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Monday, October 15

Practical Polysaccharides — Some Less-Known Stories of Cellulose, Starch and Chitin
• Jacek Dutkiewicz, Buckeye
      Apparently new technical problems can sometimes be solved by applying existing practical knowledge. Here are some less known examples of what was found out in a few research labs about the most abundant and popular polysaccharides. Maybe some of these findings did not receive due attention because the timing was not right.

The Cellulose Invasion
• Tom Carlyle, Lenzing Fibers Inc.
      Man Made Cellulosic Fibers (MMCF) like Lenzing Viscose and Tencel are well known in the nonwovens industry and are often selected for use in many end products due to their water absorbent characteristics, biological compostability and sustainable sourcing from wood. However in most hygiene applications, synthetic polymers/fibers such as polyester and polypropylene are traditionally used because they typically offer functional benefits that cellulose cannot provide. With heightened "green awareness", synthetic polymers/fibers may be less attractive to consumers because they are based on non-renewable resources. Could a new generation of man-made cellulose fibers give the best of both worlds - products which are sustainably produced and which have the technical capability for applications which have usually been the domain of synthetic fibers?

The Money Tree
• Donald A. Sheldon, Handi Crafters
      The key question to be addressed is: does money grow on trees and can it be made in our Industry? How money is made and where it goes will be discussed relating to a hypothetical diaper company “Leakers, LLC. (You Leak, We SuckTM).” The financial impact of raw materials, oil, labor, transportation, importing, off-shoring, investments, taxes, Branded vs. Private Label positioning and more will be discussed. And the pressure points where money may be saved beyond what is being addressed in our industry will be revealed.

Adhesives at the Core of Thinner Diaper Innovation
• Heather Walch, H.B. Fuller
      Diapers have changed dramatically over the past decade and continue to evolve - so have adhesives. In addition to adhering substrates together, manufacturers should expect more functionality out of their adhesive. They can be the key driver to enabling diaper innovation. Learn how adhesives have changed the hygiene industry and will continue to do so in the future.

New Opportunities for SAP in 2012
• James C. Robinson, BASF Corporation
      In 2012 we have seen the continued trend toward thinner diapers and the consequent increase in the concentration of Superabsorbent Polymer (SAP) resulting from the removal of fluff pulp. As a result of these continuing changes, SAP must take on more of the fluid management role that pulp once handled. As such, it is important to be aware that not all SAPs handle this role equally and that we must understand the key parameters of high-performance SAPs that will help optimize fluid management in SAP-enriched cores. Going forward, continual evolution of SAP is necessary to adapt to changing core requirements, and, as SAP becomes a greater portion of the core, these polymers need to deliver attributes other than absorption, such as comfort and discreetness.

Tuesday, October 16

A Little of This and a Little of That — Current Topics in Nanotechnology
• Laura Frazier, SNS Nano Fiber Technology
      Is it a small world after all? If the growing fascination with nanotechnology is any indication, the world is shrinking rapidly. New companies are forming and new products are being developed in the area of nanotechnology, as well as the manufacturing of equipment for the production of nanofibers, nanoparticles, nanotubes, etc. The use of the prefix "nano" has become more and more prevalent, often being misused by the general public; meanwhile, the number of real life applications of nanomaterials has seen a significant increase. An overview of the current trends will be presented. 

The Changing PP Industry: Are Volatility and High Prices Here to Stay?
• E. Estaban Sagel, IHS

      During this presentation we will review the fundamental causes that have driven polypropylene prices sky-high and through heart-stopping, roller coaster-like volatility. We will then explore the options for the industry, and how and if those options will help bring down prices and tame the volatility that has affected the industry over the last 3 years. We will finally review the changes that we expect will take place in the near future, including investments in raw materials, changes in trade flows and potential substitution by other polymers.

Direct Carding — A Major Advance for Drylaid Fabric Formation
• Dan Feroe, Andritz Kusters
      The demand for higher operating speeds in drylaid nonwovens in the spunlace market has highlighted a weakness in current carding technology to maintain cross-directional strengths as speeds increase, thus MD/CD ratios plummet with speed. Andritz has introduced a new carding technology to answer this problem with CD values enabling higher operating speeds without any sacrifice to physical values and ratios. The purpose of the presentation is to provide an overview of the carding process and provide examples from industrial installations who benefit from this new web forming technology.

SAP Old and New — Will New Producers Change the Game?
• Ian Davenport, Davenport International Associates, LLC
      How will the history of SAP development impact the future of the superabsorbent industry? We will review technical trends and take a look into the future. Meanwhile, expansions continue in both Acrylic Acid and SAP. Will there be a change in the rules of the game?

