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Frost & Sullivan Honors Kimberly-Clark Professional for Commitment to Product Innovation

January 26, 2009

Innovative Gloves Help Reduce Packaging Waste by 45 Percent

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ — Based on its recent analysis of the U.S. protective gloves market, Frost & Sullivan presents Kimberly-Clark Professional with the 2008 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Innovation. The award is in recognition of the company’s proactive development of new products developed to meet end-users’ needs and its ability to be a change agent within the protective gloves industry.

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Latex prices have been on the rise in recent years and are expected to continue to increase in the future. To bridge the gap between latex and nitrile, Kimberly-Clark Professional developed its proprietary Sterling Nitrile glove manufacturing technology. This manufacturing innovation allows the company to increase the tensile strength of nitrile, resulting in superior barrier protection and puncture resistance. The technology also reduces glove thickness, which means that less force is required to stretch the material. As a result, these latex-free gloves have the dexterity and sensitivity of natural rubber latex, without the associated latex allergy issues. The technology has also helped extend applications in laboratories, cleanrooms and other critical environments.

“Kimberly-Clark Professional continues to invest in its Sterling Nitrile glove technology, most recently adding a 12-inch laboratory glove, marketed under the Kimtech Science brand, and a new family of cleanroom gloves, marketed under the Kimtech Pure brand,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Marina Rosemberg. “These gloves are ideal for use in semiconductor, flat panel, electronics, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device manufacturing.”

The new Kimtech Pure G3 (for Class 10 cleanrooms) and G5 Sterling Nitrile Cleanroom Gloves (for Class 100 cleanrooms) are 3.9 mils thick and 12 inches long from fingertip to beaded cuff. The gloves provide environmental benefits because they are packaged with 50 percent more gloves per case. This gives users approximately 33 percent more storage space and allows them to reduce glove packaging waste by 45 percent.

Similarly, the new Kimtech Science Sterling Nitrile Xtra Exam Gloves provide added splash protection at the cuff, have textured fingertips that offer excellent tactile sensitivity for easy handling of delicate instruments, and are static dissipative in use. These gloves also enable packaging with 100 percent more gloves per case than traditional 12-inch gloves, helping labs and other workspaces reduce storage space and waste.

Kimberly-Clark Professional’s glove innovation also extends to its industrial product line. Its KleenGuard G10 Grey Nitrile Gloves are a prime example. These gloves are a “green” alternative to latex, offering the protection of nitrile with the sensitivity of latex. They are thin, yet strong, with superior strength compared with competitive gloves, due to a proprietary manufacturing process. Because they are so thin and strong, users get 50 percent more gloves per case, resulting in less packaging waste and added space savings. KleenGuard G10 Grey Nitrile Gloves are designed for tasks requiring maximum dexterity such as small parts handling, electronics and precision assembly, food handling and manufacturing.

“What gives Kimberly-Clark Professional an edge is its responsiveness to end-user needs and its price stability,” adds Rosemberg. “The company visits end-users on a regular basis to determine unmet needs and detect potential opportunities for innovation. It also investigates and innovates within its own manufacturing facilities, keeping abreast of the latest manufacturing techniques and materials.”

Further, Kimberly-Clark Professional’s goal is to offer high quality products at competitive prices. The company charges prices similar to its competitors while also offering a distinctive new product feature.

Due to its commitment to quality and price assurance, a high degree of end-user acceptance, and the continuous ability to satisfy new client needs in an increasingly diverse marketplace, Kimberly-Clark Professional effectively differentiates itself from other market participants. Based on the above cumulative criteria, Kimberly-Clark Professional’s new gloves are the deserving recipient of the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Innovation in the U.S protective gloves market. For information about these gloves, visit www.kimtech.com and www.kc-safety.com.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in new products and technologies within its industry. The recipient company has shown innovation by launching a broad line of emerging products and technologies.

Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About Kimberly-Clark Professional

Kimberly-Clark Professional, based in Roswell, Ga., is one of Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s four business segments. Known for innovative, quality solutions for away-from-home washrooms, DIY settings and “clean” and “industrial” manufacturing environments, Kimberly-Clark Professional manufactures and markets protective gloves, wipers, masks and apparel for the scientific and industrial segments under the global brands Kimtech, KleenGuard and WypAll. For more information about Kimberly-Clark Professional, visit www.kcprofessional.com

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best in class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company’s Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO’s Growth Team with disciplined research and best practice models to drive the generation, evaluation and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 31 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit http://www.frost.com.

    Contact:
    Jake Wengroff
    210.247.3806
    mailto:jake.wengroff@frost.com

SOURCE Frost & Sullivan


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