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Voith, Trutzschler process certified flushable.

Voith Paper and Trutzschler Nonwovens have reached an important milestone in their joint efforts to create and market a flushable nonwoven substrate. In October, the materials made through their jointly developed production process successfully passed the official INDA and EDANA flushability test and became certified as "flushable."

Voith and Trutzschler Nonwovens have been successful in producing wetlaid and hydroentangled nonwovens with a high level of wet strength, consisting only of fibers of natural origin that quickly disperse in water and that are 100% biodegradable. The two companies announced earlier this year they had partnered to make spunlaced and wetlaid production lines.

The raw material used in the process is exclusively cellulose.The main component is bleached long fiber pulp as used in paper manufacturing and a small percentage of viscose fibers spun from cellulose ensures the strength of the nonwovens. The newly developed production process uses neither binding agents nor melt fibers. For this reason, the cloths quickly disperse in water, and the fiber material is completely biodegradable. Another advantage of the large quantities of long fiber pulp is that they lower production costs significantly, according to the companies.

From a machinery standpoint, the process relies on Voith's HydroFormer for web formation and the Trutzschler Nonwovens' Aquajet for web bonding.

Ahlstrom reorganizes

Ahlstrom has revised its business area structure by dividing the food and medical business area into two units: the food business area and the medical business area, effective January 1, 2014. The current operating model will remain unchanged. With this change, Ahlstrom says it aims to strengthen its focus on food and medical applications and to address growth and profitability issues in these businesses.

With the change, Ahlstrom will operate through five business areas--advanced filtration; building and energy; food; medical; and transportation filtration. Earlier this year, Ahlstrom split its filtration interests into two segments, advanced filtration and transportation filtration.

Omar Hoek has been appointed executive vice president, food business area, and member of the executive management team. Hoek joined Ahlstrom in 2011 and currently works as vice president, marketing, food and medical. Roberto Boggio, will serve as executive vice president, medical business area, and member of the executive management team. Boggio joined Ahlstrom in 1998 and currently works as vice president, supply chain, for both advanced filtration and transportation filtration. Both will report to Jan Lang, president and CEO.

Seppo Parvi, currently CFO and executive vice president, food and medical business area, will leave Ahlstrom during the first quarter of 2014 as announced in September.

Ahlstrom has also launched a renewed website. The biggest changes have been made to the visual layout and usability of the pages as well as to the structure and layout of the product section. The new pages are responsive, which means that the site adapts to different screen sizes of tablets and other mobile devices.

"Our target is to launch more products to the market and the renewed internet pages support this with more versatile product pages. Since we aim to grow our business in Asia, especially in China, the need to expand the content in our Chinese pages has become more important," says Liisa Nyyssonen, vice president, communications, Ahlstrom.

H.B. Fuller receives Frost & Sullivan award

H.B. Fuller has been recognized with a New Product Innovation Leadership Award from Frost & Sullivan for its hot melt adhesive product innovation and technical leadership in the nonwoven hygiene market.

The award recognizes the development and commercialization of two next generation, high cohesion olefin-based, hot melt adhesive products--Full-Care 5300 and Full-Care 5650.

Frost & Sullivan scrutinized Full-Care 5300 adhesive and Full-Care 5650 adhesive against innovation and technology leadership measures. The firm says it also thoroughly analyzed the products' value-added features and benefits and their contribution to increasing customers' return on investment.

In its analysis, Frost & Sullivan noted the effective use of H.B. Fuller's third generation, high cohesive, polyolefin technology to create game-changing adhesive products. These technologies work across diaper construction applications and support the latest trends in diaper design, such as ultra-thin and modified shapes.

In a statement Frost & Sullivan said that its "Independent analysis of the hot melt adhesives market clearly shows that H.B. Fuller's Full-Care 5300 and Full-Care 5650 offer superior performance with potential reduction in total cost in use ownership for the customer, which makes their products ideal upgrades from traditional adhesives in the nonwoven hygiene sector."

