Nonwovens Industry
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Johns Manville


Location: Denver, CO

Sales: $500 million

Description: Personnel
Steve Hochhauser, senior vice president, Engineered Products Group; Marvin Mitchell, vice president of Engineered Products Division; John Robertson, interim general manager of Filtration Division; Luc Mechelaere, vice president of Johns Manville Europe; Dick LeBoeuf, senior director global manufacturing; Emiel Dons, managing director of Chinese Nonwovens

Plants
Waterville, OH; Defiance, OH; Parkersburg, WV; Richland, MS, Spartanburg, SC; Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wetheim, Karlstein and Steinach, Germany; Shanghai, China; Trnava, Slovakia

ISO Status
Parkersburg, WV, Spartanburg, SC and Defiance, OH ISO 9002 certified; Bobingen and Berlin, Germany ISO 9001 certified; Waterville, OH ISO 9002 certified; Etowah, TN ISO 9002 certified

Processes
Airlaid (glass and synthetic), wetlaid, calendered, melt blown, spunbonded, needlepunched, thermal bonded

Brand Names
Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire, Duragrid

Major Markets
Roofing substrates, air and liquid filtration, sorbents, battery separators, geotextiles, flooring and moldables (heterofil)
 
Eighteen months after being purchased by Berkshire Hathaway, roll goods producer and construction specialist Johns Manville, Denver, CO, has a lot to crow about. New capacity in Europe, an important acquisition in Eastern Europe and a host of new products in the pipeline have meant good things for JM. Berkshire Hathaway pur­chased JM in early 2001 in a $1.96 billion deal, and the company is enjoying the strength and financial stability that comes with having a huge conglomerate behind it. For instance, the ownership has enabled JM executives to focus on running the company instead of worrying about finding a new owner.

“The financial backing has allowed us more freedom,” said Marvin Mitchell, vice president and general manager of JM’s Engineered Products Division. “It also opens up a lot of opportunities. For example, a great management team has been attracted by the benefits of working for such a strong company.”
 
While the company’s status as a Berkshire Hathaway company has kept it from publicizing its exact sales figures, company executives did say that filtration sales were flat while sales in the remainder of its nonwovens-related businesses were boosted, to some degree, by new capacity and other market conditions.
 
JM is comprised of three operating groups—Engineered Products, Insulation and Roofing systems. All three business units continue to be leaders in their respective fields despite the ongoing  economic slowdown around the world.
 
JM’s nonwovens business falls under its Engineered Products division and targets four key segments: roofing substrates, reinforcements, filtration and specialty markets. Activity in the roofing segment has varied from region to region. While construction in Europe, particularly in Germany, has been experiencing a slowdown, sales of the company’s glass nonwoven mats have increased in North America all year. This has been brought on by a boom in the North American housing market that has offset the weaker commercial side of the business.
 
On the filtration side of the business, customer preferences tend to vary from region to region, but overall the segment has withstood recessionary conditions around the world. Only the high efficiency ultrafiltration segment for the semiconductor and cleanroom industries has slowed down. Regionally, the European market is driven by quality and performance issues while the U.S. market is characterized by cost reductions. 
 
“Filtration is somewhat resistant to economic dips,” said interim general manager of JM’s filtration division, John Roberts. “Only in the high efficiency ultrafiltration segments have we seen the effects of recession. These fell off a little before September 11 but are slowly making their way back.” 
 
In terms of the nonwovens industry in general, JM executives still predict growth, which will come on the heels of innovation and development in the future. “The global nonwovens industry has tremendous opportunities to grow as we have seen it do in the past several years,” remarked Luc Mechelaere, vice president and general manager of Johns Manville, Europe, Bad Homburg, Germany. “The challenge is to create a solution and bring value to customers as well as to replace wovens with nonwovens in many key areas. This can contribute to the overall profitability of a customer.”
 
In terms of global operations, JM currently produces nonwovens in Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee in the U.S., in Berlin, Wertheim, Karlestein and Steinach, Germany and Trnava, Slovakia in Europe and in Shanghai, China in Asia.
  
JM’s European operations are benefiting from a number of new investments. The company completed construction on a new spunbond line in Berlin, Germany at the end of 2002, doubling JM’s capacity in this area. Repre­senting a $15-20 million investment, the new line produces high end materials targeting the service filtration, high end roofing and specialty end use markets.  Also in Berlin, JM had planned to add two melt blown lines this year, but these plans, announced in Sept­ember 2001, have been put on hold. JM is reportedly examining some other options in the area.
 
In other expansion news, a new fine fiber glass line was inaugurated in Wertheim, Germany early this year. This new line has reportedly shortened customer lead time and made it easier for JM to work locally.
 
Of major significance to JM’s global business is its recent entry into the Eastern European market, which was precipitated by its purchase of Skloplast, a fiberglass manufacturing company located in Trnava, Slovakia in January 2001. This investment not only complemented JM’s existing fiberglass operations, it gave the company a strong foothold in Eastern Europe, which is being viewed as an important growth market, particularly in the roofing and construction markets. JM further proved this market’s importance when it bolstered the acquisition with the addition of a second fiberglass furnace at the Skloplast site soon after purchasing it. While company executives would not be specific about plans for this market, they did hint that additional expansion plans will be unveiled later this year.
 
“A big advantage we gained through the purchase of Skloplast is knowledge of the market in Eastern Europe,” Mr. Mechelaere said. “Internal knowledge is important if you want to move into a new area.”
 In Asia, JM is reporting an upsurge of nonwovens usage in China, particularly in the roofing and construction market. The company has operated a spunbond plant in Shanghai since 1999 which is currently running at full capacity. One of the key factors shaping growth in the Chinese market is preparation for the Olympics, which will be held there in 2008. Additionally, huge river projects and other environmental efforts have boosted the geotextiles market. Executives would not comment on future expansion plans in this region.
 
In terms of new product development, JM recently introduced Dynaweb PBT polyester melt blown media for liquid filtration applications. This product can be coated with different materials to conform to various customer specifications. Executives said it is just one example of JM’s commitment to providing custom-tailored solutions to its customers’ needs.
 
In the future, JM plans to focus on the market from a global perspective. “We have become a real global company in everything we do—from a location standpoint,” Mr. Mitchell said. “With our global teams now in place, we are seeing our ability to respond globally move from months to weeks.”"ral manager of JM's Engineered Products Division. 'It also opens up a lot of opportunities. For example, a great management team has been attracted by the benefits of working for such a strong company.î While the company's status as a Berkshire Hathaway company has kept it from publicizing its exact sales figures, company executives did say that filtration sales were flat while sales in the remainder of its nonwovens-related businesses were boosted, to some degree, by new capacity and other market conditions. JM is comprised of three operating groupsóEngineered Products, Insulation and Roofing systems. All three business units continue to be leaders in their respective fields despite the ongoing economic slowdown around the world. JM's nonwovens business falls under its Engineered Products division and targets four key segments: roofing substrates, reinforcements, filtration and specialty markets. Activity in the roofing segment has varied from region to region. While construction in Europe, particularly in Germany, has been experiencing a slowdown, sales of the company's glass nonwoven mats have increased in North America all year. This has been brought on by a boom in the North American housing market that has offset the weaker commercial side of the business. On the filtration side of the business, customer preferences tend to vary from region to region, but overall the segment has withstood recessionary conditions around the world. Only the high efficiency ultrafiltration segment for the semiconductor and cleanroom industries has slowed down. Regionally, the European market is driven by quality and performance issues while the U.S. market is characterized by cost reductions. 'Filtration is somewhat resistant to economic dips,î said interim general manager of JM's filtration division, John Roberts. 'Only in the high efficiency ultrafiltration segments have we seen the effects of recession. These fell off a little before September 11 but are slowly making their way back.î In terms of the nonwovens industry in general, JM executives still predict growth, which will come on the heels of innovation and development in the future. 'The global nonwovens industry has tremendous opportunities to grow as we have seen it do in the past several years,î remarked Luc Mechelaere, vice president and general manager of Johns Manville, Europe, Bad Homburg, Germany. 'The challenge is to create a solution and bring value to customers as well as to replace wovens with nonwovens in many key areas. This can contribute to the overall profitability of a customer.î In terms of global operations, JM currently produces nonwovens in Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee in the U.S., in Berlin, Wertheim, Karlestein and Steinach, Germany and Trnava, Slovakia in Europe and in Shanghai, China in Asia. JM's European operations are benefiting from a number of new investments. The company completed construction on a new spunbond line in Berlin, Germany at the end of 2002, doubling JM's capacity in this area. Repre≠senting a $15-20 million investment, the new line produces high end materials targeting the service filtration, high end roofing and specialty end use markets. Also in Berlin, JM had planned to add two melt blown lines this year, but these plans, announced in Sept≠ember 2001, have been put on hold. JM is reportedly examining some other options in the area. In other expansion news, a new fine fiber glass line was inaugurated in Wertheim, Germany early this year. This new line has reportedly shortened customer lead time and made it easier for JM to work locally. Of major significance to JM's global business is its recent entry into the Eastern European market, which was precipitated by its purchase of Skloplast, a fiberglass manufacturing company located in Trnava, Slovakia in January 2001. This investment not only complemented JM's existing fiberglass operations, it gave the company a strong foothold in Eastern Europe, which is being viewed as an important growth market, particularly in the roofing and construction markets. JM further proved this market's importance when it bolstered the acquisition with the addition of a second fiberglass furnace at the Skloplast site soon after purchasing it. While company executives would not be specific about plans for this market, they did hint that additional expansion plans will be unveiled later this year. 'A big advantage we gained through the purchase of Skloplast is knowledge of the market in Eastern Europe,î Mr. Mechelaere said. 'Internal knowledge is important if you want to move into a new area.î In Asia, JM is reporting an upsurge of nonwovens usage in China, particularly in the roofing and construction market. The company has operated a spunbond plant in Shanghai since 1999 which is currently running at full capacity. One of the key factors shaping growth in the Chinese market is preparation for the Olympics, which will be held there in 2008. Additionally, huge river projects and other environmental efforts have boosted the geotextiles market. Executives would not comment on future expansion plans in this region. In terms of new product development, JM recently introduced Dynaweb PBT polyester melt blown media for liquid filtration applications. This product can be coated with different materials to conform to various customer specifications. Executives said it is just one example of JM's commitment to providing custom-tailored solutions to its customers' needs. In the future, JM plans to focus on the market from a global perspective. 'We have become a real global company in everything we doófrom a location standpoint,î Mr. Mitchell said. 'With our global teams now in place, we are seeing our ability to respond globally move from months to weeks.î
Location: Denver, CO

