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The world's non-woven industry: a crazy year

July 3, 2021

The world's non-woven industry: a crazy year!!!


2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 , most industries have experienced the outage period, various economic activities temporarily to a halt. In this situation, the non-woven fabric industry is busier than ever. As the demand for disinfectant wipes and masks has reached unprecedented levels this year, news reports about the surge in demand for base materials (IE melt-blown materials) have become mainstream, and many people have heard a new word for the first time-none Spun cloth, people began to pay more attention to the important role of non-woven materials in protecting public health. 2020 may be a lost year for other industries, but this situation does not apply to the non-woven industry.



01 In response to Covid-19, companies increase production or expand their business scope to new markets.


Non-woven products-masks


It has been more than a year since Covid-19 cases were first reported. As the virus gradually spread from Asia to Europe and finally to North and South America in the first few months of 2020, many industries are facing suspension or closure. The non-woven fabric industry has begun to develop rapidly. Many markets for non-woven services (medical, healthcare, sanitation, wipes, etc.) have been declared essential businesses for a long time, and there is an unprecedentedly high demand for medical equipment such as protective clothing, masks, and respirators. It also means that many companies in the industry must actually increase production or expand existing businesses into new markets.


According to Jacob Holm, a manufacturer of Sontara spun-lace fabrics, as demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) increased in May, the production of this material increased by 65%.Jacob Ho-lm to significantly increase production by eliminating a number of defects and other measures to improve the existing lines, and soon announced that it will establish a new global expansion plant, to be operational early next year. DuPont (DuPont) has been supplying Tyvek nonwovens to the medical market for many years. As the corona-virus drives the demand for medical materials, DuPont will transfer materials used in the construction market and other applications to the medical market. At the same time, it announced that it will be in Virginia.


The state increased production capacity to rapidly produce more medical protective products. In addition to non-woven industry, not to get involved in health care and other traditional markets PPR companies to act quickly to meet growing demand caused by the new virus crown. Construction and specialty products manufacturer Johns Manville will also use melt-blown materials produced in Michigan for face masks and mask applications, and spun-bond nonwovens for medical applications in South Carolina.



02 industry-leading nonwovens producer in this year to enhance the capacity of melt-blown.


In 2020, nearly 40 new melt-blown production lines are planned to be added in North America alone, and 100 new production lines may be added globally. At the beginning of the outbreak, the melt-blown machinery supplier Reifenhauser announced that it could shorten the delivery time of the melt-blown line to 3.5 months, thereby providing a fast and reliable solution to the global shortage of masks. Berry Group has always been at the forefront of melt-blown capacity expansion. When the threat of the new crown virus was discovered, Berry had actually taken measures to increase melt-blown capacity. At present, Berry has developed new production lines in Brazil, the United States, China, the United Kingdom and Europe. , And will eventually operate nine melt-blown production lines worldwide.


Like Berry, like most of the major nonwovens producers in the world this year have increased melt-blown production. Lydall is adding two production lines in Rochester, New Hampshire, and one production line in France. Fitesa is setting up new melt-blown production lines in Italy, Germany and South Carolina; Sandler is investing in Germany; Mogul has added two melt-blown production lines in Turkey; Freudenberg has added a production line in Germany. At the same time, some companies that are new to the nonwovens field have also invested in new production lines. These companies range from large multinational raw material suppliers to small independent start-ups, but their common goal is to help meet the global demand for mask materials.



03 Manufacturers of absorbent hygiene products expand their business scope to mask production.


In order to ensure that there is sufficient non-woven production capacity to meet the mask market demand, companies in various consumer markets have begun to increase the production of masks. Due to the similarities between the manufacture of masks and absorbent hygiene products, manufacturers of diapers and feminine hygiene products are at the forefront of these conversion masks. In April of this year, P&G announced that it would switch production capacity and begin manufacturing masks in nearly ten production bases around the world. Procter & Gamble CEO David Taylor said that mask production started in China and is now expanding to North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.


In addition to Procter & Gamble, Sweden’s Essity announced plans to produce masks for the Swedish market. South American health expert CMPC announced that it will be able to produce 18.5 million masks per month in the near future. CMPC has added five mask production lines in four countries (Chile, Brazil, Peru and Mexico). In each country/region, masks will be provided to public health services free of charge. In September, Ont-ex launched a production line with an annual production capacity of approximately 80 million masks at its Eek-lo factory in Belgium. Since August, the production line has produced 100,000 masks per day.



04 The production volume of wet wipes has increased significantly, but meeting the market demand for wet wipes is still facing challenges.


This year, with the surge in demand for disinfecting wipes and the continuous introduction of new wipes applications in industry, personal and home care, investment in this area has been strong. In 2020, two of the world's leading non-woven fabric processors, Rock-line Industries and Nice-Pak, both announced that they will significantly expand their North American operations. In August, Rock-line said it would build a newest disinfecting wipes production line costing US$20 million in Wisconsin. According to reports, this investment will nearly double the company's production capacity. The new line called XC-105 Galaxy, will become one of the industry's largest private label wipes disinfecting wipes production line. It is expected to be completed in mid-2021.


Similarly, wet wipes manufacturer Nice-Pak announced a plan to double the production capacity of disinfecting wipes at its Jonesboro plant. Nice-Pak changed the factory's production plan to a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week production plan, thereby expanding production. Even though many companies have greatly increased the production capacity of wet wipes, they still face challenges in meeting the market demand for disinfection wipes. In November, Clorox announced an increase in production and cooperation with third-party suppliers. Although nearly one million packs of Clorox wipes are shipped to stores every day, it still cannot meet the demand.



05 Integration in the supply chain of the health industry has become a clear trend


In recent years, integration in the supply chain of the health industry has continued. This trend started when Berry Plastics acquired Avintiv and merged nonwovens and films, which are the two basic components of sanitary products. Berry in 2018 to acquire gas-permeable membrane technology manufacturer Clopay, and even expand the application in the field of cinema. This year, another manufacturer of nonwovens Fitesa also expand through the acquisition of Tredegar Corporation's Personal Care Films business of its film business, including Indiana Terre Haute production base, Netherlands Kerkrade, Hungary Rétság, Diadema, Brazil and India, Pune. This acquisition strengthens Fitesa's film, elastic materials and laminate business.



Since so many masks are produced, it is impossible to use them directly, and they need to be inspected by various testing instruments to be qualified before they can be put on the market.If you are also a member of a non-woven fabric manufacturer and you want to test whether your products are qualified, you can give priority to the non-woven testing equipment of our Haida Instrument Co., Ltd. Our company's vision is to deliver the best testing equipment to our customers.