medical/hospital nonwovens: healthy, but not without minor ailments; cost, infection control and the disposability of its products continue to drive marketing and product development efforts in this billion dollar industry for nonwovens.
Medical/hospital non-woven fabric is healthy, but for such a large, so healthy and so influential market, the medical non-woven fabric business has little power to push it into the last decade of the 20 th century. However, each of these forces has the potential to bankrupt many companies involved in the field. The triple effects of AIDS, cost control, and disposability are still three overriding topics in the hearts of any one who has nothing to do with $1. 35 billion medical non-woven section. To borrow an old saying, AmericaS. The medical non-woven fabric business is still \"healthy\", although for most of the time in the 1980s s it certainly no longer experiences a fast-growing model. Double-digit growth in the past three or four years has fallen to the expected 7- Expansion in 8%; It\'s not disgusting, but it\'s obviously not as robust as it used to be. Impact of AIDS and other infectious diseases Topics that are often debated between participants, how different they are about this impact on medical providers -- If it hasn\'t lost most of the impact, it starts to slow down. The undisputed need to protect medical staff from blood-borne diseases has led to many innovative new products and has undoubtedly helped to speed up the connection of many facilities to disposable supplies. However, the consensus remains that most of this will eventually happen anyway. On the other hand, the continuous pressure of cost control and price reduction or price reduction reduces the profit from the fiber and adhesive supplier to the converter. Pressure to cut costs- And stay ahead of any internal cost savings measures Customer reservation- More than one major player has been led to re-evaluate the article in the field. Concerns about the disposal of medical disposable supplies have also forced suppliers to defend themselves against marketing attacks by reusable suppliers that have been supported by environmental activists. The work to convince hospitals that the benefits of the disposable supplies system fall on the suppliers of these products, who are promoting incineration as a means of removing infectious waste, while reminding administrators of the performance reasons for their initial shift to non-woven fabrics. In the past 20 years, not just a one-time hospital and other medical facilities have turned heavily to non-woven fabrics, which may be due to the temptation of one-time, but more importantly, especially recently, because one-time products have proven performance features. After repeated tests, it has been proved that non-woven fabrics can better protect workers from infectious liquids. When with long- The long-term cost and labor cost savings enable non-woven fabrics to penetrate into the entire non-woven fabric market significantly. Of course, the mask has the highest penetration rate, of which the efficiency of non-woven filter outair is close to 100%. borne bacteria. Other areas with significant penetration include shoecovers ( Nearly 90% infiltrated by non-woven fabrics), X- Lei and examinationgowns (90% penetrated), shoe covers (85%) Patient curtains (83%) Surgical Gown (80%). The segment that still offers important opportunities for non-woven disposable items is central supply room packaging, and it still has only about 60% penetration isolation dresses ( Penetration of about 55%), wash cloths (63%) Sponge and dressing (20%) And scrub clothes (5%). The area for floor uniforms, linens and towels is still dominated by woven reusable products. However, baby and adult diapers have become the main disposable products in most hospitals. With penetration at a high level in many important areas, and with the prospect of entering areas such as pure soil uniforms somewhat bleak, medical fabric suppliers focus on the advantages of their disposable fabrics rather than their one-off. Vicepresident John Metz said: \"We have always adopted the method of promoting our products as high-quality fabrics and products to end users . \" Kimberly\'s professional health care Clark, Rosewell, Georgia, tolde non-woven industry. \"Our products provide exceptional protection and we build on that support from medical professionals. \"There are also some economies involved in the use of disposable items, but this is not K- C chose to follow. \"My experience is that when a facility goes from reusable to disposable, there is a clinician or other professional who is convinced of the need to switch. This, and the cost comparison of reusable items and disposable items, are the main drivers behind our growth . \"Metz. Other non-woven supply industries are certainly following suit. C\'s approach. This combination of performance, ease of use, and economics makes it $1. Last year, the conversion product business was $2 billion, which is expected to reach the expected $1. On the basis of 7-this year, Expected growth of 8% ( See Caffrey box on page 35). Medical non-woven products: 7% growth forecasts a total market growth of $1 for medical non-woven products. In 1988, it was 2 billion per cent, up 9% per cent from the previous year. Close to two- Sales in these three markets are Surgical curtains, surgical gowns and adult diapers. The consumption of non-woven fabrics increased by 6% to 3. 