Sales: $525 million

Description: Key Personnel
Chuck Griffith, senior vice president, engineered products Group; Marvin Mitchell, global leader for high performance nonwovens; Zain Mahmood, global leader for roofing materials; Luc Mechelaere, vice president of Johns Manville Europe; Dick LeBoeuf, senior director global manufacturing

Plants
Waterville, OH; Defiance, OH; Richland, MS, Spartanburg, SC, Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein and Steinach, Germany; Shanghai, China; Trnava, Slovakia

ISO Status
Spartanburg, SC and Defiance, OH ISO 9002 certified; Bobingen and Berlin, Germany ISO 9001 certified; Waterville, OH ISO 9002 certified; Etowah, TN ISO 9002 certified

Processes
Airlaid (glass and synthetic), wetlaid, calendered, melt blown, spunbonded, needlepunched, thermal bonded

Brand Names
Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire

Major Markets
Roofing substrates, air and liquid filtration, sorbents, battery separators, geotextiles, flooring and moldables (heterofil)

Undergoing reorganization this year was roofing and construction specialist Johns Manville, Denver, CO, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. JM is comprised of three operating groups—Engineered Products, Insulation and Roofing systems. The Engineered Products group, which houses JM’s nonwovens business, has recently been divided into three global segments—reinforcement fibers, roofing materials and high-performance nonwovens, which is a combination of the former specialty mats and filtration segments. These divisions are now managed by global teams, allowing the company to react globally to market trends.  
 
The two subdivisions relating to JM’s nonwovens business, high performance nonwovens and roofing, are led by business leaders Marvin Mitchell and Zain Mahmood, respectively.
 
Mr. Mitchell said the reorganization reflects the nature of JM’s global operations. “We were seeing that we had the same customers in both regions and to serve them locally, we had to operate globally,” he said.
 
Additionally, this business structure has allowed JM to look at capacities and products from a global standpoint, something the company hadn’t done before. Therefore capacity can be adjusted to meet the needs of JM’s global business rather than only adapting to regional shifts. “Looking at capacity and products from a global standpoint is completely new to us,” Mr. Mahmood explained. “We have not leveraged our business, to this degree, from a global standpoint before.”
 
Still, operating from a global perspective can be difficult, as codes in many of the markets in which JM participates tend to vary. Currently, about 25% of the products manufactured by JM are offered in the same form throughout the world. While the world is getting smaller in terms of preferences, JM executives do not expect harmonization to occur in the next five years due to the high number of countries in which it does business. Even within Europe, codes vary across regions. “Maybe in the next five to seven years, we’ll see some larger European codes,” Mr. Mahmood explained. “But, even that is going to be difficult because there are so many codes.”
 
In terms of global penetration, the performance nonwovens business, which includes air and liquid filtration, sorbents, battery separators and geotextiles, is split between North America and Europe. On the roofing substrate side of the business, North America comprises nearly 65% of sales while Europe represents almost 35%. JM’s Asian sales represent less than 5% of the company’s total business.
 
Globally, Eastern Europe continues to be of strong importance to JM, a fact that is clearly evident in recent investment initiatives made in the region. In January 2001, JM purchased Skloplast, a fiberglass manufacturing company located in Trnava, Slovakia. Soon after purchasing the site, JM added a second fiberglass furnace to the operation, and, in April 2003, announced its intent to invest $85 million in a greenfield glass fiber operation there. This new capacity will mainly support JM’s reinforcements business but some of the capacity will be earmarked for roofing applications.
 
Executives say that the reasons for interest in Eastern Europe are three-fold. For one, the region is in a recovery phase, meaning there are a lot of growth opportunities in JM’s core markets. Additionally, a strong network of prominent colleges and universities has created a highly skilled labor base. Finally, these laborers work for lower wages than workers in Western Europe.
 
While no nonwovens are currently being produced in Eastern Europe by JM, executives said that it won’t be long before some type of glass mat or spunbond operation is established there. This capacity would help fuel the building boom currently going on in Eastern and Central Europe while providing added capacity to Western European and North American markets, according to executives.
 
Turning toward Western Europe, JM has facilities in Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein and Steinach, Germany. The most recent investment in this region was the construction of a new spunbond line in Berlin at the end of 2001, doubling JM’s capacity in the region. Capable of producing high-end materials targeting the service filtration, high-end roofing and specialty end use markets, the new line is already operating at full capacity. To increase its production, JM is currently debottlenecking the line, a move that should boost capacity by about 25% when complete during the first quarter of next year.
 
Meanwhile the company’s Wertheim, Germany site recently became the home of  two glass air media lines, which were formerly housed in Parkersburg, WV. Executives said that this move made logistical sense because the bulk of the affected lines’ output was being shipped to European customers.
 
In North America, JM produces nonwovens in Ohio, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. While no new capacity has been added at these sites recently—nor is any planned in the near-term—executives are considering adding the ability to coat polyester glass mats to one of its North American operations. This portion of JM’s business has achieved considerable success in Europe in gypsum and flooring and executives feel it has a place in North America.
 
The high-performance nonwovens side of the business has recorded growth in the double-digit range in 2002 and into 2003. This was caused by success in the gypsum wallboard market where JM provides glass mats for exterior sheeting as well as in duct liners. In Europe, JM has recorded significant growth in battery separators and in flooring markets, which have benefited from the emergence of vinyl flooring styles that are backed by glass mat reinforcements. This flooring style has become particularly popular in Eastern Europe, according to executives, and JM has been working on various new product designs to meet customer preferences.
 
Meanwhile, roofing substrates has been boosted by the refinancing craze that has taken hold of North America in recent months. Currently this segment is seeing 8-9% annual growth, mainly in residential markets. European roofing is flat despite significant growth in Eastern Europe.
 
Also boosting JM’s roofing business is the recently introduced Duragrid glass scrim reinforced polyester product. This material allows roofing companies to run their manufacturing processes at faster speeds, giving them room for additional capacity.
 
In geotextiles, JM’s polyester-based products continue to find their place in Europe, unlike the U.S., where polypropylene-based products are preferred over JM’s polyester nonwovens. In Asia, demand for geotextiles has been boosted by construction efforts, particularly those surrounding preparation for the Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing in 2008.
 
Looking ahead, JM hopes in the next two years, that GDP growth will return to levels characteristic of the 1990s. “The slowdown in 2000-2003 has allowed us to basically serve our markets with existing capacity,” Mr. Mitchell explained. “Hopefully all of that is coming to an end and we will need new capacity in all areas to meet demands.”
 
Also high on JM’s list is acquisition, something there will be a lot of in construction as the industry grapples with asbestos issues and growth opportunities. “We are well positioned to move ahead,” Mr. Mahmood explained. “All we need now is to find the right partners and look for strategic fits.”
Location: Denver, CO

Sales: $500 MILLION

Description: Key Personnel
Dion Persson, senior vice president, Engineered Products Group; Marvin Mitchell, VP for High Performance Nonwovens; Zain Mahmood, VP for Roofing Materials; Luc Mechelaere, VP of Johns Manville Europe; Jack Leunig, VP for Operations

Plants
Waterville, OH; Defiance, OH; Richland, MS, Spartanburg, SC, Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein and Steinach, Germany; Shanghai, China; Trnava, Slovakia

ISO Status
Spartanburg, SC and Defiance, OH ISO 9002 certified; Bobingen and Berlin, Germany ISO 9001 certified; Waterville, OH ISO 9002 certified; Etowah, TN ISO 9002 certified

Processes
Airlaid (glass and synthetic), wetlaid, calendered, melt blown, spunbonded, needlepunched, thermal bonded

Brand Names
Microlith, DuraGlass, Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire, MicroLith, Ecomat, Duraglass, and Combimat

Major Markets
Roofing substrates, air and liquid filtration, sorbents, battery separators, geotextiles, flooring substrates and facers for building products

Despite a continued downturn in many of its core markets, building materials specialist Johns Manville was able to report double-digit sales growth in 2003 for nonwovens products. Much of this success can be attributed to an ambitious global expansion strategy, particularly in central and eastern Europe, as well as the development of new products and market areas.
 
