September 11, 2006

Gallarate, Italy
$100 million

Key Personnel

Cav. Vittorio Orlandi, CEO; Massimiliano Orlandi, marketing director, Mario Saldarini, commercial director


Gallarate, Bolgare, Cressa, Cassano Magnago

ISO Status

ISO 9002 Certified


Needlepunched and hydroentangled

Brand Names

Akena, Tex Sil 2, Teporland More, Temporland Compact, Dacron II2SB, Flortex, Clax, flormop, Solex, Alltex, Leitex, Dustex, Suntex, Suntex Plus, Robel-Tevar, Talura Telco, Axxys, Spring, Nortec, Dacron II, Dacron 808, Elastic 808

Major Markets

Medical, hygiene, apparel, home furnishings, interlinings, industrial/household wipes and synthetic leather.

The combination of rising raw material prices and pricing pressures from its customers in the wipes market has presented great challenges to Orlandi. The Gallarate, Italy-based company is looking to escape this trap by offering differentiated products.

To achieve this, Orlandi is currently reconfiguring its fourth spunlace line in Cressa, Italy to produce a three-layer material containing two sheets of spunbonded polypropylene  and carded PET with fluff pulp in between. “This material features better characteristics for personal care wipes such as bulkiness, softness and increased resistance,” said Mario Saldarini, commercial director. “This is a way for our customers to escape the day-to-day competition. It’s something really new. This is how we are trying to help our customers.”

In the meantime, Orlandi initiated a price increase in July in response to rising costs of viscose, a key ingredient in spunlaced nonwovens. And, Mr. Saldarini said another price increase could be forthcoming as European viscose producers have already announced plans to up their prices again this fall.

“The market is very, very tough for spunlace, particularly for wipes and skin care products. “We have had to increase our prices and are now waiting to see the market reaction. On the other hand, our customers are getting retailer pressures so they don’t want to accept any price increases.”

In addition to its reconfigured line, Orlandi operates three other lines—two in Cressa and one in Gallarate—offering traditional viscose-based spunlaced nonwovens, and while a portion of the output on these lines,  about 20%, targets medical and other applications, wipe products comprise the bulk of Orlandi’s spunlace business.

“Despite the challenges, wipes offer opportunities for high volumes and that is why we are focusing on this market,” Mr. Orlandi said.

Meanwhile, Orlandi’s plans to enter the North American market, which were shelved last year when several other European spunlace makers announced expansion there, seem to be back on track. Mr. Orlandi would not elaborate on these plans but hinted that the initiative would be with a partner and would produce a differentiated product. “We don’t want to enter this market with a commodity product,” he said. “The new line will feature something different, something new.”

Beyond spunlace, which represents about three-quarters of Orlandi’s business, the company produces 4000 tons of needlepunch nonwovens on two lines, and this business remains important to the company. Key markets include dry wipes and artificial leather.

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