Updated — Growing demand for adult incontinence products is helping push a multimillion-dollar expansion at a Tredegar Corp. film manufacturing site in Indiana.
The company's Terre Haute location is adding a new wing to house additional production of elasticated fabrics.
The Richmond, Va.-based company expects to break ground soon for the $25 million project, described as construction of a new wing on an existing manufacturing location.
“In the global market right now, we are seeing that there is a continuing need and for as long as we foresee an uptick in the need for improved elasticated fabrics for the adult incontinence market,” said Matt O'Sickey, global market development director for the Tredegar Personal Care division.
“They simply want products that are much more garment-like to wear. They can't avoid what's coming with old age, but they want to make the very best of it. We have developed technology to make breathable, easy, soft stretch elastic fabrics that go into these products. And that is what our expansion is around,” O'Sickey said.
Tredegar said the demand for improved baby care as well as the general population growth also is helping drive increased demand for the company's film products. The expansion will manufacture FlexAire brand elastic fabric products.
“We also see that there's a rise in the use of pants-style products for babies around the world, and even a greater acceptance for disposable underwear for spot incontinence,” he said, with older children.
About 35 new jobs will be created through the expansion with the potential for more in the future, O'Sickey said.
Most of the increased production will be used to meet domestic demand, but the company anticipates about 20 percent will be sold into the international market. The company, he said, made a similar investment in Europe a couple of years ago to take advantage of market trends.
Terre Haute was selected because the company already has similar technology at that location. “It's really allowing us to leverage a center of excellence approach,” O'Sickey said.
“Tredegar, for a number of years, has had technology to make products that are both elastic and non-elastic in a wide range of different applications for breathability and fluid transport. We have leveraged that technology to make these new elastic products,” O'Sickey said.
Equipment is expected to be in place in early 2019 and the company expects full production to be running by fourth quarter of that year.
The company is in the process of seeking final local approval and tax abatements for the expansion.
Tredegar ranks 19th on Plastics News' most recent ranking of North American film and sheet manufacturers, with film sales of $439.2 million.