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Look what happened at...INDEX '02. (INDEX Review).

In its 11th edition, INDEX, the European nonwovens exhibition, broke records for attendance, exhibitors and exhibition space. Held April 16-19 in Geneva, Switzerland, the event saw an 8.4% increase in the number of visitors (11,187). Additionally, more than 470 exhibitors from 39 countries filled approximately 21,000 square meters of exhibition space at PalExpo in Geneva.

The attendance levels can be attributed, to some extent, to interest in the many technological innovations in the areas of raw material production, conversion and finishing of manufactured products and development of special machines, according to event organizer EDANA, The European Disposables and Nonwovens Association, Brussels, Belgium.

According to a survey conducted by EDANA, exhibitors were pleased with the quality and number of visitors, the attendance of new potential clients, the show venue and the quality of the services available at the event. In addition to the exhibition, INDEX also featured a Congress, held parallel to the event and featuring a selection of themes important to the nonwovens industry. Conference topics included: "Reinforcing The Position Of Well-Known Processes And Their Established Benefits," "Opening The Door To Innovative Products With Novel Properties And Applications," "Pioneering New Markets" and "Answering Consumers' Needs." Additionally, INDEX 02 was host to a 60-minute "Introduction To Nonwovens" session given by Colin White of MCW Technologies Limited, which was held everyday.

Roll Goods Manufacturers Shine

The INDEX 02 Exhibition attracted many of the world's leading producers of roll good materials as well as a wide variety of niche players in the industry. Nearly every kind of nonwovens technology, ranging from airlaid to thermal bonded to melt blown and spunlaced, was on display as producers from every corner of the globe came out to promote their latest innovations and developments for the global industry.

Ahlstrom Fiber Composites Group, Helsinki, Finland, had its largest presence ever at the INDEX show. A range of recent acquisitions, most notably the nonwovens division of Dexter Nonwoven Materials, Windsor Locks, CT, has made Ahlstrom one of the world's leading producers of nonwoven materials. Ahlstrom produces wet-laid, spunlaced and composite materials for a wide variety of end markets.

Akinal Sentetik (a.s. Nonwovens), Basinpar, Gaziantep, Turkey, was at INDEX to introduce its business to the global nonwovens industry. The company was founded in early 2000 as the first spunlaced nonwovens manufacturer in Thrkey. The company's materials are offered in basis weights ranging from 30-300 gpsm, roll widths up to 1600 millimeters and an outer diameter up to 120 cm. Polyester, viscose, polyamide, microfibers and bleached cotton can be used.

A new concept was being promoted by Atex, Settala, Italy, at INDEX. The company has been working on developing roll goods with functionality, such as biocidal protection, rather than basing sales solely on weights. The function comes from the polymer, which is created in-house. Atex develops spunbond, melt blown and composite materials.

Avgol Nonwovens industries, Holon, Israel, was showcasing its line of spunmelt nonwovens for hygiene and industrial markets. Avgol operates five spunmelt lines in Israel and a sixth in North Carolina.

Buckeye Absorbent Products, Memphis, TN, was promoting its line of airlaid nonwovens. Of particular interest were new products targeting the food packaging industry, where airlaid materials continue to replace fluff and tissue products.

A new family of wipe materials suitable for use in a range of demanding commercial and consumer applications was seen at Dalton, MA-based Crane Nonwovens' booth. Crane's wipes are hydroentangled for strength and creped for ease of use and enhanced performance. They are available in soft, absorbent cotton, high strength blends and economical wood pulp configurations. Crane was also promoting its Craneglas 500 high temperature, chemical resistant wetlaid nonwoven materials for use as gas or liquid filtration media, support and drainage layers, thermal and acoustical insulation and fire barriers.

Airlaid specialist Concert Industries, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, was promoting its products for the hygiene, food packaging and filtration markets. The company's business has broadly expanded in recent years due to acquistions and expansion projects.

Newly created company DelStar Technologies, Middletown, DE, was on hand at INDEX. The new company is the result of the merger of AET Specialty Nets and Nonwovens and Naltex. It engineers, manufactures and laminates a plethora of custom net structures and fine fiber melt blown nonwovens for filtration, medical, textile and industrial applications. Additionally, the new company displayed its collection of Naltex Aquaculture netting with 200 and 300 micron-rated diamond openings. This netting is commonly used to filter unwanted organisms, brine scrim culture and larval fish culture.

Roll goods producer, Dounor,. Neubille en Ferrain, France, was showcasing its polypropylene-based roll goods for the hygiene, medical, wipes, bedding/furniture, building, filtration, packaging and agricultural industries at INDEX 02. Some of the products being promoted included Dounorsoft, a carded thermal bonded nonwoven used in baby diapers, feminine care, wipes and medical applications and Hysoft, a fine denier spunbond material for adult incontinence products, textile-like backsheets, medical products, baby diapers and underpads.

Duni, Bengsfors, Sweden, was displaying its airlaid products for tissue and hygiene applications. The company offers both embossed and non-embossed options within its product range.

At the booth for Jacob Holm Industries, Soultz, France, were high quality spunlaced and needlepunched nonwoven roll goods for many industries including personal care and hygiene, medical, home and automotives. The company recently introduced Rough n' Soft material for cosmetic and household/industrial applications. Additionally, the company offers Duplex, a spunlaced nonwoven laminated to a polyethylene film; Triplex, a three-layer construction designed as a cleaning wiper and Bi-Active, a melt blown/spunlaced composite for wipes.

Lohnwnn Wiessetoff, Dierdorf, Germany, and TWE Group, Emsdetten, Germany, were promoting themselves for the first time as sister companies. Lohmann, a producer of drylaid, chemical bonded, thermal bonded and needlepunched nonwovens, was purchased by needlepunch producer TWE in Spring 2001.

Roofing and construction specialist Johns Manville, Denver, CO, announced an expansion of its nonwovens roofing, specialty and filtration businesses. Supporting this expansion are a new production site in Trnava, Slovakia and new production lines in Berlin and Wertheim, Germany. Additionally, JM was spotlighting its CombiMat product, a versatile inlay for roofing substrates that combines the advantages of polyester and glass fiber nonwovens in a single product. The company has also developed Dynaweb PBT for liquid filtration in the medical and industrial hydraulic area.

