News Releases 2004

Kuraray Develops Commercial-Use Flooring Wiper
Hexagonal Embossing Catches Tiny Particles

Mar 9, 2004
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Kuraray Co., Ltd. announced the development of a commercial-use flooring wiper, which will greatly simplify the hygienic cleaning of floors in shopping centers, supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, hospitals, beauty shops, schools, office buildings, and other public facilities. This product will go on sale in April 2004, and will be introduced to the public at the 32nd annual HOTERES JAPAN international hotel and restaurant show, to be held March 9-12, 2004.

The new product is a composite non-woven fabric made of polypropylene and polyester fiber, with a special structure resulting from the intricate interlacing of these two fibers. Because this special composite non-woven fabric uses polypropylene microfiber, it easily removes fine dirt such as dust particles and hair. The use of polyester fiber increases its bulk and improves its wiping characteristics. In addition, because it slides easily across floor surfaces, cleaning work becomes easier.

In addition, the surface of the special composite non-woven fabric is embossed in a hexagonal pattern, so it leaves behind no dirt or fiber lint. The embossing also improves its wiping characteristics. Through a special embossing process both sides are identically embossed, so both sides can be used.

In recent years, consciousness of the importance of hygienic cleaning has risen, and it has become an important issue at shopping centers, supermarkets, convenience stores, and many other establishments. At present, the market for commercial-use flooring wipers made of non-woven fabrics is approximately 4.0 billion (Kuraray estimate). Since large-scale facilities like shopping centers and supermarkets are faced with the needs to practice hygienic cleaning, increase the efficiency of their cleaning operations, and rationalize costs, it is forecast that this market will continue to grow.

Kuraray has the largest share of the domestic market for cleaning cloths and counter cloths made of commercial-use non-woven fabrics, with sales centered on the restaurant industry and supermarkets. However, the new product will also be marketed to shopping centers, convenience stores, hospitals, beauty shops, schools, office buildings, and a range of other public facilities. We are grooming our non-woven fabric flooring wiper operations to become a new mainstay business. Kuraray will also employ the characteristics of its non-woven fabrics to develop new products that meet the needs of the market, while working for further increments in quality. Through these measures, the Company is pursuing the expansion of its non-woven fabrics business.

Commercial Flooring Wiper

1. Material

Special polypropylene/polyester composite non-woven fabric

2. Characterist

  • (1) Microfibers pick up dust and hair, and the hexagonal embossing keeps it from leaving any dirt or fiber lint behind.
  • (2) Both sides of the non-woven fabric sheet can be used, for greater economy.
  • (3) Cleans without scattering dust particles, so it is hygienic.

3. Primary applications

Cleaning floors in shopping centers, supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, hospitals, beauty shops, schools, office buildings, and other public facilities.

4. Prices (exclusive of consumption tax)

¥67/sheet, ¥3,350/roll, 20cm x 65cm (medium size, estimated price), 50 sheets to a roll.

  • * Small and large size rolls are scheduled for introduction.

5. Marketing channels

Commercial product outlets nationwide

6. Availability

From April 2004

7. Sales targets

First year  ¥100 million
After 3 years  ¥400 million