COVID-19 Pandemic Drives Demand for Key Nonwoven Material
ALPHARETTA, GA, September 29, 2020 – In response to customer demand that has more than doubled over the past year, SWM International (NYSE: SWM), is ramping up production of its Alphastar™ Electrostatic Media product at its Wilson, North Carolina manufacturing facility. Alphastar Electrostatic Media is a primary component in HVAC air filtration products, including MERV 13 rated air filters.
“We began to see demand rising in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and quickly developed ongoing plans to support our customers. Expanding our output was critical, as we are an essential supplier to many of the largest air filtration companies in the U.S. SWM is determined to do everything we can to help our customers deliver the air filters and medical respirators that are vital tools in stopping infection spread and improving indoor air quality,” said Bart Sistrunk, Commercial Director of Filtration for SWM.
The company is expanding the workforce at the facility to support the higher production level and is continuing to evaluate further actions to increase output. This follows efficiency projects earlier in 2020 to increase capacity on the existing production lines. SWM anticipates ongoing demand for Alphastar media as commercial and residential customers respond to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) to upgrade building filtration to a minimum of MERV 13, which requires more frequent changes compared to lower level filters such as MERV 8.
The proprietary fiber blend in SWM’s Alphastar media is carded and needled into a fully homogenous material, making it a highly effective nonwoven for a variety of air filtration applications, including emergency respirators, N95 masks, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines, and ventilators.
SWM is a leading global performance materials company. Our highly engineered papers, films, nets and nonwovens are designed and manufactured using natural fibers and polymers for a variety of industries and applications. We provide our customers with essential components that enhance the performance of their products. End markets served include filtration, transportation, infrastructure and construction, medical, industrial, tobacco, energy, food services and home décor. SWM and its subsidiaries manufacture on four continents, conduct business in over 90 countries and employ approximately 3,400 people worldwide. For further information, please visit SWM’s web site at www.swmintl.com.
Mary T. Gibson
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