3 billion sq. yards. Three fabrics - Spinning stick, spinning stick- The spinning/melt spray and wet shop accounted for nearly 25% of the consumption respectively. The main players in these non-woven markets have remained unchanged over the past few years. Kimberly-Dupont Clark and Dexter non-woven fabrics continue to account for more than 50% of 1988 medical non-woven fabrics. DuPont and Chicopee are the main suppliers of water Spurs, the most widely used fabric for surgical curtains and gowns. Kimberly- Clark produces textile and textile/melt spray composites with the largest consumption of textile in adult diapers and the largest consumption of textile/melt spray in CSR packaging. Dexter\'s wet-spread non-woven fabric is used in a variety of applications. Baxter Surgikos, K- C and P & G spent more than two combined The output of this fabric is thirty. Baxter and surgikos continue to control the market for most surgical supplies and dresses. Kimberly- Clark\'s biggest franchise is CSR wrap, and the only major business of P & G is adult diapers. Some emerging trends have affected the use of non-woven products to varying degrees. In dealing with infectious diseases, the issue of providing appropriate protection for hospital personnel has always been one of the most important developments in the industry. Over the past two years, there has been a significant increase in the number of products such as isolation clothing and masks used in general care. In order to increase the protection of the operating room, the surgeon is rapidly changing the plastic or fabric-reinforced surgical gown. A rubber bag is added to the surgical curtain in order to better collect and control or liquid. Most hospitals have or are turning to specific standards, such as generic precautions, to deal with the problem. The treatment of medical waste has received great attention from the media. So far, due to this trend, there has been no significant change in the use mode of medical non-woven products. However, participants in these markets need to keep abreast of the industry\'s development and help their customers deal with the issue. The acceptance of custom program kits continues to grow, with a large portion of all disposable packaging and dress sales going through this segment in 1988. Hospitals generally believe that these kits are cost-effective and are expected to continue to increase their acceptance over the next few years. The future of non-woven fabric consumption prospects are good, but the growth of products will be different. Certain disposable non-wovenproduct, including surgical kits, are rapidly approaching full penetration, almost completely replacing reusable products. In addition, surgery is only growing by about 1% per year. Overall, sales of non-woven medical products may grow at $ 7% a year. 5 billion to 1992. Annual consumption of non-woven fabrics may increase by about 5%. Surgical kits and gowns, CSRwrap and adult diapers will remain the largest market for non-woven fabrics. However, as the converter/marketer considers a variety of fabric options to meet the changing needs of the market, consumption of non-woven fabric types may change. One of the largest segments of the medical non-woven business is surgical curtains/packaging, which accounted for sales in 1988 at $ 28%. Adult diapers are classified as medical non-woven fabrics and, although primarily sold to nursing homes, it is the second largest segment with institutional sales of $0. 26 billion, or 24% of the business. Last year sales of about $0. 15 billion in surgical gowns accounted for 13%. There is then a set of ancillary products, including CSR packaging ( Sales last year were $95 million), underpads( $85 million for hospitals and nursing homes) Sponge and dressing ($80 million), face masks ($35 million) Baby Diapers ($30 million),shoe covers ($18 million) Isolation clothes ($17 million) And Hood ($16 million). A variety of non-woven technology is used in the manufacture of medical products, and the specific process or process depends on the exact needs of the final use. According to recent data released by John R. Starr, Inc. 26% of medical non-woven fabric is a water Thorn method, 24% is a wet shop method, and 20% is a traditional card sticking method. The most interesting thing is the estimated 23%. 3 billion sq. Non-spun or composite spun/fused fabrics consumed last year. There are about 60 companies in total ( Excluding departments) Sales reached 1989. Several of the very big players that dominate are obvious in this field, sharing about 60% of sales in 1988 among the three biggest competitors, according to the company reported medical NonwovensDisposables market theta. Midfield, Carat. More than half of them, accounting for about 33% of the total, by Baxter ( American pharmacy Converter/Baxter hospital supply) Annual sales in this market are just over $0. 