The Denver-based company operates through three groups—Engineered Products, Insulation and Roofing Systems. The Engineered Products business, which contains JM’s nonwovens operations, is divided into three global segments—Reinforcement Fibers, Roofing Materials and High Performance Nonwovens (a combination of glass and synthetic mats and filtration media). Each division is managed by global teams, allowing the company to respond to global trends.
 
High Performance Nonwovens and Roofing Materials, the two areas related to nonwovens, are led by Marvin Mitchell and Zain Mahmood, respectively. Operating the business through comprehensive global teams allows the company to serve its customers regionally while responding to their needs locally. This structure has also allowed JM to look at capacities and products from a global standpoint, allowing capacity adjustment and other modifications to meet the company’s global needs. This has resulted in a continued translation of capacity between Europe and North America.
 
In North America, JM produces nonwovens in Ohio, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Richland, MS-based meltblown operation has seen significant improvements in the past year.  Now executives are focused on getting all of its capacity used before expanding further, either in the U.S. or Europe.
 
Still, capacity is tight in Europe where JM has four facilities in Germany, all centering on glass mat, spunbond and air media technology, as well as a large fiberglass operation in Slovakia. The Slovakian site, acquired from Skloplast in early 2001, has been at the heart of JM’s investment strategy. A new glass fiber furnace representing an $85 million investment is set to start in October. “We will continue to invest in Central European markets,” said Mr. Mitchell. “This area continues to grow and as it does, it will translate into great opportunities.”
 
And, chances are it won’t be long before a nonwovens operation is put in place in the region as JM is in the final stages of determining where to locate the next spunbond line to support demand. This interest in Central and Eastern Europe is the result of the region’s strong growth prospects. As these countries gain EU status and as their economies improve, they will experience growth in many of the markets JM serves. Additionally, the area boasts a solid infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce.
 
Included in High Performance Nonwovens are air and liquid filtration, sorbents, battery separators and geotextiles. To the filtration market, JM offers both glass-based and synthetic media using four different technologies. Growth in synthetic media is in the double-digit range thanks to increased awareness over the importance of air and water quality on a global level. Particularly in Asia, where the threat of highly contagious diseases is prompting increased use of high efficiency air media.
 
One subset seeing significant gains is the cleanroom market where low boron, microfiber-based media was introduced to boost JM’s presence. “We are currently evaluating new market areas that look very attractive,” Mr. Mitchell said. “We are trying to determine where high value products make the most sense.”
 
Another area showing promise is battery separators with sales more or less split between North America and Europe. In geotextiles, demand is growing significantly in Asia and Europe but in the U.S.; JM has been hurt by the cost advantage of polypropylene over polyester.
 
Still first and foremost, Johns Manville is a building products producer and much of its efforts are focused on expanding its depth in this market. In April, the company introduced the DuraGlass 8200 series, a new glass fiber nonwoven with a unique, formaldehyde-free binder for architectural panels and facings.  Product benefits of this flame resistant nonwoven include resiliency, durability, sag resistance, and an ability to laminate to multiple aesthetic cover materials.  
 
Meanwhile, on the roofing side of the business, JM’s Duragrid glass scrim-reinforced polyester product continues to be successful. Combining the benefits of both glass and polyester in one product allows roofing companies to run their manufacturing processes at faster speeds, thus upping their capacity.
 
In short, JM has been able to grow its nonwoven product lives and sales through a number of strategies, with new product development and globalization chief among them.  But outside factors, such as economic conditions, can greatly impact sales. On the commercial side, improvements in sales have come as companies, entering recovery mode, have begun allotting discretionary spending on capital projects. Meanwhile, JM’s residential business has benefited from record numbers  in housing starts as well as increased home improvement projects spurred by lower interest rates. As interest rates climb, as they are predicted to do in coming months, JM does not think it would influence the business too badly. “We are not that sensitive to interest rates,” Mr. Mahmood said. “We are only susceptible if they affect the entire economy.”
Location: Denver, CO

Sales: $525 million

Description: Key Personnel
Dion Persson, senior vice president, Engineered Products Group; Fred Stephan, VP/GM for High Performance Nonwovens; Zain Mahmood, VP/GM for Construction Materials and Systems; Jack Leunig, VP for Operations

Plants
Waterville, OH; Defiance, OH; Richland, MS, Spartanburg, SC, Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein and Steinach, Germany; Shanghai, China; Trnava, Slovakia

ISO Status
Spartanburg, SC and Defiance, OH ISO 9002 certified; Bobingen and Berlin, Germany ISO 9001 certified; Waterville, OH ISO 9002 certified; Etowah, TN ISO 9002 certified

Processes
Airlaid (glass and synthetic), wetlaid, calendered, melt blown, spunbonded, needlepunched, thermal bonded

Brand Names
Microlith, DuraGlass, Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire, MicroLith, Ecomat, Duraglass, and Combimat

Major Markets
Roofing substrates, air and liquid filtration, sorbents, battery separators, geotextiles, flooring substrates and facers for building products

Good times for its customers have meant good times for Johns Manville. The Denver, CO-based construction materials company and Berkshire Hathaway-owned company is set to add more than 900 million square meters of glass nonwovens capacity at its Etowah, TN facility in response to  expansion of its North American roofing and wallboard customers.
 
Zain Mahmood, vice president and general manager for construction materials and systems, said the glass nonwovens market has grown nicely in North America for several reasons. For one, the market’s conversion to laminated shingle roofing materials, containing glass nonwovens, continues to be strong, a trend that has been ongoing for five years in the reconstruction markets. Also, natural disasters, particularly the hurricanes that hit Florida in 2004, have provided a boost.
 
The success of the roofing and construction markets as well as favorable conditions in other markets allowed Johns Manville to continue its streak of double-digit sales growth in 2004. Privately owned, the company does not release sales figures but industry estimates put JM’s nonwovens sales at close to $525 million.
 
JM operates through three groups—Engineered Products, Building and Insulation and Roofing Systems. JM’s nonwovens operations are contained within the Engineered Products division and are divided into four global segments—Reinforcement Fibers, Glass Textiles, Construction Materials and Systems and High Performance Nonwovens, a combination of glass fiber and synthetic mats and filtration media.
 
The Construction Materials and Systems and the High Performance Nonwovens segments are set to receive a boost from the expansion in Tennessee, which will make the facility an extremely cost-efficient operation with two large furnaces and a large portion of its customers nearby, according to Mr. Mahmood. JM operates two similar lines in Ohio as well as four European operations. This new investment will make JM the largest producer of nonwoven glass mats in the world.  Beyond roofing, glass mat nonwovens have been boosted by the material’s replacement of paper in wallboards, which has been caused by concern about mold and mildew.  
 
“Glass mat demand has been extremely robust,” Mr. Mahmood said. “We see these conditions continuing in the near term. We do no expect a slowdown.”
 
Meanwhile, JM’s European operation continues to benefit from growth in Central and Eastern Europe, where significant restructuring is underway in the insfrastructure side. To fuel this growth, JM has already started the construction of a new polyester spunbond line in Bobingen, Germany. The new line, which should come onstream in summer 2006, will be focused on serving the fast developing Central and Eastern European market. The European roofing market, with a predominant flat/low slope roofing framework, is demanding joint polyester and glass-based roofing systems.
 
“As economies in Central and Eastern Europe improve, they are more interested in how specification grade materials can improve their living standards,” Mr. Mahmood said. In short, the economic boom leads to new construction and infrastructure improvements, which lead to a need for higher end nonwoven media. “These markets are following the lead of their Western European counterparts and standardizing around the Western European codes and specifications,” Mr. Mahmood said.
 
Currently, this region’s polyester spunbond needs are served mainly from Germany, but JM does operate a fiberglass operation in the region, in Slovakia, at a site acquired from Skloplast in 2001. In announcing an $85 million investment in a glass fiber furnace at the site last year, executives hinted that plans for a nonwovens operation in the region could be forthcoming but so far no such plans have been announced.  
 
In addition to regional expansion, JM has been focused on new product development to increase its business. Because of nonwovens’ ability to respond to several consumer demands including flame retardancy, strength, moisture management and sound absorption, JM invests heavily in product development centers around its nonwovens business.
 
And, while JM has not made any major new product announcements in nonwoven roofing markets recently, Mr. Mahmood said they could be expected within the next six months. “We have recently announced several new applications in other nonwoven areas, e.g. flooring and filtration,” said Mr. Mahmood. Areas that will be under the spotlight include new generation shingle mats featuring never-before-seen capabilities, roof underlayment products that replace felt and paper systems and new wallboard applications. “We have a great pipeline of new products that should begin to benefit our business at the beginning of next year,” Mr. Mahmood predicted.
Location: Denver, CO

Sales: $530 million

Description: Key Personnel
Dion Persson, senior vice president, engineered products group; Fred Stephan, vice president for high performance nonwovens; Zain Mahmood, vice president for construction materials and systems

Plants
Waterville, OH; Defiance, OH; Richland, MS, Spartanburg, SC, Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein and Steinach, Germany; Shanghai, China; Trnava, Slovakia

ISO Status
Spartanburg, SC and Defiance, OH ISO 9002 certified; Bobingen and Berlin, Germany ISO 9001 certified; Waterville, OH ISO 9002 certified; Etowah, TN ISO 9002 certified

Processes
Airlaid (glass and synthetic), wetlaid, calendered, melt blown, spunbonded, needlepunched, thermal bonded

Brand Names
Microlith, DuraGlass, Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire, MicroLith, Ecomat, Duraglass, and Combimat, DuraBase and Gorilla Wrap

Major Markets
Roofing substrates, air and liquid filtration, sorbents, battery separators, geotextiles, flooring substrates and facers for building products

Building and Engineered Materials expert Johns Man­ville, Denver, CO, has been able to continue its trend of growing nonwovens sales across all of its markets. The Berkshire Hathaway-owned company’s sales grew to be in excess of $525 million in 2005. While raw material prices have posed significant challenges globally, JM has been successful in passing along increases throughout the world, according to vice president and general manager, construction materials, Zain Mahmood. “Our biggest challenge has been the significant, worldwide increase of costs in raw materials and energy,” he said. “JM has maintained its leadership role by increasing prices in all of its nonwovens markets to reflect these changes.”
 
