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Review & forecast of the nonwovens industry.

REVIEW & FORECAST Of The Nonwovens Industry

a look at the year gone by--and the year to come--in the nonwovens industry; executives delve into the highs and lows of 1991 and predict what the future holds for their companies and the industry in general

Despite a tough year, optimism prevails. At least that's what most of the top executives at nonwovens companies around the world are telling NONWOVENS INDUSTRY. This year as we give industry leaders a chance to reflect on the months gone by and the year to come, an overwhelming majority talk about the recession and its impact on the overall business, but report that because of their diversification, strategic planning or corporate cost cutting, the year has not been so bad after all.

Many companies in the nonwovens industry took advantage of the downturn in the market by concentrating resources in the product development area, refining machinery innovations and efficiency or battening down the hatches for a better showing next year.

While 1991 will certainly go down in history as a recession-battered year and forecasts for the immediate future are not looking much brighter, companies are reacting by making longer term plans, refocusing strategies and corporate schemes to take them through 1992 and beyond.

Other issues influencing the nonwovens industry this year, executives say, continue to be the environment and its impact on both the disposables and durables market and the continued globalization of an already international industry.

As the year draws to a close and everyone breaths a collective sigh of relief and looks ahead to better times, here's what the nonwovens industry had to say:

Lee Sullivan, Freudenberg Spunweb, Durham, NC

Two sides of the recession story were looked at by Mr. Sullivan. "The general downturn in durable nonwovens usage caused by the recession has been somewhat offset by the increased penetration of nonwovens versus other textiles in the automotive and industrial roofing market segments," he said. While he thought the early part of 1992 would continue to be depressed--"full recovery will not occur until later in the year"--there are very encouraging signs that as the economy strengthens, the usage of durable nonwovens will continue to expand at the expense of woven textiles." Mr. Sullivan said that a great deal of product development work and value analysis has been going on during the recession and that the work "will bear fruit as these new designs find their way into production schedules or expanded building activity. We are bullish about 1992 being the beginning of a dramatic strengthening for durable nonwovens sales."

Manfred Wennemer, Freudenberg Nonwovens, Chelmsford, MA

The year of the recession is how Mr. Wennemer described 1991 for durable nonwovens suppliers, "times of no or slow market growth. Sales increases were achieved only through new and innovative products, high quality products and reliable service and price competition." Mr. Wennemer said this emphasis was, and will continue, because radically new ideas and products are sparse. "This trend was also obvious at this year's ITMA show, where suppliers concentrated on improved and more reliable machinery controlled by ever more sophisticated electronics."

As the recession continues through the beginning of 1992, Mr. Wennemer added, "we will see more price competition, acquisitions and increased requirements on capital spending. To support the nonwovens manufacturers, the raw materials suppliers have to become world class manufacturers of their own, offering innovations at competitive prices," he said. "The nonwovens industry cannot survive in North America when major new fibers and raw materials appear first in the Japanese market."

Siegfried Wittauer, Du Pont, Wilmington, DE

Mr. Wittauer, who heads Du Pont's worldwide nonwovens operations, credited strong performances in Europe and Japan and the company's diversified market base with countering the U.S. recession. "Our global business continued to grow in 1991," he said. "|Sontara' capacity has increased 50% and our development line is now prototyping a broad range of fabrics, custom tailored to the specific needs of each global region." He also said that the "Tyvek" facility in Japan is currently under construction, to help tailor products to meet local customer needs. "We have enlarged our polypropylene nonwovens portfolio with the introduction of |Zemdrain,' a concrete form liner that significantly reduces blow hole propensity in poured concrete structures." Mr. Wittauer continued, "We are staffed and organized in each region and will continue to utilize our core competencies of polymerization, spinning, laydown and hydroentanglement to drive penetration in the technology-intensive, high value areas of the nonwovens field." He concluded on an optimistic note. "We expect 10-15% worldwide growth in our nonwovens business in 1992."

John DiLuzio, Veratec Nonwovens, Walpole, MA

"The past year saw the general economy in recession and languishing in the trough of the current economic cycle," said Mr. DiLuzio, although he reported that certain consumer disposables markets in nonwovens remained relatively strong. "Significant negative impact was experienced in durables, however," he said, "especially in industrial markets such as automotive, construction and home furnishings." Although cost increases were relatively moderate, Mr. DiLuzio felt that a highly competitive market environment restricted selling price movement, putting pressure on margins. "At Veratec," he said, "we experienced an outstanding business year due in large part to our market diversity and a number of important new product introductions. Veratec achieved new records in both sales and earnings, while bringing on a new spunbond line and completing the current phase of our spunlaced expansion project."

