Import/Export | Sustainability

New Ventures With Nonwovens

Published: February 27, 2023
Author: DIGITAL MEDIA EXECUTIVE

The nonwoven and textile industries have a shared history, but the nonwoven business has developed to offer a wide range of engineered-fiber and polymer-based products that are powered by fast, inexpensive, creative, value-added processes. In order to reduce its reliance on cheap labour, the nonwoven industry constructed an ecosystem based on automation; as a result, it has not been necessary to locate its manufacturing sites in countries with low labour costs. Nonwovens are often manufactured and transformed locally, reducing shipping expenses.

In order to produce the needed products at a fair price, the industry has adopted technologies from other sectors, such as the pulp and paper and extrusion industries. In the long history of the nonwoven supply chain, automated conversion has played a significant role. can generate more than 1,000 diapers each minute.

Obviously, full automation is required for high speed, great volume, and low unit cost of production. Short runs and flexibility in offerings are consequently limited. The current nonwoven industry is divided into segments such as raw material suppliers, roll goods producers, end-use product converters and fabricators, machinery suppliers supporting the aforementioned three categories, auxiliary material suppliers, winding, slitting, and packaging equipment manufacturers, among others. This list does not provide as clear a picture as one might expect because different levels of vertical and horizontal integration within the industry further muddle the picture. The local market and economic intricacies further muddy the picture on a global scale.

Nonetheless, it is evident that  the nonwovens sector is nonetheless adaptable, inventive, and fiercely opportunistic. As a result, a variety of items that can replace more traditional textiles may become available in the near future. While some may view this as an opportunity, others may view it as a threat. Nonwovens will see significant new product and process developments fueled by macro trends in sustainability. Also, the next generation of technical textiles for many crucial applications may be the improvements in strong nonwovens. These structures will enable capabilities that are not currently possible because they are sturdy and have a lot more surface area than current fabrics. While the fibre technologies used for new nonwovens can easily be spun, keep in mind that some of the innovations may also have an impact on wovens and knits.

 

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