Johns Manville operates through two groups—engineered products and building materials. JM’s nonwovens operations are contained within the engineered products group and are divided into three global segments—reinforcement fibers, construction materials and systems and high performance nonwovens, a combination of glass and synthetic mats and filtration media.
 
The construction materials segment is set to receive a boost from a new glass mat line in Etowah, TN, which will come onstream during the second half of 2007. The expansion will make the facility an extremely cost-efficient operation with two large furnaces and 70% of its customers nearby, according to Mr. Mahmood.
 
“This new glass mat line has some significant new capabilities to reduce the total cost of ownership of our key customers and partners,” Mr. Mahmood said. “The market is looking for these new capabilities and JM is pleased to respond to these customer/market needs. These new capabilities will allow our partners to continue to win in their spaces for the long term.”
 
JM operates two similar lines in Ohio and has a significant presence in Europe. Beyond roofing systems, glass mat nonwovens have been boosted by the material’s replacement of paper in wallboards, which is a response to concerns about mold from customers.
 
Meanwhile, in Europe, a new low area weight polyester spunbond line targeting the roofing market is currently in start-up phase in Bobingen, Germany. This line will also help JM expand its product capabilities while making the facility more cost efficient. JM’s Bobingen facility as well as its operation in Berlin, Germany serves customers throughout Europe, including Eastern and Central Europe where construction and roofing markets have been growing significantly.
 
While no nonwovens operation is in place, for now, JM, which currently produces fiberglass in Slovakia, has indicated an interest in expanding its nonwovens operation into this area. “We have multiple nonwovens capability enhancements on our investment drawing boards and will continue to pursue the right market timing to bring them onstream,” Mr. Mahmood said. “JM is a leader in the CEE market and will continue to serve our customers with adequate investments.”
 
Moving towards Asia, especially China, JM has expanded its Chinese operations, based in Shanghai through the acquisition of a new spunbond line in the Henan state, which will double the company’s footprint in that country/region. “The new line will serve some of our key customers in China in core JM markets. We are also bolstering our technology capabilities in China, allowing us to focus on one of the fastest growing markets in the world.” JM currently operates a line in Quingpu, near Shanghai.
 
In addition to regional expansion, new product development has been an important growth strategy for JM. Earlier this year, JM introduced two significant new products in time for the National Association of home Builders 2006 International Builders’ Show.
 
The first, Gorilla Wrap, is a non-perforated, nonwoven polymeric housewrap material that decreases air infiltration, resulting in increased energy efficiency and maximum moisture control. Gorilla Wrap’s superior strength, with a tear resistance that is 300% higher than the leading housewrap, reduces builder concern during installation and makes it one of the most durable housewrap products on the market, according to the company.
 
Unlike most housewraps on the market, Gorilla Wrap is non-perforated, reducing the potential for bulk water penetration and allowing trapped moisture to escape, thus reducing concerns about mold and mildew growth. In addition, the non-perforated material keeps wood sheathing drier, reducing the potential for rot and degradation within the wall cavity.
 
The unique composition of JM’s other new product, DuraBase roofing underlayment, employs, the proven technology of asphalt with a new high-performance nonwoven polyester reinforcement. Its durability enables DuraBase to hold nails better and provides greater tear strength and puncture resistance than synthetics or felt. It also offers greater waterproofing performance and better protection as it also seals around nails. DuraBase’s enhanced ultraviolet resistance allows longer exposure to the sun (up to six months) without performance deterioration.
 
“This product is focused on creating a spunbond underlayment that is completely different from traditional felt and synthetics,” Mr. Mahmood explained. This unique, patented technology, developed by JM, allows customers to re­duce installation costs and get more superior value than existing felt products that absorb wa­ter (and thereby do not provide ade­quate wa­terproofing) and do not lie flat.”
 
Durabase also differs from synthetics in that it allows for the use of staples for installation, decreasing installation costs.
 
Durabase’s exposure in the roofing market has been enhanced through JM’s partnership with Tarco, Little Rock, AK, a leading supplier of roofing underlayments for use under roof shingles, ceramic tiles and steel roofing. Together, the two companies created a new asphalt synthetic underlayment called Easy­Lay, a new Leak­barrier product using DuraBase. DuraBase technology allows the EasyLay product to unroll flat in warm and cold weather. Additionally, EasyLay offers greater waterproofing performance and better protection, as it employs Dura­Base technology, which provides sealing around nails.
 
“Tarco is the largest underlayment producer in North America,” said Mr. Mahmood. “With its significant logistics and distribution channels, it is ideally suited to help JM convert the traditional felt-based underlayment market. We are partnering with Tarco to help us get this product to market in the fastest possible way. This is a combined effort between JM’s newly formed building products group, engineered products and Tarco. Since this is a steep slope application, we are working with Tarco and large shingle manufacturing partners to use this as a part of their overall system.”
 
Mr. Mahmood added that JM’s efforts in product development mainly center on helping its customers reduce their total cost of nonwovens while providing them the means to enter new areas. “We are optimistic about the increased need for enhanced durable nonwoven capabilities in every market we play. JM is investing heavily in this segment to ensure that we meet our customers needs, both for today and tomorrow.”
 
To help achieve this, JM recently formed a global nonwoven technical center with a presence in North American, Europe and Asia. Product specialists working in this center are working on the next generation of technologies to help benefit JM’s customers. “We will continue to extend our technology edge in durable nonwovens,” Mr. Mahmood concluded. “With multiple product/technology capabilities and a global presence, our customers expect us to lead the way in durable nonwovens and we look forward to meeting their expectations.”
Location: Denver, CO

Sales: $583 million

Description: Key Personnel
Dion Persson, senior vice president, engineered products group; Zain Mahmood, vice president, sales, marketing and innovation, engineered products group; Ken Forden, NA nonwovens and Enno Henze, EU nonwovens

Plants
Waterville, OH; Defiance, OH; Richland, MS; Spartanburg, SC; Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein and Steinach, Germany; Shanghai, China; Trnava, Slovakia

ISO Status
Spartanburg, SC and Defiance, OH ISO 9002 certified; Bobingen and Berlin, Germany ISO 9001 certified; Waterville, OH ISO 9002 certified; Etowah, TN ISO 9002 certified

Processes
Airlaid (glass and synthetic), wetlaid, calendered, melt blown, spunbonded, needlepunched, thermal bonded

Brand Names
Microlith, DuraGlass, Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire, MicroLith, Ecomat, Duraglass, DuraSpun, and Combimat, DuraBase and Gorilla Wrap

Major Markets
Roofing substrates, air and liquid filtration, sorbents, battery separators, geotextiles, flooring substrates and facers for building products

Expansion is the name of the game for Johns Manville (JM), a leading manufacturer of building and engineered materials headquartered in Denver, CO.
 
A Berkshire Hathaway company, JM has been in business since 1858 and boasts corporate-wide sales in excess of $2.5 billion. With an employee base of approximately 8500 people, JM operates 42 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. The company’s Engineered Products Group produces nonwovens and fibers, glass fabrics and air filtration products at 14 manufacturing locations worldwide.
 
“Our sales grew in 2006 and 2007 in nonwovens due to the new assets we have brought online in Europe, North America and Asia as well as the new products we have introduced,” stated JM’s vice president and general manager, construction materials, Zain Mahmood. He characterized the state of the global nonwovens industry as “very good” despite continuing cost pressures. “Customers are seeing value in nonwoven products and are willing to pay more for value.”
 
In a recent restructuring at the company, JM has merged what were formerly three global segments—reinforcement fibers, construction materials and systems and high performance nonwovens—and formed four regional segments, European Union fibers and fabrics and North American fibers and fabrics groups. Despite this change, the company continues to operate through its two strategic business units—Engineered Products and Building Materials.
 
Topping recent news at JM is a new glass mat line in Etowah, TN, which will come onstream during the third quarter of this year. “It’s a beautiful line,” said Mr. Mahmood, adding that the expansion will make the facility an extremely cost-efficient operation with two large furnaces and 70% of its customers nearby. “This new glass mat line has some significant new capabilities to reduce the total cost of ownership of our key customers and partners,” he said. “The market is looking for these new capabilities and JM is pleased to respond to these customer/market needs. These new capabilities will allow our partners continued success for the long term.”
 
JM operates two similar lines in Ohio and has a significant presence in Europe. Beyond roofing systems, glass mat nonwovens have been boosted by the material’s replacement of paper in wallboards, which is a response to concerns about mold from customers.
 
Meanwhile, in Europe, a low area weight polyester spunbond line targeting the roofing market is up and running in Bobingen, Germany. This line expands JM’s product capabilities while making the facility more cost efficient. JM’s Bobingen facility as well as its operation in Berlin, Germany serve customers throughout Europe, including Eastern and Central Europe where construction and roofing markets have been growing significantly.
 