Frost & Sullivan continued, "The easy processability, unswerving quality, augmented bonding strength, low odor, and substrate flexibility possessed by these products put them on a higher pedestal than any other similar product in the marketplace. Hence, Frost & Sullivan is proud to present the 2013 Global New Product Innovation Leadership Award in Nonwoven Hot Melt Adhesives Market to H.B. Fuller."

"This award shines a light on our commitment to innovation," says Hassan Rmaile, chief technology and innovation officer, H.B. Fuller. "Frost & Sullivan's independent research provides valuable recognition of the work our exceptional global team is doing to drive forward total solutions in adhesive technology that support our customers' efforts to bring breakthrough innovations to market. We are, therefore, extremely proud to receive this recognition."

Clarcor acquires Bekaert Advanced Filtration business

Clarcor Inc. has acquired the Bekaert Advanced Filtration business from NV Bekaert SA for roughly [euro]6 million ($8 million). The advanced filtration business is engaged in the same line of business as Clarcor's subsidiary, Purolator EFP, which manufactures and supplies metal filters and systems used primarily in the polymer fiber and plastics industries.

With estimated 2013 sales of [euro]15 million ($20 million), the business, which has been renamed Purolator Advanced Filtration, has approximately 170 employees and manufacturing facilities located in Belgium and Indonesia, as well as sales personnel in North and South America. The transaction also includes a supply contract under which the combined business can continue to purchase specialized Bekipor metal fiber filtration media from Bekaert for incorporation into certain of the company's products.

"The acquisition of the advanced filtration business will expand the technical capabilities of Purolator EFP, improve the product offerings that the company brings to market and help us continue to grow in Europe and in Asia," says Christopher Conway, Clarcor's chairman, president and CEO.

Filtration Group acquires Buffalo Filter Filtration Group has added surgical smoke evacuation specialist Buffalo Filter to its growing portfolio of companies.

Founded in 1991 and based in Lancaster, NY, Buffalo Filter is a medical device manufacturer and supplier of surgical smoke evacuation equipment used to evacuate and filter hazardous smoke plume and/or aerosols created during surgical procedures.

Buffalo Filter manufactures hundreds of OEM, private label and co-labeled products and offer its own brand of smoke evacuation equipment, filters and accessories used by a wide variety of medical specialties. The company distributes its products and services throughout the U.S. and 52 countries world-wide.

Buffalo Filter will become a part of the Filtration Group's Medical Solutions Group. The Buffalo Filter purchase follows Filtration Group's recently completed acquisition of Porex.

Lear Corp. to open automotive seating plant in Romania Lear Corporation, a global supplier of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems, will open its new seating plant in Iasi, Romania, in January 2014. Serving all major European automotive manufacturers, Lear's new facility will employ approximately 1500 people, with an emphasis on seating surface materials including cutting and sewing capability.

"With Lear's continued growth, we are pleased to locate our new plant in Iasi, known as a major center for the textile industry," says Gideon Jewel, Lear's president for seating in Europe and Africa. "We also appreciate the cooperation of all involved as Lear adds a fourth facility in Romania."

The Iasi plant will add to Lear's Romanian workforce, which has a significant presence in Pitesti and Campulung. "We have been encouraged by the dedication and effort of our existing employees," says Raftael Gagliardi, Lear's vice president of European trim and foam. "We look forward to adding employees who appreciate joining the world leader in luxury and performance seating."

Lear Corporation, headquartered in Southfield, MI, is one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems. The company's products are designed, engineered and manufactured by a team of approximately 113,000 employees located in 36 countries.

Symbion picks Medline for medical and surgical supplies

Symbion Healthcare, based in Nashville, TN, and a leading operator of ambulatory surgery centers and surgical hospitals across the U.S., has selected Medline Industries, Inc. as its exclusive distribution partner for medical and surgical supplies. The five-year partnership will deliver an estimated savings of $2 million by driving distribution efficiencies across more than 50 surgical facilities nationwide over the term of the agreement.

"Medline's supply chain expertise and manufacturer-direct approach will improve service to our facilities and help reduce overall costs," says Cliff Adlerz, president and chief operating officer, Symbion. "Healthcare is local and this agreement will provide a new level of flexibility that will ultimately enhance our quality of care."

