The Road to ANEX 2018 Series 9: Axis Supplies Value-Added Polypropylene Spunbondeds From Vietnam

In-house production of polypropylene spunbondeds enables Axis to develop the sectors of industrial materials and daily necessities

Axis Co., Ltd. produces and processes polypropylene spunbonded nonwovens, and is focusing on the development and proposal of value-added polypropylene spunbondeds produced at its factory in Da Nang, Vietnam. In addition to its main business line of processing suit bags, apparel shopping bags and bags for bedding, the company has been endeavoring to make the sectors of industrial materials and materials for daily necessities new sources of revenues.

It was in April of 2015 that Axis started producing polypropylene spunbonded fabrics at its own factory. Until then, in-house production was only for a portion of polypropylene spunbondeds, which were procured largely outside the company, and the company set out on fabric sales toward non-apparel sectors and OEM business in final products.

Three years have passed since Axis began production at an annual rate of 2,000 tons. Today, the operation rate exceeds 80%, and full-scale operations are in sight. Fabric sales at the Da Nang factory in fiscal 2017 (ending in June 2018) are expected to be 50% higher than the previous fiscal year.

Its OEM business, with cooperating outside sewing bases, has expanded to include masks, protective clothing and caps, and an application as a base cloth for rooftop waterproofing has grown to become a base for earnings.

This business is an undertaking that uses regular items, and a company official hopes to make it profitable even if it does not operate at full capacity with an eye on increasing the ratio of value-added products.

Axis has developed a number of products, such as polypropylene spunbondeds with antibacterial or flame-retardant property, a biomass type of which 30% of the ingredients is derived from potatoes, and polypropylene spunbondeds that are flexible and have stretch. The company is currently proposing its developments toward promising application sectors. There are also value-added products that are entering the test stage.

Anti-bacterial and flame-retardant types are intended for use in curtains for medical facilities, and the company is focusing on making proposals especially toward Europe and the U.S. Flexible stretch products are hopeful materials for which sales are expected to expand for use in the ear portions of 3D masks and as the base cloth for medicine patches. Since it is a technology that is particularly scarce worldwide, Axis plans to place special emphasis on promoting it at ANEX 2018.

In response to the move to exclude Chinese nonwovens from the application of preferential tariffs in Japan from April, Axis expects that demand for Vietnamese products is likely to grow. The company intends to secure this tailwind with its high-quality and value-added products. Last December, it installed a fault detector that utilizes image recognition technology for maintaining and improving quality.