TenCate in Thailand
TenCate has had a manufacturing plant in Thailand for the production of fabrics for workwear since August 2008: TenCate - Union Protective Fabrics Asia. The company is located in the Samutprakan district, about 40 kilometres south of Bangkok, and employs two hundred and twenty people.
This joint venture is the first activity of a non-Asian company making protective materials for clothing in the emerging Asian markets. There is now a growing need for protective workwear in this region, where the focus is increasingly on safety at the workplace. Local expansion of production fits in with TenCate’s aims to achieve global market leadership in its core markets.
It was designed for the production of fabrics for workwear. Many of TenCate’s customers have production facilities in Asia and local supplies through the joint venture result in cost savings and logistic advantages. The focus is on Asia, where the garment makers and distributors who are already established here supply their products mainly to Europe-based customers. A smaller number of end-users are in Asia itself.
The customer base currently consists of the makers of workwear and safety clothing. The fabrics are also promoted among end-users and distributors. In some cases fabrics are delivered directly to fabric traders in Europe. When it comes to industrial applications (workwear uniforms) and rental laundries, the end-users are principally in Europe, while the focus for safety wear is on the petrochemical industry and oil refineries in Asia.
Customers in the workwear sector require short lead times, a good price-quality ratio and, above all, reliability of quality and supply. It is the special features of the fabric that are creating the demand for safety wear. The possibility of combining shorter lead times with consistency and reliability of product quality will open up great opportunities in the Asian end-user market for safety wear.
Employees of TenCate - Union Protective Fabrics Asia standing in front of the manufacturing department
Current activities include dyeing and finishing, for the production of safety wear fabrics. The company has recently obtained certification for the Asian market. Asia itself is an emerging market for safety fabrics. There is an increasing interest in protective workwear and safety in the Asian work environment.