Fibervisions, a leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing specialized bicomponent and performance polyolefin fibres for hygiene, filtration, automotive, geotextiles, textiles and apparel celebrates the 50th anniversary of its plant in Covington, Georgia, October 6-7, 2017
The Covington facility started as part of the Hercules Powder entity acquired by DuPont in the 1880s and spun off again in 1912.
Originally a manufacturer of cotton nitrocellulose for industrial end uses such as explosives, Hercules transitioned into polypropylene and polyester fibre manufacturing in 1960s. Herculon branded fiber was used in mid-century furniture and carpets and at one point commanded 11% of the market for upholstery fabric.
Hercules began construction of its Covington Herculon fibre plant in Georgia’s carpet manufacturing region in 1966 and the plant opened in 1967 with the goal of making 25 million pounds of polypropylene fibre per year.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Herculese turned its focus to the development of fibres for the fast growing nonwovens market. As the carpet and upholstery business changed, Hercules fibres found their way into baby diapers, feminine hygiene items, geotextile, tea bags filters and wipes.
In 1997, Hercules formed a joint venture with Dankon Group, part of Denmark’s Jacob Holm & Sons, which is known as Fibervisions and is specialized in monocomponent and bicomponent fibers for hygiene and industrial applications.
In 2000, a joint venture with Japan’s Chisso Corporation (now named JNC) created ES Fibervisions, the world’s leading supplier of polyolefin bicomponent fibers with facilities in China, Denmark, Thailand and the U.S.
With research laboratories in Denmark, Japan and the Covington facility, FiberVisions has pioneered a long list of polyolefin and bi-component fibre innovations. ES FiberVisions’s bicomponent fiber process creates nonwoven fabrics that are softer and bulkier than those produced using other technologies.
In 2006 the company launched CoolVisions, a disperse-dyeable polypropylene staple for apparel and home furnishing end uses.
Private equity firm Snow Phipps Group acquired a controlling interest in FiberVisions in 2006, and in 2012 sold the company to Indorama Ventures Limited (IVL), the largest manufacturer of polyester polymer in the world.
Today the 738000 square foot Covington plant has a capacity of 180 million pounds per year of staple fibre and employs 230 people.