While no nonwovens operation is in place, for now, JM, which currently produces fiberglass in Slovakia, has indicated an interest in expanding its nonwovens operation into this area. “We have multiple nonwovens capability enhancements on our investment drawing boards and will continue to pursue the right market timing to bring them onstream,” he stated. “JM is a leader in the CEE market and will continue to serve our customers with adequate investments.”

Moving toward Asia, especially China, JM expanded its Chinese operations based in Shanghai through the acquisition of a spunbond line in the Henan state, which doubles the company’s footprint in that country. “The line will serve some of our key customers in China in core JM markets. We are also bolstering our technology capabilities in China, allowing us to focus on one of the fastest growing markets in the world.” JM currently operates a line in Quingpu, near Shanghai.
 
In addition to regional expansion, new product development has been an important growth strategy for JM (see accompanying sidebars). According to Mr. Mahmood, the company’s efforts in product development mainly center on helping its customers reduce total costs while providing means to enter new areas. “We are optimistic about the increased need for enhanced durable nonwovens capabilities in every market we are involved in. JM is investing heavily in this segment to ensure that we meet our customers’ needs, both for today and tomorrow.”
 
To help achieve this, JM has formed a global nonwoven technical center with a presence in North America, Europe and Asia. Product specialists working in this center are working on the next generation of technologies to help benefit customers. “We will continue to extend our technology edge in durable nonwovens,” Mr. Mahmood concluded. “With multiple product/technology capabilities and a global presence, our customers expect us to lead the way in durable nonwovens and we look forward to meeting their expectations.”
 
Among JM’s newest offerings is DuraSpun XTR, a spunbond composite waterproofing carrier, which was recently introduced in Europe. The company has also launched DuraGlass HST (high shingle tear), a composite glass mat for roofing shingles in North America that allows customers to use less asphalt with a more robust glass mat.  
 
Moving forward, Mr. Mahmood said JM is taking an aggressive stance toward future growth. “For the short term, we want to meet our commitments by delivering on our new nonwovens projects. Long term, we are looking to build more nonwovens assets as demand dictates.” The company continues to consider capital investment a “very important” part of its growth strategy.
Location: DENVER, CO

Sales: $670 million

Description: Key Personnel
Dion Persson, senior vice president, engineered products group; Ken Forden, NA nonwovens and Enno Henze, EU nonwovens; Bob Wambolt NA Fibers; PO Fibers EU

Plants
Waterville, OH; Defiance, OH; Richland, MS; Spartanburg, SC, Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein and Steinach, Germany; Shanghai, China; Trnava, Slovakia;: Louyang, China

ISO Status
Spartanburg, SC and Defiance, OH ISO 9002 certified; Bobingen and Berlin, Germany ISO 9001 certified; Waterville, OH ISO 9002 certified; Etowah, TN ISO 9002 certified; Richland, MS ISO 9001 certified

Processes
Airlaid (glass and synthetic), wetlaid, calendered, melt blown, spunbonded, needlepunched, thermal bonded

Brand Names
Assurance, Microlith, DuraGlass, Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, Micro-Aire, MicroLith, Ecomat, DuraSpun, and Combimat, DuraBase and Gorilla Wrap, StableGrip, StableStrand

Major Markets
Roofing substrates, air and liquid filtration, sorbents, battery separators, geotextiles, flooring substrates and facers for building products

Celebrating its 150th year in business in 2008 is Johns Manville (JM), a leading manufacturer of building and engineered materials headquartered in Denver, CO. A Berkshire Hathaway company, JM has been in business since 1858 and boasts corporate-wide sales in excess of $2 billion. The company employs about 7800 people and operates 41 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China.
 
Now restructured into four regional segments, JM operates European Union fibers and fabrics and North American fibers and fabrics groups. The company continues to operate through its two strategic business units—Engineered Products and Building Materials.
 
On the North American front, JM’s new glass mat line in Etowah, TN is up and running and the company expects to meet its first-year production goal. The expansion makes the facility an extremely cost-efficient operation with two large furnaces and 70% of its customers nearby.
 
JM operates two similar lines in Ohio and has a significant presence in Europe. Late in 2007 the company expanded capacity at its Defiance, OH facility for its Micro-Aire duct boards. “This capacity expansion is up and running and we continue to assess additional investments,” commented Ken Forden, North American nonwovens manager for JM.
 
Mr. Forden also pointed to recent declines in the North American housing market and said that the company has taken significant actions across the organization to mitigate the impact wherever possible. “Like many in our industry, JM is feeling the effects of this market slowdown as well as rising energy, transportation and raw materials costs.” he said. “We will continue to focus on delivering on our commitments to customers and ensuring their success for the long-term. As a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, we have the added advantage of an owner who understands the cyclicality of our business.”
 
In response to dramatic hikes in energy costs and raw material prices, this summer JM increased its prices for filter media products. Depending on the composition of the specific product, the percentage of the increase will be negotiated individually.
 
A similar situation is underway in the glass mat and spunbond sectors, where JM levied a 7% price increase for its polyester spunbond and glass mat waterproofing carriers this summer. “The European economy is encountering severe headwinds due to dramatically increasing costs for petrochemical products, transportation and for energy—whether it is oil, gas or electricity,” said Enno Henze, business leader EU nonwovens. “Since the production of glass and PET mat is a very energy intensive process that consumes a significant amount of petrochemicals, JM has been heavily affected by this cost inflation.”
 
In China, JM operates a nonwoven spunbond mat production line in Luoyang in the Henan province. The state-of-the-art line underscores JM’s commitment to its roofing, specialty and geotextiles customers and serves demand for spunbond mat products in Asia and the Middle East.
 
In terms of new products, JM recently Introduced a suite of building and filtration products and continues to focus on and develop new products that deliver productivity improvements to customers. “Our efforts to mitigate the unprecedented cost inflation have not affected our commitment to invest in research and development,” said Mr. Forden.
 
Within its filtration product line, JM launched three new products: CombiFil Premium, SpunFil EasyPleat and Micro-Strand XP. CombiFil Premium combines the advantages of both polyester spunbond and microglass and provides a filtration product that has consistent mechanical filtration efficiency up to HEPA, low-pressure drop with high dust-holding capacity and requires no additional reinforcements. As a result, it is easy to process and provides an extremely long filter life with low energy usage. It allows filter producers to manufacture pleated filters utilizing new dimensions of high dust-holding capacity combined with high stiffness and low pressure drop.
 
SpunFil EasyPleat is a calendered polyester spunbond nonwovens made with JM’s new BC-technology. It has high air permeability and features a very high stiffness even at low-area weights of between 60 and 120 gpsm. The product enables high pleating machine speeds while continuing to achieve sharp and precise pleats.
 
Micro-Strand XP microfiber is a new material for use in manufacturing microglass paper used in HEPA, ULPA and ASHRAE filters. The new glass microfiber meets the rigid health testing standards established by the European Union for fiber exoneration. Made up of fibers that are approximately one micron in diameter, tests have proven that Micro-Strand XP is rapidly cleared from the lungs if accidentally inhaled, making it ideal for even the most stringent of regulatory environments.
 
Additionally, JM introduced three new products for the building applications market: DuraSpun XTR, a glass thread reinforced spunbond composite providing best-in-class dimensional stability to bituminous waterproofing membranes; Illuma White, a pre-coated glass fiber nonwoven for high-quality ceiling tiles; and the glass fiber nonwoven DHY Forte, an innovative product for impact sound attenuation.
 
Another recent innovation from JM is its Assurance nonwoven composite media made of natural and synthetic fibers. Used to produce a superior mechanical air filter, the media also enables production of self-supporting air filters that reduce costs, increase manufacturing productivity and avoid safety liabilities associated with expanded-metal filter structures.  
 
“Assurance’s Self-Supporting Pleat technology allows filtration manufacturers to reduce costs and increase productivity by simplifying their manufacturing processes by eliminating the use of expanded metal,” stated Dion Persson, senior vice president, engineered products group. “This cost savings is a win for our customers in terms of increasing their profitability and continues the tradition of innovation that Johns Manville is known for in the filtration industry.”
 
In response to customers’ needs as well as rising energy, transportation and raw materials costs across the industry and the world, JM launched a new product, DuraCore, which reduces the amount of asphalt on a roofing mat by 10%. “With the price of asphalt directly tied to crude oil, not only does it deliver a significant cost savings to our customers, they are building more green and sustainable structures,” Ken Forden, business leader North American Nonwovens.
 
Moving forward, JM is committed to investing in its employees, research and new product development, manufacturing facilities and assets. “From new product development, energy efficiency and sustainability, JM continues to look at all opportunities to deliver productivity improvements to customers,” Mr. Persson stated.
 
The company's strategy is to continue to invest in new technology and deliver world-class products to customers. “One of the many advantages to being a Berkshire Hathaway company is that we are here to serve the nonwovens industry for the long term,” he said. “As we celebrate our 150th anniversary in business, we look forward to continuing to invest in our facilities and our assets to ensure the long-term growth and success of our customers for the next 150 years. Capital investment is important to any growth strategy and we have access to funds to invest through our parent company.”
 
