2018 Nonwovens Sales: $98 million
Atsumi Adachi, president; Kuraray Kuraflex
Okayama and Saijo, Japan
Chemical bonded, spunlace, meltblown, steam jet
Kuraflex, Microflex, Felibendy, Vecrus
Wipes, medical and household materials
Kuraray Kuraflex, a subsidiary of Kuraray, produces spunlace nonwovens and chemical bonded nonwovens with a capacity of 10,500 tons/year, and steam jet nonwovens with a capacity of 1000 tons/year. Additionally, 1800 tons of meltblown nonwovens was produced annually at Kuraray’s Saijo location.
In meltblown, a new facility with the capacity of 900 tons/year will being operation in the latter half of 2020. Therefore, the production capacity of meltblown would total 2700 tons/year. Although, the existing meltblown facilities are in the Saijo location of Kuraray, the new facilities will be introduced into the Okayama factory of Kuraray Kuraflex. The Okayama factory is a production base nonwovens for the company. By installing meltblown line there, it will be easy to put together the materials with other nonwoven fabrics. There is various processing equipment for nonwovens in the Okayama factory. Until now, the meltblown nonwoven produced in Saijo had been transferred to the Okayama factory to be processed there. The ingredient polymer of the meltblown nonwovens is not only the general polypropylene but also of liquid crystal polymer. Nonwovens made of liquid crystal polymer are also used in the parts of copiers. Nonwovens made of thermoplastic elastomer are used in the medical market.
Sales volume of the wipes for industrial use (trade name: Counter Cloth), the main product of the company, increased in 2018. Kuraray Kuraflex currently supplies Counter Cloth to a Japanes restaurant chain and is planning to expand exports of Counter Cloth with a primary focus on Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.