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Polymer Processing Solutions Division

40 million




1.5 bn

1.6 bn

A global market leader for solutions and systems used to manufacture polymer processing solutions, the Polymer Processing Solutions Division is represented by the brands Oerlikon Barmag, Oerlikon Neumag, Oerlikon Nonwoven and Oerlikon HRSflow. The division’s solutions enable customers to produce high-quality synthetic fibers that are processed into clothing, carpets, airbags, safety belts, hygiene products, geotextiles and industrial textiles. 

The division also offers innovative hot runner systems under the brand Oerlikon HRSflow to help customers produce complex and accurate polymer parts that require high design flexibility, fast color change and low weight. The division also provides consulting, engineering and life cycle management services and is at the forefront of developing Industry 4.0-based smart plant solutions.

The division achieved one of its highest annual order intake and sales and improved its operational EBITDA in 2022. It accounted for 52% of the Oerlikon Group’s 2022 sales and 49% of Group operational EBITDA. The division experienced strong market demand in the first half of 2022, but saw some order postponements toward the end of the year due to discretionary spending decline. 

Order intake increased by 8.3% (12.4% FX-adjusted) to CHF 1 572 million year-over-year and sales increased by 11.7% (16.2% FX-adjusted) to CHF 1 525 million, driven by filament and non-filament and in part by the Oerlikon HRSflow business, which recorded all-time high sales and notably increased its market share.

Operational EBITDA in 2022 improved 14.6% year-over-year to CHF 244 million, or 16.0% of sales, attributed to positive impacts from operating leverage, cost control and acquisition. Operational EBIT for 2022 was CHF 187 million (2021: CHF 163 million), or 12.2% of sales (2021: 12.0%).

Regional Development

In 2022, the division saw sales increase in Asia-Pacific, Europe and other regions. Europe accounted for 13%, Asia-Pacific 75% (thereof: China 60%, India 14%) and the Americas 12% of division sales.

China remained the division’s major sales market. The division secured further wins from customers, for example a notable order from the Shenghong group for its proprietary WINGS POY technology. Pre-oriented yarns (POY) are used to produce a wide range of fashion, sports, functional and home textiles.

In line with its diversification efforts, the division has been growing its business in other parts of Asia. India and Bangladesh, for example, are increasingly investing in polymer and textile manufacturing, and both markets offer good opportunities for further polymer processing projects.

In 2022, Oerlikon was able to commission a 300-tons-per-day film-grade continuous polycondensation plant through its joint venture Oerlikon Barmag Huitong (Yangzhou) Engineering in India. The customer, Sumilon Industries Limited, is currently the largest manufacturer and exporter of metallic yarn and one of the leading manufacturers of BOPET film, metalized film and lacquered film.

Bangladesh is today the world’s second-largest exporter of textiles and is planning to expand into raw material production (MEG, PTA) and continuous polycondensation- technologies that are provided by Oerlikon. Currently, Oerlikon is building its first “From Melt to Yarn and Fibers” plant, for the customer Modern Syntex, in the city of Chittagong.

Another growing market for the division is Turkey. In 2022, a customer, Sasa, ordered six staple fiber lines from Oerlikon Neumag, with a capacity of 225 tons per day each. This is a part of Sasa’s plan to be able to produce 4 × 225 tons of cotton type fibers per day, and 2 × 225 tons of special yarns per day, that is bicomponent fibers that consist of two distinct raw material components in a ­single fiber.

Other Key Developments

In 1922, Oerlikon Barmag was founded as Barmer Maschinenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft (Barmag). In 2022, 100 years later, Oerlikon Barmag is a leading supplier of manmade fiber spinning systems with revolutionary and market-leading products such as WINGs. It marked its 100th anniversary with celebrations around the world in a series of events for employees and customers.

Today, Oerlikon Barmag places a strong focus on developing new and sustainable innovations and leveraging digitalization. Since the end of the last decade, Oerlikon Barmag has been one of the world’s first producers implementing fully networked smart factories for globally leading polyester manufacturers.

In 2022, Oerlikon participated with its whole product portfolio for the plastic industry in the K 2022, a leading international trade fair for the plastics industry. Oerlikon presented a broad range of products and services for numerous applications and stages along the entire process chain of manufacturing and processing polymers. The focus was on raw material preparation based on modern polycondensation and extrusion systems, the latest recycling technologies, efficient hot runner systems, innovative coating solutions, sustainable nonwoven manufacturing processes for filtration applications and high-quality gear metering pumps. 

To improve productivity and efficiency, the division is investing in a new modernized factory in China, in the city of Wuxi. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in May 2022 and the start of production is planned for August 2023. The new plant is larger and more modern, featuring ergonomic manufacturing and adhering to the very latest safety and environmental standards. 

In South Korea, a new office was opened to provide Oerlikon HRSFlow solutions. The local presence in this important automotive market will help to increase market share in automotive. 

