Fiberweb is the leading pure-play nonwovens producer in the world, with factories in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Fiberweb, known until recently as BBA Fiberweb, a division of the UK’s BBA Group, was created in the 1990s from the purchase and consolidation of a series of The roll call of the largest acquired companies, and their years of purchase, includes Reemay, 1989; Terram, early 1990s; Fiberweb, 1995; Corovin, 1996; Korma, and Bidim, 1997; Veratec, 1998; AQF Technologies, and Snow Filtration Co., 2000; Superior Nonwovens, and Technofibra, 2003; and Tenotex, 2004.
A restructuring program was begun by CEO Daniel Dayan, shortly after he was hired in June 2005. The program, which continues, closed the Canada PERSONNEL
spunmelting factory, shut multiple lines in the USA and Europe, and ended the joint venture spunbonding factory in Thailand. New lines are going into Sweden, Italy and China, while existing equipment was moved to Germany, Mexico and In November 2006, the BBA Group, after deciding to concentrate on its aviation services business, spun off the nonwovens division, and the newly independent company listed itself on the London Stock Exchange under the name Fiberweb reported 2006 consolidated operating profit of £27.5 million, down 43% compared with 2005, on revenue of £584.7 million, down more than 3%compared with 2005. For the year, the company had a loss of nearly £70 million, andnet debt of £165 million.
The company divides its business into two segments, In April 2006, two lines at the Washougal, Washington, hygiene, and industrial. Last year, the hygiene division factory, a SMS and a spunbond, were shut, and 60 employees reported an operating profit of £14.5 million, down 50% were laid off. At the same time, three lines at the compared with 2005, on sales of £381.5 million, down nearly Simpsonville, South Carolina, plant were slated to stop: a spunbonding machine, which was no longer competitive; a The industrial segment reported operating profit of spunmelting machine, following the loss of a Cardinal Health £14.7 million, down 31% compared with the previous year, contract; and a pilot line. The move affected 100 employees.
on sales of £203.2 million, up 5% on the year.
By the end of the year, one of the two Terram lines in Geographically, 47% of total sales came from North Pontypool, UK, was slated to shut, cutting about 50 jobs. At America, 46% came from Europe, and the remainder came about the same time, workers at the Bethune, South Carolina, factory were notified that two of three aging The company blamed its 2006 results on restructuring thermalbonding lines would be stopped. The 40-year-old charges, raw materials and utilities costs, a power outage at lines produced Novonette medical and wipes fabric. The the Old Hickory, Tennessee, plant, which cost £2 million, new costs associated with the demerger from the BBA Also in late 2006, the company sold to its partners for $10.3 million in cash its 50% ownership in CNC Customers. Procter & Gamble Co. is Fiberweb’s largest International Co. Ltd., a hygiene spunmelting operation in customer. It accounted for about a third of sales in 2005.
Thailand with Reifenhauser equipment: a 3.2-meter-wide Current contracts between Fiberweb subsidiaries and P&G SMS and a 4.2-meter-wide SMMS line. Free of its partners, Fiberweb may launch a new spunmelting facility in Asia.
• More than two-year-long worldwide contract, begun Meanwhile, the company is still looking to sell its in 2007, to supply 250,000 tonnes of spunmelted cotton-bleaching business in Griswoldville, Massachusetts.
fabrics. The deal is worth more than £330 million.
Finally, as the company noted in its initial public offering • Five-year agreement, begun Jan. 1, 2007, for Korma to prospectus: “Single line sites in Fiberweb’s North American supply airlaid core and STC materials.
hygiene business may not continue to be competitive in the • Three-year agreement, begun Jan. 1, 2006, for medium-term given their lack of scale, and therefore further Reemay to supply disposable dryer sheets.
site rationalization may be necessary.” • Extended Simpsonville’s baby wipes fabric agreement As Fiberweb stopped its most uncompetitive equipment, it purchased new machinery and promises to add • Extended Bethune’s baby wipes fabric agreement In 2006, the company bought a Neumag M&J airlaid line • Extended China airlaid agreement by three years.
for its Korma plant in Italy. The line, to start in early 2007, will • Extended research and development programs. produce acquisition-distribution layers for P&G. Also last year, Current contracts with other companies include: the company purchased a Reicofil 4 5.2-meter wide SSMMS • Three-year agreement, begun Jan. 10, 2006, for line for its Norrkoping, Sweden, factory. The machine has Reemay to supply private label housewrap to Johns annual capacity of 20,000 tonnes. The project cost is $25 million. The line will start in the first half of this year.
• An agreement of unstated length, begun Aug. 1, 2005, The purchase of a China-made 2.1-meter-wide drum- for Simpsonville to supply bleached-cotton blend technology airlaid line was announced in early 2007. It is due products to Amantea Nonwovens LLC for resale to to be started in the company’s Tianjin, China, factory in early 2008. The 10,000 tonne line will be built by Shanghai • Extended for three years Simpsonville’s agreement Expansion Industries. The project cost was $12 million.
with Tyco Healthcare, worth about $6.5 million annually.
