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Profile of SGL Carbon Fibers and Composites
published in Issue 81, 2nd quarter 2010
SGL Group is a specialist in carbon fibres and composites based in Germany with sales in 2009 of Euro1,226 mn (US$1,708 mn). The company’s operations are grouped into three business areas, namely Performance Products (PP), Graphite Materials & Systems (GMS), and Carbon Fibers and Composites (CFC). The CFC unit—which is in turn divided into Carbon Fibers and Composite Materials, and Composite Components—accounted for 17% of total group sales in 2009.
In the past few years, SGL Group has taken steps to strengthen its position in the aerospace, wind energy and automotive sectors by acquiring a majority stake in Abeking & Rasmussen Rotec and forming partnerships with Denel Saab Aerostructures, Bard Emden Energy, Benteler, and BMW. Also, its acquisition of Abeking & Rasmussen Rotec has forward-integrated the group into rotor blade production, and established it as the sole European manufacturer of integrated carbon fibres and composites for the wind energy sector.
In fibres, the group is on course to take advantage of the growing substitution of basic materials such as steel and aluminium with components made from carbon fibre by doubling its carbon fibre production capacity by 2012. Its carbon fibres are sold under various brand names. Panox is an oxidised, thermally stabilised polyacrylonitrile (PAN) flame resistant fibre. Sigrafil C is a heavy tow carbon fibre derived from a polyacrylonitrile (PAN) precursor. And Sigrafil T is a partially carbonised polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibre which is used as an asbestos replacement. The company also sells textiles under various brand names, including Sigratex woven fabrics and tapes, unidirectional reinforcement materials, multiaxial fabrics and nonwovens, and Udo unidirectional and multiaxial reinforcement materials.
In 2009 SGL Group registered its first net loss since 2003 as temporary surplus capacity in the carbon fibre market put pressure on prices and margins and made it impossible for it to achieve its sales targets. The excess capacity was caused partly by delays in major projects in the aerospace and wind energy sectors as a result of the global financial crisis. Looking ahead, the CFC business requires a lot of investment and it is likely to be some time until demand returns to pre-crisis levels. However, it continued in 2009 to secure additional orders and turned a loss in the previous year into an operating profit. Bearing in mind the growth expected in wind energy and the growing use of carbon fibre components in the aerospace and automotive sectors, the long-term prospects for this business remain positive.
Four times a year, Technical Textile Markets provides an overview of the global man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile industries. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for technical textiles, and is essential reading for senior executives in (or supplying) the man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile sectors – as well as for those who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis, but who need an authoritative source which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies which are actively involved in this fast-growing sector.
Reports in Technical Textile Markets include:
company and country profiles – giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others, in terms of production, sourcing, import/export, infrastructure and development, and plans for the future.
profiles of the world's top 40 producers of nonwovens – updated each year with details of developments from each of the leading producers, including acquisitions, investments and divestments, and analyses of trends which the "rising stars" are using to their advantage.
statistical reports – including consumption data, by fibre and end-use applications. Regular updates are published for fibre consumption in Japan, the rest of Asia, the USA, and Western Europe.
market sector information – analyses of important commercial end-user applications, and profiles of both established and emerging markets which take into account such innovations and developments as nanotechnology and intelligent textiles.
regular updates on innovations in fibres, technical textiles, apparel and machinery – including developments in the following categories: fibres and yarns; technical textile fabrics for industrial applications; machinery; technical textiles for apparel; composites; other technical textile products; and technical textile treatments and finishes.
reports on new technological developments and other topical issues – with clear, authoritative comments on their economic and commercial significance. The reports bring to your attention the key issues which you can use to develop your business, and provides contact details of useful organisations.
So whether you are involved in man-made fibres, nonwovens or technical textiles – in manufacturing, converting, import/export, or end use – or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance – a subscription to Technical Textile Markets will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Technical Textile Markets is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 4 printed publications a year. Each issue contains five research-based reports (see above) and an editorial.
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In addition, you will be able to download PDF files containing the same information – but the PDF files will be available immediately on publication, so you don’t have to wait for the printing and mailing. You also have all the benefits of electronic files: instant access even when you are away from the office; convenient storage in your PC or laptop; portability; electronic search facility; and copy/paste facility.
You will also receive a monthly update of business news, called "Technical Textiles Business Update" delivered to you by email, free of charge.
Technical textiles are used in a wide range of end-use applications and markets, including agricultural; automotive; building/ construction/ engineering; medical and hygiene; packaging; protective clothing; sports and sportswear; and transport. A subscription to Technical Textile Markets will support your decision making, and provide the information you need to expand into new markets.
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