nonwoven materials to exceptionally long lengths.

Through the evolutionary design of new computerized systems, it is now feasible to slit and spool even the most delicate materials in a wide range of sizes and spool shapes, with unmatched speed and accuracy.

An I.M.C. computerized slitting/winding system (such as the model depicted in the ad below) would typically include the following components, supply roll to finished spool: a driven unwind capable of holding up to 60 inch diameter rolls, heat seal/splicer unit, master speed reference pull roll, auto edge guide, a rotary shear slitter with interchangeable two-zone isolation and multiple two-position traverse winders.

In terms of sheer size, these I.M.C. computerized slitting/traverse winding systems are equally impressive: length of some 68 feet, width of eight feet, and a height of eight feet as well.

The design and construction of these slitting/traverse winding systems for nonwoven applications call for the highest engineering standards. I.M.C.'s engineers have accepted this challenge and responded by providing the widest range of converting equipment available, manufactured to precise specifications and tolerances. Only the finest components, drives and controls are chosen for I.M.C.'s ruggedly constructed systems.

All such systems have been designed to maximize versatility, safety and productivity. Slitters, for example, are provided with unique interchangeable assemblies for razor, shear and score slitting. Equipment is supplied in working widths to meet any production requirement and are "systems-matched" to optimize performance.

I.M.C.'s problem-solver approach results in slitting/traverse winding systems tailored to specific nonwoven requirements. After a thorough evaluation, I.M.C. engineers routinely offer cost-effective recommendations for solving the most difficult converting problems.

INDEX `90: Platilon U 04/706 Is Back On Stage

Alternative To Conventional Leg Elastics

Apart from the conventional rubber-latex products based on natural rubber or the new synthetic elastics the manufacturers also have the possibility of using PU-tapes of the Deutsche Atochem Werke in Bonn in the field of elastics in diapers and incontinence products. For some time the manufacturers of high quality diapers that are comfortable to wear afford the luxury of using Platilon U 04/706 in their diapers (leg elastics).

New Application As Waist Band

At the INDEX `90 in Geneva well-known machine producers told us that you have succeeded in developing application systems as regards inserting Platilon U 04/706 as "waist band."

Deutsche Atochem has the possibility of supplying reels that can be inserted at right angles to the machine direction, and also in parallel with machine direction. Contrary to the heat shrinkable films Platilon U 04/706 does not require any further processing stages after inserting that could raise problems concerning the processing accuracy.

In addition to the much lower material costs, Platilon U offers, in particular compared to PU foam systems, the following advantages: high reel lengths for an unproblematic production time as well as lower transportation and storage charges. Further Fields Of Application:

Refastenable Tapes: Other possible fields of application for PU tapes are the elastic refastenable tapes that have been required for a long time. Due to its technological advance of many years in the field of PU tapes, Deutsche Atochem in Bonn can thus offer the manufacturer the ideal alternative.

Ecological Solution For The Elastics Market

The growing sensibility to environmental problems has not stopped at the diaper market.

The company Deutsche Atochem, which has always distinguished itself by ecological solutions with regard to development and production, now offers an environmentally remarkable solution in the field of elastics in diapers and incontinence products.

In addition to a great number of processing and comfort advantage the polyurethane elastic (tape) offered under the trade name Platilon U 04/706 has the following properties:

1. Biodegradable

2. Dermatological compatibility/tolerance

3. No use of fluorohydrocarbons, neither in the polymerization of the raw materials nor in the extrusion of the films.

As the diaper producers must nowadays use ecological products more often than ever before, Deutsche Atochem is now able to offer them now the ideal solution in the field of elastics.

What are you trying to sell -- Bondage or Diapers?

Platilon U gives babies the flexibility they need.

The elastic in this baby's diaper is so tight that this poor little baby feels like a prisoner behind bars. PLATILON [R] U gives babies the flexibility that babies need. The advantages of our elastics are:

* PLATILON [R] U 04/706

offers excellent comfort,

yet a reliable grip due to

our reduced thickness

(as low as 0.025 mm)

and increased widths. * Our spectrum of widths

and thickness can

virtually achieve any

stress/strain ratio

desired, making us also

ideal for any

incontinence needs. * Our bio-degradable and

dermatologically safe

tape leaves no red

marks. * No fluoro hydrocarbons

are used for any part of

our production process. * The yield in meters per

kilogramm can average

three times conventional

materials, depending

upon dimensions and

extension rates

employed. Additionally,

50% of consumption

costs can be saved by

the hot melt reduction. For demonstration purposes a spool unwind system is available for trails on the production line. Further PLATILON [R] U applications may include refastenable-tape and waist-band.

Cotton Offers Competitive Positioning in Nonwovens

Take a walk down any supermarket or drugstore aisle where nonwovens products are displayed. The wide variety available is impressive and indicates that the nonwovens industry is vibrant and growing.

But the unprecedented growth underway is also proving troublesome for product manufacturers who today must find a way to differentiate their offerings from competitors in a crowded and still expanding retail environment. At retail, packaging varies, but price, product benefits and quality assurances are for the most part on par within a product category.

