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Freudenberg Performance Materials opens new production facility in China

The company aims to meet the increasing demand for high-quality car roof linings and especially for quality printed products in Asia.

13th September 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Weinheim


Freudenberg & Vilene Nonwovens, a leading manufacturer of innovative technical textiles, has brought a new production line for car headliners into operation at its Suzhou site in eastern China.

With the opening of the new production facility, the company expects to meet the increasing demand for high-quality car roof linings and especially for quality printed products in Asia.

Freudenberg & Vilene Nonwovens is currently the only manufacturer in China with its own printing facility. Freudenberg Performance Materials is the specialist nonwovens arm of the Freudenberg Group. In China, the Group is represented by Freudenberg & Vilene Nonwovens, a joint venture with Japan Vilene Company, Tokyo.

Functionality and sustainability

Freudenberg & Vilene Company headliners are based on nonwovens and can be finished in various ways to provide additional functionality. Apart from abrasion resistance, acoustic properties and improved stain resistance, these products are said to contribute to a marked reduction in vehicle weight when combined with other vehicle components.

In addition, the company also uses a proportion of recycled products in the manufacture of its products. In this way, Freudenberg aims to help its customers to reduce their environmental footprint. The new facility will also enable the company to increase its production volumes.

“The expansion of our activities in China underlines our expertise in automotive headliners. This move will also further underscore our position as a leading and reliable partner for our customers,” commented Bruce Olson, President and CEO of Freudenberg Performance Materials.

Printed headliners

The automotive market in Asia continues to grow. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), car sales in China alone grew by more than 7% in the first half 2016, compared to the same period in the previous year.

Demand for high-quality products is increasing and is especially strong for printed headliners. Asian OEMs show a marked preference for printed headliners that meet the high quality of Japanese and Korean design standards.

“Freudenberg & Vilene Company is currently the only manufacturer in Asia with automotive in-house printing capabilities. This gives us the ability to offer customers innovative, individualized products with the most up-to-date designs while ensuring consistently high quality”, explained Dr Frank Heislitz, Chief Technology Officer of Freudenberg Performance Materials. Freudenberg & Vilene Company first introduced printed headliners to the market in 2010.

Freudenberg Performance Materials

Freudenberg Performance Materials is a leading manufacturer of innovative technical textiles offering differentiated value propositions to a broad range of markets and applications, such as apparel, automotive, building materials, hygiene, medical, shoe and leather goods, as well as specialties.

In 2015, the company generates sales of almost EUR 980 million and has 25 manufacturing sites in 14 countries and more than 3,800 associates. The company is part of the Freudenberg Group. In 2015, the Freudenberg Group employed over 40,000 people in some 60 countries worldwide and generated sales of more than EUR 7.5 billion.

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