Textile Technology section
Lenzing: suspension of 2020 guidance due to COVID-19 crisis
As a result of the global corona crisis, the producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, expects, based on recent developments, a negative impact on its textile sales volume. The potential impact cannot yet be reliably estimated, as it strongly depends on the duration of the crisis as well as its further effects on the global economy and textile markets. Consequently, Lenzing suspends its result forecast for 2020 as disclosed on March 12, 2020, when it expected the result for 2020 to be below the level of 2019. In order to mitigate a potentially stronger than expected decline in earnings, Lenzing has already started to implement cost saving measures across its sites globally.
Sandler: positive result for 2019
With sales of €322 million, the nonwovens manufacturer Sandler AG, Schwarzenbach a.d. Saale/Germany again reports a successful year in 2019 (sales 2018: €322 million). These positive year-end results create the basis for further growth in the dynamic market environment of the nonwovens industry. During the past year, new nonwovens solutions were developed in Schwarzenbach and Perry, GA/USA, and the product range and the company’s position as a partner to international customers had been expanded.
In 2019, the company again invested heavily. A double-digit million euro amount went into the expansion of its headquarters in Schwarzenbach: 2 new nonwovens manufacturing lines increase production capacity in technical applications and are the basis for the expansion of business activities.
Sandler is also gradually expanding its US subsidiary – Sandler Nonwoven Corporation in Perry – into a competence center for nonwovens manufacturing. To the northwest of the existing company building, the new 135,000 ft² (12,540 m²) building has taken shape in recent months. In the coming weeks, the assembly of a further manufacturing line for nonwovens for hygiene applications will commence here. Start of production is scheduled for autumn 2020.
Domo: new plant in Zhejiang
The integrated supplier of polyamides Domo Chemicals NV, Gent/Belgium, has announced plans for a new state-of-the-art plant in Zhejiang/China.
The modern factory will integrate R&D, production, and sales. It will mainly develop and produce modified engineering plastics such as polyamide (PA) 6 and PA66 as well as high temperature polyamide (HTN).
In this, Domo is meeting the rising demand for modified materials for the automotive, electronics and consumer industries. The company plans to install multiple production lines at the new plant, starting with an estimated capacity of 25,000 tons/year of sustainable engineered PA compounds and leading up to a production of 50,000 tons/year. Furthermore, Domo will be investing in new air and water treatment technologies, and in the reduction of water and energy consumption.
Production is expected to commence in the 4th quarter of 2020.
Lenzing: solid 2019 results in a historically difficult market environment
Despite a generally difficult demand environment for textile fibers and a drastic drop in prices for standard viscose, the producer of cellulosic fibers Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, recorded a solid business development in 2019.
Sales fell slightly by 3.3% to €2.10 billion, and EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) fell by 31.7% to €162.3 million year-on-year. Expenditures for research and development (R&D) amounted to €53.2 million in the 2019 financial year (2018: €42.8 million).
In order to meet the high demand for specialty fibers, an investment of more than €1 billion in new production facilities will be made in the coming years. The first expansion phase of this growth plan was approved in H1/2019: the construction of a state-of-the-art lyocell plant in Prachinburi/Thailand, which is the largest of its kind with a capacity of 100,000 tons. Production is expected to start in the H2/2021. The investment volume totals roughly €400 million.
The start-up of the dissolving wood pulp plant being built in Brazil is scheduled for H1/2022. With a capacity of 500,000 tons, the single-line plant will further enhance Lenzing’s independence of raw material markets.
In 2019, the company became the world’s first fiber producer to make a strategic commitment to climate-neutral production. Lenzing aims to implement this vision by 2050. The intermediate goal for 2030 is to reduce emissions by 50% per ton of product compared to 2017.
Itema: new CEO
Effective March 2, 2020, Ugo Ghilardi, is the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the provider of advanced weaving solutions, Itema SpA, Colzate/Italy.
Ghilardi has held positions in various companies in the mechanical and automation industries. He had a long career in DMG Mori AG, Bielefeld/Germany, a German-Japanese multinational company in the production and marketing of machine tools, where he held a variety of senior management positions, including Divisional Board Member Sales & Service EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Chief Operating Officer EMEA with direct responsibility of Sales & Service for all European markets and DMG Mori Europe CEO.
In his new position, Ghilardi will be dedicated to consolidating the Itema’s current position and acquiring new market shares, as well as developing the company’s industrial capacity.
Oerlikon: stable 2019 results despite challenging market environment
In 2019, the Manmade Fibers Segment of the technology group Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, saw sales slightly increased slightly by 0.7% to CHF 1.1 billion, driven by business growth in Europe, China and the rest of Asia (excluding India). The growth was attributed to the filament equipment business in China, which compensated for the decline in carpet yarn and stable fibers businesses. EBIT was CHF 117 million in 2019 (2018: CHF 106 million). Order intake for 2019 slightly decreased by 3.0% to CHF 1.12 billion year-on-year, with the decline most notable in India and in the Americas.
In 2019, the segment presented a number of innovations, including a new eAFK Evo texturing machine with active cooling technology and a new winder based on a 24-end winding concept for the production of fully drawn yarn in the PA 6 process. The year also saw the introduction of the new carpet yarn solutions BCF S8 mono- and tricolor.
Together with its joint venture partner, BBEngineering, Oerlikon Barmag presented an in-house spinning plant recycling solution, VacuFil, to enable process material waste to be reused to manufacture high quality yarns. In 2019, the segment introduced the Oerlikon Nonwoven brand and closed initial deals for nonwoven systems used to manufacture filters and wipes. Furthermore, the segment successfully installed its first smart factory solutions, including data center in a box, in the market.
Karl Mayer/Stoll: acquisition of Stoll
The textile machinery manufacturer Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH, Obertshausen/Germany, has concluded an agreement to acquire the manufacturer of flat knitting machines H. Stoll AG & Co. KG, Reutlingen/Germany. This is part of the Karl Mayer growth strategy.
With the acquisition, Stoll will become part of the global Karl Mayer Group, an independent family business, from July 1, 2020. As a result, Stoll will benefit from the broad global positioning of Karl Mayer’s sales, service and production sites, and from the opportunities for joint development.
The complementary product portfolios and an even greater regional presence in all relevant markets will create new, high-level expertise in the international textile market. The group of companies will thus be even more broadly positioned in the future with the business areas: Warp Knitting, Technical Textiles, Warp Preparation, Flat Knitting and Digital Solutions.
The well-established Stoll brand will be continued unchanged within the Group.
Karl Mayer is therefore not only expanding its portfolio, but is also strengthening its market position with the new brand.
Fig. (L-to-R): Jochen Franke (CFO, Stoll), Andreas Schellhammer (CEO, Stoll), Arno Gärtner (CEO, Karl Mayer), Dr. Helmut Preßl (CFO, Karl Mayer)