Interview with Mr Dave Hill

Mr Dave Hill
Mr Dave Hill
Technical Absorbents Ltd (TAL)
Technical Absorbents Ltd (TAL)

Is the competition in your line of business getting fiercer? What is the recipe for success in this sector?

The main competition for SAF® is from the Super Absorbent Powders (SAP). Both specific forms of polyacrylate superabsorbent have their own set of advantages – depending on the nature of the application. SAP has been traditionally much cheaper than SAF, however TAL is on a continual program of capacity expansion and new product development, which is aimed at significantly reducing not only SAF pricing, but also to offer superior liquid absorbency performance.

Talking specifically about Performance and Medical fabrics, what can be said about its global market size-strength, current trends and consumer preferences?

It is reported that performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing sectors of the international textile industry. Its growth is being fuelled by new fibre and fabric development, enhanced process technologies and changing consumer lifestyles. As a result, many raw product and roll goods manufacturers are using their knowledge and experience to expand into this market.

TAL is working with specialists in this field to assess the potential for its SAF®-based coolant technology for items of apparel that need to ensure any negative effects on the thermo-regulatory system are minimal.TAL first worked on SAF® -based nonwoven coolant technology in 2005. Its first form was a specially blended combination of super absorbent fibres, in a revolutionary, patented, water-activated, three-layer composite cooling fabric structure.

The success of this, coupled with its proven experience of coolant technology, made SAF® the super absorbent solution of choice for a new line of cricketing headgear inspired by cricketer Charlton Lamb. Combined with phase-change material, the aim of the caps, helmets and clothing is to limit heating up of the body and minimise sweating.

TAL is currently developing new technologies and engaging with people who are working on projects that could benefit from these. It is still early days but the initial results and feedback appear to be extremely positive. One recent development is a fully washable superabsorbent sweat absorbing undergarment, for application within the military and security industries.

In the medical market, absorbent technology is required for numerous products, including those for exudates management. As part of the normal healing process, wounds release fluid but too much or too little can interfere with the healing process. Therefore it is important to manage moisture levels, particularly in chronic wounds. SAF® is already being used in a wide range of specialist medical care application areas. The nature of the product has also lead to a number of exciting opportunities in the design of new wound care fabrics for exudates management.

Is your business affected by recessionary trends? How would Techabsorbent confront the situation?

One area of concern has been the overall lack of fund liquidity within the supply chain which has resulted in trading restrictions and very cautious order schedules. TAL has responded whenever possible to work with its customer base to ensure maintenance of effective supply conditions.

Nonwovens is termed as nascent industry. How do you envision this industry in five years to come and your company’s position then?

TAL is continuously looking to enhance product quality and explore new markets and opportunities. Every day it manages a range of innovative development projects for new and prospective customers who have concepts that require absorption capabilities.

SAF® is a unique product and a market leader in a wide range of applications and TAL is focused on maintaining this position for many years to come. This level of commitment, coupled with a reputation for providing cost-effective solutions, excellent customer service and first-class technical support, is its main foundation for continued growth.

Virtual world of Internet has eased and enhanced communication mode for businesses. What is your say in the context of Virtual trade fairs?

Virtual trade fairs are a good addition to a comprehensive marketing strategy, especially in light of a huge shift towards online promotion and sourcing of information. However, there is no replacement for the one-to-one contact made on an actual exhibition stand and the value of such meetings to a strong business relationship.


Published on: 29/06/2009

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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