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Investment in North American nonwovens industry remains strong

by:XINYU Non-woven     2022-01-23

Investment in the North American nonwovens industry remains strong, with several new line investment plans announced over the past few months. The investments come after an exciting five-year growth period for the industry. Between 2012 and 2017, North America added 663,000 tons of nonwovens capacity, according to INDA, the North American Nonwovens Industry Association.

In 2017, Glatfelter invested more than US$80 million to expand its drylaid paper mill in Arkansas, USA, which was put into production in the fourth quarter. The total production capacity of drylaid paper increased to 130,000 tons/year. The plant has become Glatfelter's specialized production base in the United States and a production center for other low-quantity products.

At the beginning of December 2017, Fitesa's new meltblown production line with a production capacity of 24,000 tons was put into operation at its nonwovens factory in South Carolina, USA.

In February 2018, Suominen decided to launch a new investment growth project worth approximately EUR 6 million at its production plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. The investment involved the installation of new carding machinery representing the latest technology on the existing spunlace line.

According to the plan, it will enhance the capacity of the factory and further support Suominen in developing and supplying new and innovative products that improve lives. Once upgraded, the line will improve Suominen's ability to provide high value-added nonwovens for home care, personal care and workplace wipes, and hygiene applications, all categories in which Suominen seeks to grow. In addition, the investment provides Suominen's customers with a more efficient supply of nonwoven raw materials for baby wipes products.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. will invest $30 million to expand and improve Berkeley Mill, a nonwovens manufacturing facility in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The facility, which produces ingredients for the company's North American adult and feminine care brands, including Kotex's Depend, Poise and U, among others, also manufactures Kimberly-Clark air filtration materials.

On June 7, 2018, Norafin Industries (Germany) GmbH held a grand opening ceremony for its North American plant in Mills River, North Carolina. The new facility, located in Henderson County, North Carolina, is Norafin's first North American manufacturing facility.

Norafin (Americas) Inc. is located in Mills River, North Carolina, with a construction area of u200bu200bapproximately 75,000 square feet and an investment of $18 million. The establishment of the North American manufacturing facility enables Norafin to better serve existing customers, penetrate new markets, and provide a solid platform for continued future growth. The company has been doing sales in Asheville for the past decade. Founded in East Germany in 1985 and headquartered in Mildenau, Germany since 1997, Norafin is a professional manufacturer of spunlace nonwovens for multi-technology applications.

Berry Global Group, Inc. Berry International also recently announced plans to invest in its new Spinlace line, which will use Berry's advanced proprietary process to produce filament spunlace material, located in North Carolina. The existing plant in Mooresville, N.A., is expected to provide 17,000 t/y of new capacity for the North American market next year. The investment will focus on premium applications in the healthcare, hygiene, household cleaning, food service and industrial wipes markets, addressing potential market and customer growth.

“This technology is unique in the market, offering strength, loft, high design flexibility, and 3D imaging capabilities for texture and branding,” said Scott Tracey, president of Berry Health, Hygiene and Professionals . 'By combining Spinlace with Berry's proprietary Apex® technology, we can transplant customizable three-dimensional images directly into fabrics, providing enhanced product performance, recognition and aesthetic appeal through brand differentiation.'

Berry has announced that it will increase its Spinlace capacity in February next year, with the new line supposed to begin commercial production in mid-2019.

Ahlstrom and Munksjo Oyj merged in April 2017, and the new company's name was changed to Ahlstrom-Munksjo Oyj, with sales of 2.2 billion euros in 2017. On June 1 of the same year, Ahlstrom announced that the price of its special non-woven materials used in construction, furniture, hygiene, wound care, clothing and other fields increased by 3%, but the person in charge of the company said that he was not worried about the loss of orders, because the market demand was still hot . In September, Ahlstrom completed the renovation of its U.S. plant, which will be operational shortly thereafter. The plant will be able to produce both filtration products and non-woven wallpaper materials, and its production capacity will also be increased by 200,000 tons.

According to Ahlstrom-Munksjo Oyj's 2018 development plan, benefiting from the rapid growth in demand for battery separators in the United States, Ahlstrom will gradually resume its investment in battery separators, and Ahlstrom's US subsidiary will launch new long-term products in 2018 development plan. Ahlstrom-Munksjo Oyj also plans to divest a handful of existing loss-making businesses and respond to the growing demand for wipes, such as by investing in new production lines.

In June, Israeli wipes and hygiene products maker Albaad said it would invest $45 million in its Reidsville, North Carolina production facility to expand the company's personal care market share .

It is not difficult to see from the above content that many non-woven companies choose North Carolina as their first choice for investment. First of all, due to historical reasons, North Carolina is home to the largest textile mill in the United States and is currently a strong textile industry cluster with more than 700 textile production enterprises. Secondly, its preferential tax and incentive policies have also attracted huge foreign investment.

Since 2013, more than 36 textile companies have invested more than US$675 million in total foreign investment, and North Carolina ranks 2nd in total investment in the US textile industry.

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