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Lynda Kelly Suominen Corporation

Lynda Kelly
Senior Vice President , Suominen Corporation

What percentage of profits do you earmark for R&D annually?
Lynda Kelly
The Suominen group is expected to spend more than one per cent of net sales on R&D in the near future. Last year, we spent 0.8 per cent.
What are the trends in your segment? What new products can this vertical expect from Suominen during this fiscal?
Lynda Kelly
Suominen continues to focus on the execution of its growth strategy. We are selectively investing in our brands and technology footprints. We will actively work within our product development concept, Suominen Innovation Machine and particularly the Front End Innovation Program, to develop new and exciting products.
What is the most revolutionary work by Suominen that has changed the industry?
Lynda Kelly
One example of a segment where Suominen has been a global forerunner is nonwovens for flushable applications. Suominen is the market leader in dispersible products for wipes, continuing to innovate and upgrade flushable products. This could not be achieved without our solid understanding of the consumer's needs, listening to customers, as well as considering the expectations of the municipal wastewater systems.
Out of all applications for nonwovens, healthcare applications are growing at a fast pace. What are the probable factors contributing towards this development?
Lynda Kelly
We continue to see growth in this segment, to protect the patient and healthcare personnel. Various nonwovens from surgical gowns, drapes and surface wipes play a critical protection role. As people grow older and live longer they require more medical attention, thus driving the need for more medical nonwovens.
The market for wipes today is drifting towards flushable wipes. To what extent has Suominen been successful in implementing this?
Lynda Kelly
Suominen has the leading products in this area and has been the pioneering company in flushable nonwovens since the 1990s. Our latest addition to our flushable product range, launched in 2015, is Hydraspun Dispersible Plus. It is a substrate that breaks up over three times faster than our standard Hydraspun Dispersible product and clearly passes the INDA/EDANA third edition flushability assessment test protocol. We are taking flushable nonwovens to the next level and have filed a patent for the range of products.

Speaking about flushable products, we are carefully examining not only the business opportunities but also stakeholder expectations. There are many products in the market claiming to be flushable, yet are not so. Our products exceed industry standards and we are regularly working with municipal water systems, government bodies and industry groups to ensure that flushability standards are met by all industry participants. We aim not only to retain our globally lead in flushables but also seek to strengthen it. Therefore, we are, among other initiatives, investing in new world class production capacity at our Bethune, SC plant in the United States of America. The new wetlaid line to be installed will focus on producing nonwovens with higher added value to the growing segments of flushables, workplace, household wiping and medical wipes.
Which domestic or global fairs do you attend and what do you expect to gain from there?
Lynda Kelly
To meet current and future customers and business partners, we attend all major events of our target markets across the globe, such as Surgical Conference & Expo, Biomed Device, IDEA 2016, Techtextil, EWMA, Hospitalar International, MEDICA etc
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View comments on this interview Published on : 23 May 2016
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