For the consumer, purchasing decisions can be guesses. With the exception of a few personal hygiene categories, many nonwovens product manufacturers find it difficult to support sufficient advertising to create brand identification and elicit product loyalty. The question facing manufacturers today is--"at the point of purchase, what will make your product stand out?"

The answer to that question lies in the mind of the consumer and it exists as a product ingredient that can offer a variety of desired characteristics. Preferably this product ingredient would have demonstrated consumer appeal, be widely understood and preferred by consumers, and easily identified on crowded retail shelves.

Such a product ingredient exists, and has shown to be widely preferred in a variety of nonwovens products categories. In a national consumer survey of personal care products conducted by R.H. Bruskin Associates, an independent market research company, in-home interviews with 1029 women aged 18 and older indicate a strong consumer demand for cotton.

The demand for cotton is across the board and far outdistances preference for other fibers. Cotton is preferred by 57% of women for wet wipes; by 81% for swabs; by 49% for disposable diapers; by 53% for baby wipes; by 64% for napkins and tampons; and by 80% for cosmetic puffs.

The random consumer survey is even more impressive because the final sampling proved to be made up of regular nonwovens purchasers. Of the women surveyed, 85% were regular purchasers of swabs; 63% were purchasers of cosmetic puffs; 62% were purchasers of tampons; while a third were regular purchasers of wet wipes; and nearly a quarter regularly bought disposables diapers and baby wipes.

The survey provides a business rationale for cotton nonwovens, but its results are not surprising. Nonwovens consumers are also apparel and home fabrics purchasers and have already demonstrated a clear preference for cotton in all textiles. Today cotton holds a 50% share of the total apparel and home fabrics market (exclusive of carpeting). At a 50% share of the market, cotton today is the single most popular fiber consumed at retail, and outsells all man-made fibers combined.

Cotton has gained in market share nearly every year since 1975, which was the height of synthetic fiber popularity. Backed by a research and development program and national advertising campaigns conducted by Cotton Incorporated, cotton's return to fiber dominance has been a steady regain, not a cyclical trend.

Cotton Incorporated has ensured that identification of cotton at retail is quick and simple. The Seal of Cotton, a registered trademark of Cotton Incorporated, was developed in 1973 to identify domestically-manufactured goods produced from 100% cotton. After 17 years of national advertising and promotion, the Seal today is one of the most widely recognized product trademarks.

Cotton's re-emergence in the nonwovens market has been driven by consumer demand. It had limited usage in the nonwovens market up until four years ago, when Cotton Incorporated designated nonwovens as a major growth market. Ironically, nonwovens were originally developed as a processing method to utilize cotton fibers produced as a by-product of textile processing. As a result of its absence from this market, cotton nonwovens technology became a lost art throughout the 1970s and most of the 1980s. However the rebirth of cotton nonwovens technology now provides the most tangible evidence of consumer demand for cotton.

There had been a lack of a commercial source of cotton fiber suitable for the growing multitude of potential nonwovens uses. Commercial kier bleached fiber has been available for years and its use is growing. Cotton Incorporated developed a processing line and built a pilot plant in Greenville, South Carolina, demonstrating that cotton can be scoured and bleached on a continuous basis.

Last year, Cotton Incorporated introduced an extremely simple method of opening kier-bleached fiber. This development, in response to growing demand for cotton nonwovens, allowed kier bleachers to produce fiber of the quality produced by the continuous method.

Today, the foremost marketing advantage for using cotton to increase product value is the high-ratings consumer give to cotton. According to independent research, consumers will pay more for a cotton product because of its added value. This translates into the potential for higher profitability. The price of bleached cotton fiber is competitive with or even less than rayon. Whether continuous or kier-bleached, cotton can be readily processed.

Gaining a competitive edge in the crowded nonwovens retail environment is an advantage all manufacturers seek. Today that edge exists in cotton--a product ingredient that is highly-profitable, already understood and familiar to consumers, easily identified through use of the Seal of Cotton, and most importantly, demonstrated to be in demand by the nonwovens consumer.

The next time you take a walk down a supermarket or drugstore aisle, take a look at the wide array of nonwovens products available. What attracts your attention? Price? Packaging? Product claims? Perhaps it will be the Seal of Cotton and the words "100% cotton." Hopefully that fiber identification will appear on your product and not your competitor's.

Charles Lapidus Vice President, Nonwovens Marketing Cotton Incorporated
COPYRIGHT 1990 Rodman Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:"Nonwovens Industry" magazine special section featuring in-depth material and advertising provided by suppliers about their companies, people and products
Author:Jakob, Heinrich; Brenner, Kurt; Irving, Stephen; Lapidus, Charles
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Article Type:company profile
Date:May 1, 1990
Words:20044
Previous Article:The U.S. industrial fabrics market: nonwovens and conventional textiles combine for $4 billion business.
Next Article:Bad guys for a day.
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