STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The goal of this report is to provide a detailed and comprehensive study of the global market for nonwoven materials and products used in durable and disposable applications as well as potential business opportunities in the future. The report’s objectives include a thorough coverage of the underlying economic issues driving the nonwoven materials and products business, as well as assessments of new and potential products that companies are developing. Social, political, and regulatory issues are also covered, as are international markets. Another important objective is to provide realistic and consistent market data (including time series) and forecasts for global nonwoven materials and products. The emphasis, however, is from a North American (i.e., the U.S. and Canada) viewpoint.
This technical market report starts with an overview of the chemistry of fibers and other materials, and the processes to manufacture nonwoven fabrics and materials, and then moves on to specific applications for nonwoven products. It describes the market growth, the developing technology trends, industry leaders, and applications for these nonwoven products. World markets are covered next, followed by a comprehensive analysis of the industry structure and then profiles of leading companies.
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
It has been several years since BCC Research’s last technical market study on nonwovens. The main reason for doing this study is that textiles and chemical supply in general and nonwoven products in particular in North America are undergoing significant change. A global recession affected many nonwoven end-use markets and led to greatly diminished demand.
At the same time, new entrants and expansions by East Asian producers resulted in additional capacity. In turn, this led to lower operating rates for many producers, and a more competitive market, and pricing pressures. These drivers will continue. The loss of customer industries to overseas locations (especially China), market maturation, and cost pressures from rising raw material and energy costs are other challenges. All of these are combining giving rise to structural change.
In the long term, the North American nonwoven market will recover and expand, as a result of technological advancements, both in the area of new processes and methods for producing nonwoven materials, as well as in evaluating nonwoven products for various applications. With the changes in the industry structure and associated challenges in the marketplace, a technology/marketing report with a unified view of materials and applications is needed.
In addition, realistic market data (including time series) for nonwoven materials and products have proven elusive, especially on a global basis. Because product innovation is important, the industry is relatively secretive, with no central reporting organization as is found in the plastic resins and textile fibers industries. A paucity of company information also exist as most companies are either small privately held organizations, or if part of a larger company, nonwovens are a relatively small part of the operations and are usually integrated into the final product organization. For example, Kimberly-Clark is a leading producer of nonwovens, but its output is sold to the consumer as baby diapers and related final products.
This study provides the most complete accounting of developments in nonwoven materials and products currently available in a multi-client format. It provides the most thorough and up-to-date assessment that can be found anywhere on the subject. The study also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market developments in nonwoven materials and products. This, in turn, contributes to the determination of what kind of strategic response suppliers may adopt in order to compete in this market.
Audiences for this study include marketing executives, business unit managers and other decision-makers in the nonwoven products and materials companies. Technology suppliers, suppliers of plastic resins and fibers, adhesives suppliers, and other materials companies, and other companies peripheral to this business also represent a key audience.
SCOPE OF REPORT
The scope of this report is comprehensive, covering the present status of and future prospects for nonwoven materials and products in North America. The scope of the report includes diverse segments such as geotextiles, home furnishings, floor coverings, automotive, industrial garments, apparel interlinings, coatings and laminates, hygiene, medical/surgical, filtration, wipes, fabric softeners, footwear, and other disposable and durable products. These are analyzed in detail as are technology developments, market conditions and opportunities, and 5-year forecasts. The role of new technologies is reviewed in this comprehensive report.
This BCC Research study analyzes the current North American market in detail and identifies the most promising market opportunities for the next 5 years for nonwoven materials and products. The market for polypropylene, polyester, rayon, nylon, and other staple and filament fibers is quantified, assessed, and projected as are processing methods (e.g., dry laid, wet laid, spun laid, etc.). Finally, Western European, Japanese, and other global nonwoven markets are covered as well.
In order to generate the information necessary to construct a reasonable future market for nonwoven materials, it is necessary to undertake an examination of the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of materials. In addition to various nonwoven materials and products, this report also covers the many issues concerning the merits and future prospects of the business, including corporate strategies, technologies, and the means for providing these products and service offerings.
It also covers in detail the social, political, regulatory, and economic issues that so many regard as critical to the industry’s current state of change. The report provides a review of the nonwoven materials and products industry and its structure, and the many companies involved in providing these materials and technologies. The competitive position of the main players in the market and the strategic options they face are also discussed, as well as such competitive factors as marketing, distribution, and operations.
The values presented in the forecast tables represent the volume (in millions of pounds) of domestic shipments of nonwoven fabrics by end-use product market in North America. Consumption by fiber type and processing method all relate to this concept. All growth rates mentioned in the tables and in the text are based on the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2010 through 2015. Historical data from 2006 through 2010 are presented and data dating back to 2000 are available.
The research methodology was qualitative in nature and employed a triangulating approach, which aids validity. Initially, a comprehensive and exhaustive search of the literature on nonwoven materials and products was conducted. These secondary sources included nonwoven and related journals and related books, trade literature, marketing literature, other product/promotional literature, annual reports, security analyst reports, information from trade associations, and other publications. A patent search and analysis was also conducted.
In a second phase, a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with marketing executives, engineers, business unit managers, engineers, and other personnel at nonwoven materials and products companies. Other sources included academics, fiber, and adhesives suppliers, technology and materials suppliers, technical experts, trade association officials, government officials, and consulting companies. These were a rich source of data. Subsequent analysis of the documents and interview notes was iterative.
The author has more than 25 years of experience in competitive intelligence, industrial market research, planning and marketing at major corporations, market research consultancies, and think tanks. He advises and briefs management about economic and industry conditions, strategic developments, and the effects of proposed developments in plastics, metals, and other materials. The author has employed a scenario analysis to investigate and research the future of the industry to identify the impact of globalization, consolidation, demographics, changing industry structure, and technological innovation. His particular interest lies in the interaction of strategy, economic and industry developments, and innovation. He holds a BA and an MS degree in industrial economics, and has completed other studies in business administration.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.