Karen McIntyre of Nonwovens Industry wrote an excellent 2015 wrap-up article, 2015: The Year That Was in the recent issue of the magazine. In it, she covers all the top stories (and there were many) of 2015.
Some of her highlights are certainly worthy of a second look.
North American Investment
There have been mergers, acquisitions and movement into North America this year. It’s fairly interesting and somewhat refreshing to see that some companies are now moving in to North America. After the mass exodus of companies to Asian soil in the past decades, it’s a terrific change to see companies investing in U.S. operations. That definitely speaks to the health of the long-term outlook for nonwoven products.
Who wasn’t talking about flushability in 2015? OK, maybe that deserves clarification: who in the nonwovens industry wasn’t talking about flushability? Wipes are an enormous portion of the nonwovens market with tremendous growth capacity even now as more applications are explored. If we can get the flushability question put to rest once and for all, we can all move on with our lives and our industry.
NC State Nonwovens Program Expansion
We realize it’s a pretty definitive benefit to live and work in the same state as the nation’s premier nonwovens academic program. The new Nonwovens Innovation and Technology Center is certain to be not only worth a tour or two but we’re definitely excited about the research potential that comes along with the program’s expansion.
Buy-ins, Buy-outs, Mergers, Acquisitions
There is a lot of movement in our industry. Movement means growth and that is never something to be worried about. There are a lot of big players in our industry and we can’t help but be impressed that the combination of Avintiv and Berry means that they’ll be sourcing shy of two billion pounds of polypropylene each year. That is a lot of poly.
McIntyre states that global demand for nonwovens is expected to rise 5.3% annually to a global reach of nine metric tons in 2017. Rising incomes and standards of living will positively affect the market. It’s exciting stuff and a great time to be in the industry.
Be sure to check out the full article. It’s a good read and offers a positive perspective as we wrap up 2015 and look forward to 2016. It’s been a very good year and the prospects for 2016 look promising.