IPCO and NFW strategic partnership enables large-scale production of sustainable, plant-based leather
NFW, US-based start-up making plastic-free materials moves into large-scale production with double-belt press technology from Swedish industrial company IPCO.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., USA, September 14, 2023 — Since 2015, NFW has developed a material platform to transform natural, biobased inputs into high-performance, plastic-free materials. NFW’s patented plant-based leather alternative, MIRUM® offers businesses an eco-friendly substitute for synthetic or fossil-based textiles, without compromising on quality or performance. To date, the product has gained attention from BMW, Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney and Levi's, among others.
Sweden-based IPCO innovates, manufactures and installs equipment and steel belts that enable high-volume industrial processing. The company is now becoming a preferred business partner to companies seeking to scale up the production of new materials which accelerate the green transformation.
“We were looking for a technology enabling large-scale production, to meet the demand we see in the market. Having evaluated different options, we see IPCO and their double-belt press solution being the optimal way forward," comments NFW CEO Luke Haverhals.
IPCO’s double-belt press leverages IPCO’s unique technology platform, applying heat and pressure to produce composite materials. After several months of engineering and testing, IPCO’s double-belt press went live at NFW facility in late May 2023 and has now started to produce 1.6 meter-wide rolls of MIRUM®.
“IPCO’s double-belt press will enable us to scale up and meet the growing demand for sustainable materials. The machine is performing well, and we are delighted with the support from IPCO’s service center," comments Luke Haverhals.
IPCO and NFW have also agreed to enter into a partnership agreement in which IPCO will invest in NFW to support and accelerate the scale up of MIRUM® production as a sustainable leather alternative for the future.
“By investing in NFW’s future, we're showing IPCO's strong commitment to NFW's scale-up and future success, and we can secure long-term opportunities in a growing and sustainable field. We see tremendous growth potential in segments and application areas linked to the green transformation," comments IPCO’s CEO Robert Hermans.
NFW will use the investment to further expand production capacity, while also exploring new sustainable applications and materials.
“The strategic partnership between IPCO and NFW is a good example of how a traditional industrial company with deep, long-standing technology and processing expertise can enable large-scale production of materials driving the green transition. This partnership is fully in line with the greater purpose of IPCO’s owners, FAM (a holding company owned by Wallenberg Investment AB), which has a passion for long-term development, innovation and social responsibility driving the transition into solutions sustainable for the future," continues Robert Hermans.
IPCO is a global industrial process company developing solutions to drive customer productivity. Its offering is based on advanced steel belts and associated equipment as well as processing solutions in related technologies, supported by aftermarket care from service technicians. Up until 2017, the business was operated under the name Sandvik Process Systems.
The company serves its customer base from a network of 30+ sales and service offices. Customers are found in a broad number of sectors, including food, automotive, pharmaceuticals, construction and textiles.
IPCO employs around 650 people, with production sites in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Its headquarters are in Sweden, and the company is fully owned by FAM. www.ipco.com
NFW is a platform for plastic-free performance materials spanning sheet goods, textiles, molded composites, and foams. NFW follows three Ground Rules in everything they develop: start well, stay clean, end well. The multi-material platform serves a wide range of industries - from fashion and footwear to automotive and upholstery.
NFW technology embeds into existing supply chains, enabling the world’s most iconic brands to design and scale products with high-performance, naturally circular materials.
NFW makes global brands more sustainable, empowering them to create without plastics. Alongside the boldest brands and visionary designers, NFW is pioneering a post-linear, post-oil economy.
NFW was founded in 2015 and is based in Peoria, Illinois.