Printer Friendly

Nonwovens in hard economic times.

despite tough economic times in the U.S., many applications for nonwovens still thrive; the nonwovens industry as a whole is faring better than the overall economy

We hear different terms describing our current economic situation in the U.S. today. Some tell us that there is a market downturn and conservative actions are taking place (whatever that means). Others inform us that we are in a recession, depression, recovery period or that economic and political trade adjustments are underway. If this brings financial unrest or causes you concern regarding the basics and pleasures of your life, then you should look at some other countries and their problems. Whether it be Russia, South Africa or the U.S., there are many concerns in the world today about business in general and making a profit with it in the future.

The "news makers" such as the auto manufacturers and major companies listed on the stock exchange have reduced their production and work force, reported financial losses and in general, predict difficult times in the near future for their businesses. How does this overall business economic situation compare or relate to the nonwovens industry?

The nonwovens industry in the U.S. today complains of hard times, but much of it is doing very well. Most of these comments regarding economic concerns are related to the "fears" of the overall situation in the country rather than a company's specific business or sales. Most nonwovens manufacturers are doing quite well today all things considered and many are enjoying excellent sales. Even certain ones that are supplying specific materials to the depressed auto manufacturers are doing well.

Nonwovens Necessities

There are, of course, the necessities, the staples, the high priorities, the practical or rational and even traditional purchases. Nonwoven products fit into many of these segments today in an increasing quantity and variation. Products for markets such as health care, filtration, safety, protection, roads, roofing, geotextiles, do-it-yourself and fulfilling long term contracts and military and other government needs are not affected by our present economic situation.

There are other markets not directly affected by the generally depressed economy such as products for the higher income or financially secure segment and certain convenience items such as disposables and food products. Nonwovens are used in many of these as well as as small parts or pieces of a total converted product and the cost/performance involved favors the nonwoven. In addition, many of the high-tech nonwovens discussed in previous articles are also immune.

The dramatic financial problems many companies are experiencing today are the results of reasons other than our current economic situation. Poor management can bring problems from raw material selection to making the wrong products. Knowing when to make what products, the pricing, marketing and innovations are keys to success in any economic atmosphere and many of the companies in trouble today have not performed well here. The nonwoven manufacturers that have been managed properly are doing well today and indeed, quite a number are oversold. They either saw or predicted environmental problems and planned accordingly for the changes and expenses that would be required. They reduced their overhead before it got out of hand. They altered or improved their product line as well as their marketing because it was good business to do so.

As I have stated before, there is no magic in nonwovens but there are many opportunities to make profitable and innovative products in growth markets. Nonwoven processes continue to hold many advantages in producing a variety of materials for many end use products. Combining these processes with finishing, coating and laminating can produce a wider variety of more efficient, economical, value perceived products than any of its competitors in textiles, plastics or paper. As our technologies continue to develop, new and better raw materials become available, manufacturing efficiencies continue and better marketing is practiced, we will continue to see our industry grow at a rate above most other industries.

As a consultant in the nonwovens industry, I am often approached by companies that are looking for investments. These are companies or individuals in the U.S. and many foreign countries. Many of these are experts themselves in evaluating the products and markets where profits, growth and a strong future can be determined. Typically they have an excellent understanding of numerous raw materials, process technologies, production requirements and marketing and distribution. After comparing many other types of manufacturing, they want to find a good investment in the nonwovens industry. There is a message here.

This is a time when many people are out of work and nearly every market complains of reduced sales and profits. It is not a time or circumstance that will dramatically slow the production or progress of nonwovens. It may be a "trial" or "test" for nonwovens and the management of our industry but when the test results are in, I believe you will see high scores for our team.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Rodman Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Holliday Talk
Author:Holliday, Tom
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Mar 1, 1992
Previous Article:Acumeter Laboratories up for sale; former executive starts new company.
Next Article:European diaper update.

Related Articles
Spunbonded nonwovens in the 1990s.
Hydroentangling or spunlacing - by any name the process is all wet; the prospects for a highly capital and technology intensive nonwovens process...
No raw deal for nonwovens suppliers.
Seeing the forest for the trees.
Nonwovens in Mexico: the land of opportunities.
The 'big picture' nonwovens update.
The year that was - 1997: annual retrospective reveals continued industry growth and enthusiasm.
A nonwovens tale: a perspective on the industry's size and growth.
Status quo and prospects of Chinese nonwovens industry. (The Chinese Market).
Review & Forecast: despite economic concerns over capacity issues and increasing competition, nonwovens executives remain optimistic.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters