Fehrer Sees Bright Future

Nonwovens Technology

Textile World Asia Special ReportFehrer Sees Bright Future

Examples of nonwovens used in the automotive industry include headliners.Thanks to new
technologies for the auto industry and strong global sales in 2004, Austria based
Textilmaschinenfabrik Dr. Ernst Fehrer AG sees a positive outlook for 2005.Nonwovens Technology For
AutomotiveNonwovens technology has long been used in the automotive industry. Standard applications
include trunk liners consisting of flat and random velour. In addition, the Fehrer Pitch Velour
technology allows the creation of ribs with a small rib distance, opening the way to new products
such as side linings for front seats and door linings.Fehrer’s latest development in this field is
Rhombic Velour technology, which, the company said, offers innovative automotive textile designs,
including diagonal ribs and rhombic designs, as well as originality and a quick return on
investment.Because of requirements such as lighter weights and cost reductions through fiber
savings, abrasion resistance, economic production and an absence of needle marks, automotive
headliners are among the most demanding needled products. As a rule, the products should be in the
200-grams-per-meter weight range.Moreover, strict surface quality needs result in needling
densities of 600 punches per centimeter. Erko-Fehrer technology — a result of cooperation between
Germany-based Erko and Fehrer in the area of complete production lines for high-end nonwovens
products — answers all these demands and facilitates production at 15 meters to 20 meters per
minute in lines designed to fulfill specific speed requests.

Example of novenwoven used in in hood liners.Automotive insulation products are of growing
significance because of more stringent vehicle acoustic design requirements. According to Fehrer,
its V21/R-K12 high-loft aerodynamic web-forming technology provides multiple advantages for this
product family, such as simple line design, high production rates, the use of pure recycled fibers
and blends, customized resilience and compression resistance, and an ability to produce
double-layer webs for new acoustic insulation products.Moreover, Fehrer’s web-forming technology
also allows the processing of blends of natural fibers such as flax, hemp, jute and kenaf, as well
as glass fibers in combination with polypropylene for structural parts such as door panels and
trunk shelves, among others.Sales Around The World Remain StrongAccording to Fehrer, the Middle
East remains an extremely strong market region for the company. A recent order came from Iran for a
complete Erko-Fehrer production line that includes a Fehrer Carpet Star¨ for the carpet industry.
Another customer selected the Rhombic Velour technology to enhance existing random velour
capacity.The interest among central and eastern European companies in Fehrer technology also is
considerable, as evidenced by the recent sale of a V21/R K12 high-loft aerodynamic web-forming line
to a producer of thermobonded, polyester waddings for furniture. High-loft waddings have extremely
high compression resistance and resilience due to vertical fiber adjustment, said Fehrer.In the
United States, the trend towards investment in more productive and innovative technology has
continued. For example, Fehrer said one of the largest carpet manufacturers purchased a Carpet Star
because it offers speeds of up to 23 meters per minute for rib production, the ability to create
innovative and new patterns, and unsurpassed hobnail production capacity.Meanwhile, a Chinese
manufacturer of man-made leather decided to extend its value-added chain by adding nonwovens
production capacity to its in-house capabilities. Following a lengthy selection process, the
company opted for an Erko- Fehrer solution with a fiber opener, card and cross-lapper from Erko and
a complete needling line including H1 technology from Fehrer.

Feher recently sold a V21/R K12 High-loft aerodynamic web-forming line to a producer of
thermobonded, polyester waddings for furniture.DREF
® Sales SuccessfulAn existing DREF
® 2 friction spinning machine customer active in the area of technical yarns for the
nonasbestos sector has purchased a DREF 3000 machine. Apart from its high performance, the machine
also was selected because of its flexibility in the fiber range and yarn types, and end-product
sectors, said Fehrer.An Austrian wool spinner that is moving into the technical yarn sector has
purchased a DREF 2000 after receiving several inquiries for hybrid yarns. These hybrid yarns will
be used for heatproof and cutproof woven and knitted fabrics, asbestos substitutes and reinforced
plastics, among other end-products.In Germany, a DREF 2 customer active in the recycling of waste
into very coarse yarns in various ranges has added a new DREF 2000 to its production capacity. This
machine also will cover some technical applications such as the production of filter cartridge

January/February 2005