For 1992, Mr. DiLuzio expects modest improvement in general economic conditions and increased market demand for nonwovens as the recovery advances. "We can anticipate further clarification of key issues in the areas of disposability and barrier property requirements of certain health and medical products," Mr. DiLuzio also predicted. "The consolidation underway in our industry will likely continue and become an increasingly important factor in structuring the multinational nonwovens industry of the future."

Roger Fehrman, Fiberweb North America, Greenville, SC

Mr. Fehrman said the disposable hygiene sector in North America has been experiencing a surge in demand. He qualified this, however, by saying, "unfortunately, this surge will be short term as it is directly related to the major users filling pipe lines with new improved products. Longer term, we expect there to be excess capacity."

He also noted that the past year saw the American industry returning to its roots. "Company after company are divesting the smaller branches and emphasizing the |trunk' or core of their existence. Consequently," he said, "the nonwovens industry is going through an unsettling time of divestment and consolidation."

"In 1992," Mr. Fehrman said, "product and process change will become even more rapid and the demand to innovate will continue. Those who can't create new higher value will be left behind."

Pierre Vauterin, Sodoca, Biesheim, France

Mr. Vauterin was another who saw mixed results for the nonwovens industry in the past year. "From a volume point of view," he said, "the markets served by Sodoca were attractive in 1991, with the exception of the stagnant demand for industrial fabrics." It was the outside pressures that most affected the business in 1991 and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future, he said. "The continuous price pressure experienced in virtually all larger volume applications, including hygiene, cannot be in the long term interest of the users of fabrics, however, and should be a cause for concern of nonwovens producers and the European industry as a whole."

Shozo Iwakuma, Japan Vilene, Tokyo, Japan

"1991 was a year that proved to be a turning point for the Japanese economy," said Mr. Iwakuma, "not just with respect to the business climate but also in the structural framework and financial behavior of the industry." Strong double digit annual growth was achieved in the past five years, he said, but cannot be expected any more. "We had to review our budget for 1991 due to expected slower business (not severe recession) in industries like automotive and construction," explained Mr. Iwakuma, "and we have decided to review an ongoing five year business plan and to restructure the whole plan from 1992 to 1995. In the process, we will try to keep up with higher tempo of globalization of businesses and to incorporate into our new strategy innovating nonwovens technology and the accompanying business.

"Increasing interest in nonwovens is seen these days," continued Mr. Iwakuma. "New entry into the business is made by various companies and further expansion is attempted by existing manufacturers. We expect that the competition with the move will contribute to the improvement of the total level of the nonwovens industry and to fair competition at fair prices."

Folkert Blaisse, Akzo, Arnhem, The Netherlands

"Following recent major capacity extensions of polyester spunbonds, there is no shortage of nonwovens to supply such markets as roofing and construction, flooring and geotextiles," said Mr. Blaisse." Akzo has also felt the impact of the recession in some countries. Mainly thanks to the success of our wide range of |Colback' products, our overall performance has again been good in 1991," he said. "The penetration of polyester is likely to continue though at more modest growth rates as experienced in the past."

Leonard Jaskol, Lydall Inc., Manchester, CT

In spite of the recession, Mr. Jaskol said that Lydall has grown internally through new product introductions and externally through its recent acquisition of Axohm Industries in France. "I do not believe, however," he said, "that the recession is over and I think Lydall and the nonwovens industry as a whole face a difficult year ahead. Tight financial controls and investment in future products and capabilities are critical in this environment," he continued. "Lydall has been and will continue to be unrelentingly committed to these objectives."

Alan Gnann, Lydall Manning Div., Troy, NY

Mr. Gnann described 1991 as an extremely challenging year from a sales and marketing standpoint, adding that "many new opportunities emerged for products serving highly specialized and demanding applications. We have concentrated on these markets as opposed to higher volume, commodity products with lower barriers to entry," said Mr. Gnann. "Manning's future growth will come from these development efforts and the related product opportunities between Manning and the recently acquired Axohm Div. in France."