Who Wants to be in the Fluff Pulp Business and Why?
• Don Young, Marketing Technology Service, Inc.
      The industry has seen consolidation and changes in the participants with new companies buying into the business and two of the large players adding significant capacity. The presentation examines these changes and what they mean for the industry. Current demand and growth rates for San Pro, AI, diapers and airlaid will be covered along with P&G’s pulpless core product success and the need for competitive responses.

Sustainability, Ecolabelling, Green Claims — Fears and Facts, European Regulators and Industry Dialogue
• Pierre Conrath, EDANA
      In spite of a persistently difficult and uncertain economic environment, many companies have pursued their efforts to address sustainability and delivered on their ambitions to make sustainability part of business as usual. According to EDANA’s sustainability engagement survey, although many companies have a much better handle on sustainability, their hopes and fears have changed little since 2009. At all levels, policymakers and other stakeholders are turning previously isolated business practices and legislation into a comprehensive system. In this context, companies and industries alike are under increasing pressure to change their approach to meet the demand for sustainability and seize opportunities arising from it.

What Can Be Done with Bicomponent Fiber Technologies?
• Tim Robson, HILLS, Inc.
      Over the years bicomponent fibers, or ‘bico fibers’, have found their way into more and more applications. This paper will explore how bico fibers touch our lives ranging from everyday consumer products to novel industrial applications. By combining the development of new polymers with new manufacturing methods the advantages of bico fibers are further multiplied, ensuring multicomponent fibers are here to stay.

Direct Mass Production of Polymeric Nano-Fibers
• Evan E. Koslow, Ryan Gerakopulos, Chitral Angammana and Jocelyn Tindale, GABAE Development
      A new method of producing nano-fibers uses dielectrophoretic forces. Both melt-spun and solvent-spun nano-fibers can be manufactured in high volumes. Whereas traditional solvent-based electrospinning from a needle typically operates at flow rates of about 0.1 milliliters per hour, a dielectric system in the same geometry will flow at 40 milliliters per hour and produce 6 grams per hour of dry 150-250 nanometer fiber. Dielectric melt-spinning produces similar fibers at 5-40 grams per minute and an array of such emitters can achieve fiber production of a kilogram per minute. Ordinary polypropylene can be spun directly using dielectric spin physics.

Wednesday, October 17

Production Line Supervision: New Technological Tools and Methods to Improve Production Efficiency
• Daniele Ponzinibbi, GDM SPA
      In the current global competitive environment it is of immense importance for manufacturing companies to keep track of and improve the performance of their production systems. The paper presents new technological tools for retrieving reliable and categorized data, and methods for improving production efficiency. Such capabilities encourage an evolving mindset and changed behavior consistent with a continuous-learning organization.

The Impact of Stretch Engine Technology on Customer Satisfaction — Hygiene Applications
• Sean Syring, CONWED - Global Netting Solutions
      There are many challenges and concerns consumers have when choosing to wear Adult Incontinence products. We will discuss how advances and development in the stretch engine of hygiene products can impact some of these consumer perceptions. This presentation will review how current products can impact performance and ultimately drive customer satisfaction.

Airlaid in Asia
• Marc Newman, Fitesa China
      This presentation explores four Chinese inventions that changed the world: • A view of the general market conditions in Asia with a focus on airlaid and Femcare. • Regional airlaid customers, suppliers, and producers. • Recent market share and product trends of the largest Femcare manufacturers in China. • A brief technical presentation of the "mini-diaper" product found in China.

Outlook for Global Tissue Business and Trends in North America
• David Allan, RISI Inc.
      The global tissue business is booming. It was hit by the 2009 recession, not as badly as many other paper industry segments, but recovered rapidly and is now back on its strong expansion path. Globally, tissue consumption exceeded 30 million tonnes in 2011 and we expect the long-term growth to continue at an average rate of slightly above 4% annually. In the past ten years China has been the prime motor for growth in the global paper and board industry, and so also the tissue business, followed by Latin America which has also shown strong expansion. In the next ten years it is expected that large emerging markets such as Brazil, Turkey and Russia will increasingly offer tissue companies new business opportunities. The tissue sector is expected to continue on its dynamic expansion track with steady growth rates, and less dependent on economic fluctuations than other paper grades. The North American tissue market is experiencing a new investment boom this year and next year. This time the main driver for new projects seems to be the need for ultra and premium grade tissue, partly as a reflection of major retailers' target to upgrade their private label offerings closer to the main brands in quality, although there is a clear trend toward higher quality in the AfH sector as well. Market growth has flattened, particularly in terms of weight as the product light-weighting trend continues. Competition does not show any signs of alleviation, and it is amazing to see how a growing number of small, independent converters have been able to forge ahead based on their niche products, flexible service and subcontracting orders from the big players. Environmental certification and sustainability issues are also getting to be increasingly important topics in the North American tissue business.