Medline, with 37 distribution centers strategically located throughout the U.S., will provide its broad assortment of Medline and national brand products directly to Symbion's surgical facilities around the country.

Medline will also deliver cost savings and efficiencies by driving product standardization and utilization solutions, as well as providing enhanced reporting capabilities to help facilities better monitor and control costs. The agreement is expected to be worth approximately $70 million over the course of the deal.

Sanitized AG receives Swiss Technology Award

Sanitized AG, a specialist in the lasting hygiene protection of textiles and polymers, was honored with the Swiss Technology Award in the "Sustainable Leader" category for its new Sanitized Pluma technology.The anti-adhesive hygiene treatment for textiles uses mechanisms from medical engineering to inhibit odor-causing bacteria.

Sanitized AG has already produced pioneering achievements in the field of the lasting hygiene function and material protection for textiles and polymers on multiple occasions. Its capacity for innovation has once again been demonstrated by the new Sanitized Pluma product. The staff of the research and development department at Sanitized AG has investigated a medical engineering technology that can inhibit bacterial formation on prostheses and thus reduces the risk of infection for patients. Together with researchers from the Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Sanitized AG has succeeded in adapting this mechanism of action from medical technology to hygiene treatments in textiles.

The outcome of this research project is the Sanitized Pluma technology, which inhibits the buildup of bacteria on the surface of the fibers and thus hinders undesirable odor development. The decisive difference compared with previously applied technologies is that this technology inhibits even the bacterial colonization of the textile surface says the company.

The gist of the Sanitized Pluma technology is a polymer film from an aqueous solution that forms on the textile in situ. This polymer coating fixes a microscopically thin film of water on the textile surface that acts as a barrier against bacterial colonization. The bacteria float on this film and can be eliminated by low-temperature washing. This saves both energy and water and sustainably extends the life of the textiles.

"With Sanitized Pluma we have succeeded in our efforts to create a new milestone in textile finishing," says innovation manager Heinz Katzenmeier. "Sanitized Pluma is safe, well-tolerated by the skin and environmentally sound in the application and handling of finished textiles. Sanitized Pluma is the answer to the growing need for freshness and hygiene in the field of textiles."

The Swiss Technology Award is the leading prize in Swiss technology. It is initiated by the Swiss Economic Forum, which would like to promote entrepreneurship and the culture of innovation in Switzerland. The prize is awarded on the May 25, 2014.

Universal Fibers, DuPont team up

Universal Fibers and DuPont Industrial Biosciences will collaborate to produce and market carpet fiber using DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer. The scope of the collaboration includes sales into the commercial, residential and automotive market segments. DuPont will provide its Sorona polymer to Universal Fibers for use in producing carpet fiber to be marketed and sold under the Universal Fibers brand with DuPont Sorona.

Nonwovens to grow in Middle East geotextile market

A new report on the geotextiles market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries says the geotextile market in these areas will experience positive growth as major construction activity in the region ramps up.

The report, published by Transparency Market Research and titled, "Geotextiles and Geogrids Market in UAE and GCC," says the GCC geotextile market, excluding UAE, was valued at $101.2 million in 2012 and is expected to be $200.5 million by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 10.3% from 2013 to 2019. In terms of volume, the demand was 52 million square meters in 2012 and is expected to be 86.8 million square meters by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 7.6% from 2013 to 2019.

The UAE geotextile market was valued at $27.8 million in 2012 and is expected to be $52.2 million by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 9.4% from 2013 to 2019. In terms of volume, the market was 13.5 million square meters in 2012 and is expected to be 22 million square meters by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 7.3% from 2013 to 2019.

Geotextiles are often used to perform various functions, such as soil reinforcement, separation, drainage, filtration and protection.

Nonwovens were the largest product-type within the geotextile market segment and accounted for over 65% of the market share in 2012 due to its extensive use in drainage sub-systems and road construction. Increasing infrastructural activities in GCC countries, particularly road and drainage systems, is expected to drive the deman for nonwoven geotextiles over the next few years. It is expected to witness the fastest growth in this region within the forecast period.

