INDIAthe Nonwoven Fabrics Industry Association, reported strong attendance and activity at its 16e WOW Conference, June 27-30. Highlights included a powerful conference, awards presentations, a separate 1.5 day training course at the WIPES Academy and a new mentorship program.
WOW speakers focused on the future of the $17 billion wipes industry amid shifting consumer trends, supply chain complexities, sustainable packaging requirements and the challenges of medical disinfection. Program sessions included circular and sustainable wipes, supply chain challenges, sustainable substrates, disinfection issues, sustainable packaging trends and disposable developments.
Tony Fragnito welcomed attendees to his new role as INDA President for the first time since taking over from Dave Rousse, now President Emeritus and Advisor.
“WOW is the nexus for wipes professionals to come together and connect,” says Fragnito. “With powerful content addressing key issues facing the industry – sustainability, economics and sourcing – the conference was highly valued by attendees to advance their businesses and the industry.”
Networking events included an industry welcome reception, two evening receptions, daily breakfasts and social breaks.
Participants met at the welcome reception at the summit on the 22n/a upstairs at the Vu Rooftop Bar, with stunning views and refreshments. The WOW event attracted 50 tabletop exhibits to create commerce with meaningful relationships throughout the wipes supply chain.
Highlights from WOW included the announcement of Nice-Pak’s Nice’ N CLEAN SecureFLUSH Technology disposable wipes as the winner of this year’s World of Wipes Innovation Award. for their flushable wipes made of 100% cellulose nonwoven. Strong and durable, the product breaks down five times faster than the leading brand of two-ply toilet paper. A special “lock and key” design of fibers and plant-based formulas leverages patent-pending technology to provide responsible plumbing and sewage maintenance.
The World of Wipes Innovation Award recognizes and rewards innovation within the entire wipes value chain that expands the use of nonwovens through new fabrics or technologies.
Other highlights include the presentation of the 2022 INDA Lifetime Technical Award to Richard Knowlson, Principal, RPK Consulting. The award recognizes an individual with a long career in nonwovens who advances the technology and commercial success of the North American nonwovens industry. Knowlson pioneered the use of powdered superabsorbents in air-forming systems by creating new period product designs for ultra-thin products. He co-founded Airformed Composites, co-invented North America’s first commercial air-bonded products that were used in Sesame Street characters, and held executive positions at Rayonier, Ciba/Huntsman, and Jacob Holm.