Glass fiber supplier Johns Manville (JM) announced plans to expand its current fiber production capacities at its facility in Trnava, Slovakia. Company officials would not disclose many specifics about the extent of the new capacity but did say that the fibers help the company prepare for growth in key emerging applications in transportation and infrastructure.
The plant in Trnava was opened in 2004. In a company statement Enno Henze, vice president and general manager for engineered products Europe/Asia said, "We feel confident that this major investment will continue to support our customers' plans for growth and underscores JM's commitment to growing the composites industry."
Asked by PlasticsToday to comment on the demand growth rate for glass fibers, Philippe Bekaert, marketing executive at the supplier, replied, "We forecast general growth rates aligned with strong overall composites growth below double digits annually. Our announced expansion aligns our production capability with our growth expectations as well as prepares JM for growth in key emerging applications in transportation and infrastructure." The company will not quantify how much additional capacity it is adding or the facility's current capacity. Nor would it specify the size of the investment or if new employees would be hired for the facility.
The company's glass fiber offerings include its ThermoFlow chopped strands and StarRov LFT roving for thermoplastic compounds. For thermoset plastics it markets the StarRov roving for continuous glass reinforcement and MultiStar roving for choppable glass strands. The expanded furnace for the Slovak facility is due to start up in the fourth quarter of 2012; it will enable production flexibility within JM's product families.