While it has been reluctant to become reliant on the large-scale volumes found in the hygiene market, Mogul Nonwovens, Gaziantep, Turkey, has steadily grown its business during the last several years by investing in a diverse range of technology.
The first company to start spunbond, meltblown and SMS production in Turkey back in 1997, Mogul currently exports to customers in more than 40 countries. Its core markets include bedding and furniture, medical, agriculture, luggage, shoe lining, filtration, wipes protective apparel, construction, hygiene, auotmotives and fabric softeners. In recent years, the company has expanded beyond spunbond and meltlbown into spunlace, PET spunbond and a number of converting and laminating capabilities.
Nonwovens Industry recently caught up with Mogul’s commercial director Serkan Gogus who shared his thoughts on the rapid expansion of spunmelt technology golbally and Mogul’s strategy for growth.
Nonwovens Industry (NWI): The market has seen a huge amount of capacity coming onstream. Why?
Serkan Gogus (SG): Most market development is based on the hygiene market, which is being driven by few global end users such as Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark. Typically producers follow these end users and make investments with their commitments so demand from these large end users, renewal of old technologies, new suppliers from developing countries and increasing demand are factors driving the market. Also lines from Far East suppliers at very low and affordable prices have helped encourage these investments in Asia and developing countries.
NWI: Can the market handle all of this new capacity? Has your company increased capacity? If so where and by how much? If not, are there any plans to?
SG: My view is overall there’s an overcapacity in spunbond polypropylene but for sure demand is growing. We try to invest in niche areas. We recently invested in a monolithic meltblown line where we mainly target wipes and offline SMS fabrics. We also have plans to invest in polyester spunbond production.
NWI: Are most of the capacity increases to serve hygiene applications where growth is light in developed markets? Is this fueling growth in China and other places or will it replace old capacity, particularly with K-C’s exit from Europe?
SG: For sure the biggest influence on growth in the polypropylene business is hygiene and demand is continuously for lightweight, better performing and cheaper materials. New lines replace old ones and usually old lines are serving less demanding technical applications and there’s the fact that China and other Asian companies are growing at higher rates and are concentrating more on export markets than ever before. K&C’s exit Europe may also cause idle capacities within Europe unless they can compensate by selling elsewhere.
NWI: What is the latest from your company in particular on the expansion front?
SG: At Mogul we have a new strategy to grow in the Asia Pacific region so we are looking for sales partners to cooperate in the area. We're more focused on niche markets rather than commodity markets as it’s diffucult to compete.
NWI: The new lines coming onstream offer higher capacities, the ability to make thinner, stronger materials, hence the use of fewer raw material. What does this mean for profit margins? Is the huge investment worth it?
SG: Higher capacity lines help with costs for sure but the biggest benefit is for end users I believe because there’s continuous pressure on prices and margins. The payback period of high cost hygiene lines are getting longer I believe.
NWI: What is the latest from your company on the technology front?
SG: We launched a meltblown line last year and we are planning a polyester spunbond investment for next year. This will target lightweight technical applications.