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INDEX exhibitors unveil innovations: nonwovens companies showcase new technologies.

The results are in. INDEX 2005 was the largest ever. Held April 12-15, 2005 at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, INDEX visitors increased by 7.5% compared to INDEX 02, to just over 12,000 visitors. The geographical reach of the exhibition increased to attract visitors from 107 different countries worldwide.

INDEX 05 was the largest edition ever in size as well, with 21,200 square meters of net stand space, occupying 50,000 square meters of exhibition hall.

What follows is a description of what some INDEX exhibitors had to offer. For more on INDEX, please see NONWOVENS INDUSTRY, May 2005.

Acrodur is a new innovative class of ecological binders developed by BASF and suited to a variety of applications. The various grades combine the ease of processing in conjunction with a flexible thermoplastic and duroplastic reliability and stability. They can be used wherever excellent binding properties, environmental compatibility and cost effecitveness is called for.

The Airflex series of binders, introduced by Air Products, includes a flushable product. The Airflex EP919 responds to the nonwovens industry's need for complete flushability, which is particularly prevalent in wipes.

The Vanguard stacker line for adult, baby diapers and sanitary napkins was presented by Alpha System. This Italian company has been gaining experience in the field of design and construction of stacking and packaging machines for hygiene products since its establishment in 1993.

A.S. Nonwovens announced the addition of a new spunlaced line--Rieter Jetlace 2000 with a Perfodry 3000 air-through dryer--dedicated solely to the wipes market. This 3.2-meter-wide line will be able to produce 40 tons of material per day when it comes onstream in December 2005 and features patterning and embossing patterns to allow its customers to differentiate products in the marketplace. A.S. Nonwovens is also installing a post-treatment line for spunlace fabrics to help it better penetrate the leather and shoe markets.

Holding one of the show's largest booth, BBA Fiberweb introduced several new products for hygiene, medical, consumer care, wiping and technical markets. Among these are an elastic spunbond material, developed through its Advanced Design Composites joint venture, a polyethylene spunbond featuring the same barrier protection and softness as polypropylene and absorbent core products that can be made using fluff pulp.

BHT Biema presented a revolutionary concept for ultrathin three-layer high density fluff/SAP cores with pattern embossing in a high-speed running demonstration. This responds to increased market demand for complete machines and also for rebuilds for these products. Calculations have shown that BICMA's ultrathin fluff concept can save approximately E400,000 to E1 million per year.

The materials produced contain three-layer, ultrathin fluff/SAP cores, two layers of pure fluff outside, center layers of homogeneous fluff/SAF mixture. The core is approximately 300 gsm, the density in mold before calendering is approximately 35 gpsm and the SAP content in the center layer is up to 50%.

Together with its DEDE 400 Sanitary Napkins machine, Bikoma presented its new packaging machine model FSP 40, a fully servo-driven filling and closing machine for the packaging of sanitary napkins, panty shields or similar products into PE-bags. One of the biggest advantages of this line is that it can be fully integrated into a new or existing Bikoma machine, so a complete production line without interface up to the finished product is created. The packaging line can also be bought separately for non-Bikoma machines.

Some key features of this small and compact unit include an extendable bag carousel for 4000 bags or more, a 90-degree turning station for ultrathin products, a compressing station, continuously adjustable speed and very low maintenance demand.

A. Celli presented its entire range of winding, rewinding and slitting technology as well as its Wingformer airlaid developments at INDEX 2005. In the winding realm, the company has expanded its inline slitting capabilities with the Windy Custom technology, which is best for spunlace, lamination lines and low through-put spunlaid applications. In slitting, the company's Neck-In Management System eliminates the operators' need to handle fabric shrinkage in roll slitting. In its efforts to serve customers from the production line onward, A. Celli has indicated that its next area of interest will be roll packaging. Executives have already discussed this initiative with customers and expect it to be commercial later this year.

Airlaid machinery maker Dan-Web was showcasing its new Long Fiber Former machine, which can produce fibers ranging from 28-30 millimeters and will be on the market next year. Much of Dan-Web's research and development efforts have concentrated on breaking new ground for airlaid technology.

Needleloom maker Dilo was showing its latest crosslapper designs and the Spinnbau direct card. The Spinnbau direct card was made for high capacity working widths and speeds up to 400 meters per minute and features evenness and uniformity.

Edelmann has introduced winding and slitting capabilities that allow the operator to wind either off- or in-line, depending on the product type. This slitter can work on rolls that are 2.5 meters in diameter.

ExxonMobil Chemical has added two new grades to its family of Vistamaxx specialty elastomers, both specifically designed to bring greater elasticity to the spunbond processing of nonwoven fabrics. Derived from the company's Exxpol metallocene catalyst technology, the Vistamaxx platform features built-in elasticity so nonwovens can feature elasticity without the combination of existing materials. The new grades, VM-2125 and VM-2120. VM-2125 exhibit high elasticity and low permanent set while VM-2120 offers medium-high elasticity and good recovery. Both grades offer excellent processability. ExxonMobil launched the Vistamaxx brand in June 2003 and built a plant dedicated to the technology in Baton Rouge, LA in February 2004.

