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Seeing the forest for the trees.

Throughout the year at NONWOVENS INDUSTRY we are always hard at work ferreting out news, following up on rumors and continuing to provide our readers with the most up to date information on the nonwovens industry as it happens--as well as why it happens. Sometimes this is easier than others--industry conferences and trade expositions provide a breeding ground for company news and industry rumors to be investigated, while in mid-August, when half of the U.S. and most of Europe is on "holiday," news is not as forthcoming.

As we spend our summer months preparing for our Top Companies feature--and also researching a talk that was given at last month's Clemson Nonwovens Forum--we are struck by the fact once again that the news keeps coming and the industry continues to grow and expand even in recent economic hard times.

Among the Top Companies, at least seven manufacturers are expanding, increasing capacity and/or working on joint venture agreements this year. All are concentrating on ISO certification as a means to bring their products--already high in quality--into the spotlight as the top notch materials that they are. And no one is sitting idle in the face of the globalization of the worldwide industry. This comes despite the very difficult economy in some areas of the world and in some specific market segments.

This whole train of thought, as we mentioned, was brought on by research for the Clemson Nonwovens Forum, an annual introductory seminar featuring the basics of nonwoven processes and markets. NONWOVENS INDUSTRY'S talk, "Faces and Places in the Nonwovens Industry: Who's Who and Who Does What," has proven to be a well-received addition to the conference. The point here is that this conference draws approximately 100 attendees--100 new faces each year--to hear what's happening in the world of nonwovens. Obviously this is an indication that the industry is growing and expanding as different faces continue to appear. It helps that conference organizer, Clemson professor Ed Vaughn, does a superb job at presenting an informal and informative seminar to the audience, but that audience simply would not exist without the industry growth factor.

There is an American expression about "not seeing the forest for the trees," which refers to those people too blinded by what is directly in front of them that they cannot see beyond to the "bigger picture." The nonwovens industry has done well to look past the tough economic "trees" that surround them now to prepare themselves for when it is time to emerge into the "forest" that lies beyond.
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Title Annotation:nonwovens industry's growth in economic tough times
Author:Noonan, Ellen
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jul 1, 1993
Words:423
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