2014 Nonwovens Sales: $150 million
J.C. Tai, chairman and owner; Vicky Tai, president; Allen Huang, general manager; Jacky Su, technical vice president: Kevin Chen, assistant vice president
Taipei, Taiwan, Shanghai and Chengdu, China
Air through bonding, thermal bonding, meltblown, airlaid, needlepunch, spunlace
Hygiene, industrial, agriculture, geotextiles
Wearing two hats as a manufacturer and converter of nonwovens is KNH Enterprises, one of Taiwan’s largest nonwovens proudcer. The company currently makes spunlace nonwovens, largely serving the wipes market, on three lines in the greater China area. According to executives demand in this market has been growing gradually year on year.
This new line will be designed to handle wood pulp and possibly recycled materials to not only respond to environmental concerns but also to take advantage of government incentives promoting the use of recycled content in consumer products.
Other areas of interest for the company’s spunlace business include the medical market, which has been well supported in Asia, particularly in wound care and blood filtration.
Within China, KNH has two plants—one in Shanghai and the other in Chengdu, in western China, which was opened in late 2010. Executives say the company continues to look for new opportunities in the Asia-Pacific area.
“Chinese growth plays an important role to our company when a new middle class in the cities have shown the purchasing power,” says Amy Lee, sales director.
The driving force behind an expansion in recent years is demand from China, Indonesia and India, which are all becoming major consumers of nonwovens as disposable diapers and wipes increase in usage. While there are a number of new lines being added in these areas, most of them are replacing older, less productive lines.
“With quite significant GDP growth in Southeastern Asia and India, we have been working on developing those markets to fulfill the nonwoven need there,” Chen says. “However, the currency risk will be needed to watch out when U.S. dollar gets stronger from time to time.