Airlaid producer McAirlaids, Steinfurt, Germany, has partnered with Biotec to develop the world's first softshell tray for food packaging and medical tray applications. Named 100 Pro B, the tray is 100% biodegradable, isolating, sterilizable and features a pleasant hand-feel. It can be provided as a self absorbing material and is available in different colors. Based in Emmerich, Germany, Biotec develops and manufactures biodegradable resins based on sustainable raw materials.

Mogul Spunbond Nonwovens, Basinpar, Gaziantep, Turkey, was showcasing its full line of spunbond and melt blown materials for bedding, furniture, medical, agriculture, luggage and shoe lining, lamination backing, hygiene, protective clothing, filtration, wipes, packaging, oil sorbents and roofing markets. Of recent interest to Mogul is the sorbents market, where the company is targeting spill control applications in North America and around the world.

Orlandi Spa, Varese, Italy, was promoting its cleaning cloths. The company's Orlandi Panni division is a leader in the manufacture of T.N.T. articles for domestic and industrial cleaning. Additionally, Orlandi has recently introduced its Wax and Fast product line for the professional sector, which enhances the wide range of microfiber products Orlandi manufacturers.

On display at N. Charleston, SC-based PGTs stand were Miratec products used for the medical industry. Also on display were Proviar medical fabrics for patient care, gowns, drapes and wound care. In other news, PGI used the INDEX show to announce the addition of a state-of-the-art spunmelt line in Latin America. This new machine will be located in the Bonlam facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico to support growth in the Latin American medical, industrial and hygiene markets.

Rayonier Performance Fibers, Jesup, GA, was promoting its NovaThin airlaid material for absorbent core applications. Made from high performance cellulose fiber and superabsorbent polymers, Novathin provides enhanced fluid mobility with a balance of thinness, absorbency, suppleness and pad integrity, according to company executives. Rayonier also manufactures fluff pulp for the hygiene industry.

Ribond spunbonded nonwovens developed by Ritas, Basinpar, Gaziantep, Turkey, are ideal for hygiene, industrial and furniture and bedding applications. The company currently operates only one spunbond line but hopes to increase capacity in the near future.

Sandler Nonwovens, Schwarzenhach, Germany, presented several innovative products for hygiene and technical applications for which it received two INDEX awards (see NONWOVENS INDUSTRY, May 2002, page 118). Sawatex spunlaced nonwovens feature customized fiber blends for wet and dry wiping applications. The sawabond topsheet fabrics feature hyrophilicity and softness for acquisition and distribution layers. Sandier was also displaying products for feminine hygiene, incontinence, filtration and automotive applications.

Tenotex, Terno D'Isola, Italy, was promoting its recent entry into the spunlaced market. The company's range of TenoLace spunlaced nonwovens are produced by a staple fiber/wood pulp process. The fabric features enhanced absorbency, softness and isotropic properties, making it ideal for wipe products.

Unimin india, Mumbai, India, produces polypropylene spunbonded fabrics in a range of grammages, colors and specifications. Unimin is able to offer printed and coated fabrics, disposable apparel, makeup wipes and consumer packs.

U.S. Pacific Procurement Company, Kowloon, Hong Kong, was promoting the use of biochemical protective clothing, a technology for which it has recently applied for a U.S. patent. The company is reportedly using a variety of nonwovens technologies to target this area, which has not yet been penetrated by nonwovens.

Raw Material Producers Showcase Innovation

Awide range of suppliers of fibers, binders, hygiene components and other raw materials for the nonwovens industry showed their latest developments at INDEX.

Air Products Polymers, Munchen, Germany, was showcasing its vinyl acetate-ethylene (VAE) and ethylene-vinyl chloride (EVCL) dispersions for the nonwovens industry. These products are based on the versatile vinyl acetate monomers (YAM) and are the result of sharing polymer binder expertise across the nonwovens, adhesives and paint industries, according to company executives. These binders provide excellent wet/dry strength, dimensional stability, solvent resistance and soft hand in disposable applications such as wipes, towels, personal hygiene applications and surgical packs as well as in automotive and furniture applications. Air Products Polymers is a joint venture between Air Products and Chemicals and Wacker Chemie.

The booth for API Coated Products, Cheltenham, U.K., spotlighted personal hygiene release liners, which feature siliconized film for pouch-wrap packaging and diaper closure tapes. The company's technical capabilities include thermal and UV-cured, solvent-free silicones, thermally cured emulsion silicones and fire retardant chemicals

A manufacturer and exporter of bleached cotton in Europe, Aslanli, Kadikoy, Istanbul, Turkey, was established in 1997. The company is now a leading manufacturer of bleached cotton with an annual capacity of 16,000 tons. Aslanli also has a cotton waste cleaning and processing facility with an annual capacity of 7000 tons.

Polypropylene fiber supplier Atofina, Feluy, Belgium, was exhibiting spunbond nonwovens made from its more advanced products. The products feature strength, elongation, softness, barrier properties and fiber titre and can be used in new ranges that were previously not cost-effective.

A manufacturer of antimicrobial treatments, Avecia Protection and Hygiene, Wilmington, DE, exhibited a range of products for nonwovens, particularly wipes. The company's Reputex treatments provide wash-fast, durable benefits to cellulosic fibers and fabrics through their highly effective binding actions. Vantocil treatments are used in disposable disinfectant surface wipes, and Cosmocil CQ can be used in a wide range of fine quality cosmetic wipes such as body, deodorant and facial products, which require a gentle active ingredient.

Avery Dennison, Turnhout, Belgium, was promoting stretchable nonwovens for the hygiene industry Among the products on display was an elastic closure that uses a spunbond nonwoven material, and a hook-and-loop closure system that provides the desired softness for hygiene products.

BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, was promoting its range of binders and dispersions at INDEX. The company's Acrodur liquid binder is designed for natural fibers. Additionally, the company was exhibiting binder systems for airlaid materials, wet wipes, shoes, clothing and transfer layer sheets in nonwovens.

