The power of partnerships

Two of the nominations for this year’s INDEX™23 Innovation Awards in the Finished Products category couldn’t be further apart in terms of end-use, yet both are the result of advanced new technologies for adding further functionality to absorbent nonwovens.

Beauty care
Simple and clever products for beauty care are now being commercialised by Eurowipes as a result of the brand’s ongoing partnership with technology developer Fibroline.
The Eurowipes multi-functional single-use cosmetic sheet mask which has been nominated for the INDEX™ Award contains multiple active ingredients which provide differing benefits to separate areas of the face simultaneously.
The forehead area incorporates a purifying agent and an anti-ageing powder is integrated in the area around the eyes. Further active ingredients for hydrating and soothing are loaded around the mouth area of the mask. This concept can be further tailored to specific needs and the partnership has also resulted in advanced know-how for optimising the controlled release of the additives onto the skin for better efficacy.
Fibroline, based in Limonest, France, has developed a portfolio of advanced technologies for achieving the thorough integration of dry functional powders into or onto the surface of fabrics via a high voltage generator and an alternating electric field.
 This allows for the precise control of the powder distribution and a large range of both powders and substrate supports can be deployed. These are environmentally friendly processes with extremely low energy consumption, involving no water or solvents.

Dry impregnation
Another innovation from these two companies is a make-up remover pad comprising a dry impregnated cleansing formulation combined with a natural nonwoven. The pad only needs wetting for activation just before use by the consumer, leading to a significant reduction in transportation costs – water typically accounts for 70% of the weight of wet wipes. The 100% recyclable product is instantly ready to use and importantly, cannot dry out after the pack of wipes is opened.
These products are part of the Eurowipes NEW (natural efficient wipes) range of wipes and sheet masks made with 100% natural and biodegradable cosmetic products.
Fibroline’s S-Preg dry impregnation technology, involving no water and low energy, is being combined with the natural and preservative-free formulations developed by Eurowipes for the range. Pattern deposition allows additives to be precisely positioned as required.
The Eurowipes and Fibroline innovation teams are collaborating closely on a wide range of other products in development, to extend the NEW product range in the coming years.
Fibroline owns a large number of patents on its technologies to guarantee its customers reliable worldwide protection and is not an equipment manufacturer, instead licensing out its technologies and know-how. It has established technical co-operations with machine manufacturers, depending on machine specifications and targeted markets.

Connected devices
The Smart Adult Care system developed by Henkel and its IoT partner SMARTZ is a second nominee in the INDEX™23 Innovation Awards Finished Products category and is aimed at significantly improving adult diaper changing schemes in nursing homes which operate under extreme pressure and often suffer from personnel shortages.
Smart Adult Care transforms conventional diapers into smart, connected medical devices by printing flexible sensors directly onto the back sheet of the incontinence product.
The printed sensor components interact with a reusable pod enabling remote monitoring of moisture, movement and temperature on a web-based dashboard or app via the cloud. The system can also detect falls and provide urgent notifications to caregivers.
Smart solutions tackle one of the main challenges in managing incontinence. When individuals with physical or cognitive impairment find it difficult to communicate their needs, caregivers have to regularly perform checks and/or change diapers according to a set routine which doesn’t always match up with the appropriate time for the intervention. Late changes can lead to health complications such as incontinence-associated dermatitis and eventually bed sores, as well as the frustration and discomfort of leakages.
Conversely, changing too frequently ties up valuable staff time and creates more waste and cost through excess diaper usage. Either approach to intervention can impact the comfort and dignity of the individual. A smart solution removes the guesswork through real time alerts that enable the right care to be given at the right time. Diaper manufacturers can therefore play a very big role in changing the lives of both patients and caregivers lives for the better.

Conductive ink
Henkel’s conductive carbon-ink, designed specifically for personal hygiene products, lays the foundation for the smart diapers.  It is applied by high-speed printing technologies.
The highly flexible ink can be applied on the very thin back-sheet substrate (around 15µm), sticks to it very well and functions as a conductor of the moisture sensor. The patent pending ink technology is medically certified according to ISO standards and produced in high volume at the Henkel production site in The Netherlands.
SMARTZ, based in Baar, Switzerland, has developed a unique IT ecosystem for the Smart Adult Care solution consisting of a wearable pod, nodes for creating a bluetooth/wifi network for institutions, cloud connection via Microsoft Azure and apps for mobile devices.
“There is a gratifying new spirit of open innovation across the nonwovens supply chain today, and it’s resulting in some very sophisticated new products and systems aimed at better meeting the health and hygiene needs of many people,” says Murat Dogru, General Manager of EDANA. “The INDEX™23 Innovation Awards represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the industry’s innovation and there are many more new developments to be discovered in Geneva this April.”


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