Xerium Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:XRM), a leading global provider of industrial consumable products and services, has announced that it has completed the renovation program at four machine clothing plants that took over two years to design, construct, equip and commission. The Company is aggressively pursuing growth in its popular products, growing grades and regions that are outpacing global industry growth. This global renovation program, involving facilities in North America, South America, Europe and Asia reconfigures its 10-plant machine clothing footprint to serve its customers more effectively with better lead times and global availability of its innovative and rapidly-growing portfolio of patented technology. Key highlights of these projects:
North America – the expansion of the Kentville, Canada forming fabric plant to manufacture woven dryer fabrics in North America for the first time in over a decade. The expansion transitions Xerium from a position of being competitively disadvantaged in dryer fabrics to improved responsiveness to customer quality and delivery expectations. The existing sales force can now leverage relationships in complementary products to accelerate penetration in this currently underserved market. The commissioning of this newly expanded facility and the installed assets was completed in Q3 2015.
South America – the renovation and expansion of the Piracicaba, Brazil plant to manufacture spiral dryer fabrics. Xerium previously manufactured spiral dryer fabrics at its smaller and higher cost Argentina plant. Upon closure of this facility, Xerium made the strategic decision to purchase all new production equipment and modernize its product technology. This initiative, the largest of the four, will enable Xerium to offer both higher quality products and shorter lead times, while operating under a significantly more advantageous cost structure and was fully operational in Q3 2015.
Europe – the expansion of the Gloggnitz, Austria plant to produce belts and fabrics for nonwoven fabrics machines. Xerium has installed special-purpose machines, which will more than double its global capacity for its nonwoven products portfolio. Concurrent with this expansion, Xerium enhanced its product technology to deliver higher levels of performance on the most modern nonwoven production lines and will provide global support for a variety of product types from this site. This expansion further leverages one of Xerium’s most cost competitive and high quality facilities. The expansion is on schedule to reach its full production rate capability by year-end 2015.
Asia – the expansion of the Asahi, Japan plant to produce Xerium’s most advanced forming fabrics for containerboard machines. Xerium has historically manufactured machine clothing for large containerboard machines in its European plants and shipped them to Asia. This investment enables Xerium to serve the Japanese and the entire Asian markets locally with shorter lead times, significantly lower shipping costs to the customer while delivering Xerium’s most modern product portfolio. The commissioning is underway and remains on schedule to reach its full production rate capability by year-end 2015.
Mr. Harold Bevis, President and CEO of Xerium, commented regarding these business transformation projects; “Xerium is committed to quantifiably increasing profits of its customers. These investments enable Xerium to strengthen our partnerships by being closer to its customers with transformative innovation, on-site product experts, and in-region short lead times. The pace of technical breakthrough requests from our customers continues to quicken. We must have shorter product life cycles and faster supply chains to compete and win. Our products and services make a difference for owners of sophisticated large machines, and these machines are dispersed globally. We are very optimistic that these machine clothing programs will be another successful step in our transformation to deliver better financial and operational results and continue to improve our growing stature of supplier of choice in the most attractive regional markets. We do not expect to achieve sales growth by waiting for, and then riding, a global GDP growth cycle. With uncertain global economic conditions, we are strategically deploying our people, innovation, and know-how into expected growth regions.”
Xerium Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:XRM) is a leading global provider of industrial consumable products and services. Xerium, which operates around the world under a variety of brand names, utilizes a broad portfolio of patented and proprietary technologies to provide customers with tailored solutions and products integral to production, all designed to optimize performance and reduce operational costs. With 27 manufacturing facilities in 13 countries around the world, Xerium has approximately 3,000 employees.