2015 Nonwovens Sales: $180 million
Dr. Harald Stini, managing director; Detlev Käppel, global sales director technical nonwovens and managing director, Tenowo Huzhou; Dr. Lothar Hackler, president—Tenowo Inc. NC/USA
Hof/Saale, Germany; Reichenbach, Germany, Mittweida, Germany; Lincolnton, NC, U.S., Huzhou City, China
Drylaid, thermal bonded, needlepunched, saturate bonded, stitchbonded, spunlace
Variopoint, Unipoint, Unisoft, Zetafelt, Zetastitch, Zetafil, Zetawatt, Zetaloft, Florbond, Zetabond, Zetajet, Zetatherm, Zetamold, Zetastitch-C, Maliwatt, Malivlies, Kunit, Multiknit, eswegee, Bassopoint
Acoustics, automotive, filtration, roofing, industrial, composites, interlinings
Reporting another successful year was Germany-based Tenowo whose sales reached $180 million in 2015 thanks to strong performances from its sites across the globe. The company is in the midst of an ambitious expansion plan that will impact its operations in Germany, the U.S. and China, where a new site near Shanghai, China was completed in 2014. So far, these investments have helped propel Tenowo’s sales in 2014 and 2015 and executives expect this growth to continue as these technical-minded investments continue to bear fruit.
In China, at a site completed in June 2014, Tenowo is making four of its key market brands—Zetabond X, Zetabond UD, Zetafelt and Zetaloft. The facility, which represents a reported $15 million investment, features proprietary technology that combines needlepunch and chemical bonding and will mainly target the Chinese automotive market where more and more manufacturers are looking for local sourcing options, but customers in industrial and interlining markets will also benefit, according to Detlev Käppel, global sales director of technical nonwovens.
Meanwhile, back in Germany, Tenowo has added a new spunlace line—its second—in Reichenbach. Unlike most spunlace manufacturers, Tenowo has avoided wipes and instead has focused on specific industrial applications such as roofing, filtration, automotives and medical.
Elsewhere in Germany, Tenowo has added a new needlepunch line in Hof, which has allowed it to develop a number of new products for roofing and filtration markets, while in Mittweida, the group has increased capacity of its Maliwatt and Multiknit products for the industrial segments. The stitchbond products are used as interior facing applications, foam replacement in seat components, carrier substrates for wire harnessing and other markets. Dr. Harald Stini, managing director, says additional investments in this arm of the business will be made in 2016.
In North America, Tenowo’s operation in Lincolnton, NC remains the leading supplier of thermal and acoustical components for the North American automotives industry. To continue growth in North America, Tenowo has added a new powder coating line as well as other investment measures in Lincolnton. The total costs of this investment plan will be about €50 million when all is said and done.
Meanwhile, the other side of Tenowo’s business, apparel, has decreased in scope in recent years due to competition from China. The business, which once dominated sales, now only represents about 10% of sales, but executives said it is a steady business. Tenowo’s strengths are its ability to get to market quickly and offer specialty materials.