Bayer Faser GmbH, Dormagen, Germany, was promoting its elastane/spandex fiber, Dorlastan, which was specially developed for personal hygiene products. Dorlastan yields high stretchability and increased production and is dermatologically and toxicologically safe. Additionally, Dorlastan can be installed on all common unwinding machines and features continuous processing with no machine downtime or wasted material.

Boehme, Geretsried, Germany, was promoting a spinfinish for durable hydrophilic polypropylene spunbond materials. Synthesin SB 36 is a 100% active product with improved water solubility. The product features high concentration, clarity and stability, and it is easy to dissolve, silicone-free and does not corrode machinery parts. The company manufactures spin finishes for PP spunbond, PP staple fibers, PET staple fibers and PA staple fibers.

Elastic supplier Caligen Foam, Accrington, U.K., was promoting its SoftSeal elastic system, which provides the tensile strength, flexibility and durability of polyurethane foam while remaining soft in application. SoftSeal provides a stronger gasket seal than traditional thread elastic systems, and the flexible nature of the material conforms easily, making it an ideal choice for feminine hygiene and disposable diaper applications. SoftSeal comes in a tape form and is pre-spooled for ease of application. Caligen was also promoting its Creative Foam Technology concept, which is responsible for an ever-increasing range of high specification foam products across a multitude of applications and markets.

Cera France, Villars, France, was demonstrating its ultrasonic ear and tape applicators for diapers. The company's latest developments have primarily involved diapers, combining the mechanical cutting system and the rotary ultrasonic technology for the attachment of the ear to the diaper's backsheet.

Cognis, Dusseldorf, Germany, was exhibiting its internal hydrophilic additives for polyolefins and its CareMelt system solution for diapers and feminine care items. The company offers internal additives for staple fibers and spunbonded and melt blown nonwovens. CareMelt features compositions of cosmetic waxes, which melt at least partially at body temperature and transfer onto the skin.

Purbond HCM, a unique adhesive system suitable for pre-application developed by Collano AG, SempachStation, Switzerland, guarantees reliable composites of nonwovens, textiles or leather. Also featured was Ecomelt A 7, a moisture curable, reactive polyolefin adhesive designed for applications where challenging flexible laminations are facing higher tensions or vibrations.

Delo & Mediane, Maarsen, The Netherlands, produces flexible films for the hygiene industry. The company has a capacity of 30,000 tons of PE film per year. Machine capabilities include printing of up to 10 colors with the company's 10 printing machines. The company offers laminating, slitting and converting and its applications include packaging films and bags, as well as barrier films for diapers and sanitary and adult incontinence products.

DuPont Textiles Interiors, Wilmington, DE, introduced two innovations that allow the continuous running of elastic fibers. The Lycra knot splicer uses an individual standby thread and an active running thread to allow continuous thread feeds without production stops. This eliminates machine down time, lowers the cost of elastification, allows splicing of one tube at a time and offers precise control of the fiber. Additionally, the Lycra Over End Take Off System spool-to-spool transfer allows continuous thread feed without having to stop the production process.

In other news, DuPont Textiles Interiors was at INDEX introducing itself as a wholly-owned subsidiary of DuPont. The division was spun-off from DuPont in February.

Executives from Fiber Visions, Varde, Denmark, were promoting the company's fibers for hygiene and technical applications. The company supplies fibers for materials used in diapers, sanitary napkins and incontinence products while its technical fibers are used in paper and wetlaid nonwoven products as well as products for the filtration segment and needlepunched materials. Some of the company's fiber products on display were the HY-Strength fiber, which adds 25% additional strength to applications, and the HY-Soft fiber, which provides softness along the nonwoven surface.

Elastic supplier Fillattice Gervasio, Italy, was highlighting its new Linel TP fibers which were designed specially for diapers, incontinence products and feminine hygiene items. The fiber reportedly gives products exceptional qualities of comfort and fit.

Fil. Va, Varese, Italy, exhibited its tricomponent and bicomponent sheath-core bonding staple fibers for technically advanced nonwoven applications. These staple fibers, called Trilon, can be blended by other solid fibers such as polypropylene, polyester viscose and cellulose fluff pulp.

Golden Isles EF-100 fluff pulp from Georgia-Pacific, Atlanta, GA, are high performance fluff pulps that provide superior absorbency as well as fluid retention, liquid distribution and pad integrity in products. They can be used for diapers, feminine hygiene items, incontinence products, airlaid nonwovens and meat and poultry packaging. G-P also produces filter grade pulp for coffee filters, vacuum cleaner bags, automotive filters, cigarettes and medical filtration media.

Ihsan Sons, Lahore, Pakistan, was promoting its range of capabilities for the nonwovens industry. Among these capabilities are cotton and yarn bleaching, cotton yarn spinning and glove knitting and fiber processing. The company's bleached cotton fiber is produced using high quality hydrogen peroxide to meet the standards and specifications that have been laid down around the world, according to company executives.

Kolon Chemical, Kwacheon City, Korea, was promoting its new generation of K-Sam superabsorbent polymers being marketed under the GS-4000 series. These SAPs feature high permeability and excellent gel strengths and only 14-15 grams of the polymer is required per diaper, making it ideal for superthin diapers.

Lenzing, Lenzing, Austria, was exhibiting its Viscose, Lyocell and Modal fibers that are commonly used in nonwovens. Lenzing's Viscose fiber is available in several variations, including chlorine free, super crimp and colored. The company's Lyocell fiber is ideal for nonwovens because of its high dry and wet tenacity and is currently used as a filling material for duvet covers. Lenzing's Modal cellulose fiber is available in micro-fine quality and is ideal for use in apparel. Also available from Lenzing is its Lenzing FR fiber, which is used in many protective garments, uniforms, home textiles and upholstery fabrics, due to its permanent flame resistance capability.

Superabsorbent polymer producer Lysac Technologies, Boucherville, Quebec, Canada, was promoting its Lysorb SAPs for personal hygiene products at INDEX. Made from naturally modified polysaccharides, these top-quality polymers meet consumer demand for safe, ecologically sound comfort and reliability in disposable personal hygiene products. It is produced from 100% safe, natural, renewable resources. Additionally, Lysac's Sorbfresh SAPs for food packaging applications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada.

