Friday 17 January 2014

Freudenberg Upgrades Spunlaid Lines

Weinheim, January 17, 2014 – Freudenberg Nonwovens, one of the world’s largest and most diverse producers of nonwovens, is upgrading its spunlaid production. The company is investing several million euros at its Durham and Kaiserslautern sites. Both investment projects relate to the further technical development of existing lines and follow Freudenberg’s decades-long tradition of continuous process improvement.

Both major projects will enhance product quality. Following modernization the lines will be able to manufacture nonwovens of a higher quality with improved performance properties. The investment in Durham will also increase Freudenberg Nonwovens’ flexibility in supplying global markets. “As a result, we are strengthening our global position as a technological leader and responding to market demand for higher-quality materials”, Dr. Frank Heislitz, CTO of Freudenberg Nonwovens, said.

Advanced production technology will be installed on one of the three existing spunlaid lines in Durham, allowing the company to further improve the quality of its nonwovens used for filter materials, OEM automotive carpeting and carpet tile backings. “We are optimizing our manufacturing process and enhancing the performance of our production system with this investment”, Raoul Farer, Technical Director in Durham, commented. The Durham facility was opened in 1983 and currently has a headcount of some 160.

In Kaiserslautern, which currently employs just under 260 people, an existing pilot line which provides a good platform for product developments already at the planning stage or in the pipeline for the future will be upgraded. “This project will lead to improvements in the quality of the product’s physical properties, allowing us to proactively serve the needs of our customers”, Dr. Volker Röhring, Head of Process Development in Kaiserslautern, said. This will bring benefits not only in the automotive, carpet and filter segments, but also for customers in the shoe and construction sectors. The original unit commissioned in 1970 was one of Freudenberg Nonwovens’ first spunlaid lines in Kaiserslautern.

Both investments will be completed during the fourth quarter of 2014. The investment at both sites is a clear commitment to spunlaid technology and part of a comprehensive international technology strategy.

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