Interview with Markus Müller, Reifenhäuser Re...
Interview with Markus Müller, Reifenhäuser Reicofil

“Living Nonwovens”: The family finally is back!

(Source: Reifenhäuser)
(Source: Reifenhäuser)

Now the Index is finally taking place in-person in Geneva, what do you hope/expect from this fair?
Our motto for this exhibition is “Living Nonwovens”: The family finally is back! So we mainly are looking forward to finally meeting our partners and friends to talk to them in person. Therefore, we do hope that Index will be well attended.

What will you present at the Index?
Nonwovens often accompany us from the first to the last day of our lives. In diapers, medical products, facemasks or air filters, the material contributes to our well-being, safety, and comfort. Nonwovens are close to our skin, so they deserve only the highest quality. This is what we stand for, this is what we live for.
In the medical sector, we will also be exhibiting our leading solutions for high-barrier medical protective clothing. In addition, meltblown nonwovens for face masks – still in great demand in many regions due to Covid-19 – provide reliable safety and are helping to combat the pandemic worldwide. Reicofil technology therefore guarantees maximum safety, with filtration efficiencies of at least 99% (N99/FFP3 standard), minimum quality fluctuations, and extremely high line availability at the same time.

At the moment, every new development, every new product should also be sustainable and environmentally friendly. What is your approach to a greener world?
In fact, sustainable nonwovens production starts with the amount of material used – the less raw material needed, the better. The "Reicofil 5x" line series is specialized in this application and achieves fabric weights of 8 g/m² or even less through efficient downgauging, even on 1,000 m/min Composite lines containing 3 spunbond beams.
In addition, on request, Reicofil customers can reduce the use of fossil raw materials by processing biobased raw materials as an ecological alternative – for example for diapers. The topsheet material, made of bulky, soft, and industrially compostable high-loft nonwovens, at the same time meets maximum hygiene requirements.
For industrial applications, high-strength nonwovens can be processed even from up to 90% PET flakes from post-consumer waste. This is how Reicofil shows perfect ways to combine sustainability and high-performance nonwovens.

What will be the biggest challenges for the nonwovens industry after the corona pandemic?
The biggest challenge for our industry – actually, not really related to the pandemic – is the overall “plastic shaming” and the related wish for CO2 reduction without compromising on quality! With the measures listed above however, we think we are on a very good track.
Another huge task – and this indeed is related to corona – is the wish of the large converters for localization, meaning to bring the roll goods production close to or even into the conversion site to become independent from events like pandemics or the supply chain collapse. This requires small and effective lines. Such lines are already in Reicofil’s portfolio in form of the Reicofil Smart.
As every trend in the world, this trend also has a counter trend: Globalization. So, in fact, the challenge is “Glocalization”, meaning finding the right balance between both, or in other words having the right balance between small-scale and large-scale production. Reicofil has the answers for both.
Nevertheless, the trend of localization was heavily torpedoed by the erratic behavior of governments or politicians: During the pandemic, subsidies were payed all over the world in unbelievable amounts, combined with the promise for a secure and steady purchase of medical goods such as facemasks. Now that the situation is calming down, exactly these roll goods producers are left alone without any orders because everything is purchased where it is the cheapest…
The interview was conducted by our nonwovensTRENDS team with Markus Müller, Sales Director, Reifenhäuser Reicofil GmbH & Co. KG, Troisdorf/Germany

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