National Starch & Chemical, Bridgewater, NJ, was displaying its Dispomelt 7 Series, a new range of adhesives specifically developed and designed for bonding elastics in all application methods. Also being promoted was the company's Dispomelt 250 construction adhesive for diapers and femcare products and Dispomelt 402, which laminates/bonds polyethylene and nonwovens in textile backsheets.

Under the motto, "Evolution in Films," Nordenia, Greven, Germany, presented elastic and breathable films and components that, like human skin, can adapt to movement and thus provide a perfect fit in baby diapers. The company owes its developments in the hygiene segment to intensive investment in research and development and strategic partnerships with customers who are market leaders.

In addition to product and process enhancements for its legacy Type S-7 spandex fiber products, RadiciSpandex, Gastonia, NC, introduced new elastane fibers engineered specifically for the elastication needs of disposable personal care products. The new elastane Type S-17 and Type S-72 have improved power-to-yield ratios, feature compatibility with hot melt adhesives and are available in packaging suitable for every manufacturing delivery system on the market.

Film supplier RKW, Worms, Germany was exhibiting at INDEX as a recently expanded company. RKW the owner of Ace Films, recently purchased four German plants from BP PlasTEC, Rottenacker, Germany. The four plants, located respectively in Gronau, Nordhorn, Wasserburg/Inn and Michelstadt, have a combined workforce of 750. The products from the new locations will increase the hygiene unit's capacity, allow RKW to offer a wider range of films and netting and expand the company's industrial packaging business. RKW now operates 15 factories and expects to generate annual sales of $500 million with the acquisitions. RKW acquired the films division of Guial, a producer of cast embossed polyolefin films, to form RKW Guial in September 2001

Primal WR-33 from Rohm and Haas, Croydon, U.K., is a water-resistant polymer emulsion designed for the nonwovens industry. It allows the incorporation of new hydrophobic acrylic monomers. Primal WR-33 is the first of a series of polymer emulsions that will form a new class of acrylic emulsions exhibiting superior hydrophobicity versus conventional acrylic or styrene-acrylic emulsions.

Executives at Savare Specialty Adhesives, Milan, Italy, were busy promoting specialty adhesives. Savare is a leading company in the hygiene and medical industries. Its Safemelt environmentally friendly technology for the production of hot melt, pressure sensitive adhesives is suitable for various types of glues, including low and high viscosity, soft and cold flowing and for use in severe transportation and warehouse conditions.

Stora Fluff EF is a high brightness fluff pulp developed by Stora Enso, Dusseldorf, Germany, that is bleached without chlorine gas. The company was also promoting Stora Fluff EC, which is also bleached without chlorine gas, and Stora Fluff LKC, which provides superior disintegration properties and excellent fluff pad integrity.

Valberg, Sweden-based Svenska Rayon's Swelan viscose fibers are well established in a variety of drylaid nonwovens applications. At INDEX, Svenska Rayon was introducing a new product to its Swelan line, Swelan NW Mix, which can be used in dual spinning and features excellent blending properties. Main end uses for this new material include wipes, medical and hygiene, products, interlinings, filtration media, household, linen and protective apparel.

On display at Richmond, VA-based Tredegar Film Products' booth were several new three-dimensional apertured film products and medium and low stretch elastic laminates for hygiene applications. Tredegar's process forms tiny cones called mircofunnels that can quickly direct fluid away from the skin and prevent it from wetting back. This helps wearers feel clean and dry. Also new from the company is a laminate for the personal and home care wipes market.

Trevira, Frankfurt/Main-Niederrad, Germany, was promoting fibers used as fill material in many nonwovens applications such as pillow covers and duvets. Waddings made from Trevira fiber are used in many industrial and everyday applications. The company's fibers demonstrate functionality, both in hygienic products such as diapers, surgical textiles and wet wipes and as high quality lining fleeces. In the aircraft and automotive industries, the fibers are processed for filters.

Machinery And Equipment Suppliers Shine In Geneva

Ranging from turnkey nonwovens production lines and machinery for the manufacture of disposable hygiene products and wipes to quality control inspection systems and accessories for large-scale machinery lines, suppliers of machinery and equipment had a large presence at INDEX. Some set up actual lines to showcase their offerings, while others showed videos or offered literature highlighting their latest developments.

Spunbond nonwovens machinery producer ABK Machinery, Tullins, France, was exhibiting its web former for spunbond airlaid production as well as pulp and paper production equipment. ABK specializes in the supply of machinery for spunbonded nonwovens production.

Accusentry, Marietta, GA, was exhibting its range of inspection systems for nonwovens. The company's systems monitor high-speed diaper, training pants and feminine hygiene manufacturing lines.

Acrison International, Manchester, U.K., was exhibiting its superabsorbent polymer applicators for the hygiene industry. These applicators, which range from entry level to premium range, ensure consistently accurate dosing of SAP.

Albany International, Portland, TN, was displaying a number of new apertured conveying devices for the production of such nonwovens-based products as wipes. The company also offers high temperature resistant conveyor belts for thermal bonded nonwovens.

American Trutzchler, Charlotte, NC, was promoting its shoot feed system for airlaid, drylaid, cards and needled felts. The system provides automatic leveling to control weight in the cross direction and machine direction and is the company's springboard for new products, according to executives.

Executives at Amotek, Bologna, Italy, displayed products created through the use of the company's packaging systems. Amotek was promoting its Model PB154, an automatic packaging machine for compressing and bagging baby diapers. The company specializes in the manufacturing of horizontal, fully-automated bagging machines, suitable to bag single or multiple products of various shapes and sizes into bags obtained from tubular, flat and/or centerfolded film in reels or into pre-made bags in wicket.

Webmax is a new development for the manufacturing of drylaid nonwovens from Autefa Automation, Friedberg, Germany. This new development positively influences the profile of a crosslaid web by giving the nonwovens producer the ability to optimize the weight profile of the final product. The patented Webmax will be quoted in combination with Autefa's Topliner series of crosslappers from Autefa and can be retrofitted on existing installations of this crosslapper series. A main advantage of Webmax is that the technological process for the web crossprofiling occurs exclusively within the crosslapper and can be integrated into any nonwovens line with traditional web forming and downstream bonding.