In April 2006, the company purchased for £2.8 million Some of Fiberweb’s other large customers include the privately held German roofing business Blowitex GmbH.
Kimberly-Clark, SCA, Hartmann, Huish, Huttig and Fiberweb officials have announced that they are considering adding capacity worldwide, but no additionaldetails have been released. However, in last year’s full-year RESTRUCTURING
financial report, the company noted that “capital investment Fiberweb has completed a variety of restructuring will continue at the high level seen in 2006.” measures, and there are more to come.
The company is also reviewing its spunlaced wipes In 2005, the two spunmelting line factory in Canada was business in Europe and the USA. Commodity wipes fabric shut, and the facility’s 79 employees were laid off. One of the prices have been falling on both continents for some time, lines was shipped to the Mexico factory, and the other was and Fiberweb officials are not happy with the business.
sent to the Berlin, Germany, factory.
Solutions include exiting the market.
to supply absorbent core fabric to Procter & Gamble Co. for Bethune, SC. The facility houses a four-year-old Rieter use in domestic femcare products, as well as wet wipes and Perfojet spunlacing line to produce wipes fabric for Procter & Gamble. It also houses a smaller spunlacing line. At least The $68 million plant was constructed in Tianjin, just two of the facility’s three Novonette thermalbonding lines outside Beijing. It has an annual capacity of about 16,000 will be shut this year after a customer ended its medical tonnes. It is a 2.7-meter-wide line incorporating forming products contract, sending the business to China. The third heads supplied by M&J Fibretech. The line is capable of both latex bonding and thermalbonding. The plant also has Grey Court, SC. This facility houses a single Kobelco SS festooning, slitting, and packaging capability.
line. Fiberweb acquired the polyester spunbonding plant in In early 2008, a China-made Shanghai Expansion 2003 from Superior Nonwovens in early 2003. It is now part Industries airlaid line will start up. The line has an annual of the Reemay business based in Old Hickory, Tennessee.
capacity of about 10,000 tonnes. The project was slated to Simpsonville, SC. This facility has significantly changed in the past year. Once the site of the company’s latestspunmelting technology, the factory no longer has EUROPEAN OPERATIONS
spunmelting capacity. Today, the facility houses a high-speed France. The company’s operation in France is located at carding line and one other production line. In 1999, a Biesheim in the northeast of the country. The facility’s main proprietary Korma absorbent core composite line was product is S-Tex fabric. The first proprietary S-Tex coextrusion spunbonded line started in 1996, followed by Old Hickory, TN. This is one of Fiberweb’s oldest another in late 2000. The S-Tex fabric is primarily used for businesses, acquired from DuPont for about $65 million. The purchase included the US-based Typar spunbonded Germany. Fiberweb has four wholly owned facilities in polypropylene and the worldwide Reemay spunbonded Germany: Corovin, Linotec, Fiberweb Berlin, and Blowitex, polyester businesses. The sale included manufacturing facilities for the products at Old Hickory, as well as At one time, the Corovin site had at least seven associated patents, technologies, and inventories. The sale spunbonding lines. Today, the facility produces hygiene did not include DuPont’s manufacturing facility for Typar in materials on two Reicofil 3 SMMS lines with an annual Luxembourg. Snow Filtration, an Ohio filter converting business, was moved to the site in 2004. The factory Linotec Development GmbH was established in 1997 as manufactures filter, housewrap, geotextile and dryer sheet a joint venture by Corovin and machinery manufacturer Reifenhauser GmbH. Linotec is now wholly owned by Washougal, WA. This facility houses a single SSS line Fiberweb. The business developed an ultra-lightweight that produces specialty diaper materials, including stretch spunbonded production process that produces uniform fabrics, a product that was transferred from Simpsonville fabrics with basis weights as low as 8 gsm, and widths up to following last year’s shutdown of the spunbonding line there.
5.4 meters, using a proprietary stretching process. The A new calendering system was also installed. The new company also manufactures standard PE/PP spunbonded business followed last year’s shutdown of two aging Lurgi fabrics on its double-beamed lines, and it can laminate spunbonded fabrics with polyethylene film to create Green Bay, WI. The factory operates a single breathable Linopore brand fabrics. Major applications resinbonding line, producing feminine hygiene acquisition- include hygiene, medical, and industrial.
Fiberweb Berlin is the largest facility today. It houses Fiberweb Mexico. The factory operates two SMS lines four spunbonding lines, including a line moved from Toronto, for hygiene products. The first line was started in 1996. The Canada, which produces roofing fabrics.
second line was moved last year from the former Toronto, The Blowitex business produces residential roofing materials. The business’ capacity is unknown.
Fiberweb South America. The Brazilian site produces Italy. Fiberweb has five production facilities in Italy, spunbonded, needled polyester-based geotextiles, roofing including the factories purchased from Tenotex in 2004 and and apparel fabrics. A carding line was added last year, using Technofibra in 2003. Fiberweb’s production facility at parts from a Simpsonville line, to serve the footwear Trezzano Rosa houses four lines. The newest, started in industry. The project cost $4 million.