Road construction and erosion control were the largest application segments of geotextiles in GCC (including UAE), accounting for more than 60% of the marketshare in 2012. Erosion control is expected to be the fastest growing segment within the forecast period on account of growing infrastructure development such as roads, drainage systems and commercial and non-commercial construction. Demand for geotextiles in erosion control in UAE is expected to grow at a GAGR of 7.9% from 2013 to 2019.

Implementation of the mega-project Gulf Railway, which is to connect all the countries present in the GCC by 2017, is expected to be one of the primary factors driving the demand for geotextiles. In addition, gigantic road development projects are expected to play a significant role in the growth of the market.

However, fluctuating costs of key raw materials, such as polypropylene and polyester on account of depleting petroleum reserves is expected to hamper the growth of the market over the next few years. Rising consumer awareness regarding advantages of natural geotextiles is expected to open new opportunities for the growth of the market over the next few years.

CNITA and EDANA form partnership

Following a meeting of the Si no-Euro Nonwoven Industry Cooperation, involving representatives from the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), the China Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and the Sub-Council of Textile Industry China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT TEX) and EDANA, the international association representing the nonwovens and related industries, based in Brussels, CNITA and EDANA have signed a strategic partnership framework agreement.

The agreement, which establishes and promotes the equal and mutual-benefit relationship between the two associations, will involve discussion of jointly-relevant issues and details before the implementation of cooperation projects. The agreement is valid for three years, with the option for the two associations to modify or extend the agreement.

Speaking about the partnership after the signing, Lingshen Li, president of CNITA, says, "This partnership formalizes the good relationship our two associations have had for many years, and directs our efforts to those activities where a real and direct benefit will be made for our members and the industry, across both China and Europe."

In response, Pierre Wiertz, general manager, EDANA, says, "We are pleased to work together with CNITA to play an active role in promoting a better, more sustainable world with nonwovens through innovation and by embracing globalization in a perspective of free and fair trade. While we are conscious of the proliferation of events targeted at nonwovens producers, any future event will be developed to address directly the needs of the local industry."

The strategic partnership is focused on four main areas:

* Mutual agreement and sharing in the field of product testing and standards;

* Mutual agreement and sharing of statistical methods and data;

* Exploring ways to facilitate nonwovens-related trade between the two regions and cooperation in effective exhibition opportunities; and

* Information and data sharing and the potential of co-organizing international professional meetings.

SINCE 2013 visitors rise by 11%

The 15th edition of Shanghai International Nonwovens Exhibition (SINCE) 2013 was held successfully at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center from October 23-25, 2013.

Covering over 25,000 square meters and hosting 389 exhibitors from 21 countries, SINCE 2013 exceeded expectations with rising attention from all over the world. Also, it was improved with 10% more floor space over previous editions for participating companies. In addition, visitors' attendance rose by 11 % over the last edition.

SINCE has grown and become one of the leading global platforms for international manufacturers, suppliers and buyers to access the nonwovens markets of products and technologies in China and the rest of the world, as well as showcasing their products and services. Furthermore, with an increasing annual growth rate in China's nonwovens industry, China's total production of nonwovens accounts for more than one quarter of the global production of nonwovens.

As one of the world's key exhibitions for the nonwovens industry, the show offers an excellent communication platform and a vast window of opportunities for nonwovens industry professionals and related industries from all over the world. Visitors were able to source for new products and create sales, to build new contacts and networks and to learn and receive updates.

Another highlight of the show was the Exhibitors' Technical Presentation, which comprised of far-reaching technical developments and upcoming research and technology delivered by leading experts from respective fields. It was well attend ed by more than 100 delegates throughout the two days' session.

Organizers said more than 70% of 2013 exhibitors have already signed up for their booths at ANEX/SINCE 2015, which will take place from May 25-27, 2015 at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center.