FLEXflow servo driven valve gate system

Sustainable Hot Runner Systems

Automotive remains the key sales market for HRSflow, in which it continues to provide multiple solutions. An example in 2022: together with Techniplas PD Systems, Covestro, Engel Austria and Summerer Technologies, Oerlikon HRSflow was one of the partners to develop the futuristic Mercedes star pattern panel that is used in the manufacturer’s EQS series. For the injection molding process, an 11-door FLEXflow hot runner technology was employed.

To expand in non-automotive markets, Oerlikon HRSflow developed a new product portfolio for packaging and medical applications, focusing on rPET and biopolymers, which won a significant number of new customers. For example, together with French customer Collomb, the business unit developed a thin wall packaging injection mold and hot runner system.

In the packaging market, customers are striving for thinner and lighter containers to reduce the use of plastic and to increase the use of biomaterials in food packaging. An innovation that fulfills these expectations is the new hot runner system Line Xp series that will be launched in April 2023. The new Xp valve gate nozzles are designed for high injection pressures of up to 2 200 bar. They enable very fast injection and cycle times in a stable process with high part-to-part weight consistency and without compromising quality and surface finish. 

Oerlikon HRSflow presented in 2022 the new Vp and Vf series, a new multicavity line for injection molding of small parts, such as caps and closures with weights from 0.95 g to 2.4 g, with very high requirements for fast cycles, targeted for market segments such as medical technology, beverages, home goods, beauty and personal care and technical applications.

Oerlikon HRSflow also made inroads in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. For instance, it is jointly developing and commissioning an energy- and machine-saving sustainable hot runner system within the Siebenwurst injection molding process for BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, Germany.

R&D and Innovation

In 2022, Oerlikon launched its new hycuTEC hydro-charging solution. This new technology for charging nonwovens increases filter efficiency to more than 99.99%. For meltblown producers, this means material savings of 30% with significantly superior filter performance. For end consumers, it noticeably improves comfort resulting from significantly reduced breathing resistance. With its considerably lower water and energy consumption, this new development is also a future-proof, sustainable technology.

In November, HycuTEC won the biannual Innovation Award at the Filtrex 2022 conference, as one-third of the votes from around 100 filtration media professionals chose the innovation from four shortlisted nominations. The Filtrex Innovation Award is the only award that recognizes innovation in the filtration industry.


In 2022, Oerlikon further developed its AIM4DTY solution. AIM4DTY – Artificially Intelligent Manufacturing for DTY – is a digital system that continuously “learns” using data from yarn tension trend charts and their respective fault information by means of machine learning and artificial intelligence. By automatically and smartly recognizing different fault patterns, faults and deviations are identified more swiftly. The system can significantly reduce the processing time of manual monitoring and analysis, provide faster feedback to experts to improve troubleshooting, measure effectiveness, and thus continually optimize the processes and production efficiency.

In 2022, Oerlikon HRSflow revised the software for the control unit of its FLEXflow hot runner systems. Easy and intuitive, the updated user interface of FLEXflow Control Unit, HMI 4.0, is a web-based solution accessible through a standard PC or tablet. The updated Human Machine Interface (HMI) 4.0 now makes operation even more intuitive and convenient. Systems with different nozzle types can be integrated and several parameter sets can be saved per mold. Extended possibilities have been added to individually control each servo motor for nozzle needle positioning and to monitor process stability. In addition, specific user accounts for individual access authorizations can now be set up and managed. Thanks to the web connection, access to the control unit is possible regardless of location.

Partnering with a potential customer, the division succeeded in converting its meltblown line to process polylactide (PLA), a polyester based on renewable raw materials such as sugar cane or corn. The meltblown line included ecuTEC – an inline static charging unit. The result was a successfully certified PLA face mask, which is a noteworthy development to enable the production of bio-degradable face masks, and thus removing the problematic discard of face masks and reducing waste. The potential customer is planning production sites in Germany and the UAE.

Oerlikon’s joint venture company BB Engineering has been looking at the topic of recycling for many years. Its VacuFil is a unique and innovative PET recycling line, uniting gentle large-scale filtration and targeted IV regulation for consistently outstanding rPET melt quality. It can be used for various recycling applications as it processes a variety of input materials – post-production and post-consumer – and converts them directly into new textile products. In 2022, BB Engineering expanded its melt filter portfolio with a patented large-area vacuum filter specifically for the treatment of polyester waste. The Visco+ filter is a core component of the VacuFil system, but is now also available as a separate component for upgrading existing systems and can be easily integrated. 

Partnering with Haelixa, the division is looking to enable proprietary and innovative solutions to physically mark, trace and authenticate products from producer to retail, thereby creating transparency along the entire supply chain (linear or circular). The solution can be applied to textiles, gold, diamonds and other products or raw materials.

To leverage synergies within the Group, Oerlikon HRSflow is working with Oerlikon AM to additively manufacture cooling circuits for all market segments and is jointly working with Oerlikon Balzers to develop innovative surface protection coatings for all molded part surfaces to increase their corrosion resistance.