ATS Engineering, Villanova, Italy, designs and produces task-dedicated quality control and industrial automation systems. The company serves the automotive, hygienic, food and beverage, biomedical and refigerator markets. ATS Engineering joined the GDM Group in 2002

Machinery manufacturer Befama, Bielsko-Biala, Poland, showcased its entire range of equipment at INDEX. The company manufactures blending lines, willows, carding sets for woolen as well as semi-worsted systems and nonwovens, spinning frames, recycling systems and auxiliary equipment.

Biax Fiberfilm, Greenville, WI, was displaying its bicomponent spinnerette line. The process extrudes two polymer streams through the same spinnerette simultaneously, resulting in one attenuated filament producing a sheath core/fiber. Biax Fiberfilm's melt blown machinery features 10 times the capacity of a conventional design, with 332 spinning holes per inch, arranged in up to 20 rows.

On display at Bikoma AG's stand was the DEDE 400 sanitary napkin and panty liner machine with a capacity of 1000 pieces/mm. The DEDE 400 offers up to 50% less energy consumption with less wear and spare parts.

Hygiene machinery manufacturers BHT Bicma, Mayen, Germany, and SSP Technology, Garlasco, Italy, operated a joint booth at INDEX to promote the BI1128HS diaper production machine, developed through a partnership between the two companies. Capable of producing 700 diapers per minute, the machine ultrasonically bonds diaper pieces.

Bombi Meccanica, Barberino del Mugello, Italy, was exhibiting its ovens for thermal bonding recycled felts and spray bonding equipment and perforated drum ovens for the nonwovens industry. The company also manufactures a 5.5 meter wide thermal bonding oven, knife coating machines, foam machines and coating lines.

Christoph Burckhardt AG, Basel, Switzerland, was exhibiting its perforating tools for nonwovens. Burckhardt's latest generation of rotative perforating systems can create three-dimensional volume, transform fiat films into structures with nonwoven properties and thermally bond combinations of webs into composites.

A. Celli, Porcari, Italy, was showcasing its range of slitters and rewinders. The company offers a range of in-line winders, off-line slitter-rewinders, equipment for lamination lines, unwind stands and control and drives.

Cellulose Converting Equipments (CCE), Moscufo, Italy, was promoting its CCE*AN flex wing/wingless napkin machine for sanitary napkin production with or without standing cuffs. The company was also promoting its CCE*Zero Time universal wing/wingless sanitary napkin machine. This machine can produce ultrathin and fluff filled products and elasticized standing cuffs and features zero time product changeover.

Cofpa, Angouleme Cedex, France, was displaying its woven fabrics conveyor for spunlaid and airlaid materials. Also available from Cofpa are woven plastic and metal wire belts, forming fabrics and dryer fabric transport belts.

Specializing in surface inspection systems for paper and nonwovens, Cognex Vision Systems, Natick, MA, was promoting modular vision systems that check uniformity in webs. The company has supplied more than 100 systems to the nonwovens industry, and nearly 250 million square meters of nonwovens are inspected daily using a Cognex system.

Dan-Webforming, Risskov, Denmark, displayed a full-scale commercial forming head as well as a smaller complete forming unit in operation. The company also had latex and thermal bonded sample material produced by Dan-Web and Kamas technology on hand.

Delta Systems, Castelleone, Italy, constructs converting lines for hygiene products such as feminine hygiene napkins, pantyshields, incontinence items and baby diapers. The company's machines feature low maintenance and spare part requirements, minimal power consumption and low noise levels.

On display at Diatec, Collecorvino, Pescara, Italy, was the Diana Tiny high-performance panty liner machine. The Diana Tiny can produce straight and three-folded pantyshields and can convert, stack and pack all accessories assembled in one block. The machine runs at a production speed of more than 1000 ppm and can produce pantyshields with wings, continuous layer fluff, airlaid cores and anatomic fluff core.

The fully automatic positioning system module IV Nonwoven Star is the latest development from Dienes, Overath, Germany. The Nonwoven Star can be equipped with special top knifes, bottom knifes and knife folders for nearly dust-free results and reduces the amount of cutting dust to a minimum.

Dilo, Eberbach, Germany, was exhibiting its latest development in needleloom technology. Among the developments is Dilo's Hyperpunch elliptical needling technology.

Edelmann Maschinen, Klein-wallstadt, Germany, was promoting its technology for automatic high-speed winding and slitting systems for nonwoven fabrics. Its products include master roll winders, slitter/rewinders, roll transfer systems and winders with in-line slitting.

Electronic Systems, Momo, Italy, manufactures measurement control solutions and defect inspection systems that allow its customers to control, visualize and classify the different defects that occur in the course of production; measure the real basis-weight values, on a continuous line, on 100% of the material produced; analyze the homogeneous distribution of fibers (visual aspect), survey the moisture percentage in the product and regulate automatically the devices for correcting on line the values of basis weight and moisture, respecting the tolerances stated in the contract.

Elsner Engineering Works, Hanover, PA, is a manufacturer of automatic machinery for rolled or folded products including round form wet wipes, Z- and C-folded wet and dry baby, adult, medical consumer, cosmetic floor cleaning and industrial wipes, filter membrane folding, surgical drapes, medical swabs, dental headrest covers, dental bibs, fabric softener (round and dry folded), table and bed covers and other related medical and disposable products. Elsner recently introduced its new servo-drive modular Model F-800 Versatile Wipe folder, Model ERI-50 Canister Loader for rolled wipes, Model CWF Cross-Wipe Folder and new servo-driven modular Model ZFV Wet Wipe folder out on the market.

Unique spinneret manufacturing capabilities, including the ability to produce long plate spinnerets up to six meters long, was showcased by Enka tecnica, Heinsberg, Germany. The company also makes spinnerets for melt spinning, dry spinning and wet spinning.

In addition to promoting its wide range of hygiene machinery for the production of baby diapers, adult incontinence items and feminine hygiene products, Fameccanica invited INDEX attendees to view its Pescara headquarters through a satellite feed to its booth. Attendees were able to watch a live show of Fameccanica's powerful production machinery at the exhibition. Among the highlights of Fameccanica's booth was the baby diaper converter model FA-X Special, a medium capacity machine with an output of 350 pieces per minute. This machine builds on technology developed for the creation of its sister machine, the higher performing FA-X Superstar.

