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Barmag and Neumag celebrate 50 years in the USA

With a service station opened in Dalton, GA, in 2015, Oerlikon Manmade Fibers is showing a strong support of its customer.

21st August 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Charlotte, NC/Dalton, GA

Industrial, Interiors, Transport/​Aerospace, Civil Engineering, Construction

Barmag and Neumag, which are part of the Germany headquartered Oerlikon Manmade Fibers, with its US activities and subsidiaries, have been active in the US textile market for the last 50 years.

The American Barmag Corporation and the Neumag USA Corporation have been important cornerstones of the Group’s foreign business for many years now and made some valuable contributions to the development of the American textile sector, the manufacturer reports.

The laying of the foundation stone for the American Barmag Corporation on August 16, 1965 marked the beginning of the successful 50-year presence of the current Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment in the USA. © Oerlikon Manmade Fibers

With a service station in Dalton, GA, which opened in 2015, Oerlikon Manmade Fibers is making a clear statement about the high value it attributes to the support of its customer. “We wanted to strengthen our service offerings and Dalton is an important step towards achieving this goal”, commented Chip Hartzog, President of Oerlikon Textile in the USA. “And our customers are also investing in this region.”

Establishing US subsidiary

Exactly 50 years ago, Barmag decided to establish its first US subsidiary. In 1965, the USA was the largest manufacturer of manmade fibres, producing one-third of global output. Barmag’s business activities in the US were still limited to occasional deliveries.

In 1958, the company had signed a license agreement with a US partner for the manufacture of extruders and extrusion systems – a new production segment at the time. However, the US market was now awarded special attention: to secure its position as a machine supplier, “its own company in the USAwas required, the manufacturer reports.

As the US textile industry has been traditionally concentrated in the cotton centres in the South-eastern states, the economically-strong Charlotte site in North Carolina was chosen as the base. From here, the company wanted to show its presence and compete with local players in the USA, Canada and Mexico.


A story began with the founding of the American Barmag Corporation (ABC) and initially just two employees, the company recalls. Over the three following years, US imports of textile machines rose to a ratio of 27%, whereby Germany alone accounted for well in excess of one-third of these imports. The reasons for this were seen in the high quality and performance standards achieved by the German technology.

50 years after establishing the first subsidiary of what is today the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment, the filament and BCF yarn manufacturing machine and systems construction market leader opened a further service station in Dalton, GA. © Oerlikon Manmade Fibers

Barmag introduced products, such as the FK4, and later the FK6, the FK6M80 all the way through to the AFK and eAFK texturing machines, polyester and nylon spinning machines, winders and take-up machines, which opened up the hitherto natural fibre-dominated US market for the manmade fibres, according to the manufacturer.

In the first ten years, the ABC staff had already expanded to include 76 employees. On its own 80,000m2 industrial plot, the company’s site was expanded to more than 5,000m2 – providing premises for workshops, mechanical manufacturing, warehousing, offices and exhibitions rooms. In 1968, the US became Barmag’s largest export region and remained in the top group in the following years as well.

Neumag USA Corporation

The Neumag USA Corporation was founded in 1989, also headquartered in Charlotte. Two employees were responsible for the US and Mexico markets, while the most important spare parts were stored at the depot for fast delivery.

In the 1990s, Neumag secured itself a market share of around 40% in the US with its BCF business – above all thanks to the new company in Charlotte. Neighbour and competitor Barmag was also successful: ABC repeatedly reported record sales, increased its staff to 240 employees and influenced the entire US manmade fibre and textile industry with such developments as draw-texturing and fast-speed spinning for POY.

New age

A new age of textiles began at the turn of the millennium. The global textile industry was increasingly shifting to the Far East, with the major players reorienting themselves – also in the direction of manmade fibres. In 2000, the Swiss Saurer Group acquired Barmag and Neumag, with the Oerlikon Group taking over the textiles division of Saurer six years later. During these years, the businesses were consolidated and restructured.

Meanwhile, the modern US textile market, once the birthplace of many commercial manmade fibres, has reoriented itself – creating a mix of commodities, specialty goods and products for local requirements or goods with high value-added. Sustainability and recycling are now playing an increasingly major role. This creates opportunities for Oerlikon Manmade Fibers. “We are adding BCF, IDY, FDY and texturing capacities in North America and are also modernizing equipment delivered many years ago,” said Chip Hartzog.

We recognize an opportunity to better support our industry partners, further decrease their lead times for parts and services and provide highly-specialized repair services to keep them competitive in the worldwide marketplace. This was a primary reason for our investment in the new Dalton Service Center. We have been the technological ambassador to the US for 50 years now – and are prepared to continue that tradition.”

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