Polymer Group Inc. (PGI), the world's largest nonwovens manufacturer, will make an investment of approximately $8 million to upgrade machinery and expand its manufacturing plant in Waynesboro, VA. PGI will also hire up to 20 new employees, continuing its ongoing commitment to invest in new technologies to better serve its customers and drive global growth.
This strategic investment in the Waynesboro plant, along with the recent acquisition of Fiberweb, expands PGI's spunmelt capabilities and increases PGI's filtration portfolio to include production and development assets for two nanofiber technologies. Once the investment is complete, PGI will be one of the only nonwovens companies able to produce every component needed to make synthetic composites for enhanced mechanical filtration applications. Using these synthetic composites, PGI will initially target the HVAC, facemask, fluid power and automotive cabin air markets.
"Filtration is a core business for PGI, and we're dedicated to accelerating growth in this critical segment," says J. Joel Hackney Jr., CEO, PGI. "The investment in Waynesboro will allow us to continue on our path of innovation in the technologies we use to serve the filtration segment, as we work to create a safer, cleaner, healthier world for our families and communities."
By the end of Q2 2014, PGI will refurbish more than 20,000 square feet of the Waynesboro plant, upgrade an existing research and development machine used to create proprietary filtration technology, install two additional assets and improve the existing quality lab with state-of-the-art equipment.
Last year, PGI acquired Fiberweb to become the world's leading manufacturer of nonwovens with an established presence across hygiene, healthcare, wipes and industrial segments. Fiberweb has unique offerings in filtration, with more than two decades of experience creating innovative products. With the acquisition and the investment, PGI's filtration segment is one of the strongest in the industry.
"This is an investment into PGI proprietary technology to expand our capabilities in filtration and bring new innovations to our customers," said Scott Tracey, President, Americas, Global Wipes and Tech Specialties for PGI. "We will be able to explore new opportunities for filtration as we continue our path of global growth."
The City of Waynesboro is providing tax reimbursement incentives for all new machinery and tools purchased for this project. The new additions are scheduled to be completed by July 2014.