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Area Sales Manager Trützschler Nonwovens & Man-Made Fibers GmbH
Indian manufacturers have high interest in sustainable nonwovens
Trützschler Nonwovens is a leading supplier of machinery to produce staple fibre-based nonwovens. The scope of supply ranges from production lines to single components for fibre opening and blending, web forming and bonding as well as drying, finishing and winding. The company is an expert in processing a broad range of both natural and man-made fibres. Trützschler solutions for spunlacing, thermal and chemical bonding processes are used for making wipes, hygiene products, cotton pads, coating substrates, filter materials and various other technical products. Area Sales Manager Torsten Kaiser deliberates about the opportunities for India in nonwovens and the technologies exhibited by Trützschler Nonwovens at Techtextil India 2019, held from 20-22 November in Mumbai.
What technologies is Trützschler exhibiting at Techtextil India 2019?
Nonwovens comprise very vast range of products, such as hygiene, geotextiles and technical products. Our strength in Trützschler Nonwovens is the spunlace technology which is suitable for many of these applications. We have come this year particularly to participate and showcase our solutions in cotton as India has a lot of knowledge in cotton production and processing. India is a cotton country. We are here to show products for sustainable nonwovens made from natural fibres, such as virgin cotton or comber noils.
What is the scope for nonwovens in India? Is the industry still at a nascent stage or do you see rapid growth?
For India, nonwovens is relatively new, as the industry is determined mainly by spinning. But the nonwoven scope is vast, and it is definitely growing. There is potential in the domestic and export markets. But I feel the export markets currently hold greater potential for India. After using our machinery, the material manufactured still needs to be converted into end-consumer products. The infrastructure for these converters in India today is limited. Hence for India we see a great chance to export roll-goods to countries where bio-degradable hygiene and medical products are required. Today most of the nonwovens used for hygiene products are made from synthetic fibre. With the raising environmental concerns about micro-plastics, cotton is the perfect material for nonwovens. We are also able to process cotton blends such as viscose on our machinery. Furthermore we offer wetlaid spunlace technology in cooperation with the German company Voith for the same.
Do you see Indian companies open to investing in sustainable nonwoven solutions like yours or is there more investment in synthetic nonwovens?
Cotton is a great material and can partially replace synthetic nonwovens in disposable products which are mostly used in hygiene. Firstly, the consumers perception of natural fibres is very positive. They usually prefer products with natural fibres when getting in touch with their skin. Secondly natural fibres are bio-degradable which plays an important role in nowadays life. And I believe this trend will expend in the future all over the globe. Obviously for many products synthetic fibres are simply the right choice and have completely different properties compared to cotton. With regard to hygiene disposable products India is still a small market due to the lack of awareness and use of disposable hygiene products. Once people here recognise the convenience of such products, the market will grow. The usage of diapers in urban regions within the country has significantly grown compared to 20 years back. With the growing middle-class population in India, the market is certainly bound to grow further.
Which are your major markets for nonwovens in Asia?
China has become a huge market in the last five years. Also, it demands a lot of high-quality products. The purchasing power of Chinese consumers is also high when it comes to these products. This market was growing really fast. The manufacturers saw the potential and invested in nonwoven technologies. The Chinese are quick; they also realised the opportunities in exporting the products which today is a huge business for them.
What are the standards set in the western countries for disposable hygiene products?
For instance, if we take a closer look to the ingredients listed on a package of wet wipes, it does not include information about the material composition of the wipe as such, but just the lotion or liquid content. In 2021 in EU it will be made mandatory to describe and mention the material composition of the wipes on the package. Hence consumers will realise if it is plastic-free or not. If then there will be wipe on the shelf which is plastics-free, the consumer will certainly by the natural product. We even believe that plastic wipes will be completely abandoned from the super market shelves in the long run.
What new technologies are your working on in nonwovens?
We are focusing on fibre opening and blending, web forming, web bonding and winding. We have developed a range of cards which can produce high quality webs from cotton and comber noil, which is much more critical compared to synthetic fibres, as fibre length in cotton varies a lot. For the bonding we are focusing on hydroentanglement and thermal bonding which allows to run at higher speeds compared to needle punching. We are able to supply complete lines for these technologies. Nonwovens have a vast scope, so each project is unique and we are focusing on web quality and high outputs on our machines.
What are your plans in India?
Of course, we are trying to expand in India. This year in Techtextil we met a lot of existing customers and new potentials showing great interest in nonwovens. Some of them have serious plans to drive their ideas further as they see a potential to diversify their business. The interest from Indian manufacturers is higher compared to what it was a few years back. Big companies are showing their will to invest. (HO)
Published on: 02/12/2019
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