Pantex International SpA is setting up a perforated hygienic films production plant in Simpsonville, S.C., its first in North America.
The Italian company said the operation will start up by the end of the third quarter and will have initial capacity to make 150 million square meters per year of its cloth-like topsheet products. Eventually the plant will be able to make 500 million square meters of the materials annually.
Pantex, based in Sulmona, Italy, will invest $10.4 million in the new operation and create 45 new jobs over the next five years, according to a news release from Greenville County Area Development Corp.
Pantex produces perforated non-woven films, fabrics and related composites for feminine hygiene products, baby care and adult incontinence items, including elastic constructions for the absorbent products. It now runs factories for the perforated goods in Italy and in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
Pantex, owned by a private equity group, was established in 1987 to develop new perforation technology. By 2007 it had opened a joint venture factory in Guangzhou, China, but exited the business in 2011. In 2008 it opened its Pantex Mena operation in United Arab Emirates. It has been expanding production capacity, most recently in Italy early this year.
The new factory will help the company “increase the speed at which we bring new innovations to our customers in the American hygiene market,” noted Pantex CEO Gianluigi Fornoni in a news release.
Pantex technology includes perforating by calendering, needle punching and vacuum processing. It handles a range of substrates made of nonwovens, films and laminates based on polypropylene, viscose, cotton, polylactic acid, polyester and related composites.
The firm qualifies for local job development credits and chose Greenville County for its U.S. site because of the area's long history of textiles and advanced materials, according to Bob Taylor, chairman of the Greenville County Council.