The Rupp Report: Latest News For INDEX 14
Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor
A few weeks ago, the Rupp Report informed its readers about the forthcoming INDEX, the international nonwovens exhibition that will take place in Geneva April 8-11, 2014 (See “The Rupp Report: INDEX 2014 — Showcase For The Nonwovens Industry,” TextileWorld.com, February 11, 2014). In a recent meeting, Helen Rushton, product development manager of INDEX organizer Palexpo, informed the Rupp Report about the latest developments.
As of press time, more than 560 exhibitors have confirmed their attendance. On the other hand, the organizers are expecting some 12,500 visitors at the exhibition. At the 2011 event, 530 exhibitors from 43 countries presented their latest products to more than 12,600 visitors.
In addition to the exhibition, the four days will be packed with all kinds of events. INDEX 14 will have a program including free-of-charge conferences and wants to provide a platform for exchanging knowledge as well as the possibility to network with high-level business contacts from around the world.
As ever, EDANA, the International Association Serving the Nonwovens and Related Industries, will announce the winners of the INDEX 14 Awards and hand them over the first day of the exhibition. According to Rushton, “The Awards are designed to encourage and acknowledge innovation, creativity and sustainability, their raw materials and the machinery used in making or converting nonwovens.” It can be said without exaggeration that the INDEX Awards are the top honor for the best examples of excellence in the nonwovens industry and underline outstanding developments. “The interest in the awards has been strong and the entries, depending on categories, are assessed on creative ideas, new technologies, innovative features and/or sustainability,” Rushton added.
Automotive Nonwovens Forum
The automotive industry is one sector in which nonwovens have penetrated and almost taken over a lot of applications. A vehicle without textiles is hardly possible and rather unthinkable, not only for passenger cars and trucks, but also for racing cars with their lightweight composite materials and prepregs. Today, more than 20 kilograms of textiles and nonwovens are used in every passenger car.
To bring attention to this fact, EDANA will present a conference covering the main applications and most recent trends in nonwovens for the automotive industry on Tuesday, April 8, from 1.30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Presenters will include key decision-makers from the supply chain including manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), as well as nonwovens and materials suppliers. The event will also include the launch of a video pointing out the benefits and applications of nonwovens in the automotive industry, including their contribution to performance, comfort, and efficient resource use. The video is said to present the use of nonwovens in more than 30 locations in modern vehicles. Rushton explained that the video “will also focus on how their diverse qualities and ability to be engineered for specific properties make them an ideal component in the design and construction of the full range of transportation, including automobiles, airplanes, trains, boats and even space shuttles.” As the Rupp Report was informed, there is still some room for first-class speakers with a striking topic.
Since the invention of nonwovens, geotextiles have played a major role in research and development and are a cornerstone of global nonwovens production. Next to woven fabrics, there is a very wide diversity of nonwovens — including needlepunched, spunbond and spunlace material — applied all around the world.
The organizers are also paying attention to this fact at this year’s INDEX: there will also be a free geotextiles workshop on Tuesday afternoon. Nonwovens-related innovations in the field to be discussed include: “Effects of Nonwoven Geotextiles: Pilot Experiments Aimed at Reducing Snow and Ice Melt at the Presena Glacier (Trento, Italy),” presented by Antonella Senese, University of Milan; and “The Nonwoven Market for Geotextiles — Application Trends, Growth Opportunities and Market Dynamics,” presented by Silke Brand-Kirsch, Schlegel and Partners GmbH, Germany. Schlegel and Partners reports it is one of the key market research institutes in the nonwovens segment.
Of particular interest is the presentation “Applications and New Challenges for Geotextiles — Opportunities for Nonwovens: Transportation Applications — Designs, Specifications, Installation and Applications,” presented by Stephen Corbet, technical director, AECOM Technology Corp., a Los Angeles-based Fortune 500 company with revenues of US$8.2 billion in 2013. The company claims to be a “global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government with some 45,000 employees around the world.”
Other geotextile topics also will be presented. Daniele Cazzuffi, Ph.D., past president of the International Geosynthetics Society and chair of the European Committee for Standardization on Geosynthetics (CEN/TC 189), will lead the discussions.
Nonwovens In Packaging
The rising global flow of goods provoked the development of another important segment of nonwovens: packaging. To pay tribute to this promising sector, a conference on Wednesday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., is dedicated to packaging innovations and will provide market and practical research data for this sector. “Packaging applications of nonwovens are growing at a strong pace with a wide range of exciting applications,” reports George Kellie, Ph.D., director, Kellie Solutions Ltd., United Kingdom.
Presenters include Marc Levillain of France-based JX Nippon ANCI SAS, who will discuss “Cross Laminated Nonwoven Open Mesh Fabric for Packaging”; and Suna Karakurd of Karweb Airlaid Products, Turkey, who will discuss “A New Composite Airlaid Process and Materials for Long Shelf Life.”
Research & Innovation Showcase
A Nonwovens Research & Innovation Showcase will take place on Friday morning, April 11, and is open to research institutes that are EDANA members and/or exhibitors. Keynote speaker Mathieu Mottrie of Belgium-based Creax Projects NV will discuss how developments in one industry sector can commercially benefit another sector. The session will highlight the newest offerings from institutes in the field of nonwovens testing and pilot plants, approaches to innovation by nonwovens research establishments, and cross-fertilization.
Nonwovens For Beginners
Still today, the nonwovens sector is quite new for some textile producers and peripheral industries. And many interested parties — mostly trying to start their own business — are coming to INDEX to have an overview of this ever-so-promising sector. For these visitors, as in 2011, EDANA will offer a so-called “taster” tutorial covering such topics as general nonwovens, absorbent hygiene products and nonwovens in filtration applications.
As described by EDANA: “These one-hour introductory sessions will provide fundamental entry-level information on nonwovens: what they are, how they are formed and consolidated, the materials used, and where are they manufactured. Intended for newcomers to the industry, or any interested potential user of nonwovens in one or more of their multiple end-uses, they provide a valuable insight into the potential of these valuable materials.”
As mentioned before: the Rupp Report and its sister magazines from Textile Industries Media Group will also be present: See you soon in Geneva.
March 11, 2014