A time of change: Sandler reports successful year 2015
German nonwovens producer Sandler AG from Schwarzenbach an der Saale, Bavaria, reports a successful year 2015, having generated sales of 288 million Euros. The Sandler team grew to 710 staff members. With the expansion of the Schwarzenbach location and the contract conclusion for a new nonwovens production site in the USA, 2015 marked the start of a new chapter in Sandler’s company history.
For Sandler, 2015 was shaped by further development and the turning over of a new leaf. With its wide product range the nonwovens manufacturer was able to achieve high levels of capacity utilisation. Nonwoven innovations, the expansion of the Schwarzenbach plant and the establishment of a manufacturing location in the US will be the engine of further growth in the years to come.
Sustainability combines with highest performance—those were the watchwords with regard to nonwovens for interior acoustics. Nonwovens are increasingly applied in building and technical insulation as well as noise reduction in industrial buildings, in the automotive industry and for office design. Their open-pore structure makes them excellent sound insulators, providing a sense of quiet, both at home and amidst the bustle of activity in the office. In 2015, Sandler developed its range of nonwovens for these applications further in cooperation with its partners. Among others, the company introduced self-supporting nonwovens for office acoustics, utilised as partition walls or in acoustic furniture.
The filtration industry is a vital market for Sandler and is set to continue gaining importance further down the road. Filter media are becoming increasingly essential for our quality of life, particularly in congested urban areas where air pollution is rapidly becoming a problem. They provide clean air to breathe in air conditioning systems for residential homes and industrial buildings or as cabin air filters in vehicles. Sandler supplies durable, efficient filtration nonwovens for these applications. In 2015, however, the keyword Indoor Air Quality did not only address air quality in public places: A new norm on the energy efficiency of filter media is shaping the industry. Sandler offers synthetic filter media which already meet these new requirements. They contribute to lowering the energy consumption during the operation of the filter plant.
Overcoming the limits of textile engineering—combined with other materials, nonwovens can achieve this goal. In 2015, Sandler introduced composite materials made of nonwovens and fibre reinforced plastic for the automotive industry. The composites insulate engine and driving noise as well as heat, they are robust, but lightweight at the same time. Applied in the underbody, the headliner or even body parts, they support lightweight construction and thus help reduce fuel.
The company’s ongoing development is also apparent at the Schwarzenbach location: A new 17 million Euro production building is taking shape and will house a new production line as of mid-year 2016 to expand the production capacity for hygiene nonwovens and wipes substrates. In total, Sandler will invest 43 million Euro in this new production site.
The Sandler staff is also growing steadily and since growth requires space, the construction of a new administration building also commenced in 2015. Sandler nonwovens will be applied in the interior design and they will help create a quiet, pleasant working environment. Sandler staff will relocate to the new building during the first half of 2016.
Some members of the Sandler team will also relocate in 2016, but on an entirely different scale, taking up a challenge unparalleled in the company’s history: In summer, they will put the Sandler Nonwoven Corporation in Perry, Georgia, USA, into operation together with new US colleagues. Quite literally, this step represents a departure for new horizons, which allows Sandler to make its nonwovens available „made in USA“—closer to American customers.
All in all, 2016 is set to hold a number of challenges for the family-operated company. However, the 710-member „Sandler family“ is ready to live up to them—owing to motivated employees who identify with the company and bring their experience, expertise and new ideas to each and every task. Continuing professional development is a factor of success, which is why Sandler constantly invests in modern training facilities and specific training schemes.
In such a large team, forming the basis for the company’s success and now working to further the establishment of the US-location, leadership is a vital subject. Sandler emphasizes each individual’s responsibility for their respective tasks and above all banks on open communication and exchange of ideas—between management and staff, between the company’s different departments, and soon also between the German and the US plant. This philosophy is passed on to new generations of Sandler employees through a development programme for junior management. It is but one of the instruments Sandler puts in place to set a course for the future of its team as well.