The Montbonnot line is the first of a number of joint pilot lines planned at both the Rieter site as well as NSC’s Tourcoing plant in Northern France. Lines at the Rieter site will feature lightweight nonwovens technology primarily for hygiene and related fields while, at Tourcoing, lines will produce heavier grade nonwovens, with an emphasis on needlepunch expertise and industrial applications.
Peter Gnagi, speaking on behalf of Rieter, said nonwovens is currently the smallest of the company’s units but its is growing the most rapidly at 7-10%. The collaboration with NSC is expected to increase the company’s marketshare by allowing it to focus on new product areas. NSC is also expecting that the collaboration with Rieter, a leader in spunbond and waterjet technology, will help it, a needleloom specialist, increase its sales in nonwovens, which currently represents 40-45% of total activity.