Since February, the company has been producing materials for this application around the clock, seven days a week / Decline in demand from other sectors
Sandler Group has decided to invest in a new high-tech nonwovens line for the production of nonwovens for respirator masks. The start of production is already scheduled for the middle of the third quarter. The annual production capacity of the line will enable Sandler to additionally produce nonwovens for the manufacture of up to 800 million masks. The investment totals a single-digit million Euro amount. Sandler Group (founded in 1879) is a high-tech manufacturer of nonwovens for use in construction/technical applications, filtration (including materials for respirator masks), home textiles, hygiene, transportation and wipes and supplies companies and institutions.
“The demand for our nonwovens for respirator masks is unbroken – and has been for weeks. Despite around-the-clock production, seven days a week, we cannot accept new orders from manufacturers of respirator masks until June”, underlines Dr. Christian Heinrich Sandler, President & CEO of Sandler AG. “On the other hand, we are also aware of the still challenging situation in the health sector and therefore we decided last week to invest in a further production line for nonwovens for respirator masks at the Schwarzenbach site in Upper Franconia.“
German Federal Government plans support programme
The family entrepreneur is pleased that the German Federal Government intends to address the shortage of materials in Germany and Europe by promoting such investments, with Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn even performing valuable mediation work with the relevant manufacturers of production equipment. “We have been producing nonwovens for air filtration for more than 20 years, successfully establishing our position in the global market.” Until now, the product category “nonwovens for respirator masks” did not receive much public attention, “as previous epidemics fortunately affected the country less.” Due to the unfortunate development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand from Germany and all over Europe has now increased significantly and is likely to remain high in the long term. “We therefore greatly welcome the establishment of complete value chains in Germany.”
Start of production planned for the middle of the third quarter
With this capacity expansion, Sandler Group intends to contribute to rapidly counteracting the severe shortage of filter materials for respirator masks. “We will put all our commitment and dedication towards advancing the installation of the new production line, which is scheduled to commence in June,” explains Sandler. He adds that this schedule, however, can only be met if there are no additional restrictions in the coming weeks, for example pertaining to logistics.
Decline in demand from other sectors
The market for respirator masks is booming. Business with nonwovens for hygiene products – including diapers and feminine hygiene articles – is consistently high. Nevertheless, the current global economic situation will also leave its mark on Sandler Group. Industries particularly affected by the shutdown, such as the automotive, construction and furniture industries, are also important turnover generators for the Upper Franconian company. The market environment in these sectors is challenging. At present, however, the company has no plans to apply for short-time work compensation.