Autoneum expands in China

Autoneum has acquired a 25% stake in a joint venture with its long-time partner and Japanese supplier Nihon Tokushu Toryo (Nittoku) and Chinese supplier TGPM Automotive Industry Group (TGPM) in the emerging market of China. In the future, innovative components for acoustic and thermal management will be produced for Japanese automobile manufacturers in the company's existing plant in Wuhan.

China is already the world's largest automotive market with around 20 million light vehicles produced annually, and it is one of the most important emerging markets of the automotive industry with an expected increase to over 27 million light vehicles in 2017. To be able to make the most of this potential, Autoneum has acquired the stake in Nittoku. Wuhan Nittoku Autoneum Sound-Proof, the joint venture now operated by Nittoku, Autoneum and their Chinese partner TGPM, has maintained a production site in Wuhan, Hubei province, for supplying Japanese automobile manufacturers since 2011. In light of the demand of the automobile manufacturers active in the region, there is an opportunity to supply non Japanese suppliers with components for acoustic and thermal management in the future as well. Around 200 employees produce dampers, inner dashes, hoodliners, outer dashes, and more at the Wuhan plant. Due to the high production volumes, an expansion of the 7,500 square meter production area is planned for 2014.

"This stake enables us to expand our existing production capacity in China and thus strengthen our position as the global market leader for acoustic and thermal management solutions for vehicles. In light of the strong demand from our customers, we see significant opportunities for a further increase in our market share in the emerging market of China," says Autoneum CEO Martin Hirzel.

Wuhan is one of China's most important automotive clusters and the domicile of European, American and Japanese automobile manufacturers and their sup pliers. In addition to three wholly owned plants in Chongqing (since 2006), Taicang (2010) and Shenyang (2011), Autoneum operates production sites in Guangzhou (2003) and Tianjin (2004) together with Nittoku in China.

Rockline publishes sustainability report

Rockline Industries, one of the world's largest private-label manufacturers of consumer wet wipes and coffee filters, released its 2013 Environmental Sustainability Report. The 2013 report, the fifth report since the program's inception, highlights the accomplishments the company has made throughout the year in reducing energy use and waste. Rockline says its most notable strides in fiscal 2013 were in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions, wastewater and solid waste reduction.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Filter Media Value Chain Converges at Filtration 2013

Annual event in Chicago, IL boasts record number of attendees

INDA's annual Filtration International Conference & Exposition, held November 12-14, 2013, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL, drew a record number of attendees conducting business with exhibitors representing all aspects of the filter media value chain. Also on tap was a conference program that reflected this year's Filtration theme of, "Filtration Protecting Health & Environment."

Filter media and component suppliers, customers and the entire filtration value chain from around the world met for three days of education and business interactions. Filtration is one of the largest and most important filtration industry events in the world, drawing over 1500 attendees from more than 30 countries.

"Filtration is playing an increasingly important role in the world today. Air quality research continues to link airborne contaminants to human health issues, indoors and out. Air and liquid filtration can provide health benefits to those with asthma, allergies or immune-compromised systems," says Dave Rousse, INDA president. "Here at Filtration, attendees from all over the world were able to see the latest in filter media, its technologies and the value it has to create innovative products to address health concerns. INDA was pleased to bring premium conference content and exhibitors together for three days of invaluable interactions."

One of the highlights of Filtration 2013 was the keynote session presented by Dr. John Spengler, Harvard University School of Public Health, titled, "Climate Change, Indoor Environment and Health." Dr. Spengler outlined the current challenges facing society today with global warming and the amount of time people subsequently spend indoors. Spengler spoke of the tremendous opportunity this presents to the entire filtration industry.

Also at Filtration 2013, the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA) conducted the Air Filtration Tutorial for the second year in a row. The tutorial was part of the NAFA Certified Air Filter Specialist (CAFS) program--the first education and certification program designed specifically for air filtration professionals. Dr. Christine Sun, Textile Research Associates, and Dr. Wu Chen, Dow Chemical, led a tailor-made Liquid Tutorial especially for Filtration attendees. Both tutorials gave attendees information about the basics in air and liquid filtration.

Filtration 2014 is scheduled for November 18-20, 2014 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD.
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Title Annotation:Nonwovens News
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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