Good news for the cleaning industry: Health and safety is a trend and coming into focus at workplaces all over the world. Being already the preferred option in industrial wiping over traditional textiles, disposable wipes used at workplaces get an additional boost in demand from this trend. The forecasted global growth in this segments is as much as 7% per year, which well illustrates the market potential. As the global market leader in nonwovens for wipes, Suominen has already harnessed the trend and some 11% of our business today is in the workplace segment.
“The upward trend in demand for industrial wipes – or workplace wipes, as we call them – is no surprise for us at Suominen. We have seen the signs for some time and we know what the needs in the market are,” Eileen Calder, Product Manager, says.
But what are the factors behind this trend? There are various, but we would like to highlight three, which are based on consumer behavior, business efficiency and regulation:
Investing in nonwovens for workplace wipes has been a strategic choice for Suominen. Today, our portfolio is used in a wide variety of workplace applications, including sanitizing tables in fast food restaurants, disinfecting in hospitals and being used in factory workshops where aircraft parts are made. To name just a few.
“Before last spring, we didn’t make too much noise about our offering for workplace wipes. We have been, however, in the market all the time and working backstage: Suominen’s R&D department has had the needs of the workplace wipes market as its priority, new Suominen@work product line was launched in May 2016, and we have recruited new personnel and formed a global team dedicated to serve our customers in the workplace segment,” Calder lists.
The biggest news from Suominen has been, of course, the investment in a new wetlaid production line in Bethune, SC, USA, representing next-generation technology. The investment, worth of approximately EUR 50 million, adds both capacity and capabilities to supplying nonwovens for workplace wipes. Customer deliveries from the new production line are planned to commence in early 2017.
“We see our new wetlaid line in Bethune as a total game-changer in the market. That said, we are not only looking to supply, but also collaborate with wipes manufacturers to create something that the market has never seen,” Calder says.
Suominen will be at ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America, an international cleaning industry exhibition, from 25 to 28 October 2016 to showcase its nonwovens for workplace wipes and discuss the ways Suominen can accelerate its customers’ business.