Beaver Dam, KY 42320
After nearly 15 years as the plant manager of American Nonwovens’ Beaver Dam, KY, operation, and at the age of 68, Wayne Robbins could have chosen to retire when American Nonwovens announced its bankruptcy in 2008. But Robbins envisioned a different future—not only with the hope of creating an opportunity of a lifetime for his family, but also to salvage the careers of the staff that loyally stuck by him through American Nonwovens’ bankruptcy.
With this in mind, Robbins purchased the plant in June 2008, renaming the company WPT Corp., representing the initials of his family members who motivated his acquisition. Operations started immediately with nine employees and one customer.
After years of hard work, Robbins’ small family business has grown into a 24-hour operation with 60 employees, three resin bond nonwoven production lines and a converting department, serving the hygiene, roofing, medical, personal care, filtration and building materials markets.
After achieving growth in 2015 and 2016, WPT was ready to make its next move, given the projected growth in the hygiene and filtration markets expected in the next decade. With its ideal geographic location in Western Kentucky, the company announced recently that it would expand there.
A new production facility will be located four miles north of WPT headquarters in Beaver Dam and offers 60,000 square feet of production space. The facility will operate a versatile three-meter wide, four card through air bond production line with the capability to make products ranging from diaper topsheets and ADL to wipers, and self support Merv rated filtration media. The line will process 1.5D-15D synthetic fiber, as well as viscose blended products.
The production facility will also be outfitted with a state of the art end of line solution—a high speed A.Celli winder and high tech vision system, one of the first of its kind to appear on the U.S. market, ensuring consistent quality throughout production. WPT will also offer a multi head spooling line that will save its customers time and money during the downstream production of diapers, feminine care and other hygiene products.
“We’re excited to grow our company in Ohio County, and most of all I’m proud of the hard work and dedication from our team of employees. Without their countless hours, attention to detail and dedication to our customers, this would not be possible,” says Travis Robbins, WPT Corp. plant manager and grandson of Wayne Robbins.
The new facility will be online in late March 2018.
“This is an outstanding time to be involved in the nonwoven industry,” Robbins says. “We’re already receiving exciting feedback and believe we’re bringing the right solutions at the right time to these growing markets.”