2013 Nonwovens Sales: $407 million
Orwig Speltdoorn, managing director EMEA; Bart Austin, managing director NAFTA; Gareth Kaminski-Cook, managing director APAC; Marc Krauth, global business director, Interior & Transportation; Clark Halladay, Global Business Director Building & Industry; Orwig Speltdoorn, Global Business Director Civil Engineering; Wayne Currie, Group HSE Director.
Belgium (Lokeren and Zele); Germany (Gross Ippener and Obernburg); Hungary (Tiszaújváros); the Netherlands (Arnhem and Emmen); USA (Asheville NC); joint ventures in China (Jiangsu) and Saudi Arabia (Yanbu).
Extruded, spunbond, thermal bonded and specialties, needlepunched staplefiber, woven, 3-dimensional polymeric mats
Adfil; Bontec; BonarAgro, Colback; Enka Solutions (a.o. Enkamat, Enkadrain, Enkagrid, Enka-Spacer, Enka-Channel, EnkaRetain & Drain); Tipptex; Xeroflor.
Agro, building, civil engineering, construction, flooring, filtration, industry, interior, roofing, transportation
Sales continued to rise at Bonar, clocking in at $407 million in 2013, driven by increases in building products and agriculture sales due to abnormal weather patterns in Europe.
The company is a combination of the former Colbond business and Bonar Technical Fabrics, two companies owned by Low & Bonar, which merged under one brand name, Bonar, in January 2013. The merger, according to executives, leverages the company’s successful European business and expertise in other regions and this organizational change is designed to accelerate this development and put it on a clear path to globalization. Bonar serves the agro, building, civil engineering, construction, flooring, filtration, interior, industrial, roofing and transportation sectors through five companies: Bonar, with operations in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S.; Bonar Geosynthetics in Hungary; Bonar Xerofl in Germany; Yihua Bonar in China; and Bonar Natpet in Saudi Arabia.
The company’s production facilities are based in Belgium, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, UK, the U.S. and through joint ventures in China and Saudi Arabia.
In June, Low & Bonar announced it would expand Bonar’s global footprint with the establishment of a new factory in Changzhou, China dedicated to making the company’s Colback technology, which will serve the growing carpet tile backing and automotive backing markets in Asia. The investment was reported at $26 million, spread over the next two years
“China is the fastest growing of our target markets within the interior and transportation business unit, accounting for one-third of the global demand for floor covering,” explain Jos Waltmans, manager communications. “It is also a high-growth market for car filtration and, with a huge investment in infrastructure, an important potential market for our civil engineering products.”
Changzhou was chosen as the hub of the company’s Asian business because several of its major flooring customers already have manufacturing facilities in the region and are already producing products tailored to local requirements, which will be key to building market share, Waltmans adds.
In addition to Asia, North America continues to be an area of interest for Bonar and the company continues to operate a U.S. facility in Enka, NC. Additionally, its joint venture in Saudi Arabia, Bonar Natpet with the National Petrochemical Industrial Company (NATPET) was completed in late 2013. This joint venture supplies geotextiles to the fast growing Middle East and Indian subcontinent civil engineering markets and has expanded the company’s scope in this region.
In new product news in late 2013, Bonar introduced its latest Colback innovation—Colback ProFloor. It uses bicomponent fiber technology for producing a primary backing material with improved stitch holding for tufted commercial carpets. Carpet backing materials currently account for about 19% of Bonar’s total sales.
The same fiber technology, combined with its bonding process, delivers improved stability in commercial tile processes. The resulting tiles show lower up curl results and improved dimensional stability.
Bonar says Colback ProFloor delivers even greater benefits during carpet manufacture and service life. Its stable filament network is based on a new polymer composition that delivers softer tufting, improved stitch holding and optimum dimensional stability of the finished carpet.
Also benefitting its business is its strong commitment to being green including its Colback Green, a carpet backing material made of 100% sustainable raw materials. It contains post-consumer recycled polyester and polyamide-6 generated from carpet waste.
Waltmans says that many of his company’s products have an environmentally friendly profile.
“Some of our customers in the buildings and industry sector need to build homes that are more energy efficient and our roofing products can help them do that,” he says. “Our products are important for sustainability in our end markets, for example reducing energy usage in food production, supporting land reclamation for housing expansion, or filtration to improve water and air quality.”