Part of JM's expansion strategy is to continue to grow its nonwovens business and position itself as a leader in the marketplace while continuing to look for new and innovative ways to deliver top-notch solutions and services. And for JM, innovation means environmental awareness. “We have long been committed to the sustainability of our products and operations from sourcing to manufacturing and throughout the entire product life cycle,” said Mr. Persson. “Our goal is to be a leader in the manufacturing of environmentally responsible engineered and building products while raising awareness of the beneficial impact these materials have on the energy efficiency and indoor air quality of a home or building.”
Location: DENVER, CO


Sales: $670 Million


Description: Key Personnel
Bob Wamboldt, vice president & general manager, Engineered Products North America (EPNA) Enno Henze, vice president & general manager, Engineered Products Europe/Asia (EPEA); Ken Forden, director of sales and marketing EPNA; Christian Hassmann, segment manager, filtration & separation and marketing manager, Nonwovens EPEA; Stefan Mohr, segment manager, Waterproofing EPEA; Anne Schäfer, segment manager, construction & industrial EPEA

Plants
Waterville, OH; Defiance, OH; Richland, MS; Spartanburg, SC; Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein and Steinach, Germany; Shanghai and Louyang, China; Trnava, Slovakia;

ISO Status
Spartanburg, SC and Defiance, OH ISO 9002 certified; Bobingen and Berlin, Germany ISO 9001 certified; Waterville, OH ISO 9002 certified; Etowah, TN ISO 9002 certified; Richland, MS ISO 9001 certified

Processes
Airlaid (glass and synthetic), wetlaid, meltblown, spunlaid needling, composite

Brand Names
Assurance, Dura-Glass, Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire, MicroLith, microlith, ecoMat, DuraGlass, DuraSpun, SpunFil, CombiFil, ComforTex, UniTex, ForTex, Illuma White, StabilStrand, DuraBase and Gorilla Wrap, StableGrip

Major Markets
Roofing substrates, air and liquid filtration, sorbents, battery separators, geotextiles, flooring substrates and facers for building products, wind energy, nonwovens for engineered wood composites

With a new regional structure in place, leading roll goods producer Johns Manville (JM) is focusing on keeping costs under control in a difficult economic environment. The company is organized into four regional segments—Insulation Systems, Roofing Systems and Engineered Products North America (EPNA) and Engineered Products Europe/Asia (EPEA). “The new regional structure has increased decision- making speed and keeps the focus on critical customer issues that drive continuous improvement,” explained Bob Wambodt vice president and general manager, Engineered Products North America, and Enno Henze, vice president and general manager, Engineered Products Europe/Asia.

Like most manufacturers, JM’s business has been impacted by tough economic conditions on both the North American and European fronts. After a very strong start into 2008 with record sales in the building and construction markets as well as in the filtration and separation segment, the company saw a significant slowdown in the fourth quarter caused by the global economic crisis, particularly in Europe. Due to its broad portfolio of products and markets, JM reports that its results have been pretty stable so far.

JM remains sharply focused on polyester spunbond and glass fiber nonwovens for building and industrial applications. According to Mr. Henze, the company is launching several new products and continues to concentrate on product and application development. “Many cost control cuts have been made, but reducing our focus on product innovation has not been considered,” he remarked.

In the area of filtration, JM has extended its polyester spunbond range to include a new “heavyweight“ variation of its SpunFil product. The 260 gsm filter media for industrial air applications increases the stiffness, stability and filter efficiency significantly. The filtration portfolio has also been enlarged with energy efficient media for air pollution control and gas turbines.

Also new is StabilStrand, an innovative product family composed of glass fiber nonwovens and unique binder systems such as b-stage melamine. StabilStrand is designed for use as a surface layer as well as an underlayer for engineered wood materials.

Other filtration products from JM include CombiFil Premium, SpunFil EasyPleat and Micro-Strand XP. CombiFil Premium combines the advantages of both polyester spunbond and microglass and provides a filtration product that has consistent mechanical filtration efficiency up to HEPA, low-pressure drop with high dust holding capacity and requires no additional reinforcements.

SpunFil EasyPleat is a calendered polyester spunbond made with JM's new BC-technology. It has high air permeability and features a high stiffness even at low area weights of between 60 and 120 gsm. The product enables high pleating machine speeds while continuing to achieve sharp and precise pleats.

Micro-Strand XP microfiber is used in manufacturing microglass papers used in HEPA, ULPA and ASHRAE filters. The glass microfiber meets the rigid health testing standards established by the European Union for fiber exoneration.

Another filtration-related innovation from JM is its Assurance nonwoven composite media made of natural and synthetic fibers.

Used to produce a superior mechanical airfilter, the media also enable production ofself-supporting air filters that reduce costs,increase manufacturing productivity andavoid safety liabilities associated with expanded-metal filter structures.

For building applications, JM offersDuraSpun XTR, a glass thread reinforcedspunbond composite providing best-in-classdimensional stability to bituminous waterproofingmembranes; Illuma White, a precoatedglass fiber nonwoven for high qualityceiling tiles and the glass fiber nonwovenDHY Forte an innovative product for impactsound attenuation.

In agricultural and landscape markets, JMsells its lightweight 100-120 gsm DuraSpunnonwovens and is underway with efforts tobecome a larger player in this sector. The fabricallows moisture to pass but reduces weedgrowth, and—like all of JM’s agricultural offerings—is 100% polyester spunbond.

“We are looking to increase our volumesin this area,” reported Mr. Wamboldt,“and are working on plant and process improvementsat our Spartanburg facility thatwill allow us to make DuraSpun lighterand thinner. The 120 gsm limit is not normallylight enough for landscape applicationsand we are producing some productsnow at about 90-95 gsm or 2.7 osy. Thiswill make us more competitive.”

In the area of crop protection, the companysells fabric to cover crops to preventdamage from frost; in the erosion controlfield, JM supplies a distributor that sells intothe golf course market where its 013140 fabrichas been accepted as the product ofchoice for use under sand traps.

JM’s Silt Fence offers high efficiency filtrationfor protecting rivers, creeks andstreams while reducing soil erosion on developmentprojects. The product was co-developedby JM and Silt-Saver and is beingdistributed by Silt-Saver. Currently, Silt-Saveris making state-by-state efforts to replace existingwoven polypropylene products inNorth America.

When it comes to capacity expansion, JMhas plans to significantly upgrade a specialtyglass mat line in Waterville, OH. “The globaleconomic slowdown has clearly impactedoverall market demand but JM continues toinvest to meet future needs,” added Mr.Wamboldt.

Also in North America, the company’sglass mat line in Etowah, TN is running 24hours per day/seven days a week and meetingits business case targets. The companydescribes the facility as an extremely cost-efficientoperation with two large furnaces and70% of its customers nearby.

In China, where JM operates two facilities,in Shanghai and Louyang respectively,the company continues to service roofing,specialty and geotextiles markets in Asia andthe Middle East from its state-of-the-artspunbond lines.

JM has five plants in Germany, where arecent highlight was its receipt of the prestigious“Top 100” seal by the WirtschaftsuniversitätWien (Vienna University ofEconomics and Business Administration).JM was ranked among the “Top 100” mostinnovative German mid-sized companies.During a ceremony in Königswinter’s“Gästehaus Petersberg,” Lothar Späth, formerprime minister of Baden-Württembergand mentor of the program, presented theprestigious “Top 100” seal to Johns Manvilleexecutives Werner Groh, technologyleader, and Christian Hassmann, marketingleader.

This is the first time JM has participated inthe 17-year-old program. To qualify for thishonor, JM participated in a strict two-stepprocess managed by the University that ultimatelyrecognized the company for its cultureof innovation that encompassed“innovation promoting top-management,”“innovation climate,” “innovation processesand organization,” “innovation marketing”and“innovation success.”

“Our innovation is supported by morethan 220 patents, 40 of which were awardedin the past three years,” explained Dr. Groh.“Our business team of 950 employees usesSix Sigma and Lean Manufacturing tools andprocesses, which strengthens our credibilityamong our customers and other partners. Wehave a well-established innovation processand we believe there is no better way to overcomethe challenges of a difficult economicenvironment.”
Location: Denver, CO

Sales: $670 million

Description: Key Personnel
Bob Wamboldt, vice president and general manager, Engineered Products North America (EPNA), Enno Henze, vice president and general manager Engineered Products Europe/Asia (EPEA); Ken Forden, director of sales and marketing EPNA; Stefan Mohr, commercial leader nonwovens (EPEA); Martin Kleinebrecht, marketing leader nonwovens (EPEA)

Plants
Waterville, OH; Defiance, OH; Richland, MS, Spartanburg, SC, Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein and Steinach, Germany; Shanghai and Louyang, China; Trnava, Slovakia

Brand Names
US-Brands: Dura-Glass, DuraBase,  Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire, MicroLith
EU Nonwoven brands: microlith, ForTex, Illuma, StabilStrand,ecoMat, DuraGlass, DuraSpun, SpunFil, CombiFil, ComforTex, StableGrip; UniTex, MicroAire
EU Fibers brands:  ThermoFlow, DuraCore, KY-Tex

