2017 Nonwovens Sales: $382 million
Dr. Christian Heinrich Sandler, president &CEO; Wolfgang Höflich, board member & chief production officer; Dr. Ulrich Hornfeck, board member & chief commercial 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, coating, embossing and aperturing, composites
Sawabond, sawaloom, sawaloft, sawaflor, sawatex, sawascreen, sawaform, sawasoft, sawasorb, fibercomfort, bio textile by sandler, enAIRsave
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 (baby care, 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 (baby care, cosmetics, cleaning & disinfection).
Continued expansion of the product range, the development of new materials and entry into new markets and areas for nonwovens helped Sandler increase its sales 10% to $382 million in 2017. While growth was reported across all of the company’s main market segments, the company’s technical applications segments are probably the most dynamic ones at the moment, according to Ulrich Hornfeck, board member and CCO.
“In filtration, the new ISO standard is changing the market and product development; in the transportation, electromobility brings about new requirements on nonwovens used in automotive applications; and last but not least, the market for interior acoustics is growing in light of open room layouts, particularly in offices,” he says.
In 2017, Sandler hit a major milestone—the completion of its new plant in Perry, GA, the company’s first outpost outside of the Bavaria region of Germany. The investment allows Sandler to expand its business relations with customers in North America by optimizing on-site services. The plant serves as a direct point of entry into the North American market and a basis for establishing new contacts. “New contacts are always pleased to learn that Sandler operates a plant in the U.S. All in all, the U.S. facility is an advantage, bringing us closer to customers and potential new clients,” Hornfeck says.
Meanwhile, at Sandler’s Schwarzenbach headquarters, one of the largest nonwovens operations in Europe, the company continues to renovate two buildings, an effort that incorporates Sandler nonwovens for acoustic applications.
“At their new workplaces, our staff members are already benefitting from the quiet that acoustic wall elements made with our nonwovens bring to everyday working life. Newly constructed meeting areas are frequently used—no matter if it is for a spontaneous meeting or a formal presentation,” Hornfeck says. “Our function room and company cafeteria has also undergone a complete refurbishment. With our nonwovens again functioning as sound absorbers—this time in the ceiling construction—an open, but quiet and welcoming atmosphere was created and our employees enjoy spending their breaks here. “
Sandler’s acoustic nonwovens are marketed under the fibercomfort brand name. These nonwovens, designed to protect against both sound and heat, are made from 100% polyester and are applied in wall and ceiling systems, partition walls, furniture and as wall decorations.
“The sound and heat insulating properties of our nonwovens are also harnessed in a new development for technical insulation,” Hornfeck explains. “A two-layer insulation for hot water tanks helps to make heat storage in solar thermal installations more efficient and helps attain a higher energy efficiency category for the hot water tank.”
Filtration also remains an important market for Sandler driven by new ISO 16890 standards, which are changing the market and product development. Nevertheless, the Sandler product spectrum comprises media for all efficiency ranges according to ISO 16890. This is also true for the enAIRsave product line, which thanks to its special multi-layer structure, contributes to lowering the energy consumption of the filtration unit. In addition, Sandler is developing nonwovens for automotive cabin air filters. The Sandler portfolio now also comprises media for use in activated carbon filters. With these products, the functionality of activated carbon filters and the optimum particle filtration provided by nonwoven media can be combined in a durable product.
Moving to wipes, Sandler continues to innovate its spunlace material made in Schwarzenbach/Saale. In 2018, the company launched a finely aperture structure which not only enlarges a wipes’ surface, thus increasing direct collection, it allows fluids to accumulate better.
In the development of new wipes substrates, sustainability continues to be a focus. To this end, alternative types of fibers and raw materials from natural sources open up new possibilities in developing more eco-friendly product solutions. By constantly developing its nonwovens further and benefitting from the know-how of different manufacturing technologies, Sandler continues to expand and enhance its product range.
“In all of our market segments, it is our knowledge and experience of a wide range of nonwoven technologies, our in-house product development and generally the expertise of our team which allow us to optimize our products and adapt them to our customers’ requirements,” Hornfeck adds. “Through the right combination of fiber blend and bonding technology, softness and function can be combined in just the right way for specific hygiene applications.”