Multi-Layer High-Tech Wipes for Oil and Vapor Sorption
• Appachi Arunachalam, Hobbs Bonded Fibers
      With the advent of the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill incident, need for efficient sorbents that can absorb oil and hold off toxic vapors has grown. Fibertectฎ wipe, because of its unique structure, will instantaneously absorb viscous oil. The porous carbon inside the structure will hold off any off-gassing vapors. Cotton in the fiber stage has been shown to absorb about 50 times its weight of oil. The needled structure gives structural cohesion as well as enhancing the porous structure, aiding more sorption.

Biodegradable and Bioresorbable Nanofibrous Materials for Medical and Other Applications
• Larry Marshall, Verdex Technologies, Inc.
      A new technology is presented for the “green” (no solvents) manufacture of biodegradable and bioresorbable functionalized nanofibrous materials. The materials are suitable for applications in wound care due to controlled delivery of oxygen and iodine. Attaching blood clotting powder additives to the fibers creates a hemostatic material. Potential applications into the industrial sector are also presented.

Asian Diaper and Training Pant Design Changes and Implications for Manufacturing
• Hidenori Tanaka, Zuiko Inc.
      This presentation describes the diaper and training pant designs appearing in Asia. Several interesting design variations of the latest trends will be described along with implication for manufacturing equipment.

Flashy Packaging and Body Hugging Products — An Update on Hygiene Absorbent Product Trends
• Pricie Hanna, Price Hanna Consultants, LLC
      What are leading hygiene product marketers and their material and equipment suppliers doing to add value and competitive differentiation to their products? This presentation highlights important examples of innovative hygiene absorbent products and material developments driving global trends. Significant new product features and performance enhancements are identified in selected baby care, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products worldwide. Material and equipment advances that are enabling hygiene product innovations and value enhancements are also described.

Thursday, October 18

Where are the Hidden Costs in Your Non-Core Process
• Stefan Sulzmaier, SGS Germany GmbH
      Looking at production cost and efficiency has always been very important for the success and development of any production facility, be it raw materials, intermediates or consumer goods. But especially in highly optimized sectors like the nonwovens industry the room for improvement has often been maxed-out already. It has therefore become necessary to look at new ways to increase efficiencies. 
      The paper will look at two ways to walk beyond the trodden paths. At first it will describe the experience and lessons from the Lean program that SGS has used to improve its services. This program had been started on corporate level and has lead to excellent improvements in efficiency and reduction in cost. 
      Secondly the paper describes more radical ways to look at the hidden cost: How to get rid of the cost factors that are not essential for the core competencies of a company by outsourcing. The major question to be asked and answered in the paper is: Is outsourcing beyond your cafeteria or cleaning services a way you as a player in the nonwoven industry, or as a major consumer goods manufacturer, can go?

Intellectual Property for Superabsorbent Polymers — Past, Present and Future Prospects
• Rick Jezzi, A.D. Jezzi & Associates, LLC
      This paper will present a review of the intellectual property minefield that currently exists in the area of superabsorbents polymers. It will discuss the status of some of the historical patents that have surrounded this technology and its applications, and help eliminate some of the myths that have developed in the industry. It will review the current patents in both their product application and their technology as well as discuss future trends and the companies that are driving these.

Low Pulp or No Pulp? — Ultra-High Percent SAP Cores for Baby and Adult Disposables
• Mark Bolyen, Marketing Technology Service, Inc.
      This presentation covers technical and performance issues for thin absorbent core diapers and absorbent pads. It presents new performance data on AFF-type designs, pulpless and near pulpless possibilities, and alternatives involving system designs. Viable alternative strategies for high SAP cores will be discussed and demonstrated with commentary.

Tricks of the Trade — Mixing SAP Types in Composites and Layered Structures
• Jim Hanson, Marketing Technology Service, Inc.
      There are many possibilities and iterations available when designing very high percent SAP absorbent products and ultra-thin cores that perform at peak efficiency. One fertile area to explore when balancing costs, performance and in-field results is the use of blends of different types. This presentation illustrates some ultra-thin possibilities with blended and layered SAP composites.


Last Modified: October 22, 2012



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