Report Offers INDA Members Key Metrics to Assist in Decision Making

INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, is pleased to publish the fifth edition of the annual North American Nonwovens Supply Report for its members.

Based on extensive research, producer surveys and interviews with industry leaders, the report provides an overall view of North American supply, including the key metrics of capacity, production and operating rates, in addition to regional trade. New in this year’s report is the inclusion of production by end-use markets and regional trade figures in dollar value, in addition to the previously reported tonnage. The 64-page report offers 34 figures and 13 tables.

“This report is the benchmark for North American nonwovens supply information, including not only rolled goods information, but also material produced for internal consumption. It details the industry operating rate; an essential element for our members’ strategic planning and business investment decisions,” said Dave Rousse, INDA President.

The report — and the quarterly INDA Market Pulse and monthly Price Trends Summary — are provided to the 360-plus INDA member companies and associates as part of their membership.

New findings include:

In 2017, North American nonwoven capacity increased to 4.96 million tons, a net increase of 2.5% (122 thousand tons) over 2016. This growth figure accounts for not only the addition of new lines, but also machine productivity increases and line closures (11 in 2017) to arrive at a net increase growth figure. Through the last five years (2012-2017) an additional 663 thousand tons of net capacity have been added to the North American market, with the drylaid forming process accounting for 58% of those tons.

North American imports and exports, in tonnage, declined 2.9% and 2.3% respectively year-over-year. However, the trend downward of exports and upward in imports continue, as over the last five years exports have declined 7.9% annually and imports have increased 10.4% annually. Even with the significant shifts in North American trade dynamics, nonwovens tend to stay where they are produced, with the net trade balance (imports less exports) accounting for only 4.1% of the region’s capacity.

“It is INDA’s objective to provide valuable data and actionable industry information. As always, the increasing participation of nonwoven producers – both members and non-members – providing their insights and results makes our success possible,” said Brad Kalil, Director of Market Research and Statistics, INDA.

About INDA
INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serves hundreds of member companies in the nonwovens/engineered fabrics industry in global commerce. Since 1968, INDA events have helped members connect, learn, innovate, and develop their businesses. INDA educational courses, market data, test methods, consultancy, and issue advocacy help members succeed by providing them the information they need to better plan and execute their business strategies. For more information, visit, or download the INDA mobile app for immediate updates.

Kelheim Fibres Celebrates 4,000,000 Tons of Viscose Fibers

Production Manager Konrad Brunner (on the right) and a part of his team proudly present the 4,000,000th ton of viscose fibers from Kelheim.

On Monday April 9, 2018, speciality fibers manufacturer Kelheim Fibres produced their 4,000,000th ton of viscose fibers!

The “jubilee ton“ was produced on line 2 and is a Galaxy® fiber – an appropriate coincidence according to production manager Konrad Brunner: “This speciality fiber is made for the tampon industry, one of the most important pillars of our business. This fiber combines our strengths: unique and patented fiber properties meet production conditions that fulfill the strict hygiene requirements of this sensitive final product. It’s not by chance that we have established a world-leading position in this area.”

Considering that about 5,000 shirts or even 500,000 tampons can be produced from one ton of viscose fibers alone, one can get an idea of how many people all over the world have come into contact with viscose fibers from Kelheim.

CEO Craig Barker is proud of the “anniversary” too: “Of course, there are bigger viscose fiber plants than ours. Plants that can produce the same amount of fibers in less time. But there is no one else who is able to put more than 80 years of experience in every single one of their fibers. At Kelheim, there are families working in the third or even fourth generation for our company. Their loyalty as well as their engagement and know-how are the cornerstone of our success: Our employees, together with our consistent innovation strategy and our small and flexible production lines, make us the world’s leading manufacturer of viscose speciality fibers. To further reinforce that position is our goal for the next million tons of viscose fibers and beyond!”

Saurer Invests in Arbon – New Technology Center Following in the Footsteps of the Pioneering Founders

The Saurer Group announced April 27, 2018 that it is establishing a technology center in Arbon, Switzerland. The research and development center at the home of the Saurer textiles group will combine Saurer’s leading expertise in sensor technology and automation with the latest innovations of Industry 4.0.

Saurer is currently advertising around 10 vacancies, and the first candidates have already been found. The Group believes it can create up to 40 jobs over the next years. Anton Kehl, Chief Technology Officer of the Saurer Group, said: “Our return to the roots of the Saurer textiles group is inspired by the pioneering spirit of our founders. Here in Arbon, Franz Saurer developed the first hand-knitting machine in 1869, built the first automatic embroidery machine in 1912, and conquered the world with his modern trucks from 1905. We aim to plot our course in this spirit of energy and innovation once again.”