Stephen Foss, Foss Manufacturing, Hampton, NH

"I feel that 1992 will be a year of consolidation, especially in the needlepunch industry," said Mr. Foss. "This has become a highly competitive industry and only those companies that have low costs, strong development efforts and innovative products will be around for the long term." He continued: "We will see continual pressure not only from within North America, but from the entire world market. Successful companies will need to have a presence around the world in order to best service their customers."

Anthony Centofanti, Poly-Bond, Charlotte, NC

Mr. Centofanti reports that his company's business continued to grow in the spunbond portion of the nonwovens industry, although he did say two markets, protective garments and home furnishings, had been adversely affected by the economic environment.

In other areas, "the industry as a whole is globalizing with increased marketing and technical agreements signed throughout the world," said Mr. Centofanti. "It is obvious that there will be consolidation among the producers worldwide, primarily being driven by the international customer base to meet their worldwide requirements. The nonwovens industry is growing," he continued, "and will be driven by product requirements particularly in the hygiene and medical disposable markets searching for improved protective barrier fabrics and protection against infectious diseases. In addition, the consolidation of technologies under globalized companies can provide an array of products to a number of markets and use a combination of those technologies to develop new products that will be the way of the future."

Frank Andrusko, Amoco Fabrics and Fibers, Atlanta, GA

"Amoco's |RFX' fabric technology continues to work its way up the learning curve," said Mr. Andrusko. "At this point, Amoco is concentrating its RFX fabric developmental work to certain areas where our fabrics can generate advantages for our customers. We continue to look at selected applications, making sure we can meet our customers' requirements at a competitive price."

In other areas, Amoco's ANCI joint venture with Nippon Petrochemicals has begun production in Roanoke, AL, Mr. Andrusko told NONWOVENS INDUSTRY. "Full production is expected for 1993," he said. "The focus in 1992 will be developing marketing and sales programs with convertors and end users of CLAF fabric." In needlepunching, he said, sales for furniture and bedding applications are doing well considering the economy and continuing price pressures. "Meanwhile, sales of needlepunch fabrics produced for geotextile applications are suffering from a lack of road construction as a result of the economic downturn for many cities and states," said Mr. Andrusko. "Sales for this market have been lower than expected this year."

Peter Kociemba, Corovin, Peine, Germany

Its first year under new ownership was an exciting one for Corovin, Mr. Kociemba said, especially since the company remained an independent source of supply with a high degree of flexibility and responsiveness. "On the business side this was not the only focus," he said. "Corovin established itself as a leading European supplier and strengthened its distribution network throughout Europe, taking advantage of the additional possibilities presented by the political and economic opening of the East European countries."

The future trend for nonwovens industry, said Mr. Kociemba, should be positive in Europe, the Far East and North America. "Corovin has developed its international engagement in various areas and market segments and is now looking towards globalization. The ecological and environmental issues are a challenge," he continued, "but at the same time opportunities for all industries and, in particular, for disposable spunbond producers. I am convinced that a variety of solutions are around the corner. We at Corovin have recently entered into a partnership with one of the largest recycling companies and a team of experts is open to discussions with our customers about how to protect resources and environment. The outlook into the future is marked by confidence," he concluded.

Martin Barth, Lohmann GmbH, Neuwied, Germany

While the first half of 1991 saw brisk business with an 8% increase over 1990 sales, said Dr. Barth, a slackening of demand was recorded in the third quarter. "This reflected the slowing economy in the areas of automotibles and machinery manufacturing," he said. "Still capacity utilization remained high, especially in the lightweight segment and for heavy specialty products. The entire year will be marked by a slight overall growth, however, with domestic sales in the lead," said Dr. Barth.

For 1992, "the emphasis will be on maintaining the high level of production, with demand clearly shifting to nonwovens for consumer products that can be recycled or that will easily degrade when composted or dumped into landfills," said Dr. Barth. "The same applies to composite structures and laminated end products for technical uses that incorporate nonwoven fabrics as structural elements."

Michael Morris, Bonded Fibre Fabric, Bridgwater, England

A year of significant changes within the company is how Mr. Morris describes the past year at BFF. "Our focus has been on completing the management team, increasing efficiencies throughout the plant and redirecting the company's marketing strategy," he said. "1991 saw the recession affecting the interlining business and additional spunlaced capacity in Europe resulted in reduced margins in some sectors." He predicts significant improvement in the future, however. "BFF's future will depend on quickly developing new products to meet customer needs, continuing to expand its downstream F.M.C.G. markets and seeking acquisitions that have synergy with existing technologies or markets."

