2012 Nonwovens Sales: $209 million
Key Personnel: Toshio Yoshida, president; Yoshiaki Mizutani, managing director; Masahiro Kimura, director’ Tomo Kawamura, director
Plants: Shiga, Tokyo
Processes: Resin bonded, needlepunched, thermal bonded, wetlaid, spunlaced, meltblown, tackspun
Apparel interlinings, apparel insulations, air filters, plaster bases, automotive mats, automotive headliners, battery electrode separators
Reporting increases across several segments was Japan’s largest nonwovens producer Japan Vilene. The Tokyobased company says its sales rose in apparel and medical, electricity and industrial and automotive materials while sales within the air filtration market were down.
In regional terms, sales decreased in Japan but increased significantly in both Asia and North America. North American sales particularly increased 37% due to the formation of Vitech Manufacturing, an automotives material manufacturing business formed in partnership with Freudenberg, the world’s largest producer of nonwovens and a long-time Vilene partner.
Sales in apparel and medical were driven by increased production of the epithem medicine base cloth overseas while electrical and industrial materials sales were boosted by increased battery separator sales. Automotive sales benefited from increased floor mat sales as well as increased use of Vilene products in ceiling facing materials. Vilene is also hoping to grow sales in this division through the establishment of an automotive mat manufacturing facility in Thailand, which will sell materials not only within Thailand but also throughout Southeast Asia.
To help it boost sales in the faltering air filtration market, Vilene acquired shares of Oshitari Labs, a manufacturer of filters for industrial air conditioning units.