Converters in India compete on a full range, from basic nonwovens disposables to products with additives?
Susan Stansbury is the director of Converting Influence LLC. Converting Influence is six years old company, which holds regional meetings to bring converters and suppliers together to network and stay update on industry developments. The group also holds seminars on subjects ranging from automation to techniques in converting and flexographic printing. Currently Susan is consulting projects which includes - Work with new product developers to bring nonwovens products to market; Analysis for a national suppliers of earth friendly additives used in wipes; Personal care/healthcare wipes opportunity studies; Frequent consulting on wipes, healthcare disposables, tissue and nonwovens. She also invited as a distinguish speaker in conferences to speak on sustainability, biodegradability, industrial, personal care and other disposable products. In addition, she gave a workshop in Atlanta on EPA and FDA regulations for disposable products. She often writes for a number of industry publications such as Flexible Packaging magazine and Nonwovens Industry magazine.
Converting is the transformation of mill rolls of paper, tissue, films, nonwovens and combinations of substrates into smaller rolls, sheets, folded products, coated and printed products, laminated multi-layered materials and so much more. Therefore, there are the basic steps like slitting and sheeting, which are initial conversions and then the more sophisticated converting steps like laminating, printing and folding, which are often done in-line or at least in the same factory. In addition, there are conversions like making tapes, labels, disposable hospital gowns and wet wipes in many markets. So the forecast for converting can range from just 2% to 5% (such as wet wipes) and more than 5% in certain niche and value-added markets. Moreover, the level of mature and emerging markets around the world affects the grown rate. So, mature markets in North America, Western Europe and Japan for wipes, for example, may have a much lower growth rate than in emerging markets around the world. For example, , incontinence products, still accounted for 7-8% of global value sales of hygiene products in 2010; so there is a lot of room for growth in emerging markets. Eastern Europe, India, China, Russia and certain South American countries are experiencing strong growth rates for converted disposable products.
Bottlenecks include some inefficiency in the supply chain in certain regions, which need to develop. The other major issue is economical alternatives to major branded products. Moreover, most of the converters go through typical start-up issues.
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 technicaltextile.net.