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Dr. Rene Wollert
Dr. Rene Wollert

Interview with Dr. Rene Wollert

Advanced wound care & transdermal delivery systems are fastest growing end-uses in health care

Dr. Rene Wollert discusses the current scenario of the global nonwovens market with Fibre2Fashion correspondent Mary Christine Joy. Synopsis: Freudenberg Nonwovens is renowned as being the largest producer of nonwovens in the world. The company is into the manufacture of nonwovens for various industries and interlinings for the garment and apparel industry. It has a workforce of more than 3000, and is a reputed name in the industry. Dr. Rene Wollert completed his doctorate in 1992 from the University of Marburg. He joined the management of Freudenberg Nonwovens in 2005 as its Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for its financing, controlling, and purchasing. He also looks after the Evolon division of the company. Excerpts:

TT: Being a family owned business since the last 160 years, Freudenberg Group has contributed immensely to the world market. Can you give a list of some extra ordinary products by the Group?

The Freudenberg Group is a family company offering its customers technically challenging product solutions and services. The Group develops and manufactures seals, vibration control components, filters, nonwovens, products for surface treatment, release agents and specialty lubricants, medical and mechatronic products. Milestones of the Group's innovations are the Simmering, Vileda wipes and Evolon microfilaments. Freudenberg's revolutionary new Simmerring ushered the company into a new era in sealing technology. The Simmerring - named after its inventor, Walther Simmer - was a radial shaft seal which replaced the felt seals that had been previously used. The production of Vlieseline interlinings and Vileda cloths, both nonwoven products, started in the 1950s. With Evolon technology, Freudenberg developed an entirely new spunbonded microfilament nonwoven production process which set new standards.

TT: Freudenberg Nonwovens is a big name in the world of nonwovens today. What would you credit its success to? What are the strengths of Freudenberg as a company?

Freudenberg nonwovens are used in a multitude of applications thanks to their inexhaustible material properties and functionalities. We are constantly developing new products in partnership with our customers: From automatic print head cleaning for copying machines, surface protection in industrial packaging, artificial turf and tent coatings to shoe insoles. The strengths of Freudenberg Nonwovens are the ability to offer tailor-made solutions to customers, the long-standing experience of a global R&D team and the know-how for different nonwoven technologies. And: We constantly review our processes and structures to remain competitive on a global level. Freudenberg Nonwovens is part of the Freudenberg Group's R&D network. Via Freudenberg's central R&D department we have access to R&D experts covering all disciplines in material science. At the same time this corporate R&D team offers technologies and analytical equipment which a standalone Nonwovens business group cannot afford.

TT: Out of all the applications for nonwovens, do you feel health care applications are increasing at present at a fast rate? Give reasons for your answers.

The market for medical devices is steadily growing. The growth rates of segments like Traditional Wound Care, Advanced Wound Care and Stoma have been showing moderate but also very stable growth rates over the years. The business with Transdermal Delivery Systems is growing strongly as the benefits of this technology, which originated in Japan, are spreading to the US and Europe. However budget cuts and general cost pressures in the European healthcare sector are challenging the industry to come up with cost effective solutions. Customers in emerging countries ask for cost effective solutions which provide good performance. The US and Europe request higher performance. There is also a trend towards more effective product solutions for complex indications (e.g. chronic wounds) which help to reduce the total cost of treatment. We are also seeing an increasing trend towards self-treatment products. Advanced Wound Care and Transdermal Delivery Systems are the fastest growing end use applications.

Published on: 13/05/2014

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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