German-based Agro Group, a leading supplier of innersprings for the mattress and upholstery industry, has increased its vertical integration by acquiring a production site for nonwovens in Halberstadt, Germany.
In the past, nonwovens for Agro’s pocket innerspring production have exclusively been sourced externally, but in October, the company entered the production of spunbonded nonwovens. With the takeover of RKW HydroSpun — now operating under the name Agro Nonwoven — a long-planned project has been realized, company officials say.
“Eighteen years ago, we set up our first wire plant at the Bad Essen site, and in the last 13 years our own production of spare parts has strongly developed, and finally mechanical engineering has been added,” said Sabine Grothaus, who owns and manages Agro alongside her father Wolfgang Grothaus.
“This has made us more independent of supply bottlenecks and has driven product and process quality forward,” Sabine Grothaus continued. “Based on these experiences, it has been one of our strategic goals for some time to take the production of nonwovens into our own hands, too.”
The corresponding contracts were already signed in spring, and in the subsequent phase ending in September, the machine technology was set up.
“Since RKW Group, one of our suppliers for many years, wanted to concentrate its own production at its location in Gronau, we had the opportunity to take over an established plant with about 30 employees and an annual capacity of 5,000 tons,” said Sabine Grothaus.
The takeover further strengthens Agro’s ambitions in circular economy. In the summer, the company’s entire range was developed into products whose components can be completely recycled and reintroduced into the cycle. By having its own nonwovens plant, the company now has more opportunities to develop its nonwovens and optimize processes toward circular production.