In May, Advanced Fabrics (SAAF) of Saudi Arabia, an innovator in the medical and hygiene markets, added a second treatment line for alcohol repellent and anti-static products. The new line is close to full production, and will give the company a treatment capacity of over 1000MT per month, according to Ian Disley, general manager.
“SAAF added a second treatment line due to demand from customers and a belief that we could better optimize quality and efficiency by having the treatment line next to the new fabric production line in our Rabigh facility,” Disley says. “The new state-of-the-art Reicofil line has enabled us to take our well-known Medalon product further to produce MedalonS, with enhanced softness. As a leading supplier worldwide of treated barrier fabrics we believe the best results are achieved by developing the base fabric and treatment process together.”
Another investment this year came from Turkish nonwovens producer Bayteks, which produces PP spunbond, SMMS, PET spunbond and meltblown fabrics. The company installed a hotmelt lamination machine at the end of April.
“With this one we are targeting the medical sector for the drapes, gowns, and all the surgical, single-use disposables,” says Mehmet Bozkan, director of sales and marketing, adding that the medical market is the company’s main target right now.
“Medical is growing for SMMS fabrics. We are already supplying our material for medical companies, so it’s a complementary product for us, and an added value addition to our product,” he adds.
PLA Meltblown Expert Offers New Technology
Biovation, a technology design and manufacturing company that produces advanced, nonwoven fiber products with integrated antimicrobial properties, is using its expertise in the medical market.
In March, the company launched the BioArmour Blood Pressure Cuff Shield to mitigate the spread of infectious pathogens from blood pressure cuffs. According to the company, this first-in-class medical product offers a multi-use barrier for prevention of hospital acquired infections.
The BioArmour Blood Pressure Cuff Shield is a disposable antimicrobial hygienic barrier that attaches to the blood pressure cuff to prevent direct contact of the cuff with the patient’s skin. The latex-free shield material—a PLA meltblown nonwoven—is composed of a sustainable biopolymer impregnated with antimicrobial and antifungal agents to mitigate the propagation of a wide spectrum of pathogens in controlled release fashion. Contaminant pathogens—including MRSA, VRE, c. difficile and others—are mitigated by the blood pressure cuff shield, allowing for multi-patient use over a 24-hour period. Biovation worked with antimicrobial solutions specialist Sciessent to develop the antimicrobial technology.
“There is nothing like it [in the market],” says Kerem Durdag, CEO of Biovation. “It’s first in its class in terms of approvals, and also as a product. The only equivalent product that’s on the marketplace is a plastic disposable blood pressure cuff meant for one-time use. This would be the first nonwoven, multi-patient, multi-use, multi-pathogen with an FDA 510k Class 2 medical device approval. The plastic disposable cuff is not FDA 510k Class 2 approved.”
While the cuff shield is available in the European Union (registered a CE Class I medical device), Canada and all non-U.S. markets, the product is still awaiting FDA approval. Durdag expects the product to be available in the U.S. in the fall of 2016.
The company has also been hard at work on an advanced wound care dressing, which is also going through the FDA approval process. An all PLA biopolymer nonwoven “back-bone” construction with a proprietary gel-cast coating with wound healing agents and antimicrobials as a non-adherent wound contact surface, Durdag says it will be able to be used on low to medium exudate wounds. The dressing will have comparable benchmark performance to current foam, hydrocolloid and alginate based products and be available in several formats with pricing significantly lower than present incumbent solutions.