The AquaJet spunlace line was among the highlights of machinery supplier Fleissner's booth. The Egelsbach, Germany-based company also displayed its AquaTex Enhancement technology as well as thermal bonding, chemical bonding and spray bonding lines. Fleissner supplies turnkey spunlaced installations for all types of bonded nonwovens and composites with impregnation and printing equipment for performance.

F.O.R. Ing., Graziano, Biella, Italy, was showcasing the latest evolution of its injection card, which was first introduced, in 1995. F.O.R. completely redesigned its web doffing system for increased flexibility without altering the textile surface and increased card productivity.

Formfiber, Hasselager, Denmark, used INDEX to introduce the revolutionary Spike air forming system that allows unseen flexibility in production and improved cost efficiency. The technology uses a unique feeding technique where the fibers are blown into the formerhead along the production line.

Foster Needle, Warwickshire, U.K., was promoting its new upholstered fabric coating. The company was displaying its HDB, a new needle style that yields strong results in many applications. Some applications include needlepunching spunbonded materials for geotextiles and applications where surface smoothness is most important, and also as a finishing needle in a multiloom needling line.

Showing a big presence at INDEX was hygiene machinery supplier GDM, Offanengo, Italy. The company ran a complete sanitary pad line at its booth three times per day to show attendees the benefits of using GDM equipment. This was the first year that GDM brought a complete line to the show. Additionally, the company promoted its new portfolio of production lines for baby diapers, fem care products, underpads and incontinence products, which are designed to offer advanced product design, flexibility, ease of operation, modularity and cost savings.

Packaging equipment supplier Gevas, Halle/Westfalen, Germany, had three new products on display at INDEX. The Starfill is a machine used for the packaging of feminine sanitary napkins and light incontinence products with a speed of 100 bags/minute. The StarWrap is a bundling machine for packages of soft disposable products including baby diaper packages, or similar products with polyethylene film used to replace cardboard boxes in shipping worldwide. Starfold machinery is used for airlaid and nonwoven materials and improves the handling and storage of highloft materials.

Groz-Beckert, Albstadt, Germany, recently became a supplier to the weaving industry through its acquisition of Grob Horgen, AG, Switzerland. In its Swiss facilities, the company makes healds, heald shafts, warp stoppers and drop wires. Today Groz Beckert's range comprises knitting machines, sewing and shoe machine needles, felting and structuring needles and tufting needles and modules.

HB Engineering, Helsingborg, Sweden, was exhibiting its RCF and FCF series of filters, which were designed especially for industrial air processes sensitive to pressure fluctuations. Pressure fluctuations when using the filters are less than 10 PA across the filter, giving no noticeable difference in the process air duct. HB Engineering was also promoting its LP 40 OH series baler, which is perfect for the waste generated by soft disposable lines, as well as four sizes of hydraulic briquettes, which are used in the soft disposable industry to facilitate the handling and disposal of waste dust from the forming process.

On display at Idrosistem, Bassano del Grappo, Italy, was a new sand filter for spunlace lines. The filter's patented backwashing system guarantees no loss of sand and maintains perfect water quality in the jet water circuit with a water loss of less than 1%. The company also designs and builds hydroelectric and cogeneration plants around the world.

The Robotics Plastic Lid applicator was the focus of Newtown, PA-based packaging supplier Ilapak's booth. This off-line system for wet wipe packaging lines automatically applies a plastic lid on wet wipe packaging. The robotics system is equipped with a visual camera to assure the proper positioning of the lid within a tolerance of plus/minus 2mm lengthwise and crosswise. A visual camera detects the label position on every single product, giving flexibility to the system and allowing process packaging even if it is not perfectly aligned or defective. The system can apply up to 60 lids per minute.

ITW Dynatec, Hendersonville, TN, demonstrated its new Laminated Plate Technology (LPT). This non-contact application method applies ultra light adhesive weights. This technology is ideal for hot melt, cold glue and lotion applications and offers better fiber control and flexibility, which result in improved quality of the finished products. Also demonstrated was the DynaFiber Omega for adhesive and lotion application.

Executives at Kampf GmbH & Co. Maschinenfabrik, Wiehl/Muehlen, Germany, were busy promoting Kampf's packaging machinery. Also sharing booth space with Kampf was Niederkassel Mondorf, Germany-based Lemo, a worldwide leader in packaging for diapers and sanitary napkins.

Kampf is a systems supplier in the field of film/foil processing and converting. Among some of the machines being promoted were the company's Ecomat aad In-Liner machines, which are turret winders for in-line operations.

Lemo executives were showcasing the Intermat S-ST, a single lane production line for wicketed bags, the Intermat 850 DKT/CT and DKT/CT Short, a new generation of Patch Handle Carrier bag making lines, featuring more output and Autopack DKT Packaging Robot for quality and performance.

Festooning equipment supplier Kortec, Mehlingen, Germany was promoting its latest Monoliner festooning system, which is 100% tailored to airlaid materials. The machinery is ideal for thicker materials such as diaper cores because it can compress layers up to 60%. The machine can festoon up to 10,000 linear meters when used for feminine hygiene core material and up to 5000 linear meters for diaper cores.

Executives at Labayan Y Labore, Tolosa, Spain, were showcasing counter knives for cutting sanitary napkins, slip protectors, facial tissues and disposable towels. The company was also promoting sealing and counter-sealing cylinders, built-in units for credit cards, coffee filters, stamping cylinders and products for cutting, embossing and sealing.

Mahlo GmbH, Saal/Donau, Germany, displayed its Qualiscan QMS-10A at its booth. This quality control system monitors and controls critical process-related parameters such as weight per unit area, weight or thickness of applied coating and moisture retention. Qualiscan is a modular system and can accommodate up to four traverse assemblies in each, with facilities of attachment of up to three types of sensors. The QMS-1OA can be used in such applications as nonwovens, carpeting, artificial leather and self-adhesive material.

PS Mako, Michelbach/Bliz, Germany, was showcasing its semi-automatic machinery for baby diaper and sanitary protection products. The company also offers fully automated packaging machinery for the medical industry as well as converting machinery for breast pads.

