2014 Nonwovens Sales: $346 million
Christian Heinrich Sandler, CEO; Wolfgang Höflich and Ulrich Hornfeck, members of the management board
Carded, waddings and drylaid nonwovens, thermally bonded, mechanically bonded, meltblown, thermofused, needlepunched, air-through bonded, spunlaced, hotmelt and thermal lamination, coating and flexoprinting, embossing and aperturing, composites
sawafill, sawabond, sawaloom, sawavlies, sawaloft, sawaflor, sawatex, sawascreen, sawagrow, sandler sports, sawacomp, sawaflock, sawaform, sawalux, sawaflex, sawasoft, sawasorb, sawatec, sandler fibercomfort, sandler fiberskin, Sandler Unico, sawadur, sawadry, sawabond White Lace, sawabond Silver Lace, sawatex mariquita, sawatex orsettino, sawatex sea dwellers, bio textile by sandler, sawatex wipinator
Nonwovens for hygiene, medical, wipes (baby, cosmetic, technical, cleaning), automotive, filtration, technical nonwovens (civil engineering, technical insulation, environmental nonwovens) and home textiles
Still in expansion mode, Schwarzenbach/Saale, Germany-based Sandler Nonwovens announced this summer it would invest about $30 million in a new nonwovens line, which will be housed in a new 22,750-square-meter plant. The investment will help expand Sandler’s role in important hygiene markets where its nonwovens are already valued for their soft touch and gentle feel.
These characteristics have already won these nonwovens in applications such as the topsheet of diapers, feminine hygiene products and adult incontinence items, as stretchable nonwovens in diaper ears and other closure systems and as a fluid handling layer to quickly transport fluid away from the body, distribute it evenly and transport it to the absorbent core.
The plant will be the fifth on the Schwarzenbach/Saale, Germany campus.
“For more than 135 years we have been closely connected with our Schwarzenbach location and we will continue to invest in the expansion of our competence center,” says CEO Dr. Christian Heinrich Sandler. “The commissioning of our new production line will create up to 50 new jobs. These investments take us one step further towards the realization of new textile concepts for the versatile market of hygiene products. Our new plant will enable us to render our processes even more efficient and the new administration building will provide our staff with the best possible work environment.”
One recent development, an acoustical nonwoven product for use in construction applications was made possible through its latest line, the VS32, which started up in early 2014. The line, which features proprietary Sandler technology, makes voluminous roll goods and sheet materials through a combination of needlepunching and thermal bonding.
“This production line expands our capabilities within the technical nonwovens segment, primarily manufacturing nonwovens for insulation and acoustics. The materials manufactured on it are largely targeting the construction sector, interior design and other technical applications. In this way, the new line, which features proprietary Sandler technology, is advancing our developments in these markets,” says Hornfeck.
In 2014, Sandler developed a 100% textile solution for energy efficient, durable roof insulation. “The construction sector is a rather conservative market and, developing these nonwovens, we were well aware that they most probably would not generate high revenue straight away. However, we are convinced that this product has a promising future and it is part of Sandler’s overall “textile building” concept: a wide range of different Sandler nonwovens that provide textile alternatives for heat and sound insulation in construction. “
At the 2014 INDEX exhibition, Sandler’s booth design featured a “textile building”—a model home where visitors experienced the functionality of these nonwovens first-hand. “The response we received for these developments and the overall concept was very positive,” Hornfeck says. “A number of potential buyers are showing great interest in the “textile building” as well as the roof insulation concept and are looking to apply it or adapt it to their individual requirements.”
The VS32 line, in addition to the creation of a technical center and a new high efficiency meltlblown line capped off a series of investments designed to up Sandler’s profile in a number of technical markets. One area garnering a lot of attention is filtration, thanks to the high efficiency meltblown line, which was added in 2012.
“Sandler continues to manufacture meltblown nonwovens for filtration in HVAC, transportation and home care, as well as medical applications,” Hornfeck says. “The market shows a continued trend towards fully synthetic filter media, for which Sandler nonwovens commend themselves.”
New filtration-related products from Sandler include a new pleatable filter medium for HVAC applications which combine the advantages of synthetic media—elastic, non-breakable fibers, mechanical stability and resistance to moisture—with high efficiency, meeting the requirements of the norm EN779:2012 even after discharge.
Outside of technical applications, Sandler has worked hard to grow its spunlace business. The company now operates a total of three lines, which were added between 2003 and 2011. The output on these lines primarily serves the wipes market but new applications are always under considerations.
“Diversivication and product differentiation are key,” Hornfeck says. “Within the wipes market, product differentiation is achieved through designs such as print or embossed motifs, product structure or additional features. Moreover, we are also developing spunlace materials for other markets, for example technical applications.”