Fiber Innovation Technology (F.I.T.), based in Johnson City, TN, develops and produces bi-component and other customized staple fibers. Universal Fibers’ purchase agreement with F.I.T. involves only the continuous filament bi-component assets of the company.
“This is a key purchase, and one we are thrilled to be making,” says Marc Ammen, Universal Fiber Systems CEO. “As we continue to grow Universal Fibers’ global position in solution-dyed commercial, residential and automotive carpet fiber, this supports our market diversification strategy of expanding Universal Fibers’ product offering to reach new segments in the marketplace through its Business Development Group, led by Don Campbell, vice president, business and technical development.”
“The addition of bi-component fiber technology supports our mission as innovative problem solvers, and enables us to expand into new markets including performance apparel, interior furnishings, filtration, technical/industrial, geotextile, and medical,” says Campbell. “In creating unique and innovative fiber combinations, the capabilities of these assets offer business synergies complementing our existing assets located in our Bristol facility. We also expect this technology to have application in traditional markets for existing customers of Universal Fibers and Premiere Fibers, both of which are business units within Universal Fiber Systems serving a separate and distinct customer base.”
The newly acquired bi-component assets of Universal Fibers will be led by Don Berlin, technical sales and business development manager.
“Bi-Component technology offers varied and distinct advantages to single component technology, since it accommodates fiber constructions tailored for more specific functions including anti-static, conductive, antimicrobial, super hydrophilic, super hydrophobic, stain resistance, low melt and heat resistance," says Berlin. "These advantages yield benefits in performance, cost savings and reduced lead times. As one of the only U.S.-based continuous filament bi-component producers, Universal Fibers will support a diverse customer base with exceptional service and small lot capabilities in various chemistries such as Nylon, PP, PET and other traditional and non-traditional fiber polymers.
Universal Fibers expects these new production assets to employ 20 people, primarily in technical manufacturing positions.