Over time I expect Asia to be the largest producer of technical textiles
Daniel Dayan, CEO of Fiberweb talks about the developments in technical textiles during an interview with Fibre 2Fashion Correspondent Manushi Gandhi. Synopsis: Fiberweb Plc. is a leading technical textile producer based in UK. The company’s turnover in the year 2012 was more than 300 million pounds. From 1995 to 2002, BBA Group Plc. did several acquisitions of nonvowen companies of the US and UK, including Fiberweb. In the year 2006, there was a demerger of Fiberweb and BBA Group and Fiberweb was listed independently on the London Stock Exchange (FWEB:LN) as Fiberweb plc. Today Fiberweb is a global brand for technical textile offering products that are used in building construction, rails and pools. Daniel Dayan is the CEO of Fiberweb since 2005. Before this, he was associated with Novar Plc. for seven years. He has an experience in manufacturing process, business and commercial relations, and international operations. He served as a Non-Executive Director of Stobart Group Limited between 2009 and 2011 and was appointed as a Trustee of the human rights charity Freedom from Torture in 2009. Mr. Dayan has earned an engineering degree from University of Cambridge. Excerpts:
Fiberweb has several unique technologies, such as Reemay which is a spunbond polyester fabric and Typar which is a very strong polypropylene fabric. Terram was one of the first spunbond geotextiles which is still being developed today. S-Tex is very soft polypropylene spunbond with relatively high elongation which makes it very appropriate for several important personal hygiene applications. We use Reemay products and a wide range of carded products in filtration, including one of the first filtration fabrics that complies with the European standard EN779. Our unique polyethylene nonwovens are largely used in medicinal fabrics. So, I think all these are very good examples of unique technology which Fiberweb and its predecessor companies followed in the market over the last several decades and we even continue to innovate today. Our latest innovation in geotextiles is notable specifically for the railway industry. Our Hydrotex used in rails is very effective. It filters fine clay particles and has water control properties. So, we have a long history and heritage to provide leading and unique fabrics.
Yes, I think it has to be so. One needs technical as well as management experience. It is equally important to be able to hire and manage excellent finance people, engineering people, scientists and sales & commercial people. So, I think one’s management expertise has to be wide ranging. We are an engineering and technology based company so it’s hard to imagine not needing some level of expertise in engineering and manufacturing of chemicals and fibers business. I am a chemical engineer. I worked in a chemical industry for a considerable time. I have also worked in building products industry for a good time and also in electrical products industry before joining Fiberweb in 2005. My experience varies in a range of manufacturing industries of chemicals and factories processing electronic products. I have had a considerable experience in business management and business development.
I think it is well recognized that in some of the big industries the usage of nonwovens or technical textiles have created significant changes and one obvious example of it is, the increased use of disposable baby and adult diapers. These products are taken for granted in many parts of the world. The usage of such products has been possible with the development in technical textiles. In the automobiles area, a key use of technical textiles is for noise and heat insulation, energy control and they can be very helpful in reducing the energy consumption through reducing the weight of a vehicle. In buildings it is used for controlling the quantity of light entering inside. In geotextiles the usage of technical textiles allows construction to have a longer life with lesser impact on the environment. It has enormous impact on sanitation around the world. In medical area the use of technical textiles makes cost effective disposable garments possible, which has improved hygiene and reduced costs. This makes it accessible to more and more people. There are a lot of examples which are very important in various large industries.
Today of course that region is Asia. There are very big technical textile industries in Europe, North America and Asia. Because of population growth and economic growth Asia is becoming the most important arena today. But given that the added value per cubic metre for our products is relatively low, transporting large quantities of products is also not very economical so, over the time we would expect that it will follow what world population or wherever the market demands are. In general, over a very long time period, the industry will grow in all these regions. So, Asia is a very important region in terms of technology development and also North America. With different companies having different technical expertise more industries will be set up in various places. Some of our products are made in Europe and some in North America. But, over the time I expect Asia to be the largest producer.
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