Fiberweb’s absorbent core manufacturer, Korma SpA, CHINA OPERATIONS
manufactures laminated absorbent core products for Procter In early 2001, BBA started up its first wholly owned & Gamble. In early 2007, a new Neumag airlaid line is due to production facility in Asia, a greenfield airlaid plant in China Technofibra has two spunlacing lines and a Design Concepts GmbH, 50%; Saudi German Nonwovens Products Co., 15%; and Cordustex (Pty) Ltd., 10%.
The two Tenotex facilities together house three The most significant production venture is believed to through-air bonding lines, three thermalbonding lines, two be the Saudi German business, which operates three spunmelting lines, a resinbonding line and additional spunmelting lines with a total annual capacity of less than equipment, mostly serving the hygiene market.
20,000 tonnes. The lines supply the hygiene and medical Spain. The Tenotex business also includes a factory in Spain. It houses a high-speed thermalbonding line and a two-card Fleissner spunlacing line with pulp capability.
Sweden. Fiberweb is installing a Reicofil 4 SSMMS line Following a worldwide capacity restructuring and at this asset. The line will serve the hygiene market. The modernization program, Fiberweb promises more, new line was originally said to increase the facility’s capacity unspecified, capital upgrades in 2007. At the same time, the by 50%, but this year that figure was dropped to 15%. It is company is focusing on profitable and growing product not known what other equipment still functions at the plant.
On the industrial side, it is seeking to expand sales of Typar and Reemay construction and filtration products, geotextiles and construction fabrics markets. Last year, one maintain its “leading share” in fabric softener and graphic of the site’s two lines was shut, and the remaining line was arts wipes, and commercialize digital printer wipes and given a £1 million upgrade. The improved line will be able to make fabric for railway beds and military applications.
On the hygiene side, the company continues to review its future in wipes, while it continues to develop elastic and JOINT VENTURES/INVESTMENTS
other new materials. Finally, it intends to strengthen its Fiberweb participates in the following five joint relationship with its most important customer, Procter & ventures, including ownership percentages: Coratech Gamble, and develop new customers while it “reduce[s] GmbH, 25.1%; Coronor Composites GmbH, 50%; Advanced Fiberweb PLC Production (Nonwovens Markets Estimates)
Manufacturing Location
Fabric properties
BrazilTel.: (+55) 12 3946 4645Fax: (+55) 12 3922 0551 Fiberweb (China) Airlaid 1 M&J airlaid line, thermal , Tianjin 300457 ChinaTel.: (+86) 22 2532 9333 (EPS) airlaid line(To start in early 2008) Tel.: (+33) 389 72 4700Fax: (+33) 389 72 8982 Daimlerstrasse 3D 06449 AscherslebenGermany D 31201 PeineGermanyTel.: (+49) 5171 408 0Fax: (+49) 5171 408 999 ItalyTel.: (+39) 0331 836 01Fax: (+39) 0331 836 060 Fiberweb PLC Production (Nonwovens Markets Estimates)
Manufacturing Location
Fabric properties
ItalyTel.: (+39) 039 6284 71Fax: (+39) 039 62847700 7,400 tonnes,including thesecondItalian plant 9,700 tonnes,510 millionsquaremeters,including thesecond Italianplant Fiberweb Tenotex SpA 1 through air bond line with GTOMexicoTel.: (+52) 42 110 900Fax: (+52) 42 110 999 Fiberweb PLC Production (Nonwovens Markets Estimates)
Manufacturing Location
Fabric properties
Ctra. de VillenaOntenienteE 03460 Benejama(Alicante)SpainTel.: (+34) 965 822 331 S 60119 NorrköpingSwedenTel.: (+46) 11 24 4400Fax: (+46) 11 640 75 PontypoolGwent NP4 0YRUKTel.: (+44) 1495 767 444Fax: (+44) 1495 762 393 Gray Court, SC 29645USATel.: (+1) 864 876 5040Fax: (+1) 864 876 4315(Formerly SuperiorNonwovens) USATel.: (+1) 864 967 5600Fax: (+1) 864 967 5695 Fiberweb PLC Group Production (Nonwovens Markets Estimates)
Manufacturing Location
Fabric properties
Tel.: (+1) 615 847 7000Fax: (+1) 615 847 7068 USATel.: (+1) 360 835 8787Fax: (+1) 360 835 2546 Green Bay, WI 54304USATel.: (+1) 920 336 0222 GLOBAL NONWOVENS COMPANY PROFILES
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• History - How the company was formed and how it evolved in the nonwovens industry; plus details on the latest mergers & acquisitions.
• Raw Material Demand - Who's using which raw materials for their •E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co. •Polyfelt GMBH products. Subsidiaries/Joint Ventures - What markets each company serves and where those markets are located.
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