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Textile News

The Rupp Report: French Nonwovens Supplier

Nonwovens are gaining ground on all other sectors of the textile industry, with close to double-digit increases every year. This year, the nonwovens industry is preparing for two main events: In April, INDEX in Geneva, (see " The Rupp Report: INDEX, The Nonwovens Industry Summit," www. TextileWorld.com, March 8, 2011); and in May, Techtextil 2011 in Frankfurt. Well, one could say there are three events: The third one is ITMA Europe in September, which will take place in Catalonia's capital, the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain. However, INDEX and Techtextil are in the forefront of interest for this ever-growing sector of the global textile industry.

Positive Results
But what is the mood of the nonwovens machinery suppliers? The Rupp Report spoke to France's leading manufacturer of machinery for nonwovens production, NSC nonwoven. Sales and Marketing Director Jean-Philippe Dumon is looking forward to a much better result than in 2009: "We are on a good way," he reported. "We have even had delivery problems. Luckily, there is no top seller of the NSC range — all products are selling equally well. However, keeping the years 2008 and 2009 in mind, we must be very cautious about increasing our production.

"Of course, the volatility of the exchange rates is also affecting NSC, but it could be worse," Dumon said. Also for his company, China is currently one of the booming markets. However, he said, for China, the boom is perhaps not as big as in other sectors. "China is not the only place where we have very positive feedback on our high-end machines. Europe also is coming back, and the United States is very active too."

Bottleneck Card?
As people from the trade know, with the increasing speed of the card, the machine direction:cross direction (MD:CD) ratio of the fiber web gets worse and basically more uneven. At the forthcoming events, NSC will present a system that guarantees a MD:CD ratio below 3:1 at 250 meters per minute. including an improved bonding index. "This will be a major change for the spunlaced business," Dumon said. "NSC invested a lot to improve the performance of their inline carding and crosslapper machinery. We've done our homework."

Therefore, the card and the following crosslapper are not a bottleneck for NSC: "Not at all," Dumon said. "Our crosslapper system ACS (Air Control System) is supporting the major requirements of the European customers: better quality with lower costs. You don't have to slow down your line to have a better product, just go faster."

ITMA 2011
By tradition, and, of course, as a European manufacturer, NSC will take part as an exhibitor in Barcelona. So, is Jean-Philippe Dumon happy that there are now three ITMAs in three years? "Definitively not," he said. "I think, not only our customers, but also we as a machinery supplier must take the return on investment into consideration. I'm sure our customers are in the same position and understand this point of view."

After ITMA Asia 2010 in China, what are the expectations of Dumon for the forthcoming ITMA 2011 in Barcelona? "After ITMA Asia last year, nobody is expecting truly new machinery to be exhibited in Spain. The attitude of the global customers has changed a lot. In such competitive times, we can't wait four years to show our novelties. However, we also can't show new machines at every ITMA." But will the ITMA in Europe survive? Dumon's answer is "yes, however, it must change."

The Rupp Report will continue to publish more interviews with suppliers and producers in the coming weeks and months. If you have a say about the forthcoming ITMA 2011 in Barcelona, write to jrupp@textileworld.com, and we'll be glad to contact you.

March 15, 2011

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