Brian Ewing, Bonar Nonwovens, Dundee, Scotland

Mr. Ewing credits a strong technology base and focused product and market development with enabling Bonar Carelle in Scotland and Bonar Fabrics in the U.S. to maintain their business growth despite difficult economic conditions. "After a lengthy gestation period that is inevitable with new technologies and products," said Mr. Ewing, "we have successfully established a number of significant market niches for our powder bonded nonwovens products that have global dimensions. Our recent decision to merge and reorganize the two companies into the Bonar Nonwovens Div. was made to ensure our efforts are better focused on serving the needs of our growing number of international customers and the individual demands of our customers worldwide," explained Mr. Ewing.

John Green, Oliver Products, Grand Rapids, MI

Mr. Green reported that Oliver has experienced continued growth in medical packaging and other specialty markets. "Although we have fallen slightly below our expectations, it has not been due to economic conditions," said Mr. Green. "Rather, the applications for our unique technology, which allows us to develop engineered adhesive coated and converted products for specific applications, continue to be uncovered in many new markets.

"We have developed several partnerships as suppliers and customers because we have found that nonwovens suppliers need our technology to further enhance their products," he said. "We expect that the suppliers who position themselves to produce specialty substrates for specific customer applications will be those that are most successful in this business in the future. We are actively pursuing additional partnership with nonwoven materials suppliers," concluded Mr. Green.

Perk Foster, Foster Needle, Manitowoc, WI

Mr. Foster addressed the bleak year many needlepunchers had in 1990. "The year yielded numerous casualties in the North American needlepunching sector, with a number of bankruptcies in both the U.S. and Canada," said Mr. Foster. "Although everyone concerned hopes for the best, it is widely known that several large firms are just barely managing to continue hanging on by their teeth. As the economy languishes with no real hope of near term recovery of any size, it is only reasonable to expect one or more of these companies to be forced into Chapter 11 during the first half of 1992."

He analyzed what this means for the other companies. "For the survivors, as has been the case this year, the demise of some competitors will mean near full capacity production as the demand shifts to a smaller number of suppliers. Actually, this has already begun in anticipation of the possible bankruptcies."

Max Clark, Jr., Wise Industries, Kings Mountain, SC

A year with different expansion rates for different market segments is how Mr. Clark defined 1991. "Some of our markets have seen almost no growth, while others have expanded at a surprising rate," he said. "For those customers who have expanded, operating efficiencies have been most important. Our task, as machinery supplier, has been to assist these customers with modernization and new technology in equipment."

He forecast more of the same in the future. "During the coming years, lower operating cost and greater operating efficiency are keys to growth in the market," Mr. Clark said. "For this reason we are putting our efforts into higher technology machinery to meet this challenge."

Dennis Mercer, Mercer Corp., Hendersonville, TN

"We continue to develop a partnering relationship as we integrate features that enhance both performance and functions for the converter," said Mr. Mercer. "Modularity, simplicity and the degree of user friendliness are priority requirements as alternative methods are examined. Hardware modifications will be required next year to meet feature driven demand...the activity level is encouraging and we have high expectations for 1992."

Michael Spann, Groz-Beckert, Charlotte, NC

A difficult economic year in general was how Mr. Spann described 1991. "With the poor condition of the automotive, home furnishing, commercial real estate and the various government influenced industries such as geotextiles, the negative impact on the different nonwoven needlepunchmarket segments has been felt in the U.S.," he said. "Fortunately, there are some bright rays of sunshine on the horizon. We have several new companies, major capital investments being made and an industry emphasis on product specification and development." Mr. Spann continued: "1991 will be considered one of the transition years for the needlepunch industry as it moves into more sophisticated products, higher technology, more disciplined manufacturing and a requirement for a more intelligent work force and management."

Bart Morse, Veratec Natural Fibers Group, Walpole, MA

An outstanding year was how Mr. Morse described 1991 for the Natural Fibers Group." A key element was the increased use of our |Easy Street' super-opened cotton in commercial nonwoven products. Our technology has allowed cotton to make significant steps on the road to becoming a mainstream fiber for both heavy and lightweight nonwovens," he said.

