Witnessing uninterrupted growth since its establishment in 1978, Nanliu Enterprise recently announced plans to become a publicly traded company by early next year. The company’s leadership believes in the continued strength of Nanliu’s core business: hygiene and medical nonwovens and cosmetics.
Nanliu has also just started the construction of a 6.2-meter wide spunlace line that it says will be the widest in the world. “This jumbo line will meet the rapidly increasing demand for wet wipes in China and other areas of Asia but also strengthens the company’s position on the worldwide market,” says Bernard Kerstens, commercial director (overseas business). The company expects production from this line to begin the third quarter of 2013. It will be located in Pinghu, China—near Shanghai—where the company already operates a 4.5-meter wide spunlace line.
Present chairman C.S. Huang established Nanliu at Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan in 1978. The company originally sold standard household goods, however, Huang quickly saw the importance of developing more sophisticated products. Nanliu became the first company in Taiwan owning foreign, advanced carding machines to manufacture thermal bonded and air-through bonded nonwovens.
Nanliu soon entered the markets of cover stock for diapers and sanitary napkins. After adding its first two nonwoven lines, the company’s operation accelerated. In 1985 the company passed the requirements of the Japanese Food Sanitation law, opening a door for exports to Japan, Southeast Asia and gradually the rest of the world.
Other nonwoven lines followed (thermal bond and needlepunch); in 2000 Nanliu bought its first spunlace line, as well as wet wipe converting equipment. A second location housing nonwoven production was opened near Kaohsiung and a large cleanroom workshop was installed for the development and manufacturing of cosmetic facial masks, cream and liquids. Combining its spunlace know-how with biotechnology, Nanliu began production capacity for cosmetic facial masks and cosmetic remover wipes. The company registered the brand name SilkSoft used for its cosmetic and nonwoven fabrics.
“With these new investments Huang succeeded in his endeavor to build the company on a solid basis by making it rely on three different core activities—hygiene, medical and cosmetic,” says Kerstens. “In the domestic Taiwan and mainland China markets, Nanliu now holds an important position in baby wipes and cosmetic facial masks products. Both in these markets and internationally it has become a major converter of finished wet wipes. Finally, but most importantly, it has become one of the largest Asian producers of spunlace roll stock.”
To meet growth opportunities in the hygiene, medial and cosmetic markets, construction began in 2005 for the company’s first overseas operation in Pinghu, China. With a total investment of nearly $40 million, new thermal bond/air-through bond and spunlace capacity was built up along with wet wipe converting equipment and a 4,500 square meter biotechnology workshop. Nanliu has additional plans for further investment in finished wet wipes and cosmetic facemask converting equipment.
“The existing spunlace line at Pinghu is the widest one in Asia with 4.5 meter width,” says Kerstens. “Built primarily to produce low-linting woodpulp/polyester spunlace, it is geared to the needs of producers of surgical gowns and drapes as well as producers of low-lint industrial wipes.”
Nanliu claims to be the first Asian producer to offer spunlace fabric that allows producers of surgical garments to meet European and U.S. standards simultaneously (EN 13795, AAMI-2), adhering to manufacturing practices and cleanliness needed in the hygiene, medical and cosmetic fields.
“From an ecological point of view, the Pinghu plant actively developed and implemented policies and objectives according to its environmental management system—taking into account legal and other requirements to which the organization subscribes—as well as required information about significant environmental aspects. All Nanliu facilities are certified for ISO 9001, 14001, 13485 and FSC. Its clean room workshops are also certified for GMPs.”
The company also expects to obtain OHSAS 18001 certification in the near future.
NO. 88 Bixiu Road, Qiaotou District
Nanliu Enterprise: Preparing to Go Public
Company to open 6.2-meter wide spunlace line in China.