The world nonwovens industry: part 1-the leading ten producers, March 2017
In this report, the first in a series of three in which the world's top 40 nonwovens producers are profiled, Karen Bitz provides the latest information and analysis about the activities of the world's leading ten producers of nonwovens. For many of these players, sales have declined or remained static due to factors such as pricing pressures. Despite these challenges, however, several companies have made significant investments which are expected to benefit sales in the future. TWE Group, for example, has made a series of acquisitions while Berry Plastics (formerly Avintiv) has invested in a new carding line and a new spunmelt line. Fitesa has installed four new lines and is expected to complete the installation of a fifth line by 2019, and Glatfelter expects to complete a new line later in 2017. Also, Suominen has almost finished installing a huge wet-laid nonwovens line which represents the largest single investment in the company's history. Other companies are focusing on advancing in specific product sectors. For example, Freudenberg Performance Materials is concentrating on filtration and on building and construction while Kimberly-Clark's Partnership Products business is focusing on filtration, sorbents and wipes. There are also some ongoing transformations as DuPont prepares to merge with The Dow Chemical Company while Ahlstrom is merged into Munksjö.