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Since then, the company has experienced continuous growth and today operates 10 nonwovens production lines.
The Akmina group includes three subsidiaries, all based in Turkey—Milkay Tekstil A.S., Ak Elyaf Tekstil A.S. and Almina Tekstil A.S. Established in 1994, Milkay Tekstil A.S. produces needlepunched felts and waddings including its KayTeks brand. Ak Elyaf A.S., which was launched in 1998, manufactures waddings, filters and siliconized fiber, as well as the Kardelen, Kartanesi and Boncuk fiber brands. Almina A.S. was created in 2000 and specializes in spunbonded fabrics for home furnishings, medical, automotive and other markets.
Akmina concentrates exclusively on nonwoven materials, with production areas ranging from thermal bonded soft felt, hard felts, cotton and jute felts to polypropylene spunbonded fabric, polyester needlepunched felt for geotextile applications and polyester fiber and pads. Target sectors include spring mattresses, furniture, construction, carpet, artificial leather, shoes and filters.
In terms of equipment, the company’s production lines come from Italy, Germany and France and were manufactured by well-known companies such as STP Impianti, Asselin, Timtex, Automatex, Thibeau and Fleissner.
As a group, Akmina’s overall nonwovens production capacity totals approximately 60,000 tons annually. Europe, the Middle East, Russia and the Ukraine are the company’s primary target markets.
With an annual output of approximately 43,200 tons, Milkay Tekstil boasts the largest production capacity for thermal bonded nonwoven felts in Europe and the Middle East, according to the company. Milkay supplies its domestic market as well as the Middle East, the Balkan region and Europe. Target applications for these felts include spring mattresses and furniture.
At Milkay’s Cerkezkoy, Turkey facility, a new manufacturing line came onstream this year. Plans are also underway to add another thermal bonded nonwoven felt line in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia under the Milkay A.S. name. Additionally, the company is planning to start up another new production site in the Balkans this year.
“Akmina is one of the biggest and most well known suppliers in Turkey,” opined Mustafa Kartal, international sales manager for Milkay A.S. “Almost everybody involved in the mattress and furniture industries, especially in the Middle East region, knows and trusts our group of companies.” Mr. Kartal estimated Milkay’s annual turnover to be in the €200 million Euro range and explained that its company owners are in possession of 100% of the shares of all production facilities.
At its Ak Elyaf S.A. subsidiary, the company produces polyester fiber and pads at its ISO 9001-certified facility, which includes specially designed blending rooms. Ak Elyaf also produces 6000 tons per year of siliconized ball fiber. A new production line produces polyester and polypropylene needlepunched felts for geotextiles, construction materials, filters, carpet backing, shoes and artificial leather.
For its part, spunbonding specialist Almina S.A. supplies fabrics in a variety of colors and in 13-150 gpsm weights. With a capacity of 3600 tons per year, the company works exclusively with polypropylene as a raw material. Available in a variety of colors, weights and sizes, the company’s UV spunbonded fabrics are used in agricultural and greenhouse applications.
Going forward, Akmina’s goal for the next five years is to double its capacity for the nonwovens industry by establishing new technologies. “We have adopted quality as a principle for developing and attaining great objectives with great acceleration, based on the concept of giving first priority to customer satisfaction,” concluded Mr. Kartal.