As it adapts to its new regional structure, roll goods producer and roofing and construction specialist Johns Manville has defended itself against slowdowns in many of its core markets by keeping costs under control. The Denver, CO-based company, which is also a part of Berkshire Hathaway Group, is organized into four regional segments—Insulations Systems, Roofing Systems and Engineered Products North America (EPNA) and Engineered Products Europe/Asia (EPEA), a restructuring that allows the company to increase its decision-making speed.
“During the economic downturn, Johns Manville has successfully repositioned itself for sustainable growth and we have further increased our commitment to focused innovation,” said Enno Henze, vice president and general manager, EPEA. “Constant product and market development as well as our proprietary technology support us to enter new markets traditionally not yet served by polyester spunbond and glass fiber nonwovens.”
Among the markets JM is focusing on are laminate flooring, air filtration, wall coverings and landscaping in addition to its more traditional areas including residential and commercial construction and geotextiles.
The company currently makes glass mat nonwovens in Waterville, OH and Etowah, TN. In Ohio, a line upgrade has increased capacity and efficiency of the operation while in Tennessee the facility is described as extremely cost-efficient, running 24 hours per day/seven days a week.
Meanwhile, in Europe, JM makes glass fiber nonwovens in Karlstein, Steinach and Wertheim, Germany as well as polyester spunbond in Berlin and Bobingen, Germany. A recent highlight for the German operation is a Top 100 seal by the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. For the second year in a row, JM was ranked among the top 100 most innovative mid-sized companies in Germany. “Being again a part of the top 100 innovators makes us very proud but that will not stop us from constantly increasing our focus on structured and focused innovation throughout our company,” Mr. Henze said. “The strong innovation culture within JM has constantly opened the doors to new markets and has resulted in incremental but also step change improvements over the years and will do so in the future.”
JM also operates two plants in China—one in Shanghai and the other in Louyang—where it continues to service roofing specialty and geotextiles markets in Asia and the Middle East from state-of-the-art spunbond lines.
In terms of product development, JM is going after the laminate flooring panel market with the use of StabilStrand, an innovative glass fiber nonwoven impregnated with a semi-cured resin system. Especially in the case of floor coverings, which are subjected to daily stress over many years, impact resistance and impact strength play an important role. StabilStrand EW 160 C/A, used as underlay reinforces of laminate flooring panels manufactured in DPL-process, increases the impact strength and the edge stability of HDF panels. StabilStrand enables users to meet the new performance requirements for the flooring class 34.
Meanwhile, JM is entering an entirely different field of application that can be entered with CombiFil GS, which is a brand-new polyester spunbond air filtration media with improved filtration efficiency and lower pressure drop leading to expanded filter lifetime and lower energy consumption. “This helps our customers to save costs and protect the environment by using fewer resources,” Mr. Henze explained.
Another new product, EasyShine, a nonwoven glass fiber  product, has recently been incorporated into JM’s already strong portfolio of innovative and decorative wall covering products for both commercial and residential markets. EasyShine is pre-coated to provide both a time and cost-efficient alternative. Paint consumption is considerably lower compared to other similar products. The pre-coating also acts as a stabilizing factor which enables faster and more accurate edge-to-edge installation.
 Within the landscape market, JM has introduced DuraSpun Type 014, which has been specially designed to meet the market demand as protection layer to stabilize sloped landscapes of all kinds. The Polyester Nonwoven DuraSpun Type 014 provides excellent chemical stability and outstanding technical values. "The surface treatment applied to the fabric in combination with the UV resistance enables JM customers to offer an outstanding product for downstream applications,“ explained  Martin Kleinebrecht, marketing leader nonwovens (EPEA).
 “Due to its unique product characteristics DuraSpun Type 014 offers adequate space for vegetation to grow through the product providing a remarkable water and soil conservation feature while at the same time maintaining moisture and preventing the loss of important nutrients.”

Denver, CO
www.jm.com
2011 Nonwovens Sales: $670 million

Key Personnel: Mike Lawrence, vice president and general manager, Engineered Products North America (EPNA); Enno Henze, vice president and general manager, Engineered Products Europe/Asia (EPEA); Ken Forden, director of sales and marketing, EPNA; Stefan Mohr, commercial leader nonwovens, EPEA; Martin Kleinebrecht, marketing leader nonwovens, EPEA

Plants: Waterville, OH; Richland, MS; Spartanburg, SC; Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein, Steinach (Germany); Shanghai, Louyang (China); Trnava (Slovakia)

Brands: Dura-Glass, DuraBase, Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire, MicroLith (U.S. brands); Evalith (EU nonwoven brand); ThermoFlow, DuraCore, KY-Tex (EU fibers brands)

Building and specialty products manufacturer Johns Manville (JM), a Berkshire Hathaway company and maker of a number of nonwovens technologies, continues to expand its scope into new markets, including filtration, automotive, batteries and flooring, to help protect itself against softness in construction.

Based in Denver, CO, the company operates through four regional segments—Insulation Systems, Roofing Systems, Engineered Products North America (EPNA) and Engineered Products Europe/Asia (EPEA). The company created the engineered products geographic-based business structure in 2010 to increase its decision-making speed.

“Overall, the building and construction market in Europe remains a concern to the industry as it has not yet recovered from the financial crisis, and we expect it to remain flat over the next few years,” says Enno Henze, vice president and general manager of JM’s EPEA business. “Renovation activities are doing relatively well but new construction continues at low levels.”

However, JM has been able to defend itself against these challenges thanks to its complete portfolio of products with excellent technical properties, long-standing close relationships with its customers and diversification into market segments outside the construction industry.

Engineered Products has seen continued growth in several markets. However, certain segments are out-pacing economic growth due to the increased performance needs in segments such as energy storage and flooring. The business continues to focus on innovation and driving system costs lower for its customers, Henze says.

The filtration segment remains one of the key focus areas in both Europe and North America and JM is growing this business in various applications, including automotive cabin air filtration, industrial air filtration and HVAC via innovative spunbond and glass nonwoven solutions.

In effort to stay ahead of the market in terms of synthetic and micro glass fiber filtration media, JM is continuously investing in its facilities and technology upgrades.

According to Fred Stephan, vice president and general manager of Insulation Systems, JM’s insulation business has started to see an uptick in the U.S. residential market, which is recovering after three years of historically low housing starts. “Although this recovery is coming from a very low base, it is encouraging to see growth, primarily in multi-family but also in single-family dwellings,” he says.

JM has spent the downturn investing in broadening its product portfolio in response to acceleration in U.S. code changes. The company has developed product solutions that deliver value in a difficult economy. “As the markets recover, JM will bring to market the broadest offering of systems to meet its customers’ needs,” Stephan explains.

JM’s commercial Roofing Systems business was flat in 2011 as a result of continued economic uncertainty and significant pressure to reduce spending on public buildings. Executives expect this trend to continue the remainder of the year.

In June, JM dedicated a plant in Milan, OH, to making ethylene propylene diene monomer, a thermoset synthetic rubber, single ply roofing membrane known for its durability, ease of installation and superior weathering characteristics. This roofing plant completes JM’s portfolio of major waterproofing membranes and the company claims it now has the widest breadth of membranes in the industry. The company also announced in August that it has acquired Industrial Insulation Group, LLC, a manufacturer of insulation for industrial, commercial and fireproofing applications

In the glass mat segment, JM has made several investments to its lines in Ohio and Tennessee to improve product capability and ensure product quality. “These improvements have allowed JM to deliver the broadest product portfolio with the increasing quality standards demanded by its customers,” Lawrence says. “This has also enabled JM to develop new products that historically have not been served by a glass nonwoven.”

JM also operates two plants in China—one in Shanghai and one in Louyang—where it continues to serve roofing specialty and geotextiles markets. This business is small compared to the company’s overall scope but it remains a strategic element in its supply network.

“The Asian markets show very interesting growth rates and are rapidly achieving the necessary quality requirements,” Henze says. “Managing manufacturing operations and doing business in Asia is a challenging but rewarding exercise.” 
Denver, CO
www.jm.com
2012 Nonwovens Sales: $670 million
 
Key Personnel: Mike Lawrence, senior vice president and general manager, Engineered Products Americas (EP Americas); Enno Henze, senior vice president and general manager, Engineered Products Europe/ Asia (EPEA); Patti Rizzo, director of sales and marketing, EP Americas; Stefan Mohr, commercial leader nonwovens, EPEA; Martin Kleinebrecht, marketing leader nonwovens, EPEA
 
Plants: Waterville, OH; Richland, MS; Spartanburg, SC; Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein, Steinach (Germany); Shanghai, Louyang (China); Trnava (Slovakia)
 
Brands: Dura-Glass, DuraBase, Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire, MicroLith (U.S. brands); Evalith (EU nonwoven brand); ThermoFlow, DuraCore, KY-Tex (EU fibers brands)
 
Berkshire Hathaway-owned Johns Manville continues to report challenges within its core market of construction, particularly in Europe, even as it continues to expand its scope in other technical markets like filtration and battery separators, and new geographies. The Denver, CO-based company operates through four regional segments—Insulation Systems, Roofing Systems, Engineered Products Americas and Engineered Products Europe/Asia.
 
In July, JM said it would invest in a new spunbond production line at its Berlin, Germany facility. Representing an investment of €32 million, the new line will support the growing demand for high-end polyester filtration media. It will use newly developed spinning technology and increase lightweight spunbond capacity in Berlin by more than 40%.
 
“This new investment clearly underscores Johns Manville’s commitment as a market leader to responsibly satisfy the long-term demand of our valued filtration customers,” says Enno Henze, senior vice president and general manager, Engineered Products, Europe/Asia. “This new line will have a capacity in excess of 4000 tons per year and will be built with JM’s advanced bicomponent spinning technology, which will enable step-change improvements in product properties and cost performance.”
 
The line will start production in 2015, creating a new generation of polyester spunbond filter media for cabin air, air pollution control and liquid filtration applications.
 