Fameccanica has partnered with Optima filling and packaging machines to create a high performance and cost-effective packaging system at a competitive price. The new Paksis series of product handling systems was designed, manufactured and updated jointly by the two companies and will be marketed under the Paksis brand name separately by the two companies. The initial scope of the alliance is Paksis D-7, which is able to perform at 1000 ppm and 65 bpm. The main characteristics include an integrated counting-stacking-packing design for maximum process control and operation, easy and fast installation and start-up and a full servo-technology with all operating units driven by servo-motors for maximum flexibility.

Also at INDEX, Fameccanica promoted its Model FNL E99. Small in size compared to other machines, but bigger in performance, this model features up to 99% efficiency, less trim and less glue for a potential savings of up to $50,000 per year.

HyTec is a new jet strip for hydroentanglement systems presented by Groz-Beckert. The new product marks G-B's first entry into the spunlace market. This strip guarantees a burr-free product with form, fit and uniformity.

Hermann Ultrasonics was promoting technology that allows frontal tapes and tape landing zones in diapers to be bonded without the use of adhesives, thereby saving a great deal of money. This technology takes two layers of nonwovens and compresses them through mechanical energy. This creates heat inside the material and bonds the materials together.

First time exhibitor Hills Inc. was presenting its innovation in filament, staple, spunbond and meltblown machinery. In staple, the company is a leader in bicomponent fiber extrusion equipment with lines that can produce side-by-side fibers, sheath/core fibers, microfibers by splittable and islands-in-a-sea techniques and various other unique products. In spunbond, Hills has been a leader in the supply of custom-designed spinbeams and spinpacks to spunbond producers. And, in meltblown, Hills has recently developed breakthrough technology in die design and manufacture.

In this new technology, Hills uses famous printed circuit board manufacturing technology to produce the channels and spinning orifices.

New Creora developments for the elastication of personal care products were shown at Hyosung's booth. This spandex is produced in the form of C-100 polymer type and covers a broad range of heavy denier fibers. At INDEX, Hyosung demonstrated a method for continuous yarn processing to avoid costly downtimes and introduced a range of colored spandex to help customers differentiate their product designs.

Idrosistem, a manufacturer of filtration units for spunlaced lines, was offering a new Dissolved Air flotation system, which allows water to be separated from fibers. The bottom portion of the unit contains a web and a belt to heartily filter fibers and other particles from the water. What is unique about this system is its ability to achieve both flotation and filtration in one unit.

Galaxy, Danufil and Vilof viscose fibers are engineered to meet the specific needs of different processes and products. Presented by Kelheim Fibres, these fibers are absorbent and used extensively in nonwovens applications including medical dressings and wipes, feminine hygiene products and household cleaning cloths. The trilobal fiber Galaxy has been a key raw material in feminine hygiene products for years and is now being marketed to a wider range within the nonwovens industry while Viloft nonwovens, featuring a flat cross section, opens a complete new range of applications.

A leading manufacturer of self-adhesive and mechanical closure systems, Koester attracted much attention at INDEX from a multitude of clients and suppliers. Above all, the two new product ranges the Flex Hook- and the ECOnomy-Line met great interest of current and also potential clients. The Flex Hook-Line guarantees excellent peel-and-shear values due to a multiple of aggressive hook edges gripping into the frontal tape and the ECOnomy-Line is a budget-friendly product range. The company is looking to expand its presence in nonwovens by being proactive. Recent news from the company includes a new warehouse in Mexico, which could be followed with a production facility.

Kuesters received an INDEX award for its Twin Calender, which features quick change in pattern or process, roll change during running production, capability with Hot S-Roll or HyCon Roll. This technology features speeds up to 1000 meters per minute, flexible line pressure to 300 N/mm, temperatures up to 275[degrees]C and material widths up to six meters.

Mogul Nonwovens introduced new developments including its MHV fluorescent high-visibility fabrics, Piexel ink jet printing media, printed fabrics and laminated fabrics. Additionally, the Turkish company tried to bring some business to its country by introducing local converters.

New Universal CF nozzles from Nordson Corporation deliver consistent hotmelt adhesive spray coverage, high bond strengths and low add-on rates. They are combinable with all Nordson Universal modules, including pneumatically and electrically actuated designs and provide a proven spray technology for nonwovens, packaging and product assembly applications.

Meanwhile, the company's adhesives group presented the Universal series applicators, modules and nozzles. Demonstrating the flexibility of hotmelt adhesive dispensing from single-platform designs, this series features application capabilities using interchangable spraying and coating technologies. Manufacturers can combine modules and nozzles to meet production requirements, enhancing capabilities and product performance. Universal applicators improve pattern stability and web-routing options with angled manifolds that reduce air tubulence common in high-speed operations. Integrated air heaters, thermal uniformity and advanced hydraulic features provide superior product performance and more efficiency.

