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The Rupp Report: Nonwovens Means Good News

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

Everybody is tired of all the bad news around the world, presumably provoked by the global finance industry. The textile industry is affected too - at least, most of the sectors are. However, one sector is still earning some money and bringing work to the textile machinery industry. It's the nonwovens and technical textiles sector.

How Are You?
At the moment, it's not easy to visit the people in the industry. The question "How are you?" sounds sometimes like mockery. In most of the cases, the answer is the same: "Business is going down. The money is there, but nobody's investing at the moment. Everybody is waiting for good news."

We Are Okay
On a recent trip to France and Belgium, it was rather different. When Textile World visited France-based nonwovens machinery producer NSC nonwoven, the answer to "How are you?" was, "We are okay; we have delivery times up to seven months." TW was positively stunned and wanted to know the reasons for this good news in more or less bad times.

But Why?
NSC nonwoven Sales & Marketing Director Jean-Philippe Dumon said a difficult economic time also means time for opportunity. In a very lively discussion, he pointed out some reasons for this success. He said his customers have identified new market opportunities in the ever-so-growing nonwovens business. And in difficult times, innovative equipment is important more than ever. He also mentioned one of the Rupp Reports from last year, " Can You Afford To Buy Copies?" (August 19, 2008). The answer to this question, he mentioned, is clear: No, everybody must have first-class equipment to be successful today.

With Cost And Material Savings

As mentioned before, and published in various TW articles over the last year, energy and cost savings are the key words - also for Dumon's customers. He reckoned that cost savings are of major concern to all nonwovens producers, this includes for raw material, energy, maintenance and time. And, he mentioned, "We address this concern by generating fiber savings with our equipment."

But not only is fiber saving important, Dumon said. "We also supply control equipment to ensure a consistent quality production with energy-saving solutions. And, last but not least, the design of low-maintenance equipment allows more production time and, eventually, a better yield on the production line."

Matching Machinery
In the computer business, compatibility is the key word. This also is valid for the production of nonwovens. Dumon again: "We have a global overview of the nonwoven processes. Most of our sales are to supply complete lines since such an approach minimizes bottlenecks in production."

Yes, TW argued, but not everybody can spend the money for a complete new line today. No problem, the answer came promptly. "We are concerned about improving our customer end product performances - that's why we also provide solutions to improve the performance of existing lines. This issue will be the subject of news in a few weeks time. Wait and see."

Wait and see? All the digging deeper to get more news was useless. However, in most cases, I would ask more questions to get the news out. But this time was different. TW was pleased to hear some good news. So let's hope for the next message. If you or your company have some good news, let TW know. Send a note to jrupp@textileworld.com. TW would be happy to share it.

March 3, 2009