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The Manmade Fibers Segment is a market leading solutions provider for manmade fiber manufacturing. The segment is composed of the Oerlikon Barmag and Oerlikon Neumag brands. Its solutions include filament spinning and winding equipment, texturing machines, bulked continuous filament (BCF-carpet yarn) systems, staple fibers systems, nonwovens and polycondensation solutions, which are used in a broad range of applications for the apparel and home textiles as well as for hygiene, industrial and geotextiles markets. Regionally, the segment’s focus lies in China, India, Europe, Turkey and the Americas. In addition to providing manufacturing equipment and polycondensation plant design and project management, the segment also offers engineering, consulting and digital solutions as well as comprehensive customer services.

Over the next three years, the filament equipment market is expected to continue developing positively as it remains buoyed by the wave of investments in China. To sustain its top-line development, the Segment will continue to strengthen its existing market leadership position by introducing new innovations and next generation equipment. The segment will also improve its customer services capabilities and further grow its non-filament equipment businesses such as for staple fibers and nonwovens, within and outside of China. Additionally, the segment is leveraging Industry 4.0 technologies to bring customers new and groundbreaking digital solutions, designed specially for the textile manufacturing market.

Development in Industrial Markets

In 2018, the segment maintained its leadership position and captured 47 % of the total filament equipment market, anchored by strong sales from China. Growth in the filament equipment space was driven primarily by large-scale orders and sales in China, supplemented by strong performance in India, and has project times extending into 2021. Strong filament equipment demand provided a stable project landscape for texturing machines, resulting in a record year of sales.

Sales in other manmade fiber markets were also robust with carpet yarn equipment demand experiencing significant growth of 59.3 %, most notably in the U.S. while the first successes in nonwovens equipment has resulted in a 190 % sales increase, albeit starting at a low level. Oerlikon Barmag Huitong Engineering also succeeded to secure notable polymer processing equipment and systems wins in 2018. The segment’s new nonwovens business unit has built a promising pipeline of orders, primarily in Europe and Asia. Dedicated to focusing on this high-growth and promising market, the segment is partnering with Shaoyang Textile Machinery in China to jointly advance the offering and sales of nonwovens in the competitive hygiene industry.

Development in Regions

Generating 55 % of the Manmade Fibers Segment revenue, China continues to be the segment’s largest market in 2018. Already at the beginning of 2018, the segment was awarded two large orders totaling over CHF 500 million from two Top 10 global manmade fiber manufacturers. This high level of filament equipment sales led to a robust demand for texturing (DTY, Drawn Texturized Yarn) machines in China as well as sales growth in the industrial yarn sector.

In 2018, India accounted for 11 % of the segment’s sales, up from 15 % in 2017. The strong performance in India was driven mainly by strong demand for filament equipment, texturing and staple fiber equipment from large commercial multi-filament and polyester yarn manufacturers. Europe, particularly Turkey, remains a key market for the segment and contributed 15 % of total sales with increased demand for all products. In North America, accounting for 9 % of the segment’s 2018 sales, there was a noticeable uptick in orders this year attributed to the healthy growth of the carpet yarn market in the U.S. and supported by a strong customer service business.

+44.8%

CHF 1 157 million

+57.3%

CHF 1 098 million

11.7%

13 

2 824 

31 

CHF million

Strengthening Technology Portfolio

The Manmade Fibers Segment introduced several new equipment and software technology innovations in 2018. One standout innovation is the Staple FORCE S 1100, which was showcased at ITMA Asia + CITME, the world’s largest textile trade show. The economical, flexible and compact Staple FORCE S 1100 staple fiber system has an advanced process control scheme to produce small batches of fibers and can be quickly reconfigured for polymer, dye and titer changes. This results in more accurate and consistent fiber quality, lower manufacturing costs and more efficient operations.

At ITMA Asia, Oerlikon also introduced its digital yarn factory, Factory 4.0, displaying the artificial intelligence, machine learning and human machine interface (HMI) solutions developed in 2018. An innovative digital factory component to note is the AIM4DTY, an automated solution using machine learning to identify error causes in texturing machines, resulting in reduced quality risks. Other new products and technologies announced in 2018 include an automated solution to cleaning spinnerets and a new IT infrastructure for textile customers, coined the “datacenter in a box”, that is more powerful and flexible.

Strategic Acquisitions and Divestitures

The segment made two strategic acquisitions and one divestiture in 2018 to support future growth. The segment announced the divestment of its tape and monofilament technologies to the Austrian Starlinger Group, allowing the segment to focus on its core filament, staple fiber and nonwovens businesses. Expanding its product portfolio and business model, the segment acquired AC-Automation and the technology of PE Polymer Engineering Plant Construction. The AC-Automation acquisition provides the segment with additional largescale plant automation logistic capabilities for packaging, high-bay storage and other solutions, adding another key core component to its current production plants and process technology solutions. By acquiring the technology of PE Polymer Engineering, the segment broadens its product range to include the melt preparation process step of polymers, as well as enters the high-end polyamide 6 (PA6, nylon) granulate market for the engineering plastics and film packaging markets.

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