Johns Manville Continues to Invest to Support European Market Growth in Lightweight Composites

Johns Manville (JM), a market-leading manufacturer of glass fiber products, today announced plans to rebuild and upgrade EU’s largest and most productive E-glass furnace located at its Trnava, Slovakia site to service the increasing needs of the composite industry.

The European composite market needs a strong and reliable supply of glass fibers to translate innovations into steady market growth. JM’s operations in Slovakia are ideally located to reliably serve European customers within one to a maximum of four days.

Enno Henze, senior vice president and general manager for Engineered Products Europe/Asia stated, "The composite industry is growing again and we are convinced that current and future industry trends will continue to drive increasing demand for glass fiber products. We are making this investment to support our customers' plans for growth and we strive for continuous innovation in technology and product developments in fibers and glass nonwovens. The furnace upgrade will support the launch of the next generation products for structural thermoplastic composites based on our new reactive sizing technology.”

Henze added, “JM's commitment to growing the composites industry and to investment in the European region is based on the expectation that the EU will put in place effective measures against the dumping and anti-competitive subsidies of Chinese glass fiber producers, which is not a sustainable model. JM's action is in the interest of our customers searching for reliability, proximity of supply and service excellence.”

The rebuilt furnace, due to start up in the fourth quarter of 2014, will enable production flexibility within JM’s product families such as ThermoFlow® grades for polyamides, PBT/PET, PP and StarRov® LFT 490 for PP used in automotive, electrical and consumers applications.

JM also introduces a new range of Evalith™ hybrid nonwovens for decorative thermoplastic applications. The product consists of glass and synthetic fibers and improves the surface quality of sandwich structures like honeycombs. It features not only excellent thermo-formability but enhances the mechanical performance. Therefore, it is well suited as skin material for reinforced thermoplastics.

“With our commitment to innovative growth and the financial stability provided by being a part of the Berkshire Hathaway family of businesses, our Fibers business is set to support the growth agenda of our customers," said Henze.

About Johns Manville
Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B), is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products. In business since 1858, the Denver-based company has annual sales of approximately $2.5 billion and holds leadership positions in all of the key markets that it serves. Johns Manville employs approximately 7,000 people and operates 45 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China. Additional information can be found at