Airlaid: Back On Track
after years of hand wringing, airlaid manufacturers are cautiously optimistic
By Karen McIntyre, Editor
An industry newcomer, talk of new investment, companies turning a profit. These are not the headlines seen in the airlaid market of recent years, but seven years after industry leaders Buckeye Technologies and Concert Industries revved up their operations—and caused a glut of capacity on the market—it seems that this technology is finally back on track.
Proof of this revival is shown in Buckeye’s and Concert’s reports that their businesses are not only growing but growing profitably, as well as in new capacity being tentatively planned in Europe and even North America. Adding to this momentum is the entry of a new market participant—Danish Airlaid—which is aiming to thrive in existing and niche markets for the technology.
This revival can be chalked up to several factors—capacity reductions, new product mixes and favorable raw material prices, which have made airlaid producers cautiously optimistic for the first time in years as they look to the future for growth instead of just trying to keep their heads above water.