3 billion. The other two leaders are Johnson & Johnson ( Chicopee J & J patient care company) About 16%, and K- C, about 12%. P & G is the next closest competitor to P & G, and although the company only produces incontinence/diaper products, it still maintains a market share of about 9%. The next level consists of four companies with a total market share of 13%. Including white clothes/overalls ( Including Struble & Moffitt) Kendall, Medline and white stone products/IPCO. White Knight and Medline compete in all product groups, while Kendall is active only in three of the four main areas, and White Stone\'s main area is incontinence. The next competition group consists of six companies, each of which is between one. 4-1. 7% market share; Together, they account for nearly 10% of the total business in the three major areas of incontinence/diapers, surgical kits/curtains and components, and other disposable items ( CSR/sterilization)wraps. According to the Theta report, the last set involves the largest number (about 45)of companies. They shared about 6% of sales in total, each contributing in their own area of expertise. The impact of AIDS on non-woven fabrics currently has two thoughts on the impact of AIDS and infectious diseases in the United States. S. The only consensus is that whatever the power of the hospital to switch to non-woven fabrics or companies to develop better barrier fabrics will eventually happen anyway. The first idea is that concerns about protecting employees from the effects of disease are a boon to non-wovenssuppers who are committed to increasing barrier protection and safe disposal capabilities. Second, concerns about over-aid have never left the operating room, where non-woven fabrics have become entrenched and cost pressures have reduced the widespread use of disposable supplies outside of normal areas. The answer may be somewhere in the middle. Of course, some hospitals do switch directly to disposable items in order to better protect their employees. However, many others have switched or planned to convert, and their conversion is strictly for or procedures, not for support or floor staff. \"What everyone is looking for is to increase the utilization of non-woven fabrics beyond the usual use of the operating room,\" notes Susan Carlson, director of sales and marketing -- Medical products for Windsor Nonwovens, Windsor Locks, CT. Nonwovens sscare has little impact on the growth of non-woven fabrics, she argues. \"It turns out that hospitals don\'t think they can afford the increased costs or have not yet accepted the increased costs for non-woven protection,\" she added . \". \"It\'s just that new customers don\'t show up outside the operating room. \" Ms. Carlson was equally optimistic about the decision to increase the protection of medical staff ( Seecapedia comment Bar on page 24) The hospital will find a stronger reluctance to spend extra money to protect employees. \"The protection of staff will be enhanced and we just don\'t know what that will be. We are ready to change, but it is not clear how it will change. Michael Donnelly, business manager Sontara of DuPont, Wilmington, Germany, believes that the non-woven business does benefit from the growing infectious diseases, but does not reach the level of double-digit growth in the past few years. \"The basic single-use conversion has been going smoothly in the United States. S. \"Before the fear of AIDS, though it does accelerate the remaining conversion,\" he said . \". He added that if the impact has not been mitigated yet, \"This is in the process of slowing down. \"The medical community\'s focus on infectious diseases extends to raw material suppliers downstream of the production chain, such as Microban Products, Winston- Salem, North Carolina, is an antimicrobial producer. The company has a patent covering the addition of antibiotics to non-woven adhesives; When the fiber is extruded, the antibacterial substance can also be added to the polypropylene fiber. \"There is no doubt that the industry and the public have been paying more and more attention to the risks of infection in the past few years,\" he said . \"S. Japan is ahead in this regard. \"Over the past few years, it has stood out as concerns about infectious diseases have driven the issue. \" Mr. Morrison feels depressed. The demand for infection control medical products is still increasing, which brings good news to the antibiotics produced by his company. \"In our view, it has not stabilized yet. \"We haven\'t seen any slowdown yet,\" he said . \". Jim Oelkers, marketing manager at Rohm & Haas, PA Philadelphia, believes that the impact of AIDS on suppliers has slowed. \"We didn\'t see much impact in 1989, but in 1987 we saw business growth that our customers told us was directly related to the AIDS phenomenon. \"Since the accident at the main single plant in Houston in January, Rohm & Haas has been in an abnormal state for the past year, which has shut down production for 30 