In other investment news, in June 2012, JM dedicated a plant in Milan, OH, to make ethylene propylene diene monomer, a thermoset synthetic rubber, single ply roofing membrane known for its durability, ease of installation and superior weathering characteristics. This roofing plant completes JM’s portfolio of major waterproofing membranes and the company claims it now has the widest breadth of membranes in the industry.
 
In the glass mat segment, JM has made several investments to its lines in Ohio and Tennessee to improve product capability and ensure product quality. These have allowed JM to deliver the broadest product portfolio with the increasing quality standards demanded by its customers and enabled it to develop new products that historically have not been served by a glass nonwoven.
 
The company also announced in August 2012 that it had acquired Industrial Insulation Group, LLC, a manufacturer of insulation for industrial, commercial and fi reproofing applications.
 
Within its core business of construction, JM is reporting signs of slow recovery in the North America commercial exterior and interior applications market while the residential market is strengthening. In Europe, the economy continues to be a highwatch area for the company. Construction markets remain challenging with some markets eroding as much as 30% during the last couple of years.
 
“We expect a very limited recovery from low levels for the years to come for European construction markets in general,” says Martin Kleinebrecht, marketing leader for Johns Manville’s Engineered Products Europe/Asia Nonwovens business. “However, this does not mean that JM’s construction-related nonwovens business will stay flat. We participate in markets that show interesting growth potential, such as building insulation in general, fi re retardant façade panels—a patented solution we developed together with one of our customers—as well as resilient flooring in Eastern Europe.”
 
In North America, the roofing business has launched a full portfolio of tapes, adhesives and accessories to support its new EPDM membrane being manufactured in Milan, OH. Also, Invinsa FR coverboard can obtain a Class A fi re rating for combustible decks and along with the standard grade Invinsa, are the only high density polyiso coverboards to meet ASTM type three designation for compressive strength.
 
“As a major player in technical nonwovens, we are continuously looking for opportunities to grow in adjacent spaces with disruptive innovation,” Kleinebrecht says. “That means entering new business areas where nonwovens were not used before.” In Asia, where JM operates two sites, in Louyang and Shanghai, the company continues to see interesting growth rates despite the challenges associated with manufacturing and doing business in Asia.
 
In fact, the company continues to expand its regional coverage on a global basis, which is evident in sales activities in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.
 
“We continue to explore activities outside our current locations,” Kleinebrecht says. “While JM is committed to its traditional home markets, we will certainly not miss opportunities elsewhere.”
Denver, CO
www.jm.com
2013 Nonwovens Sales: $670 million  

Key Personnel
Mike Lawrence, senior vice president and general manager, engineered products Americas (EP Americas); Enno Henze, senior vice president and general manager, engineered products Europe/ Asia (EPEA); Patti Rizzo, director of sales and marketing, EP Americas; Stefan Mohr, commercial leader nonwovens, EPEA; Martin Kleinebrecht, marketing leader nonwovens, EPEA  

Plants
Waterville, OH; Richland, MS; Spartanburg, SC; Etowah, TN; Bobingen, Berlin, Wertheim, Karlstein, Steinach, Germany; Shanghai, Louyang, China; Trnava, Slovakia  

Brands
Dura-Glass, DuraBase, Delta-Aire, DynaWick, DynaWeb, DynaTech, Micro-Aire, MicroLith (U.S. brands); Evalith (EU nonwoven brand); ThermoFlow, DuraCore, KY-Tex (EU fibers brands)

Roofing and construction specialist Johns Manville has a solid 2013. While the Berkshire Hathaway-owned company does not report its sales, executives did say that total sales were up in the high single digits driven primarily by improved volumes across all of its businesses.

Based in Denver, CO, JM recently reorganized its business into three major business segments—Insulation Systems, Roofing Systems and Engineered Products. Previously, engineered products was split into two divisions—America and Europe/Asia. In 2013, all business areas reported success, driven largely by a significant 19% increase in U.S. housing starts in 2013.

According to CEO Mary Rhinehart, transitioning to one engineered products organization will give the company the global reach it needs to be competitive, while keeping the regional support its customers require.

The new business is being led by Enno Henze, who has been named senior vice president and general manager. “Enno’s background makes him a perfect fit for this role. He has been responsible for our nonwovens, fibers and glass textiles businesses in Europe, as well as our nonwovens business in China,” Rhinehart says.

Mike Lawrence, who was senior vice president and general manager of engineered products America, will retire from JM to pursue other opportunities. “This decision benefits us for a number of reasons, the most important being that it will result in greater consistency for our global customers and position us for future growth,” Rinehart adds. “The new structure will facilitate best practice sharing, particularly across technology and manufacturing assets. And from an employee perspective, it will allow us to enhance our ability to leverage our global talent.”

A specialist in building and construction as well as a number of adjacent markets, JM has about 9,000 global employees and operates 45 manufacturing sites in North America, Europe and Asia. The company has continued to invest heavily in its nonwovens operation to capture growth in the residential and commercial construction and roofing markets as well as in high performance filtration areas.

Its most recent investment, announced in July 2013, is a new spunbond line in Berlin, Germany. The new line will increase lightweight spunbond capacity at the site by more than 40%. Featuring proprietary bicomponent technology and adding 4,000 tons of material per year, the new line will allow JM to make nonwovens with reduced area weights in combination with higher product performance features such as high efficiency at lower pressure drops. This will result in the same or better performance at lower materials cost and will ultimately allow JM to create a new generation of polyester spunbond filter media for cabin air, air pollution control and liquid filtration applications and will expand the Evalith product range.

Reduced area weight in combination with higher product performance, such as high efficiency at lower pressure drop, is one of the key value propositions of JM’s innovative BiCo technology, according to Chrstian Hassmann, senior product and market manager and the project leader for this investment. “Lower material cost with the same or even better performance will enable customers to compete long term in the market place,” he says. “The new production line will utilize the latest technologies to preserve resources and significantly lower energy consumption.” 

While JM is a strong player in filtration, the company still strives to build this business and become a number one supplier of choice for current and future customers. “The filtration market is certainly one of our core businesses, which we target to further strengthen via innovative product solutions tailor-made for specific markets and customers,” says Holly Leiker, media relations and internal communications. “Options for future investments are certainly on our radar screen, as following only the industry’s organic growth is not an option for us.”

As the European economy continues to recover, the dynamics are changing within the field of technical nonwovens and JM is aiming for an expansion in a variety of technologies and markets. However, the company is not yet ready announce the specifics of these investments.

Meanwhile in China, where JM operates a facility in Shanghai, demand for bituminous roofing products are showing nice growth while the geotexitles business is facing challenges. JM is in the process of expanding its activities in Asia, with a focus on China, in the area of branded premium insulation products for air handling and technical insulation where customers are willing to pay for performance.

Back in the U.S., JM opened a new commercial roofing single-ply membrane manufacturing facility in Milan, OH in 2012. There, the company manufacturers ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roofing products. “Our EPDM roofing materials are manufactured using advanced extrusion technology, which results in a membrane designed for superior weatherability through a wide range of temperatures and conditions,” Leiker says. “The JM difference is the level of precision quality control we’re able to achieve during the manufacturing process. By minimizing the potential for air entrapment in the sheet, we’re able to produce a more uniform membrane with a superior surface finish, consistent thickness and fewer blemishes. Our closed extrusion system is also less sensitive to environmental factors such as humidity, and allows for greater temperature control during the manufacturing process.”

Also in North America, JM has glass mat operations in Waterville, OH and Etowah, TN serving construction (e.g., residential and commercial roofing reinforcement, roof deck facer, exterior gypsum sheathing facer), building interior (e.g., flooring system reinforcement, acoustical office panel, ceiling tile facer, duct insulation facer) and energy storage (e.g., battery separator, lead plate reinforcement) markets.

With sites on three continents and a variety of technologies available, JM is able to serve a number of industries. “With the U.S. continuing its slow but steady recovery, our customers look to JM to provide innovative, high performance solutions to the applications they serve,” Leiker says. “In the building interior markets, we are focusing on aesthetics, acoustics, sustainability and mold and mildew resistance—areas where glass nonwovens can provide advantage. In the construction industry, we see emphasis on productivity and on-time job completion. In the energy storage market, CAFÉ standards are driving new battery technologies. Again, these are focus areas where glass nonwoven solutions provide process-ability and longevity advantages.”

In new product news, recent product introductions include ENRGY 3.E, the next generation of polyisocyanurate roofing board insulation whereby the fire resistance has been engineered into the polymer backbone without the need for added halogenated flame retardants. JM’s R&D team has reformulated its foam chemistry with a non-halogenated reactive polymer modifier that delivers the necessary fire resistance to meet UL Class A fire ratings in low-slope roofing assemblies. Additionally, the reformulation improves cell structure and the properties of the foam.

Another new product, SmartBinder was launched in August of 2013. It’s an easy-to-use application that gives customers instant access on their desktop, laptop or iPad. It offers the latest insulation and roofing product information and specifications, automatic updates to ensure information is always current, and availability to data even without Internet access.

Also, in 2013, JM announced the Invinsa FR Roof Board. Invinsa FR is a high-density polyisocyanurate cover board capable of achieving a UL Class A fire rating over a combustible roof deck. This rating can be attained when the product is installed underneath single ply roof systems (TPO, PVC and EPDM) over polyisocyanurate insulation or directly to the roof deck.

Product quality, customer service and technical assistance are key elements to our success,” Leiker adds. “Johns Manville’s team of scientists and engineers work closely with customers to provide a broad understanding of material behavior. We have the capability to test full-scale, complex product solutions under various conditions.”