The technology center in Arbon will work closely with existing research and development departments of the Saurer Group. This joint approach will be guided by Saurer’s central development philosophy that is summarized in the formula “E3+I”, which stands for “Energy, Economics and Ergonomics plus Intelligence”.

The formula symbolizes Saurer’s efforts to manufacture machines with minimum energy consumption, maximum production efficiency and pioneering ergonomics. At the same time, it intelligently integrates all of the data gathered during production with a view to implementing self-optimizing systems, preventive maintenance or intelligent quality control, for example.

Concluding, Anton Kehl said: “New developments in Industry 4.0 offer great opportunities for a group like Saurer. We aim to exploit these new opportunities, and to evaluate how they can be used to the advantage of our customers. Our vision is to become a smart industrial solutions and services provider, and the Saurer technology centre will undoubtedly make a valuable contribution to helping us achieve this.”

Techtextil North America 2019 Sets its Sights on Raleigh

The sixteenth edition of Techtextil North America announces the 2019 premier trade show for technical textiles and nonwovens will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina. The relocation to Raleigh brings the show back to the heart of the North American Textile Industry, with drive-in access for many leading global companies and within minutes of one of the best airports in the US, Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

North Carolina’s rich history in textile production dates back to the 1800s and today serves as the location of several of the most important global textile companies, industry associations and educational resources. North Carolina leads the U.S. in the textile mill industry with over 700 textile manufacturing establishments and over 42,000 industry workers.

In addition, North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles, located in downtown Raleigh, serves as a hub for textile research and development and as a primary supplier to the industry talent pipeline nationwide.

“We are thrilled to announce Raleigh as the Destination City for Techtextil North America 2019,” said Dennis Smith, President, Messe Frankfurt North America. “Not only is North Carolina an international hub for industry and innovation in textiles, but the city of Raleigh has become one of the fastest growing, more forward-thinking in the nation. Techtextil North America 2019 aims to provide a regional platform for the global textile industry to conduct business, and the concentration of companies, associations, and educational institutions in the area makes Raleigh the perfect location for our exhibitors and visitors to come together to do so.”

For more information on Techtextil North America, please visit

Expert Insight and Industry Innovation Showcased at Middle East & North Africa Symposium

Dubai MENA 2018

EDANA, the leading global association serving the nonwovens and related industries, welcomed over 200 delegates from more than 100 companies to Dubai for the fourth edition of the region’s premier conference for the nonwovens industry in February 2018.

The symposium and exhibition featured expert analysis on market outlook, product innovation, demographic trends and sustainability initiatives over the two-day event, with dedicated sessions on geotextiles, raw material trends and nonwovens in the health sector.

Feedback from participants throughout the event emphasized satisfaction with the support provided to the industry and the many opportunities to meet with peers. “This symposium has recognized the importance of the MENA region for the nonwovens industry and allowed my team and me to meet many of our customers in a friendly, informative and efficient way. The diverse range of presentations and delegates has helped further cement the region as a growth generator for the industry” said Haitham Alhudhaif, President of Saudi German Co. for Nonwoven Products.

Mahdy Katbe, CEO of Unicharm Gulf Hygienic Industries, echoed these sentiments “EDANA’s 4th MENA Symposium reaffirms their commitment to supporting multiple industries and areas. For the MENA region, one of the world’s most promising, EDANA’s resources are proving to be solid support pillars for the industry itself, the regulatory framework and end users.”

Other delegates highlighted the unique mix of insight and industry updates provided by such a gathering “all the nonwoven symposia I have joined over the years have always surpassed my expectations and Dubai is no exception. Listening to ideas and challenges in unrelated application fields remains and inspiring source for fresh ideas” said Ludwig Busam, Director Global Material Development & Supply Baby Care at Procter & Gamble. Silke Brand-Kirsch, Executive Partner at Schlegel & Partners concurred, adding that “the symposium has been a useful source of both inspirational knowledge, and technical innovations from expert speakers”.

“In addition to providing another successful platform for business development in the region, EDANA concurrently held its first ever board meeting outside of Europe here in Dubai, a testament to our reach and commitment to cater to the needs of our members and their markets” concluded Pierre Wiertz, General Manager of EDANA.