days. Even with conflicting beliefs, there is no denying the impact of the AIDS scare on the non-woven medical business. In the past year or so From Dexter\'s \"Stasis\" infection control fabric to K- \"Control\" line of medical clothing C- It was designed for this clear purpose. More and more people are aware of the need for protection of patients and employees, such as the OSHA hearing may require further efforts from employers, which can only bring good news to non-woven manufacturers and suppliers. Oh, these costs stress the growth of medical non-woven fabric sales, because whether it\'s a perceived or an actual infectious disease problem, if there\'s no ongoing cost pressure at every step of the supply chain, it will definitely be better. It is, as Ms. By Carlson of putt Dexter, \"This is the biggest concern in the industry. \"The efforts of governments, businesses and insurance companies to drive lower health costs now stem from the 1980s s, when health care in the United StatesS. Into a business of $1 billion a day. Today, health care costs account for 11% of our GDP. Although only about one supply- In hospital costs, fifth, they suffer from the excessive impact of cost control measures simply because it is virtually impossible to cut the staffing and capital expenditure of the hospital. Therefore, the most important concern of suppliers anywhere in the supply chain is the continuous profit compression caused by cost control procedures. \"Whether you can influence internal cost savings, your customers are looking for you to pass it on to them,\" she said . \"Carlson. Mr. DuPont\'s Donnelly has labeled cost pressures as \"extraordinary\" and barely sees any relief. \"Medical costs in the United StatesS. \"We have lost control for many reasons,\" he said . \". Major suppliers Company and government- I have realized this and want to control them. Unfortunately, the material was reviewed at all. \"One-time suppliers will take a consistent educational effort to keep their products at the forefront of the reusable competition. JackKraemer, vice president, added: \"Cost stress has become a fact of life Marketing, Baxter operating room division. The converter/custom aseptic business unit at IL McGaw Park told NonwovensIndustry. \"We have to keep our customers focused not only on purchase costs, but also on other issues such as sterile packaging, custom packaging, maintaining low infection rates and the need to deal with manual savings on reusable items. All of these things promote non-woven fabric outside of cost and we have to keep telling them about this. \"Even in terms of raw material suppliers, the price crunch will continue. Howard Katz, marketing manager Non-woven fabrics and textiles, National Starch and chemicals in Bridgewater, New Jersey, believe that \"the people we supply in the medical field see the continuation of the cost control process and see no end. There is an attitude of cost control that will not disappear. As a major long-term Hoechst Celanese is a long-term supplier of medical non-woven business and is clearly concerned about price pressures. \"The whole industry needs to work together to make sure we all have a long-term \"Viable business terms,\" said David McKinnon, business director, H-Company C. Charlotte, NC. H- C is addressing the dilemma of increased raw material costs and increased it customer cost pressures by establishing a technical partnership with both parties. \"We are focusing on how our customers can better cope with these cost pressures,\" he said ,\"McKinnon added. \"We are trying to find out how to get more product value from our terminals, which will enable them to complete their terminals more cost-effectively. \"Because of the security of the market and the nature of the customer is to ask the supplier to help them maintain the cost, the cost pressure has spread to the supplier. Only in this case will the supplier of raw materials fall into the same dilemma. \"There are a lot of people who know their products very well,\" he said . \" Oelkers, Rohm & Haas. \"With this maturity, the price sensitivity comes with it. Their business is mature and they tell us that they can\'t even absorb moderate growth, which is something we have to deal. \"There was a serious discussion between suppliers about whether the disposal of non-woven medical fabrics was in favor or against, assets or recognition of their marketing efforts. The feeling is complex, but most importantly, non-woven fabrics are certainly safer and more convenient than woven peers. No matter where in the supply chain, every supplier has to solve this problem. The disposition is still two. This is a one-sided issue for non-profit suppliers, most of whom have long been promoting the disposability of their products, but now they have to deal with disposability while raising environmental awareness \"We have to help our customers solve this problem because the hospital is facing a major problem in dealing with waste,\" he said . \"Metz, of K-C. \"We are trying to understand all this. From delivery to recycling or disposal, we have to look at the entire