Insist on the joint research and development of upstream and downstream to improve the performance of nonwoven fabric
The hot air non-woven business of Newbusi started in 2005. Recently, we had the honor to chat with Jimmy Zheng, the marketing manager of Newbisi, about non-woven market for 20 years.
Market demand drives technological innovation
With the continuous evolution of consumer demand, Chinese hygiene products updated very quickly, and the requirements for raw materials such as non-woven fabrics are also increasing. Jimmy deep understand this: "At the beginning of the development of China's sanitary products industry, raw material suppliers learned new technologies from European, American and Japanese companies. However, with the rapid development of Chinese sanitary products market, some of Chinese material innovations are now in the world. At the forefront, Chinese raw material suppliers have begun more independent technological innovations."
The market's requirements for the performance of non-woven fabrics for sanitary products mainly focus on softness, dryness, and fluffy. In order to achieve a soft effect, raw material suppliers continue to update their processes, and many adopt 3D three-dimensional designs. Now there are some three-dimensional composite nonwoven materials on the market, which are not only soft and comfortable, but each layer can also perform unique functions. The upper layer material quickly captures liquid and makes it penetrate, and the lower layer material must not only have good absorption function, but also have anti-reverse osmosis The effect of making the whole product more dry and breathable
In addition to meeting the performance requirements of dryness and softness, nonwoven fabric manufacturers are also innovating in material functionality, such as skin care and antibacterial. Skin care is a big subject, and there are many factors to consider. Some suppliers use natural extracts such as silk protein in the materials to achieve the purpose of skin care.
While improving material properties, product manufacturers also put forward the need to control material costs. The demand of downstream companies drives the technological advancement of upstream suppliers. Jimmy believes that Chinese nonwovens supply chain has matured as a whole. The fiber used by the company used to be imported, but now a large proportion of domestic fiber is used, the cost is significantly reduced, and the performance of the material is guaranteed. In addition, NEWBUSI also reduces costs by controlling material loss and improving management efficiency.
New application of hot air nonwoven
JIMMY said, hot air nonwoven is widely used in sanitary products such as pads, sanitary napkins and baby diapers. At present, most adult diapers still use spunbond non-woven fabric as the surface layer, but some high-end adult diapers use hot-air non-woven fabric. Such high-end products usually have higher requirements for materials, in addition to being soft and dry, they also have to be antibacterial and deodorizing. As Chinese aging population becomes increasingly severe and consumers’ purchasing power increases, the acceptance of high-end adult diapers will continue to increase, and the application of hot-air nonwoven will increase.
In addition to the above-mentioned conventional applications, NEWBUSI is also committed to continuously expanding the application fields of hot air nonwoven. During the epidemic, NEWBUSI used hot-air nonwoven as the inner and outer materials of the mask. According to JIMMY, current mask products on the market usually use spunbond nonwoven for the inner and outer layers, and the middle filter layer is meltblown nonwoven. However, spunbond nonwoven have average water permeability and air permeability, and because of their thinness, the contact time with germs is short. The use of hot-air non-woven can improve the breathability of the mask, and there is almost no resistance when breathing. Secondly, the hot-air nonwoven is relatively fluffy, has a certain thickness, and has a relatively long exposure time to bacteria. Therefore, adding an antibacterial agent to the hot-air nonwoven fabric can better exert the antibacterial effect. In addition, wearing masks for a long time can sometimes cause skin allergies, and hot-air nonwoven masks can effectively avoid skin allergies because of their breathability and antibacterial properties.
JIMMY said: "I think the function of masks is not only to block germs, but also to sterilize. In the future, more antibacterial masks will be launched on the market. This is a new application field of hot air nonwovens. In addition, hot air nonwovens Woven cloth can also be used in products such as facial masks, which is also a big market.
The impact of the epidemic on companies and industries
Regarding the COVID-19 epidemic, JIMMY said it was sudden, and no one thought that it was indeed affected at that time.
First, in terms of resumption of work, the closure of the epidemic has made it impossible to resume work and production.
Second, it is difficult to purchase raw materials. NEWBUSI purchased some fibers from foreign markets such as Europe through various channels. Due to the need for a large amount of purchase funds at that time, some customers paid in advance to support NEWBUSI's large purchase of raw materials, which moved JIMMY deeply. In addition, during the Spring Festival, the company still had some stocks of raw materials. NEWBUSI uses these materials to quickly put into production to ensure the supply of customers.
As far as the hygiene products industry is concerned, JIMMY believes that this epidemic has the most obvious impact on the category of baby diapers. Competition in the Chinese baby diaper market itself is relatively fierce. During the epidemic, the production and operation of domestic companies were greatly affected due to the price increase or cut-off of raw materials. However, some international manufacturers have increased their market share during this period due to the relatively stable supply of raw materials.
At the same time, the epidemic has also played a role in warning and incentives for the industry. Manufacturers are more sincerely aware that price wars are not a long-term solution for development. Only by making differentiated products and satisfying consumers' segmented needs is survival. After this epidemic, companies in the entire industry chain have paid more attention to joint research and development, and communication channels have become smoother. JIMMY said that NEWBUSI is also working with fiber and masterbatch suppliers to do some in-depth research to improve the properties of nonwoven materials.
In terms of the development of nonwoven materials, JIMMY believes that degradable materials are a future development trend. However, it may take a long time for degradable materials to be widely used in sanitary products. Some existing degradable materials, such as corn fiber, are not only costly, but also inferior to current materials in terms of hand feel and dry strength, and are also unstable in production on high-speed equipment. Therefore, the production technology of degradable materials needs to be improved. On the other hand, the environmental awareness of Chinese consumers also needs to be gradually cultivated, so the popularization of biodegradable materials in the Chinese market will take some time.
Regarding the future development prospects of Chinese sanitary products industry, JIMMY said: “I think the biggest problem Chinese companies face when competing with multinational companies is not lack of investment, but insufficient R&D capabilities. Multinational companies such as Procter & Gamble have dedicated R&D teams, and they Not only research the products they produce, but also participate in R&D and innovation from raw materials to equipment. At present, the independent R&D capability of a certain Chinese company cannot compete with them. Therefore, it is particularly important to open up the entire industrial chain and joint upstream and downstream R&D. Only in this way can Chinese products truly go global."
In terms of the development of NEWBUSI itself, JIMMY introduced that the company will continue to carry out technical reserves, join upstream and downstream to do research and development, and continue to expand in products and industries to truly become bigger and stronger.