"In 1992, the availability and use of cotton fiber will be at an all-time high," continued Mr. Morse. "More cotton is used in the world than all synthetic fibers combined. Focusing more on our markets, we see marked growth in Easy Street volume next year as our customers' cotton nonwoven products expand."

Joseph LeMin, Cameron Machine, New Brunswick, NJ

Mr. LeMin reported that 1991 was a year that had a level of activity substantially below normal. "Reduction in spending stalled most plans for expansion and allowed only the minimum of upgrading," he said. "We are unable, at this time, to forecast when the demand will force the commitment to support the need for replacement or additional equipment. At present the |make do' attitude exists," said Mr. LeMin. "Hopefully, quality demands will prevail and many of those |back burner' projects will be funded. We have taken advantage of this easing off to complete applicable development projects and are certainly ready to respond to the users' needs."

A View From Our Editorial Advisory Board

Norbert Dahlstrom, Freudenberg, Weinheim, Germany

Mr. Dahlstrom addressed the past year from a global perspective. "As a German-based company with worldwide production in nonwovens, there can seldom have been a year of such mixed conditions and emotions as 1991," he said. "The economies of the major world markets and the state of the individual customer industries varied greatly and unpredictably." While Mr. Dahlstrom said that generalizations were difficult, he did say that the automotive industry outside of Germany and Japan and the European carpet industry are examples of problem areas. "By contrast," he said, "all consumer industries close to the customer--garments, wipes, hygiene or personal care--tended to continue their positive development. In total, 1991 nonwovens growth could be 10% below the previous year."

Looking forward to 1992 there is little realistic expectation for significant improvement, Mr. Dahlstrom continued. "The U.S. economy appears closer to |double dip' than genuine improvement, while the Japanese and German economies, as the last islands of prosperity and growth in 1991, are currently struggling to maintain their momentum."

Against this shaky background, he said, "it is anachronistic to observe our industry's behavior. While first and second generation operators like Scott and Coats Viyella are withdrawing from the business, other companies like the Japanese fiber manufacturers are expanding capacities as though the days of the gold rush were just beginning. Overcapacities and bitter struggles for market share will be the result," Mr. Dahlstrom predicted. "Perhaps we are not such a different and special industry after all and are in the process of repeating the mistakes made by so many before us."

Randy Schaaf UltraCare Products, Marion, OH

A tremendous year of growth and opportunities was how Mr. Schaaf described 1991. "In addition to significantly broadening our geographic base for |Cozies' diapers, we purchased the wet wipe operation of Riegel Textile early in the year and launched Cozies 88 baby wipes, Cozies 44 toddler wipes, Cozies play wipes and |UltraCare' adult wipes." Sales volume and profitability increased dramatically, said Mr. Schaaf, "as a result of value conscious consumers looking for alternative brands, lower raw materials costs such as pulp and a more reasonable level of promotion by the national brands. Most diaper producers in the U.S. were solidly in the black during the last year," said Mr. Schaaf.

He predicted more of the same for next year. "1992 is shaping up to be a carbon copy of 1991," he said. "It looks like the U.S. will continue to have a high birth rate and inflation will be modest. This will mean excellent sales volume and corresponding profitability for diaper manufacturers."

Ted Kelly, Phillips Fibers, Greenville, SC

Mr. Kelly said that Phillips' needlepunched nonwovens business would finish 1991 slightly ahead despite a slow first quarter. "The second half was strong in both our geotextile and our various textile nonwoven markets," reported Mr. Kelly. "We believe 1992 will be a good year for our nonwoven fabrics business, which should get added impetus from the U.S. Highway bill, lower interest rates and the election year.

"We continue to increase our sales of premium, fine denier staple for the disposables market," continued Mr. Kelly. "1991 showed a nice gain on 1990 and we anticipate continued growth through 1992." He added that Phillips was adding capacity to handle this growth. In the needlepunch automotive market, fiber sales were down in 1991, said Mr. Kelly, "but we've seen a gradual improvement in the second half of the year and this should continue into 1992."

Clare Haddad, Godalming, U.K.

