Sales: $143 million
Description: Key Personnel
Yuuji Taneda, general manager, spunbond division of Toyobo; Yukio Kawasaki, president of Kureha
Tsuruga, Iwakuni, Shiga
Volans, Ecule, Bonden, Kurelock, Kurehalock, Dynac
Geotextiles, roofing sheets, carpet backings, automotive interiors, automotive filters, needlepunch carpets, hot melt bonding sheets, plaster bases
Toyobo upgraded equipment in its Iwakuni, Japan plant in 2008 in a move that increased production capacity of its polyester spunbonded nonwovens from 14,000 to 16,000 tons per year. Additionally, the company developed nonwovens with polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) as the crude materials. Toyobo has been outsourcing production of this materials to a Chinese PET spunbonded maker since spring 2007 and sells this material for the automotives market in China. Since the Japanese auto makers are looking to China for the same quality as Japanese-made products, Toyobo has been providing Chinese spunbond makers with technical guidance and sells the nonwovens of identical quality to Japanese products under the Toyobo brand name.
Kureha, Toyobo’s subsidiary, produces resin bonded, needlepunched, thermal bonded and spunbonded nonwovens with a capacity of about 7000 tons per year, and Yuho, another subsidiary, produces needlepunched, spunlaced and stitchbonded nonwovens with a capacity of about 3000 tons per year.
Kureha is good at automotive filter production and has developed the suction filter of a fuel pump as a new application for nonwovens. Although the mesh textile fabrics of the nylon fibers are used for the suction filter of the fuel pump, Kureha has developed a new filter medium made of spunbonded nonwovens or thermal bonded nonwovens to enable a longer filter life and enhance filtration efficiency. More and more automobiles are using this product.
Yuho also performs the assembling of the honeycomb filter to be equipped to the filter unit for building an air conditioning or solvent recovery device, while producing nonwovens. With a reinforcement of the environmental regulation, the demand for the solvent recovery device has been getting higher and the demand for honeycomb filters has also been increasing.