2017 Nonwovens Sales: $173 million
Tenowo Mittweida GmbH
Tenowo Reichenbach GmbH
Lincolnton NC, USA
Tenowo Huzhou New Materials Ltd.
Huzhou City, PRC
Dr. Harald Stini, managing director; Detlev Käppel, global sales director technical nonwovens and managing director, Tenowo Huzhou; Chris Peart, president, Tenowo Inc. NC/USA
Hof/Saale, Germany; Reichenbach, Germany, Mittweida, Germany; Lincolnton, NC; Huzhou City, PRC
Drylaid, thermal bonded, needlepunched, saturate bonded, stitchbonded, spunlace
Variopoint, Unipoint, Unisoft, Zetafelt, Zetastitch, Zetafil, Zetawatt, Zetaloft, Florbond, Zetabond, Zetajet, Zetatherm, Zetamold, Zetacarb, Zetacoustic, Maliwatt, Malivlies, Kunit, Multiknit, eswegee, Bassopoint
Acoustics, automotive, filtration, roofing, industrial, composites, interlinings, medical
The year 2017 was for Tenowo one of both challenges and success. The company’s European business continued to be strong and nearly all of its sites were operating at full capacity. “Although we expected some slowdown in automotive segment due to the recent OEM ‘diesel affairs,’ at the end it turned out not to affect our sales in this segment,” says managing director Harald Stini. “Besides automotive we were able to succeed in our diversification strategy, meaning segments like building/construction, filtration, composites, medical and others were growing and the dependence on automotive decreased to a certain extent.”
Tenowo’s three German sites—in Hof, Reichenbach and Mittweida—continue to perform well. In Mittweida, new capacity for stitchbonded nonwovens was sold out nearly immediately and additional capacity will come onstream later this year. The company is also investing in new office space and a competence center for stitchbonded nonwovens in Mittweida, which will come onstream next year.
Meanwhile, in Reichenbach and Hof, Tenowo added a spunlace line and a needlepunch line, respectively, during a company-wide investment program in 2014. Now, the company is reviewing the possibility of added equipment and capacity featuring two nonwovens technologies at the sites.
In China, Tenowo Huzhou New Materials reported another year of growth, both in sales, volumes and market diversification. This operation is also running to capacity and the company is now determining its next step in China. “We were able to extend our marketshare in domestic China in automotive with existing global customers as well as local Tier1/OEMs,” says global sales director Detlev Käppel. “Moreover our export business was extended to India, Cambodia, Southeast Asia and Japan. Our manufacturing hub in China provides a great platform for further growth. The main market segments in automotive are NVH, interior trim, high-loft insulation, wire harnessing and seating applications.”
Tenowo’s interlining business, which is served from sites in Germany and China, remains stable and is still an important segment for the company. The included product group “Zetafil brands” for the semi luxury food and packaging industry developed nicely and the company expects further growth in the coming years.
Tenowo’s North American operation in Lincolnton, NC, was expanded with the construction of a 70,000 square meter building in 2017. The building houses Tenowo’s Multiknit technology which until then had only been made in Germany. Multiknit technology is primarily used in automotive seating applications.
“The installation and startup of the Multiknit manufacturing line has added a new dimension to Tenowo Inc.’s product portfolio,” says Chris Peart, president, Tenowo Inc. NC/USA. “As a product line, Multiknit is expected to open access to new markets and grow at strong double digit rates over the next five years. Overall, the future of Tenowo Inc. is very positive and further economic, technical and human resource growth is expected.”
According to Peart, the U.S. operation enjoyed a successful year despite volatility in the North American automotives market, particularly in passenger vehicles. Increased automobile production in Mexico has created demand for Tenowo’s Zetafelt and Zetabond products in that region. As a result, Tenowo opened a sales and warehousing facility in San Luis Potosí in 2018 in order to facilitate providing customers with localized service.
In other news, in April, Tenowo announced it would sell its 49% stake in Supreme Nonwoven Industries Pvt. Ltd. to its Indian co-shareholders.
Supreme Nonwoven Industries Pvt. Ltd. is based in Mumbai and active in the field of the production of nonwoven fabrics. The sale of the investment is a consequence of the continuing strategic focusing of Tenowo GmbH and will have no impact on the balance sheet equity of Hoftex Group. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price and the transaction is expected to be completed within 24 months after the conclusion of the purchase agreement.
Tenowo entered the agreement in 2006 with Supreme, a family-owned company with nonwovens several nonwovens operations in India. The agreement reportedly encompassed both industrial and interlining applications.