Naturally Advanced Technologies (NAT), a developer of renewable and sustainable biomass resources from hemp, flax and other bast fibers, has signed another third party manufacturing agreement with Barnhardt, a supplier of cotton for various applications, to expand CRAiLAR fiber production capacity.
Under the terms of the agreement, Barnhardt will perform the CRAiLAR enzymatic process for NAT. Barnhardt will start manufacturing of CRAiLAR in the second quarter of 2012. NAT has signed the first third-party manufacturing agreement with Tintoria Piana, based in Cartersville, Georgia.
The CEO of NAT, Ken Barker, remarked that the choice of third-party manufacturing can help considerably increase their production capacity without the infrastructure costs required for constructing company-owned facilities. Barnhardt is an ideal partner for NAT to further expand its capacity, as it has over 80 years of experience in the field, added Barker.
In March 2012, NAT has made an announcement on the key developments in the production of CRAiLAR fiber technology. The process improvements have effectively decreased the enzymatic process time by 40%, thereby considerably reducing the total cycle time. These advancements have led to immediate increase in the production capacity at NAT’s facility. In addition, they have enabled the company to assess the third-party manufacturing partners to perform the enzymatic process, to further increase the entire production volume and to accelerate the growth of its CRAiLAR fiber product.
The company has planned to construct its first full-scale CRAiLAR Flax fiber manufacturing plant in Pamplico, South Carolina. At present, NAT supplies its fiber products to Target, Westex, Ashland, Carhartt, Cintas and Levi Strauss for assessment and development; and to Brilliant Global Knitwear, Georgia-Pacific and HanesBrands for commercial applications.