Ms. Haddad, a consultant to the nonwovens and absorbent products industries, reflected on the past year's European diaper battle. "Throughout Europe, P&G's |Ultra Pampers' increased its market share and |Phases' started to be phased in. In the U.K., P&G's share reached 62% and it was no surprise when Peaudouce, with 5% of the market, closed its U.K. plant. Blue Ridge Care, one of the first British private label diaper suppliers, went bankrupt and the liquidator could find no buyer." She continued: "Not surprising was the European commission preventing P&G from taking control of Swaddlers as part of the proposed deal with Finaf. For me that was the big story of 1991," said Ms. Haddad, "the way the European commission took more than a year to consider what to do about the merger plans."

From a product angle, Ms. Haddad continued, "standing leg cuffs, whether |barriers' or |strainers,' were the feature of the year as they started to appear on brands and some private labels," she said. "Meanwhile, the battle in the feminine hygiene area was over who would be first to introduce winged products in Europe. Sancella (partially owned by Molnlycke) won this one with its |Bodyform Plus.'"

And The Consultants Say...

Lutz Bergmann, Filter Media Consulting, LaGrange, GA

Mr. Bergmann said that, "Although most everybody was affected by the recession and slow recovery during 1991, the performance of companies varied widely. From the narrow perspective of my specialty, |filtration,' it was interesting to observe that the most innovative companies and the companies most aggressive in marketing did relatively well."

He believes the trend in filtration towards application orientation would continue. "Emphasis will be on special, surface treated, needled felts for dust filtration as well as for liquid filtration applications. Melt blown filtration media will further penetrate numerous segments of liquid and dry filtration and the largest gain is going to be made by electret nonwovens and new developments in microfiber products. Developments, most notably in Europe and Japan, have to be watched. A few U.S. manufacturers will do exceptionally well. For the U.S., 1992 will be a better year than 1991."

Graham Moore, Pira International, Surrey, U.K.

Dr. Moore feels that the nonwovens industry is facing the environmental challenge "of a society that has changed from |disposable' to |recyclable.' The green perception of the consumer is now being exploited as a marketing issue by companies," Dr. Moore said. "For whatever reason, either through consumer pressure or legislation, recycling issues will increase. It is imperative that nonwovens manufacturers monitor the continually moving issues, such that they neither unwittingly introduce technology that is seen to hinder recycling or generate a potential hazard that will damage the environment when a material is disposed of or recycled."

G. Graham Allan, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

"The environmental movement is here to stay and will increasingly impact the marketing of nonwovens," said Professor Allan. He said this would shift emphasis from synthetic to natural fibers and adhesives. "Cost is not a primary factor in such changes and environmentally acceptable products will drive out non-biodegradable counterparts," he added.

Freddy Rewald, Nao Tecidos Consultoria e Assessoria, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Mr. Rewald, a consultant to the nonwovens business in Brazil, said that the nonwovens industry had survived in that country in the last year primarily because of its flexibility, "in spite of the recession, inflation and economic and repressing factors." In 1992, Mr. Rewald predicted, "nonwovens in Brazil will grow definitively due to new policies concerning import tax reduction, the Mercosul agreement and better conditions for importing new equipment. Many U.S. companies are very interested in being represented in this country because it is the heart of the South American business," he continued. "Perhaps products and technologies like melt blown and spunlaced not yet in Brazil will appear soon."

Ralph Stanford, Stanford Laboratories, Bryn Mawr, PA

"Every day I come across new applications for nonwovens that take advantage of the unique properties they offer to product designers," said Mr. Stanford. "Last week it was a disposable hot water bottle in a hospital, a beautiful, soft product. Incidentally," he added, "this was a hospital that had recently discontinued the use of disposable diapers in response to pressure from the greens."

He continued: "A totally new mask was being used by doctors who are responding to the need to provide an AIDS barrier between them and their patients. It uses nonwovens from four different processes and is more comfortable for prolonged use than an operating room mask. Every doctors' office is using nonwoven sponges and alcohol preps. I just hope that a minor did in the economic situation doesn't discourage product innovators. There's still lots of gold in them there hills."

Gunmar Nordgren, Gunmar Nordgren Consulting, Helsinki, Finland

"The future growth of our industry will increasingly depend on our capabilities to create and drive markets ahead of us, not just respond to demand," said Mr. Nordgren. "Creating value to our customers requires creating sufficient volume first. A small operation in the rather small nonwovens industry does not render sufficient economies of scale and scope," he said. "Hence, concentration and globalization will continue."
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Title Annotation:includes related articles on opinions of the Editorial Advisory Board and industry consultants
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Words:4996
Previous Article:Reflections 1991: the year that was.
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