Early 1973 the American multinational Allied Chemical (later Allied Corporation) established a production plant called Klippan in Ieper, Belgium. Its task was to manufacture and assemble parts of safety belts to subassemblies. The final assembly was done in the European associated companies that also sold the products. At that time the company employed 600 people.
At the end of 1981 Klippan nv was closed due to economical reasons. Three months later the weaving mill started new production, yet its reduced version was no longer interesting to Allied and the company decided to sell Klippan. IEPERBAND nv was established in 1983.
Thanks to investments in looms and dyeing installations IEPERBAND nv soon grew and won a European market share of approximately 25%, in just a few years time.
To be able to survive in an extremely competitive market IEPERBAND nv merged with the German ELASTIC BERGER Gmbh company in 1987, co-manufacturer of woven band with establishments in Germany, Ireland and Spain.
In Europe, the BERGER GROUP is a leader in the car safety belts industry and has production plants in Belgium, Spain, Germany and China. Besides Europe, it has smaller market shares in China and the United States of America.
The parent company in Germany was established by owner Johann Berger in 1968. First, only elastic bands were produced. Later on, the company discovered the potential of car safety belts.
The BERGER GROUP owes its success also to its approximately 400 committed, motivated and innovative employees. They form a valuable potential whereby development and innovation, aimed at the international market requirements, are at the centre.
The consequent development of the technical safety fabrics’ technology, based on the demands of the car industry, along with the help of the Tier 1 customers, offers the Berger Group an exclusive opportunity to develop and market new technologies.
IEPERBAND nv manufactures woven band for safety belts in cars. This includes weaving, dyeing, setting, winding-up, checking and cutting to size.
The various types of bands are homologated by the Tier 1 customers and the car manufacturer, this means that the woven band is only produced after a formal approval of a particular reference sample. The base material is high tenacity polyester yarn.
The European safety belt market is characterised by its transparency and oligopolic features. The number of yarn suppliers, weaving mills manufacturing safety belts and system manufacturers is therefore rather limited. The pressure of Asian yarn suppliers increases. To maintain its competitive position the Berger Group works with Asian yarn suppliers
The overall annual use in the European car industry is a known and easy to observe item of information. The proportional market share of the various woven band manufactures is therefore rather easy to determine.
Cheap raw materials, labour costs control, flexibility and quality are becoming more and more the basic elements defining the power of the company.
Higher quality demands and the ever increasing price pressure forces us to constantly optimise our processes, and to manufacture in a more productive and cheaper manner.