The rotary die HY 25 from Mathec, St. Mathieu de Treviers, France, features a standard unit composition with a frame, two rollers, press system, exhaust vacuums and lubrication felts, a maximum speed of 600 pieces per minute, low maintenance costs and greater accuracy. The unit produces four or five times more than a typical knife and can make up to 12 million cuts without resharpening.

Metso, Biddeford, ME, was promoting its web handling solutions and thermal bonding and drying systems for the nonwovens industry. For web handling solutions, the company's Honeycomb roll design allows a uniform application of the vacuum to the entire surface of the web. In the area of thermal bonding and drying, Metso has expertise, knowledge and experience designing its Thru-Air thermal bonding system.

M&J Fibretech als, Horsens, Denmark, was promoting its forming technology that makes the production of multilayer absorbent airlaid cores possible. In this technology, each layer is engineered for a specific function--acquisition, spreading, absorption, boosting and reinforcement/bonding--in the core, and each of the layers are bonded together into one structure by synthetic fibers. This technology can be produced on an M&J Fibretech forming station with five forming heads. The company has also developed a wood pulp forming system to create an airlaid/spunlaced combination, called Airlace 2000. Commercialized through a partnership with Rieter Perfojet, Monthonnot, France, this machine allows the substitution of expensive rayon or viscose fibers or Red Cedar tissue with cheaper fluff pulp fibers and features properties similar to traditional spunlaced products using low cost raw materials.

The K40 Aqua Munchy reprocessing system from Munchy Ltd., is the smallest system currently available for multimaterial reprocessing. It complements the company's range of plastics reprocessing systems.

The focus of the booth operated by Nordson Fiber Systems Group, Dawsonville, GA was the company's recently inaugurated Center of Excellence bicomponent nonwovens pilot line and laboratory facility, which feature a 1.2 SMXS bicomponent pilot line with a maximum speed of 800 meters per minute. The company demonstrated a video to highlight this new investment.

Nordson Nonwovens System Group, Dawsonville, GA, was promoting a family of Universal modules that accommodates all of Nordson spray technologies, including summit, Controlled Fiberization, melt blown and bead and dot applicators on a single platform, eliminating the need for application-specific module designs. The module's simplistic design minimizes spare parts requirements and reduces inventory costs. Also new from the company was the ES-400 Electric high speed applicator that accurately dispenses adhesives at speeds up to 3600 cycles per minute with durations of less than one millisecond. The applicators can accommodate a wide range of viscosities and deliver superior repeatability of plus/minus one millimeter at 300 meters per minute. Additionally, the company's new Speed-Coat applicators are ideal for high speed intermittent and continuous applications.

In other news, Nordson Corporation has launched an Equipment Services program for the convenient and cost-effective rebuilding of Nordson adhesive application equipment.

Lecco, Italy-based Omet was demonstrating its automatic TV 505 line for the in-line manufacturing of pointed, embossed, folded and packed napkins with a high quality standard. The line includes an embossing station, a cutting and folding section and a calendering and flexo-printing unit. The napkins are automatically transferred to the wrapper in speeds up to 55 packs/min.

Optima Filling and Packaging Machinery, Schwaebisch Hall, Germany, was running stacking and bagging machinery that indicates how many products are packaged in each row. Optima's latest machinery allows the packaging of machinery from converting to shipping in one continuous movement. The machinery can package in sizes ranging from small to value added.

Atlanta, GA-based Osprey was showcasing its compact scrap repelletizing system, which is designed to return film and nonwoven scrap into high quality granules that can be reintroduced into an extrusion process. The series is available in a variety of sizes, and Osprey is currently running a line in an Atlanta test facility.

Paper Converting Machine Company, Green Bay, WI, announced new developments to its Calypso Crossfolder Series I, II and IV for nonwovens. According to the company, the new Calypso is the most flexible crossfolder in the world and features a breakthrough hypocycloidal development that eliminates the need for complete vacuum systems. PCMC has applied for a patent on this crossfolder which has a variety of hygienic options available and was built using 316L stainless steel and other noncorrosive materials. PCMC also announced the formation of a new Nonwovens Group within its Special Product Division. This group is responsible for the sales, engineering, manufacturing and service of all PCMC nonwovens machinery.

Woonsocket, RI-based Parkinson Technologies was exhibiting machine direction orientators (MDO) for producing breathable films and nonwovens. Arranged in a vertical stack, the MDO is ideal for use with blown or cast polyolefin films. Integrated into an existing production line or coupled with winding equipment for a stand-alone system, the MDO provides value enhanced products.

The Reicofil 4 spunlaid technology from Reifenhauser, Troisdorf, Germany, was presented for the first time at INDEX. The Reicofil 4 technology increases specific throughput, produces the same product with the same line speed and less beams, creates a softer product and allows for the control of the multidimensional/crossdirectional ratio. The main optimization of this technology is the independence of the cooling, stretching and lay down process steps. Reifenhauser was also promoting its latest developments in bicomponent filaments for spunlaid nonwovens (developed in partnership with Hills, West Melbourne, FL) as well as its melt blown technology.

Several new developments were presented by Rieter Perfojet, Montbonnot, France, which used INDEX to celebrate the sale of its 100th spunlace line. Additionally, the company, which merged with its sister company Rieter-Automatik in December to form one business group with two companies, was promoting its spunlace/spunbond technology to create products for the wipes market. With a strong background in spunlaced technology, Rieter Perfojet continues to perfect its spunbond technology, most recently through an agreement with Avgol Nonwovens Industries, Holon, Israel, a leading lightweight spunmelt producer. Under the agreement, Rieter Perfojet will work with Avgol to perfect its spunbond technologies to comply with Avgol's stringent specifications for the hygiene market.

On display at Lugano, Switzerland-based RML Raynworth's booth were videos of its full range of services concerning completely rebuilt converting lines for baby and adult diapers and feminine hygiene items. The company offers innovative technology for new converting lines and retrofitting services on existing converting lines.

Robatech, Muri, Switzerland, had its PFC, Precise Fiber Coating technology, for use with construction gluing, on display. The PFC offers neat, contactless spraying technology for low and high speed application in dusty environments. Robatech also offers spray heads for adhesives and Concept 30 hot melt application systems.

