Our team are the most important thing at IFG. But what do they do, and what matters to them in their work? We had a conversation with Andreas Weinburger, Head of R&D and Product Safety at IFG Asota, Linz, Austria. Here’s what he had to say:

What is your role at IFG?
At IFG Asota, I’m responsible for Research and Development (R&D), the quality lab and the coloristic department in Linz, Austria. I’m also the contact partner for product safety & regulatory issues at IFG Asota. Within the wider International Fibres Group I support all other sites with R&D related topics and give technical support for fibre products. I am also in charge of R&D trials on the pilot line in our Fibres Research Centre for the Group.

How long have you worked at the company and what led you to working at IFG?
I started in 2019 at IFG Asota. The role involved developing new sustainable fibre products on the pilot line in an international field which was very enticing.

What are you working on at the moment (that isn’t under NDA)?
Our main R&D focus at the moment is biobased and biodegradable fibres as well as fibres from recycled waste streams.

What would you like to see happen in the fibres industry?
I would like to see a real change in sustainability in the fibres industry. There is a lot of interest coming from the customers, but sometimes people/customers hesitate to do the last steps.

What role do you see IFG playing in making this happen?
The afore mentioned change can only happen if we all work on the same problems and tasks and if we support each other. IFG has a great network of customers, suppliers and colleagues allowing the combination of several talents. Within this network I am sure that we can achieve real change.

How has the installation of the pilot line helped IFG’s R&D?
The installation of the pilot line has significantly increased the speed of development whilst simultaneously decreasing costs and the use of resources. We are able to evaluate spinability and test new polymers/additives/raw materials in a quick an efficient way, before scaling up to industrial lines.

What kind of companies would you like to work with?
I like to work with innovative companies that allow us to create new fibre products. It is great to work with polymer or additive producers and be the first who spins a new kind of material into fibres.

What has been the biggest breakthrough you have seen since you started working at IFG?
The biggest breakthrough was to scale up PLA fibre production from lab line to the industrial line as well as being one of the first to produce staple fibres from new polymers including PA11 and PBS.

Andreas Weinberger
IFG Asota – Head of R&D
IFG Asota – Product Safety