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Pierre Wiertz
Pierre Wiertz
General Manager

Interview with Pierre Wiertz

In NW business one needs to be constantly efficient, with no compromise on product performance

Pierre Wiertz talks about the vast world of sustainable nonwovens and INDEX TM 2014 in an exclusive interview with Fibre2Fashion correspondent Mary Christine Joy. Synopsis: EDANA has been supporting nonwovens and related industries through its services since more than 40 years. It is one of the premier international associations in terms of research and development. INDEX 2014 is one of the many events for exhibitors of nonwovens organized by EDANA. Pierre Wiertz has remained a majorly contributing figure in EDANA and INDEXTM 14 since a long time. His views and ideas have been admired throughout the organization. His strategy making skills have played have remained crucial in the success of the event altogether. Excerpts:

TT: EDANA recently collaborated with ANNA to facilitate free trade between Japan and EU for nonwovens. Why do you think is free trade between the two regions important?

Both economies have a long tradition in the nonwovens industries, with a focus on product innovation and economic investment helping to pioneer the industry. Both the EU and Japan have long enjoyed the status of technology leaders, to the extent that specialised machinery from these countries have been widely exported in the rest of the world. Additionally, the whole supply chain, from fibres and polymers to finished products, has benefited from Japan-EU nonwovens trade, with more complementarities than real competition between their respective specialties. This explains in our view why both parties would benefit from total elimination of tariff duties. Altogether, EDANA strongly supports free and fair trade between all countries, and for all business sectors. In this, we believe that only by operating on a level playing field can both our individual business sectors and our industry grow sustainably, by openly accessing materials and new customers alike. In addition to supporting such negotiations and the elimination of barriers to trade, EDANA also works in the field of product testing and standards, and coordinates with its global partners and member companies in many markets to harmonize the way in which products are assessed.

TT: What do you think about INDEX <sup>TM</sup>14? How is it contributing to the global nonwovens industry?

INDEX TM14 is shaping up to be the biggest edition ever. We already have 570 exhibitors booked, and with a focus on the entire Nonwovens and related industries, from geotextiles to packaging to construction to automotive and to hygiene and medical applications, our industry is in almost every part of people's lives. In this, INDEX is an unmissable event for anyone currently in or interested in the Nonwovens industry at any stage of the value chain. For this edition again, EDANA and PALEXPO teams have put together an ambitious plan intended to reflect, from a 360° perspective, all the potential nonwovens have to offer and to provide a meaningful and relevant experience for each and every visitor. The theme of the campaign for this edition centres on the diverse range of properties that can be engineered into nonwovens and just how a creative idea in one field can produce a successful solution in another application. With that campaign and the high-level visitors that characterise the INDEX show in Geneva, the industry can expect that decision-makers from 5 continents looking for smart nonwoven solutions will bring innovative perspectives for the re-application of existing technologies to completely new areas. Numerous tutorials, product presentations and sector-specific workshops and fora, from automotive to geotextiles, will contribute to showcasing again the versatility and diversity of nonwovens.

TT: Cutting edge technological innovation in nonwovens market is likely to revolve around sustainability in the near future. Do you agree or not? Please give your reasons as well.

We do believe that sustainability is a driving force for innovation, especially if you consider the three pillars of social, economic and environmental sustainability. In fact this was already a major business concern for the nonwovens industry, as the only way to stay in business is to constantly become more efficient, without compromising on product performance. Innovation may be driven by a desire to find or utilize new or renewable resources, to reduce waste, or to ensure better lives, a healthy planet and a healthy economy for current and future generations. Nonwovens play a major part in so many peoples daily lives, be it by protecting patients and healthcare professionals during surgery, or ensuring that a road constructed today lasts for many years, so it's only natural that an industry so involved in every part of our lives is part of the force that continues to challenge us to find new and innovative ways to address our needs - today and tomorrow!

Published on: 10/03/2014

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of technicaltextile.net.


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