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WNI Expands U.S. Capacity

July 11, 2005

In a $2 million investment, roll goods producer Western Nonwovens (WNI), Carson, CA, has initiated an expansion in the eastern U.S. to service its growing customer base using new and existing continuous filament products and new insulation roll good forming technology. The, site, located in Clinton, TN, will initially boost the company’s continuous filament insulation capacity by 50% but has sufficient acreage and infrastructure for future expansions in two of WNI’s divisions—Performance Insulation and/or Industrial Nonwovens. The plant will initially create about 40 jobs, according to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the Melton Hill Regional Industrial Development Association. In a separate expansion project, a new nylon thermal spunbond line has come onstream at the company’s Florida-based Cerex Advanced Fabrics business division and is providing new product samples to the marketplace. The expanded line features lighter weight fabric production capabilities at double the productivity of existing capacity. Discussing the company’s recent expansions, president and CEO Ken Hardin explained that the new capital investments have basically defined the growth strategy for the company over the last two years. “To grow our business divisions, WNI required new asset capabilities not necessarily available through mergers or acquisitions.”

WNI primarily targets North American customers, with 90% of sales coming from the continental U.S. In 2004 WNI generated $140 million in revenue and saw a 20% jump in sales over the prior year.

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