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Nonwovens/​Converting

PGI invests to expand filtration capability in Virginia

Just after we went live this afternoon with the story - US textiles industry is positively buzzing, yet another US investment good news story broke. Polymer Group Inc. (PGI), the world's largest nonwovens manufacturer, announced today that it will make a strategic investment of approximately $8 million to upgrade machinery and expand its manufacturing plant in Waynesboro, Virginia. The company will also hire up to 20 new employees.

25th February 2014

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Charlotte, NC

Medical/Hygiene, Transport/​Aerospace, Protective, Construction, Civil Engineering, Industrial

The investment in the Waynesboro plant, along with the recent acquisition of Fiberweb, expands PGI's spunmelt capabilities and increases PGI's filtration portfolio to include production and development assets for two nanofiber technologies.

In a statement today the company said it will be one of the only nonwovens companies able to produce every component needed to make synthetic composites for enhanced mechanical filtration applications. Using these synthetic composites, PGI will initially target the HVAC, Facemask, Fluid Power and Automotive Cabin Air markets. 

"Filtration is a core business for PGI, and we're dedicated to accelerating growth in this critical segment," said J. Joel Hackney Jr., CEO, PGI. "The investment in Waynesboro will allow us to continue on our path of innovation in the technologies we use to serve the filtration segment, as we work to create a safer, cleaner, healthier world for our families and communities."

By the end of Q2 2014, PGI will refurbish more than 20,000 square feet of the Waynesboro plant, upgrade an existing research and development machine used to create proprietary filtration technology, install two additional assets and improve the existing quality lab with state-of-the-art equipment.

Last year, PGI acquired Fiberweb to become the world's leading manufacturer of nonwovens with an established presence across hygiene, healthcare, wipes and industrial segments. Fiberweb has unique offerings in filtration, with more than two decades of experience creating innovative products. With the acquisition and the investment, PGI's filtration segment is said to be one of the strongest in the industry.

"This is an investment into PGI proprietary technology to expand our capabilities in filtration and bring new innovations to our customers," said Scott Tracey, President, Americas, Global Wipes and Tech Specialties for PGI. "We will be able to explore new opportunities for filtration as we continue our path of global growth."

The City of Waynesboro is providing tax reimbursement incentives for all new machinery and tools purchased for this project and the new additions are scheduled to be completed by July 2014. The investment is one of a number taking place in America’s Southern States where  US and foreign businesses are being wooed with tax breaks, reliable utilities, modern ports and airports and a dependable, trained and non union workforce (see - Textile industry comes back to life, especially in South).

PGI claims to be the world's largest producer, marketer and developer of nonwoven materials with the broadest range of process technologies in the nonwovens industry. The North Carolina-based company operates 20 facilities in 13 countries with an employee base of approximately 4,000 employees and is a supplier to leading consumer and industrial product manufacturers. 

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