2017 Nonwovens Sales: $407 million
Orwig Speldoorn, managing director EMEA; Bart Austin, managing director NAFTA; Gareth Kaminski-Cook, managing director APAC; Marc Krauth, global business director, Interior & Transportation; Clark Haladay, global business director building and industry; Wayne Currie, group HSE director
Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Hungary, China, and Asheville, NC
Extruded spunbond, thermalbond, needlepunch, staple fiber, woven, three-dimensional polymerica materials
Agriculture, building, civil engineering, construction, flooring, filtration, interior, roofing, transportation
Colback manufacturer Low & Bonar has been so successful with its Chinese expansion, the company has already announced plans to double capacity at the Changzhou site in 2018. The Chinese site was opened in April 2016, representing a £26 million investment, and expanding Colback’s global output by 60 million square meters.
Even before the investment about 10% of all Colback made was sold into the Chinese market and the new site has benefited all four of Low & Bonar’s business units—Building and Industrial, Civil Engineering, Coated Technical Textiles and Interiors/Transportation. In addition to Colback, the next investment initiative will bring scrim capacity to the site, allowing Low & Bonar to offer new products to the building and industrial and civil engineering market.
In other investments news, Low & Bonar has added a nonwoven plant in Hungary and a glass mat line in Slovakia. In terms of acquisition, Low & Bonar purchased Walfor Industries, a Seattle, WA-based manufacturer of rainscreens and mats for £3.6 million, in a move that will strengthen its relationship in the U.S. building market and provide it with a west coast growth platform.
Meanwhile, in Arnhem, The Netherlands, Low & Bonar last year opened a test lab aimed at developing new and enhanced filtration solutions to meet the increased demands for cleaner industrial and automotive air. The company says the investment will escalate the rate at which proprietary technology is turned into market-adopted filtration applications
A range of attributes based on Colback technology will be tested including filtration efficiency, air permeability, pressure drop and conditioning. In addition, the lab’s new scanning electron microscope will enable better understanding of the strengths and synergies between Low & Bonar’s set of technologies. Initial results show that Colback-based media has a lower pressure drop at comparable efficiencies to meet industry standards, and provides manufacturers with extra space in cost-conscious product design.
As filtration continues to grow, carpet backings continue to be an important market for Low & Bonar. Earlier this year, the company developed Colback Gold, a new commercial carpet tile allowing manufacturers to produce carpets satisfying the most stringent Cradle-to-Cradle requirements. The newly launched product is the culmination of two years of technical cooperation between long-term partners Low & Bonar and Tarkett at the manufacturing and R&D facility in Arnhem, Netherlands.
Colback Gold delivers enhanced tuftability, unmatched stitch holding and unique process behavior.