Nordson's nonwovens group improves meltblown and spunbond nonwoven fabrics by increasing the percentage of submicron fibers. Higher fine-fiber concentrations significantly improve hydrohead and filtration performance, increase line speed, enhance production rates and reduce raw material costs. NanoPhase systems can produce fiber diameters ranging from sub-micron to 10 microns in higher concentration and throughputs than conventional technologies, resulting in thinner webs with improved moisture-barrier and filtration properties.

At INDEX, NSC Nonwoven introduced its Excele revolutionary carding concept, which builds off of NSC company Thibeau's more than 40 years of carding expertise. This concept, which replaces the company's CA concept launched in 2002, features high production levels, flexible carding, low maintenance and high production efficiency and is good for wipes. It was specifically designed for web quality according to web specifications, high production levels with consistent web qualities, easy settings for optimum parameters and low maintenance requirements. Available with three different doffers, the card settings can be suited to fit speeds and the gaps between cylinders, depending on the fiber's behavior.

The new compact Phoenix Filter provides innovative design features in an economical, safe and compact unit. Developed by Osprey Corporation, this system offers a combination of proven filtration technologies in a unique product. Filtration levels and custom designs can be matched to the individual applications.

INDEX was the first major tradeshow attended by Pantex International since it changed its name and ownership. Among the products showcased by this company were Comfortex thermal bonded nonwovens developed for softness and tactile and visual aesthetics; Perfortex apertured nonwovens; Drytex three-dimensional apertured films, Cleantex for wiping applications and Transfertex nonwovens and apertured films for ADL or transfer layers. Pantex also introduced the Biotex product family of apertured nonwovens, standard nonwovens and perforated laminates that are based on renewable raw materials such as PLA fibers and films.

A new elastic nonwoven, called Sawasoft, was shown at Sandler's booth. This fabric uses a thermoplastic elastomer to be used in diapers, feminine hygiene items and adult incontinence products as well as in various medical applications. Among the features of this multidirectional elastic product are good recovery in both directions, good air permeability and softness.

Technical Absorbents was promoting its Oasis superabsorbent fibers at INDEX. Oasis yarns are produced using a long staple version of SAF blended with polyester, polyamide, rayon and polypropylene for the cable industry as well as apparel and geotextile applications. Oasis tapes are specialty nonwoven fabrics incorporating SAF to offer significant swell height and absorption performance. Applications include cable tape and general sealant systems for fluid transportation.

Tessiture Pietro Radici added two products to its Dylar spunbond range at INDEX. Antistatic Dylar meets the demand for protective clothing in overalls while UV Dylar, which is flame resistant, is designed for roofing applications.

Tredegar Films presented several innovations at INDEX. Aquidry3 expands the company's line of transfer layers and features reduced surface wetness in baby diapers and adult incontinence products. AquiDry3 can reduce the use of superabsorbents by up to 25%. ComfortAire, Tredegar's latest entry in the topsheet category is intended for use in feminine hygiene products. It is a highloft and flexible nonwoven laminate combining the softness of a nonwoven with the fluid performance of a film, allowing consumers to enjoy protection while maintaining comfort standards. StretchTab laminates are made with Tredegar's FabriFlex elastic laminates, nonwovens and hook, all on one roll for closure systems.

Nonwovens producer Texbond was introducing its new line, which was to come onstream in May 2005. The Reicofil 4 line for hygiene markets features quality, performance, softness and uniformity. It is Texbond's third nonwovens line. The company also operates a lamination unit.

Texsus SpA unveiled several new products at INDEX. Among them were elastic velvet-like layers, for fastening closures in baby diapers and adult incontinence items, elastic fabrics comprised of soft nonwovens, velvet-like films available in standard and breathable versions, absorbent core composites, environmentally friendly, air-through-bonded fabrics and Acquitex new generation products. This air-through-bonded acquisition and distribution layer for applications in feminine protection, baby diapers and incontinence products features broad basis weights from 15 to 1-gpsm and packaging capabilities in either pancake rolls or spools. This new generation also offers significant cost savings--the new 30 gpsm layer thickness and performance are comparable to 50 gpsm of standard product.

A Travel wet wipes machine was presented by Teknoweb TKW at INDEX. The Travel family offers customers a broad selection of options including the Lotus, which provides a low capital investment solution to those looking for a reliable wipe converting machine that covers the basis requirements with its advanced servo-driven technology.
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Title Annotation:INDEX Post Show Report
Comment:INDEX exhibitors unveil innovations: nonwovens companies showcase new technologies.(INDEX Post Show Report)
Author:McIntyre, Karen Bitz
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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