Protection Through Innovation
Sioen Apparel of Belgium has a market leadership in key sectors of the coated fabrics market. Sioen is an innovative producer with a broad range of high end technical protective clothing. This range complies with the most stringent European norms and regulations for amongst others rainwear, high visibility clothing, and flame retardant clothing, anti-static and flame arc resistant clothing and chemical protection. People in the professional market work daily in many different circumstances and where safety, comfort and security are major issues. Quality and flexibility go together with profitability and added value. Sioen is considered to be the European market leader.
Categories in the professional market :
Bodywear : T-shirts and long underwear in different fabrics. Because of its modern style, cut and fit this body wear can easily and comfortably be worn underneath smart clothing.
Cold & wind : Fleeces, softshells and bodywarmers offer warmth and comfort in cold weather. The clothing is compatible with our raingear thanks to the Interchangeable Lining System (I.L.S.).
Rain : Our raingear – jackets, trousers, suits and coveralls will keep you dry and comfortable even in the wettest conditions.
Rain & cold : This clothing is made to protect workers from cold and rain. Typical winter products.
High-visibility : Hi-vis clothing has highly reflective properties or a colour that is easily discernible from any background. Improved visibility greatly reduces accident rates.
Multi-norm : offer protection in especially hazardous environments, with risk for accidental flames or explosion (anti-static garments). Chemical protective clothing can also be found in this category.
Cold storage & food : Especially developed clothing for cold storage warehouses and for use in the food industry., won by vertical integration, close customer relations and a robust entrepreneurial ethos, Sioen is looking to take every opportunity for healthy growth.This will provide its shareholders with a steady and growing income and enable it to defend its independence as a source of tangible and intangible value for its owners, employees, customers and host communities.
We want to retain and further extend our market leadership in all segments, and our emphasis at all times is on technically sophisticated products and innovation. We offer our shareholders a sound investment with reliable results and a growing dividend stream. We work with well-trained, result-oriented employees to achieve our objectives, with a concern for safety and the environment as fundamental values.
Strategic directions : Seizing every opportunity for healthy internal and external growth in its key and related areas Sound financial management to provide a steady dividend stream and flexibility for expansion Continuous efforts and investments in R&D Maintaining (price) competitiveness in core markets, and entering new high value niche markets through constant innovation and customer proximity Maintaining a distinctive, up-to-date entrepreneurial identity Market leadership in all niches.
Vertical Integration : Sioen seeks to bring as many components of the value chain within the organization as possible. This concept represents an increasingly important strategic cornerstone: customers are offered an integrated mix of products and services can rely on thorough internal quality control. We keep the entire production process, from raw material to finished product, in-house: we spin, weave, coat, make pigments for, cut and process technical textiles. The group’s four divisions embody this vertical integration. Innovation: development and investment Sioen Industries aims to consolidate and further extend its technical lead in each of the areas in which it is active. The development and research team is continually reinforced and consolidated with people, materials, buildings and testing lines. Existing plants are subject to continuous process testing, and adapted to the latest technological developments. Sioen invests in new plants and in modernizing its existing plants.
Diversification and market penetration : To ensure sustainable growth and profitability, Sioen strives to diversify its activities. The group has four divisions corresponding to different market segments, each with its own pattern of development and its own market requirements: the Coating Division, the Apparel Division, the Chemical Division and the Industrial Applications Division.
Market segments : Sioen Industries is faithful to its policy of vertical and horizontal integration through the development of new products and the acquisition of complementary firms which open up new market segments.
Geographical spread : Sioen Industries is exploring new markets and expanding its existing ones.
Globalization : Sioen is continually building on its worldwide organization. It operates production plants for its various activities in several continents. Sioen currently operates 36 subsidiaries in 14 countries.
Inspiration –People and environment : We create a stimulating working climate in an optimal working environment and offer career opportunities and a fair remuneration system. Our employees are able to maximize their self-development in a dynamic company where there is space for entrepreneurship and creativity. We operate an active environmental policy and invest in recycling and energy recovery techniques.
Protection through Innovation
Our corporate slogan is ‘Protection through Innovation’. We protect both man and his possessions with high-tech protective clothing for all branches of industry and with technical textiles for products such as tarpaulin covers and side curtains for trucks, airbags, pool covers, tents and structures, windbreak nets, water tanks, oil booms and road reinforcements. We are an innovative business in terms of both production techniques and applications and markets. Thus we have experience in not less than five coating techniques as well as various weaving and welding techniques, with our extrusion plant we are among the world’s leading companies for spinning polyester yarn, and our production site in Indonesia where clothing is produced is one of the most efficient in the world. With input from highly effective sales and marketing teams and the work of a high-quality R&D team, we are continuously identifying new applications. Just one example of our innovations is Siosteel: an anti-vandalism technical textile for trucks. We consistently prospect new markets and sell faster than our competitors in high-potential sales areas.
Spider’s web structure
Wanting to keep ahead of the market means ongoing investment in research and development. The group has therefore built a central R&D centre at its headquarters in Ardooie. Here, professionals work on product development and innovation and on process improvement. The strength of this research unit, besides its state-of-the-art facilities, lies in the knowledge and experience of its employees. In addition to this central R&D centre, Sioen has ten more research teams worldwide, with the main production sites boasting their own research teams which conduct specific research and product tests in restricted areas. The work performed by the various research centres is coordinated and managed from the R&D centre in Ardooie. 50 people are employed in R&D and testing. Direct expenditure on R&D and testing amounted in 2007 to EUR 7.354.49 (1,9% of turnover), including production time and related costs. Cooperation The Sioen Industries n.v. Group’s R&D team cooperates closely with various national and international universities, European research institutes and scientific funds. New products and applications also result from cooperation with other businesses and customers. In addition, the R&D team works in partnership with a number of suppliers.
Equipment – new lab
Sioen’s R&D centres and labs are fully equipped with the latest testing equipment. Testing for tear and breaking strength, flame retardancy, chemical resistance, water column, colour fastness, ageing and so on are all performed in house, and Sioen can stand comparison with the world’s top research institutes in this area. The ability to conduct flame tests (EN 367), and thermal radiation tests (EN ISO 6942) in-house has led to Sioen being one of the first European producers certified for the new EN 469:2005 standard for fire fighter clothing, and opens the way for Sioen to play a leading role in fire retardant garments. Sioen has its own ballistic laboratory including a shooting range and evaluation equipment.