2015 Nonwovens Sales: $101 million
Tetsuya Yoshimura, general manager, nonwoven fabrics division; Naoki Yamane, general manager, spunbond fabrics sales
Okazaki, Japan; Tarui, Japan
Marix, Eleves, Appeal, Wiwi, Alcima, Dilla, Terramac, Cottoace.
Agricultural materials, carpet backings, geotextiles, cable wraps, wipes, storing bags, coverstock, roofing sheets
Unitika produces 20,000 tons/year of PET spunbond nonwovens and 4500 tons/year of spunlace nonwovens. Thai TUSCO, a subsidiary of Unitika, makes 4000 tons of PET spunbond nonwovens per year. Additionally, UMCT, a joint corporation with Marusan Industry (Marusan Industry 65%, Unitika 35%), produces 50,000 tons of spunlace per year.
Within PET spunbond nonwovens, industrial materials sales have increased while sales in automotives, agriculture and geotextiles remained flat. Spunlaced nonwovens sales increased thanks to increased face mask sales.
Unitika’s Thai operation, Tusco, is adding 6000 tons per year to its operation, an investment that should be complete in April 2017. This will bring Unitika’s Thai output to 10,000 and its total output of PET spunbond to 30,000 tons making it the largest maker of PET spunbond nonwovens in Asia.
Once the new equipment becomes operational, the manufacture of general-purpose grade nonwovens will be transferred to Tusco to improve the cost competitiveness of the operation. So far, the Thai operation has only made nonwovens for agriculture materials.
Unitika’s Eleves spunbond material, which is made from a core sheet fiber, is made in Japan. By moving the production of general purpose nonwovens to Thailand, Unitika will be able to increase capacity of this higher value nonwoven in Japan.
In Unitika’s spunlaced nonwovens business, 60-70% of the output is made from 100% cotton while the remaining are bicomponent nonwovens combining cotton, lyocell, rayon and PLA. These materials are used not only in Japan but are exports to China, Korea and Taiwan.