We are continuously developing new products, working on major projects and preparing important tenders.
New products introduced during the year enlarge once more our range include:
Other promising products are still under development or in the testing phase. It goes without saying that we can’t reveal much about them. These are all smart developments where our knowledge and expertise in the various domains we are active in, meet. Some are in close collaboration (and under NDA) with other companies, others we’ve developed entirely in house.
In 2015, we submitted three new European projects and continued efforts on the existing ones. The new projects are: SeaRrefinery and MacroFuels, both dealing with seaweed cultivation and subsequent bio-refinery towards value-added products. The project Helios is an apparel project in aeronautics. Together with an industrial cleaning company, the Apparel division is working on a regional funded project on new decontamination methods of firefighting uniforms.
With the AT~SEA project (cultivation of algae on advanced textiles), we have entered a new phase towards the commercialization of turnkey seaweed farms. We have started up a 1 ha seaweed (test) farm in Norway harvested in May 2016. Mid 2017 the first generation of these turnkey seaweed farms will be commercially available.
All these projects broaden our horizon. Through European projects we connect with other companies, cross sectoral and cross-boundaries and we learn about the needs of NGOs such as the Red Cross and Oxfam among others.
Sioen actively seeks for growth both organically and through acquisitions. We examined closely another dozen potential acquisitions, which resulted in the takeover of Dynatex. This is a young innovative company, specialising in multi-axial aramid reinforcement fabrics. A pioneering idea protected by several patents. Today, these fabrics are mainly used for trailer construction, where due to their strength, they contribute to the structural integrity of the trailers on the one hand, and protect against vandalism and theft, on the other.
In 2015, we also introduced various major improvements in the production process enhancing efficiency and quality. Examples are camera quality monitoring systems, weight control equipment, raw material consumption monitoring and fully automated traceability from raw materials to the finished product. In addition, we introduced a number of energy (and cost)-saving measurements such as led lighting (a continuous process) and, more importantly, the installation of two solar panel parks, each with 1 041 solar panels on a total of 2 900 m².
Recent and future investments imply growth in technical quality products and personalised solution- driven services. On our road to 2020, the key word is ‘integration’:
As a market leader in our traditional markets, Sioen is continuously looking for affiliated technologies and markets. Therefore, Sioen tries in a multidisciplinary approach to merge the agricultural world with textiles. City farming and flexible textile ecosystems are just some examples of where our technology makes the difference. Other spin off of this multidisciplinary approach is to link construction and civil engineering with textiles. Concrete reinforcement and coastal protection are just two examples.
All of these efforts reinforce our position as a world leading textile solution provider, offering tailor made solutions to our customers.