23 August 2007 Bekaert concentrates its European carding activities in Zwevegem (Belgium)
Today Bekaert announced its intention to concentrate its European carding  activities at one production plant. The manufacturing activities of the plant in Roubaix (France) will therefore be integrated with the carding plant in Zwevegem (Belgium). The plant employs 47 people. In accordance with the statutory requirements, Bekaert has entered into consultation with the employees’ representatives and will provide full assistance to the employees concerned in the transfer to the new location.
The market for carding products in non-woven applications  is growing rapidly, especially in Europe and North America. By combining the plants, Bekaert is aiming to boost production efficiency and advance its market position based on an extended product offer. The company will continue working to optimize its service and distribution organization for carding products in Europe and is striving to provide its customers with a seamless transition. Bekaert records global annual sales of € 25 million in its carding activities.
 Carding is a preparatory step in manufacture of textile or so-called non-woven applications, whereby the natural and/or man-made fibers are openend, cleaned and subsequently combined into a single continuous strand or a sheet or web, in carding machines.
 Non-woven applications include materials and fabrics that possess specific technical properties such as absorption, water repellence, elasticity, softness, strength and flame-retardation etc. Non-woven applications are manufactured in the form of a sheet or web consisting of a mechanically, chemically or thermally bonded network of fibers or filaments. Bekaert supplies a.o. card clothing which is installed on the cylinders in the carding machines used to produce the sheet or web. Non-woven applications are widely used in disposable diapers and cloths, interlinings in apparel, carpet backings, filter media, medial hygiene items, vehicle interiors, insulation materials etc.