According to a recent Nonwovens Industry article, printing and coloring wipes is evolving to communicate messages other than branding to wipes customers. Since the combined consumer and industrial wipes markets are expected to increase to over $15.8 billion by 2017, manufacturers are expected to continue to move forward with new technologies.
Initially, printing on wipes was intended to communicate branding but now innovative manufacturers are coming up with different uses for printed wipes. Some companies are now finding a new functionality for printing on wipes by teaming up with ink companies to develop disappearing inks or detection inks on wipes.
Some companies are now manufacturing wipes to indicate usage to the consumer. The ink is designed to fade slowly over a certain number of uses to show the customer that the effectiveness has diminished and it’s time to get a new wipe.
One company was recently a finalist for a World of Wipes Innovation Award for a wipe that detected TNT or other explosives by changing color when the user wipes a surface containing those materials. Using ink chemistry to detect other materials is certainly on the development pipelines of wipes companies.
With an eye toward differentiation, companies use patterns and ink to stamp their brand on wipes products. When the patterns and inks work together to increase functionality of the wipes, the brand image and overall positive perception is enhanced for the end-use consumer.
At the end of the day, ink companies, nonwoven manufacturers and wipes companies will continue to work together to move wipes technology to new levels of functionality to capture increasing chunks of market share in a rapidly expanding market.