In the last two years, I would say that we have expanded our capacity. We have had difficulties in meeting the demands of the market. We simply did not have enough capacity, as it required a lot of investment. Now, we have set up production capacities to fulfil market demands, and we have a lot of products to gain more of the market share.
The idea is that we spread the filaments, and coat them so that the coating covers each and every filament. Normally, what we see is that the products are coated on the rope level or fabric level. So, that only enhances the product from the outside and not from the inside. The coating helps in UV degradation and the loosing of strength thereby, but also helps to improve abrasion resistance or make the yarn antimicrobial or anti-fouling.
We have two lines at the moment for this technology. One line is in the Czech Republic, and another in the Netherlands. The line in Czech Republic is for big orders, and for the small level orders and customer trials and new developments, we have one in the Netherlands.
The ambition is that this technology becomes more or less a game-changer. People get a much better product by the use of this technology. They get something better, which also lasts longer. We expect that in the future most manufacturers will change their production process, which not only make their lives easier but also improves the performance and aesthetics of their products. Since last year we have acquired the distribution rights from Teijin for Twaron® and Technora® and from DuraFiber for their specialty portfolio like PEEK, PPS, PBT and PEN. This brings us in contact with new markets and companies and we see interesting new opportunities in these fields too.
We introduced the technology at Techtextil last year in May. But then, there were so many inquiries that we could not live up to the demand of the market. So, the priority with respect to this technology last year was to add capacity to meet demand. At this moment, we have enough capacities to meet demands, so now-finally-we can take on board a few customers.
The rope producers like Gottifredi Maffioli, LIROS, Armare, OTS, Teufelberger, etc.
It is a bit difficult to answer that because it really depends on what the client produces. I cannot give you a flat price, because it depends on the yarn count we are processing. Thin yarn costs more compared to course yarn.
We spent three years fine-tuning the production process and coating formulation. We had a lot of help from our customers who were willing to try the first samples which actually were not so good. Luckily, we have taken some major steps forward since.
Roughly, 6 per cent of the revenue is allocated towards R&D.
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