2016 Nonwovens Sales: $283 million
Mikael Staal Axelsen, group CEO; Peter Andersen, CEO, Malaysia; Claus Svanberg, group CFO; Mette Due Sogaard, group quality and sustainability director; Peter Reis, group supply chain director; Anders Sogaard, operations director, Denmark; Jesper Pedersen, operations director, Malyasia; Ong Soo Fen, CFO, Malaysia, Albert Steffen, managing director, Germany
Denmark, Malaysia, Germany
Comfort, Elite, Dual, Loft
U.S. expansion is on the horizon for Denmark-based nonwovens producer Fibertex Personal Care. The manufacturer of spunmelt nonwovens announced it has purchased a site in Asheboro, NC, in August and will invest $10 million in a new facility. The site will house equipment capable of direct printing on nonwovens. It is the company’s first operation on American soil.
Fibertex Personal Care already has direct printing on nonwovens operations in Germany and Malaysia. The technology was created by Innowo Print, a company Fibertex Personal Care helped found in 2008 and acquired in full in 2014. The process allows colors and images to be printed directly on nonwovens.
“The largest global producers of diapers, sanitary napkins and incontinence products are increasingly demanding print directly on nonwoven materials,” says Mikael Staal Axelsen, group CEO of Fibertex Personal Care. “Today, the majority of products have a design print on a thin film. However, a growing number of our customers have realized the many possibility in having their design printed directly on the nonwoven materials. For instance, print technology gives them the opportunity to enhance the visual expression, which facilitates a range of differentiation possibilities.”
Fibertex Personal Care did not announce any plans to produce nonwovens in the U.S. Instead, the new facility will offer the technology to local nonwovens producers.
Within the company’s nonwovens business, Fibertex Personal Care is currently undergoing an expansion at its Malaysian site, which currently holds four lines.
In January 2016, the company said it would increase capacity in the country by 20% with the construction of a new site, 25 kilometers south of its existing factory in Nilai. The new site will initially house a brand new, state-of-the-art spunmelt line and could ultimately house as many as four lines. The new line should be operational in the second quarter of 2017 and will help sales reach DKK2 billion ($316 million) in 2017.
According to executives, the new line will not only help grow capacity for the company’s current product range, it will also allow Fibertex to make supersoft products, which are in strong demand in the Asian markets.
Fibertex Personal Care is also bringing premium supersoft technology to its Aalborg, Denmark facility, where a new line has not been added in nearly a decade, but in 2016 an existing line was upgraded with super soft technology.