supply chain system. We must look at the potential impact on better protecting workers and patients and incorporate it into the equation. He emphasized all the factors. Including protection, cost, convenience and disposability of workers and patients It must be taken into account before making a judgment. Mr. Baxter\'s Kraemer agrees that the whole picture must be considered before a decision is made on recyclable items and disposable items. His focus is on educating customers. He believes that the one-off problem is a shortcoming of the current non-woven suppliers, more because of the lack of education rather than performance. \"A lot of the problems are the need for education,\" he said . \" \"Look at the problems with syringe cleaning on shore and the initial cost of disposable supplies. These are the real problems. But we have to weigh this off and realize why people go and buy disposable items in the first place. \"Baxter\'s marketing focus is on educating customers why they are first attracted to one-time supplies, that is, long-term performance and cost. \"It\'s a very emotional issue in the market, and it\'s understandable. He added, \"disposability is the number one information issue facing today\'s medical non-woven business. I can compete with my competitors. on- No problem. But this is a new problem. our market is not aware of it. You can make bad, reactionary decisions when you don\'t know. \"We have no choice but to solve this problem in the short term first,\" added Robert Bayer, president of Asheville NC America threshold, a medical product converter entering the new 75, 000 square meters. Foot manufacturing facilities earlier this year. \"It can\'t last forever, but we have to deal with it now. Of course, all of our suppliers are working on their own solutions. \" Ms. According to Carlson of Dexter, disposability issues force suppliers and customers to first remember why they are turning to non-wovensin. \"We have to go back to the most basic question and ask \'Why are we going to non-woven fabric? \' This is not to promote a new product, but because there is a need to better prevent cross-contamination and better patient care. There are still such non-woven fabrics today. \"If the hospital is not allowed to increase costs, we will face challenges,\" she continued . \". \"Hospitals know from experience that they do a very good job in non-woven fabrics and there are many reasons why they continue to use non-woven fabrics. \"In medical and other unrelated areas, one of the potential solutions to many environmental problems is the use of cotton non-woven fabrics, Ed Hart, product manager of Walpole Veratec natural fiber group, Ma Zong, is promoting. \"The Perfect story of cotton disposal . \" Hart told NonwovensIndustry. \"As fiber suppliers, we are looking for fiber that customers need and now they are looking at the value-added functionality of cotton in the medical field. \"One of the value-added areas happens to be disposable. Nevertheless, Dennis Dukin, marketing manager at Scott Nonwovens, PA Philadelphia, said that competitors with weaving used the \"current political wind\" when competing for non-woven fabrics \". Scott\'s new water Thorn series in landsville, New Jersey will definitely target the medical field. \"In most cases, disposability and environmental problems are caused by medical non-woven fabrics, usually by people who use it as an excuse to return to the non-woven fabrics they used not long ago,\" Mr. Durkin said. For the concerns and answers of non-woven suppliers, they worked so hard that they could not lose their established foothold in front of reusable competitors because of disposable use and cost issues. But these are very realistic issues that dominate their marketing planning meetings. While most people think the chances of a hospital returning to an accessible area are very, very small -- The existing facilities and staffing are two more important reasons. People are always worried that the already high penetration rate will be completely eliminated. Coupled with a small reversal of use, the attractiveness of the medical market will be reduced. Despite the challenge of reusableMetz, of K- C. does not foresee any opportunity to recycle recyclable items from disposable items. In fact, \"as long as reusable products are still in use, non-woven fabrics will have a chance to grow as users replace traditional fabrics in medical applications for better protection. \"He acknowledged that some hospitals had considered re-using recyclable materials, especially as weaving manufacturers stepped up their marketing efforts. Despite the obvious drawbacks of doing so, there are too many dangers that make them ignore the simple fact that non-woven fabrics perform better. He said: \"Most professionals have a strong feeling that you are doing better with good clinical techniques using a single usenonwovens than with reusable products. \"Also, mosthospitals are no longer set to use reusable devices. They want to manage their resources and provide good health care, which seems to keep non-woven disposable items in place.