Tom J. Zaiser
Chief Executive Officer FiberVisions
How do you look at the market for spunlace, carded thermal bond, needlepunch and spunbond nonwoven process in apparel industry?
All of these processes have their uses and advantages in specific applications. This enables customers to have multiple options to make their fabrics with the best combination of properties and economics.
Reading from the website, "Unmatched product performance and processing, and a customer-centric approach, are helping to address demands and trends in the consumer end-markets of diapers, wipes and feminine care, as well as in the growing non-consumer markets of filtration and technical applications." Can you elaborate on it?
FiberVisions can work closely with our customers to tailor fiber solutions that best meet the customer's performance and economic requirements. We believe that our successful customer-centric approach can be verified by looking at store shelves around-the-world and the result is our position as the leading polyolefin staple fiber producer in the world.
What are the significances of staple-based nonwoven fibres and which are the areas (hygiene, cosmetics, filtration, medical, industrial and agricultural applications) these fibres are used?
Staple fibers can be the lightest of all commercial fibres. Low density enables customers to make a fabric in the same weight range as competing fibres, but with significantly improved coverage. Alternatively these fibres can be produced to make a fabric in a lighter weight range but with the same coverage resulting in lower material cost. Staple fibres can have high tensile strength, can offer excellent resistance to chemicals, and can be made with a broad range of elongation properties. Staple fiber manufacturers offer a wide variety of products to meet the needs of many applications and customers, such as different diameters, finishes, colors, fibre lengths and special additives for enhanced performance. These value-added properties including variations in softness, wettability, opacity, improved adhesion, antimicrobial, and UV resistance.
Regarding application areas, the largest use of these fibers is in hygiene (diapers, feminine care products, wipes). But other areas such as technical fibers (automotive, filtration, geosynthetics, insulation, etc.) have become significant in recent years and are growing quickly.
Talk to us about your future investment plans and how do you want to allocate capital going forward. In which countries do you see the future investment opportunities in the specialized synthetic fibre? What are the reasons?
FiberVisions has manufacturing facilities and sales in the Americas, Europe and Asia. We have invested in all of these areas recently to meet the demands of our customers. With our acquisition in 2012 by Indorama Ventures Limited (IVL), the leading global polyester company, we have gained an even stronger global presence. We are increasing our investment in Asia to serve the growing markets in that region. For example, our joint venture ES FiberVisions just opened a new bi-component fiber plant May 2014 in China and we are currently constructing another bi-component fiber facility in Thailand which will be operational early 2016.
What is the scope for non-woven synthetic fibres in automobile industry? Can you name some applications for nonwovens in this sector?
A growing application for synthetic polyolefin fibers is as binder fibers to enable various parts to be made lighter and improve the mileage of automobiles.
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