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 ”
Rupp Report: INDEX, The Nonwovens Industry Summit
,” www., 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

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, and we’ll be glad to contact

March 15, 2011