2015 Nonwovens Sales: $351 million
Michael Teacher, chairman; Shachar Rachim, interim CEO; Shane Vincent, director of sales and marketing
Tel Aviv, Israel, Dimona, Israel, Mocksville, NC; Jingmen City, Hubei Province, China; Uzlovaya, Russia
With plans for at least two new lines finalized, Avgol Nonwovens continues to focus on growing its share in the global hygiene market where it continues to expand its product offerings to penetrate more areas of the diaper and other items.
“We have been known for lightweight/core materials but we have been diversifying into other materials like backsheets and topsheets,” says Shane Vincent, vice president of sales and marketing.
With manufacturing operations in Israel, North Carolina, China and Russia, Avgol is solely focused on Reicofil spunmelt nonwovens for hygiene applications.
In April, Avgol announced it would build a new facility in its home country of Israel, where it had not invested in more than a decade. This latest line, which will be based on SMMS Reicofil 4 technology, will be housed at a new site in Dimona, Israel. It will be capable of making 18,000 tons of material per year when it comes onstream during the first half of next year.
“We hadn’t made an investment in Israel for a long time but it is still where our headquarters are located,” Vincent says. “We are traded on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. Israel and the entire region continue to be important to us.”
Also important to Avgol is North America where it is in the process of adding its fifth line in Mocksville, NC, which should be complete before the end of the year. Like the Israeli investment, this new line will be based on Reicofil 4 technology to target the hygiene market. Avgol has had a U.S. presence since 2002, when it acquired the Mocksville site—along with one spunmelt line—from Unifi. The company has invested steadily to this operation since then.
Other recent investments from Avgol include a second line in Uzlovaya, Russia which came onstream in late 2014 and a third line in China in mid 2013. While the industry rumor mill insists that Avgol has also finalized plans to construct a spunmelt line in India, executives would not comment on these efforts.
Capital expansion is not Avgol’s only strategy for growth. The company focuses its research and development efforts around four key pillars—softness, fluid management, cost optimization and fit, according to Vincent. “All of this is driven by customers and their requests,” he adds. “The Asian market has really become a benchmark for us. Everyone is following Asia and the trend toward softer diapers.”
For Avgol, this has led to the creation of the Avgol Lux family of nonwoven fabrics, which offer hygiene products’ manufacturers a way to create a new visually distinct soft touch fabric solution. Suitable for topsheet, backsheet and leg cuff applications, as well as ear and landing zone substrates, the Avgol Lux includes a range of products offering soft touch, smoothness and cotton-like softness. The range, which has achieved great market feedback, was recently launched in Asia.