The new production line represents an investment of approximately €32 million and is part of a strategic plan to support the growing demand for high-end polyester filtration media. The new production line will utilize newly developed proprietary spinning technology and increase the spunbond lightweight capacity at this location by more than 40%.
“This new investment clearly underscores Johns Manville’s commitment as a market leader to responsibly satisfy the long-term demand of our valued filtration customers,” says Enno Henze, senior vice president and general manager, Engineered Products Europe/Asia. “This new line with a capacity in excess of 4,000 tons per year will be built with Johns Manville’s advanced Bi-Component (BiCo) spinning technology, which will enable step-change improvements in product properties and cost performance.”
“JM’s leadership position as a provider of premium filter solutions will be significantly strengthened by this new investment,” says Christian Hassmann, senior product and market manager and the project leader for this investment. “With the start of the new production line in 2015, a new generation of polyester spunbond filter media for cabin air, air pollution control and liquid filtration applications will expand the Evalith product range.”
Reduced area weight in combination with higher product performance, such as high efficiency at lower pressure drop, is one of the key value propositions of JM’s innovative BiCo technology. “Lower material cost with the same or even better performance will enable customers to compete long term in the market place," says Hassmann. "The new production line will utilize the latest technologies to preserve resources and significantly lower energy consumption."
The Berlin site was founded in 1919 as Spinnstofffabrik Zehlendorf AG. In 1960 Hoechst acquired the factory and in 1967 changed the production from Perlon (artificial silk) to polyester spunbond and filaments. In 1999 Johns Manville acquired the Berlin plant from Hoechst Trevira. Today, 66 employees and shop floor workers produce and market Evalith polyester spunbond nonwovens mainly for the filtration, roofing and geotextile industry. The new line is expected to add 20 employees to the site.