Robo Products, Meersen, The Netherlands, exhibited developments that increase downtime in nonwovens production lines. The company offers the Eco Cleaner Type 150 for continuous wire cleaning, the Shock Cleaner for discontinuous wire cleaning and the Combi Cleaner for continuous and discontinuous wire cleaning.

RR Rotary AIS, Herlev, Denmark, provides rotary tooling for continuous motion manufacturing. The company designs and delivers rotary dies, machine modules and complete manufacturing systems.

Hygiene machinery supplier Ruggli, Mellikon, Switzerland, was showcasing the Ruggli CL-3 tampon machine. Able to produce 120 digital tampons per minute, the machinery complies with sophisticated requirements in terms of both output and design, according to company executives.

Baby diaper machinery supplier Sanimac, Rufina, Italy, presented the latest advancements in its machinery offerings. Sanimac's machinery is easy to run and maintain, versatile, robust and is easily upgraded.

SDF Schnitt-Druck-Falz Spezialmaschinen GmbH, Monheim, Germany, was showcasing several machines for the conversion of airlaid and nonwoven materials. Among the machines were SpeedStar single- and double-lane folding machines made for unprinted napkins and wipes; EcoLine single- and double-lane folding machines for napkins and wipes with a printing station; VariPlan single-, double- and four-lane folding machines for products with cross fold and the OmegaPlus single- and double-lane folding machines for napkins with maximum eight-color printing. These machines are based on suction cylinder technology and are highly flexible in terms of product sizes, type of folding and raw materials, according to company executives.

Sierem, Comines, France, was demonstrating its Type PM1, and automatic packaging machines for baby and adult diapers at its booth during INDEX. The machine is designed for pre-made bags or bag tube rolls and can be equipped with various options such as automatic refeeding for pads, an insert device for advertising leaflets and a coding device for bags.

On display from sister companies Thibeau, Turcoing, France, and Asselin, Elbeuf sur Seine, France, both companies of NSC Nonwovens, was the Airweb machine, which combines properties of carding and airlaying to increase web widths without increasing fiber fineness. Also available from NSC is ProDyn, which the company deems the future of batt forming. ProDyn can eliminate expensive irregnlarity and weight variances, which can result from the process of carding, crosslapping and all the different bonding processes.

Roller and engraving specialist Ungricht, Molchengladbach, Germany, was exhibiting its ultrasonic anvil rollers featuring special engraving technologies, which can be used for laminating, bonding, embossing and cutting. The company has recently increased its capacity for complete calender rolls (engraved or smooth) for nonwovens processes such as spunmelt, carded, spunlaced and airlaid as well as for the complete manufacturing of calender rollers and technical rollers. Ungricht has also recently started up two grinding machines for expanded services and two new laser technologies for the engraving of calender rolls. The company offers services for the complete reworking of engraved or smooth rolls and special stainless steel rolls for chemical or resin bonded applications.

Executives at Varemac, Marnate, Italy, were demonstrating a video of its plant and machinery lines for spunbond production, staple fiber machinery and technology for the polypropylene and medium and high tenacity markets.

Hygiene machinery supplier M.D. Viola Macchine, Valle Salimbene, Italy, was promoting its MD. 400 machine, capable of producing up to 400 baby diapers per minute, and its MDA. 200, capable of producing 200 adult diapers per minute.

The Basic Line machine concept from Winkler + Dunnebier, Neuweid, Germany, offers flexibility and efficiency in hygiene product manufacturing. Performance features include second-to-none quality output with exact reproducible product parameters, allowing modular construction, single drive, quick changeover and CE marketing. The machine can accommodate either fluff pulp or airlaid cores in hygiene production.

Wintriss Engineering's vision processing smart line scan camera can acquire and process a 5150-pixel line in real time before the data leaves the camera. This camera, which can stand alone or share processing tasks with a host computer; can be used for web inspection, product gauging, surface defect analysis, three-dimensional measurement, projectile tracing, defect scanning, medical imaging and document scanning. Wintriss was also exhibiting its Low Contrast Web Ranger 2000 Inspection System, a high performance line scan web inspection system designed to provide a complete solution to optically inspecting continuous materials.

Zuiko Corporation, Osaka, Japan, was promoting its baby and adult diaper machinery, sanitary napkin machinery and pulp fluffing and feeding systems. Zuiko's pulp fluffing systems de-fibrate roll or sheet pulp into a fine, cotton-like fluff. Zuiko also offers fluffing systems, which feed the fluffed pulp directly into the converting machines.


First of all, we would like to thank everybody who visited us at our booth at the INDEX 2002 exposition in Geneva, a decisive milestone in GDM's growth process and a decisive milestone for GDM's start-up after the completion of its organizational and technological development process. A completely new production line portfolio, based upon an amazing technology turn evolution, is the result of GDM's efforts and investments in the disposables market segment. Product-and Customer-driven technical solutions were and will remain GDM's main research and development drivers for future developments.

This is why GDM focused so intensively on the message and image to be transferred to its existing and future customers at INDEX 2002. A financially solid enterprise, a vast and deep technical experience in the disposables field (thanks to the acquisition of SABA Engineering--formerly SCA Engineering--in 1999) and the strong support of GD, GDM's holding company allowed GDM to position itself as one of the most performing Disposable Production Line Manufacturers in the world. In this sense, ATS Engineering joined the GD/GDM Group in 2002. It is GDM's mission and vision to become the world leader in this fascinating market segment and to Partner with our Customers throughout the whole lifetime of our production lines. GDM Service and GDM Consulting are just some of GDM's growth initiatives.

At Index 2002 GDM aimed to communicate its strength, its presence and its business philosophy to the whole disposables market. The Production portfolio, presented together with the competitive AW800 Sanitary Napkin line, installed at the booth, underlined further GDM's desire to satisfy any Customer expectations in this market.

It would be a pleasure for us to have the possibility to demonstrate to you our capabilities and manufacturing sites during your next visit to GDM. In the meanwhile ... challenge us.
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Comment:Look what happened at...INDEX '02. (INDEX Review).(Brief Article)
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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