2016 Nonwovens Sales: $328 million (€288 million)
Dr. Christian Heinrich Sandler, President &CEO
Wolfgang Höflich, Board Member & Chief Production Officer
Dr. Ulrich Hornfeck, Board Member & Chief Commerical Officer
Tobias Baumgärtel, President Sandler Nonwoven Corporation
Sandler AG, Schwarzenbach/Saale, Germany
Sandler Nonwoven Corporation,Perry, GA, U.S.
Carded, waddings and drylaid nonwovens, thermally bonded, meltblown, needlepunched, air-through bonded, spunlaced, lamination, coating and flexoprinting, embossing and aperturing, composites
sawafill, sawabond, sawaloom, sawavlies, sawaloft, sawaflor, sawatex, sawascreen, sawagrow, sandler sports, sawacomp, sawaflock, sawaform, sawalux, sawaflex, sawasoft, sawasorb, sawatec, fibercomfort, sandler fiberskin, Sandler Unico, sawadur, sawadry, sawabond White Lace, sawabond Silver Lace, sawatex mariquita, sawatex orsettino, sea dwellers, bio textile by sandler, sawatex wipinator, enAIRsave, Sandler. The textile Building, sawatex classy silk, sawasoft TriLace, Sandler fascinating nonwoven, lace-O-pague, sawatex FineLace
Nonwovens for construction/engineering (technical insulation, office design & interior acoustics, environmental applications, industrial liners), filtration (HVAC, transportation filter media, liquid filter media, home care filter media), hygiene (babycare, feminine hygiene, adult care, medical applications), home textiles (upholstery & outdoor furniture, mattresses & bedding, fashion), technical nonwovens, transportation (interior and exterior applications, acoustics, engine compartment, seat, moulded parts, processing aids) and wipes (babycare, cosmetics, cleaning & disinfection).
Less than a year after getting its new U.S. plant up and running, German nonwovens manufacturer Sandler continues to increase production at the new site, located in Perry, GA. “We are completely on schedule—maybe even a little better than on schedule,” says board member and CCO Dr. Ulrich Hornfeck.
While Sandler has remained mum on the specific technology at the site, Hornfeck does admit that the U.S. operation is mainly serving its customers in the global hygiene market but the line has the flexibility to do many things. The U.S. operation should ultimately offer the range of technologies that already exist in Sandler’s German plant.
“Growth is definitely in our plans for the U.S.,” he says. “We want to grow in the U.S. organically and bring our German products to the U.S. and find new customers there.”
Back in Germany, Sandler’s site in Schwarzenbach/Saale, one of Europe’s largest nonwovens operations, continues to be the company’s center of development and new ideas. With five separate manufacturing facilities at the site featuring a range of technologies, the planthas been the focus of significant investment in recent years.
While more recent innovation has focused on the U.S., Hornfeck is confident that Sandler’s German operation will continue to grow. Central to this growth, of course, will be new capacity installations and new product development.
“What is the most interesting story about Sandler? We are always working on new products,” Hornfeck says.
Sandler’s last German investment was in July 2016, when it completed work on that site’s largest investment, its fifth plant, which houses proprietary technology for hygiene applications. The hybrid line, which combines multiple technologies, has reportedly allowed Sandler to successfully tap into interesting new areas of applications and introduce new products to the market.
Prior to this investment, Sandler expanded its fourth production building, which was completed in 2011 with the installation of a new line known as VS32. This line, also featuring Sandler proprietary technology, makes voluminous roll goods and sheet materials through a combination of needlepunching and thermal bonding. The growing number of applications for acoustically efficiency nonwovens was a driver for this investment. It has helped Sandler expand its role in technical nonwoven segments like insulation and acoustics.
The company’s fibercomfort brand of insulation materials is applied in the roof and in walls,of a building,allowing rooms to maintain a pleasant temperature and at the same time helping conserve energy. In partition walls, ceilings or textile wall coveringssound-insulating nonwovens keep the peace and quite and can also provide for a quieter work environment in office partitions. The product range offers the right acoustic nonwoven for every application: soft and voluminous or self-supporting and compact; with an open-pore surface or especially smooth; white, black or a marble-like shade in color—these textiles can be adapted to customer requirements. They can also be finished with print or embossed motifs or laminated with different fabrics, allowing them tooalso function as a design feature for individual room design.In the hygiene segment, Sandler new product development has meant working on improving the fluid management of its nonwovens, making them more porous, developing different types ofbacksheet and topsheet materials and creating softer products for its customers. For elastic applications Sandler provides an assembly kit of materials. Customers can choose from different degrees of elongation for their individual use.
Another important market for Sandler is wipes which it serves from three spunlace lines located in Schwarzenbach/Saale. In this market, Sandler offers wipes for babycare, cosmetics, cleaning and disinfection. These materials unite high tensile strength with high softness for gentle care and include variants featuring a particularly silky touch, rendering daily skin care into a veritable wellness treatment.
Apart from functionality and feel, visual differentiation is also a focus in wipes manufacturing. New Sandler designs unite appealing appearance with optimized function. The new embossed design square for cleaning applications makes wipes even bulkier and enlarges the surface for even more efficient cleaning. New colored substrates facilitate easy distinction between different applications.
Special fibers blends used in Sandler wipes substrates allow for excellent functionality at reduced basis weights, thus helping to conserve resources.
“We feel that if we give our customers a drawer full of possibilities, they will easily be able to select the right choice for their business,” Hornfeck says. “In the wipes business, we have been finding new ideas that put customers a little bit ahead of the market,” Hornfeck says. “While in filtration we have had big success withour fully syntheticenAIRsavefilter medium which reconciles long-term separation efficiency and reduced energy consumption. It features a special multi-layer structure, in which particles are deposited along the entire width of the medium, allowing air to keep flowing through even if the filter is loaded with dust.
Looking ahead, Sandler will continue to focus on Europe and North America, where it has a strong infrastructure and team of people. Entering new markets like Asia, could pose challenging. “We would have to do something that is a little bit different than everyone else,” Hornfeck explains.