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The world nonwovens industry: part 3 -- ten smaller producers, 1st quarter 2006
published in Issue 64, 1st quarter 2006
Worldwide sales of nonwoven roll goods continued their mid-single digit growth in 2004, reaching nearly US$15 bn. Sales of the ten smaller producers profiled in this report—which rank from number 31 to number 40 among the world’s leading companies—ranged individually from US$60 mn to US$91 mn and together accounted for over 5% of the global total.
These producers include long established players as well as new ones. Andrew Industries, a relatively new entrant to the top 40, traces its origins back to 1894. By contrast, Jacob Holm Industries was formed in 1995, and Toray Saehan as recently as 1999.
The nonwovens industry is becoming more international. Toray Saehan is a South Korean joint venture, KNH is Taiwanese, and Companhia Providência is Brazilian. Internationalisation by existing players, meanwhile, is driving industry growth. Denmark’s Jacob Holm started up a new US$65 mn spunlaced line in the USA in autumn 2005. Andrew Industries of the UK has established a needlefelt facility in China. Unitika of Japan is expanding its polyester spunbond capacity at Thai Tusco in Thailand, and Toray Saehan plans to build a nonwoven plant in China by 2007.
Other drivers of growth are new technologies and product markets. SP2C and Easy Care interlining products from Textilgruppe Hof have coatings to enhance performance in fashion fabrics. Precision Custom Coatings has diversified into OmniStretch hydroentangled liners for the automotive market. Kuraray has commercialised nonwovens made from Vectran, which uses liquid crystal polymer technology.
Technical Textile Markets provides intelligence, analysis and insight on the global man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile industries.
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