Sales: $163 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 produces 14,000 tons of PET spunbond nonwovens per year and its OEM production has been entrusted to a Chinese PET spunbonded nonwovens maker since spring 2007 for the manufacture of automotive materials. Additionally, Kureha, Toyobo’s subsidiary, produces resin bonded, needlepunched, thermal bonded and spunbond nonwovens with a capacity of about 7000 tons per year. Its other subsidiary Yuho makes needlepunched, spunlaced and stitchbonded nonwovens with a capacity of 3000 tons per year.
As for the PET spunbonded nonwovens of Toyobo, about 30-40% of this material targets the automotives business and Kureha’s business is about 60% related to automotives, meaning that Toyobo is quite dependent on this market. As this market has undergone significant decreases so has Toyobo’s income.
That said, Toyobo has defended itself by improving its nonwoven products. The company’s policy is to focus on the development of added-value properties to raise the processing percentage of the raw materials by strengthening the cooperation with the group enterprises. In addition, Toyobo intends to move forward with the development of new applications for spunbonded nonwovens by integrating new polymers into its processes. This has opened up new applications, namely nonwovens with stretch properties which have already been developed and mass production should be underway by the end of 2009. Furthermore, Toyobo’s strategy of enhancing manufacturing efficiency and quality, has been achieved by upgrading older equipment and facilities. Meanwhile, the crude oil prices and business fluctuations have been intensive in the market.