Friday 31 January 2014

Kelheim Fibres and Krones develop alternative medium for beer filtration

The development of a substitute for diatomite in precoat filtration in the brewing industry is the subject of a joint research project between Kelheim Fibres, world leading manufacturer of viscose speciality fibres, and Krones AG, globally successful producer of beverage and food technologies, which has been running since mid-2013.

In recent years diatomite has come under criticism as its heavy dust emissions have proven to be damaging to the health of the user’s operatives and because the increased cost of disposal. Viscose fibres consist of 100% cellulose and are therefore renewable and environmentally sound. They are completely biodegradable and compostable. Viscose fibres are neutral in taste, physiologically and hygienically sound and therefore ideally suited for applications in sensitive food applications.

In the past, there have already been attempts to substitute diatomite by alternative filter media, such as virgin cellulose fibres. Viscose fibres - an environmentally sound and tailor-made alternative. The new joint research project takes this idea one step further: in contrast to virgin cellulosic fibres, viscose fibres are regenerated cellulosic fibres and therefore their physical and chemical properties can be perfectly adapted to meet the needs of the user. It is therefore possible to control the parameters of filtration – such as the degree of filtration, the pressure drop or the selective removal of undesired elements – in a precise and custom-designed way.

First results of the joint research project demonstrate a high level of suitability of Kelheim Fibres viscose products as a filtering aid. The main focus of the project is the clarification of the beer and its physical stabilisation by the use of functional viscose fibres, which can also be adapted to meet the specific filtration requirements of the beer.

Both research partners, Kelheim Fibres GmbH and Krones AG, are contributing their industry-specific expertise to the project and the practical evaluation of viscose fibres in beer filtration – and by so doing are laying the best foundations for the success of the project.

This joint research project is subsidised by the Bavarian Ministry for Economy and Media, Energy and Technology in the context of the program “New Materials.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

EDANA and INDA Launch New Shared Mission and Vision

BRUSSELS, Belgium, and CARY, N.C. — January 27, 2014 — EDANA™ and INDA® associations for the nonwovens and engineered fabrics industry based in Europe and North America, respectively today announced that they will harmonize their mission and vision to advance the success of their member companies.

Responding to the needs of each association’s member companies, including those companies who belong to both organizations, this new initiative was drawn from the values and missions pursued by both associations for their more than 40 years of operation.

INDA and EDANA have kept parts of each association’s individual positions that are essential to their own nature and character, and have formed a mutual position that not only strengthens the relationship between the two associations, but seeks to provide cohesion and consistency on a global basis. Each organization will continue to operate independently.

The new joint vision for INDA and EDANA is to provide “global leadership to create an environment beneficial to sustainable and profitable growth of the nonwovens and engineered fabrics and related industries to best serve their customers.”

The new joint mission is to be “recognized within the global nonwovens and engineered fabrics and related industries as the associations that consistently provide products, services and events of the highest value to members and industry participants worldwide.”

Members of both global organizations are involved in the complete nonwovens supply chain from raw materials, machinery and equipment to roll goods, converters and end products. The services provided by each association are similar in nature, but unique in delivery and influence.

Both associations provide services in product stewardship (safety standards, test methods and sustainability); government and regulatory affairs; commerce and innovative industry events; industry awareness and trust; and training, education and market research.

“The vision and mission of our organizations direct what we do — how we serve our members is distinctly different. Harmonizing our vision and mission statements makes sense in this increasingly global industry. Our respective members need the assurance that the essential services provided by their industry association will be consistent in structure and intent, yet tailored to locally defined needs,” said Todd Bassett, Chair of the INDA Board of Directors.

“In defining our joint goals, we established ‘what do we do or aspire to do.’ How we implement these strategic goals will continue to differ, based on our respective members’ needs and their specific business and social environments,” said Patricia Featherstone, Chair of the EDANA Board of Governors. “We will continue to act based on our local requirements and demands, but with a greater level of compatibility and support both for and from our partner association."

Friday 17 January 2014

Freudenberg Upgrades Spunlaid Lines

Weinheim, January 17, 2014 – Freudenberg Nonwovens, one of the world’s largest and most diverse producers of nonwovens, is upgrading its spunlaid production. The company is investing several million euros at its Durham and Kaiserslautern sites. Both investment projects relate to the further technical development of existing lines and follow Freudenberg’s decades-long tradition of continuous process improvement.

Both major projects will enhance product quality. Following modernization the lines will be able to manufacture nonwovens of a higher quality with improved performance properties. The investment in Durham will also increase Freudenberg Nonwovens’ flexibility in supplying global markets. “As a result, we are strengthening our global position as a technological leader and responding to market demand for higher-quality materials”, Dr. Frank Heislitz, CTO of Freudenberg Nonwovens, said.

Advanced production technology will be installed on one of the three existing spunlaid lines in Durham, allowing the company to further improve the quality of its nonwovens used for filter materials, OEM automotive carpeting and carpet tile backings. “We are optimizing our manufacturing process and enhancing the performance of our production system with this investment”, Raoul Farer, Technical Director in Durham, commented. The Durham facility was opened in 1983 and currently has a headcount of some 160.

In Kaiserslautern, which currently employs just under 260 people, an existing pilot line which provides a good platform for product developments already at the planning stage or in the pipeline for the future will be upgraded. “This project will lead to improvements in the quality of the product’s physical properties, allowing us to proactively serve the needs of our customers”, Dr. Volker Röhring, Head of Process Development in Kaiserslautern, said. This will bring benefits not only in the automotive, carpet and filter segments, but also for customers in the shoe and construction sectors. The original unit commissioned in 1970 was one of Freudenberg Nonwovens’ first spunlaid lines in Kaiserslautern.

Both investments will be completed during the fourth quarter of 2014. The investment at both sites is a clear commitment to spunlaid technology and part of a comprehensive international technology strategy.