2011 Nonwovens Sales: $164 million
Key Personnel: Shigeki Tanaka, general manager of spunbond division; Akio Oda, president
Plants: Tsuruga, Iwakuni and Shiga, Japan
Processes: Spunbond, needlepunch, resin bonded, spunlaced, thermal bonded, stitch bonded
Brands: Volans, Ecule, Bonden, Kurelock, Dynac
Major Markets: Geotextiles, roofing sheets, carpet backings, automotive interiors, automotive filters, needlepunch carpets, hot melt bonding sheets, plaster bases
Production capacity of polyester spunbond nonwovens at Toyobo is 12,000 tons per year. Kureha, a subsidiary of Toyobo, produces resin bonded, needlepunch, thermal bonded and spunbond nonwovens with a capacity of 7,000 tons per year. Yuho, also a subsidiary of Toyobo, has made needlepunched, spunlaced and stitch bonded nonwovens with a capacity of about 3,000 tons per year.
Polyester spunbond nonwovens made by Toyobo are largely sold for automotive applications. Sales have been mostly flat during the last year despite the recovery seen during the second half.
Kureha also sells a large amount of nonwovens for automotives and has been affected by a reduction in domestic demand caused by an increase in overseas production. This has led Kureha to focus on new product development.
One area of success has been in automotive filters, a product Kureha makes in both Japan and Thailand, which aids in supply to China. Additionally, the company plans to begin manufacturing of automotive filter material in Taiwan by the end of 2012, which will also supply the Chinese market.