Based in South Carolina, WEKO North America is a company that provides contactless liquid application systems to help the tissue industry to add value to its processes.
During the latest Talk Tissue, Brian Uzcategui chatted with Terence McGee, Vice President/General Manager at the company, his history with WEKO started in 2009 and has been three years since he became general manager. During their conversation, Terence explained how the company has grown since his start.
“When I started in 2009, they still had a whole old rotor style system, still non-contact, and during the years, through innovation, they have developed better and cleaner products. We’ve evolved with time as it stands right now. From a product standpoint we have obviously opened up into new markets, we are currently serving multiple markets such as paper, tissue, plastic film, composers, laminating, textile, non-woven.”
Founded in 1953, WEKO is a family-run business that specializes in the non-contact minimal application of fluids and powders on a wide variety of materials. With the systems used in the production process, customers in the tissue industry can achieve significant savings in fresh water, chemicals and energy, which means a clear cost / benefit advantage for the user, but above all for the environment.
When talking about 2021, he highlighted the competitiveness in the tissue industry. “Obviously the first two quarters were still pretty slow, the pandemic was coming not necessarily coming to an end, but the country was opening up more. In the third and fourth quarters, I was able to see a lot of progress, a lot of development and competitiveness out there, especially in the tissue industry.”
According to Terrence, tissue companies are always trying to add something new to offer to their customers, to add more value to their products. Therefore, WEKO is stepping in to add value to a manufacturer of paper products, so the end user can appreciate it as well.
“We noticed that, and I think it is an opportunity for us, because we have that capability, not only to save energy and save money for them, but also to add the value to their products.”
Companies are now more open to visits, and in Terence’s point of view meeting people is vital to create a strong relationship with customers. While having a digital presence is essential to spread a companies’ reach and facilitate the communication, it is also important to meet people in-person to create and build a strong relationship.
Whilst 2021 the tissue industry saw a certain recession in demand, it is still unclear what 2022 holds for the market, and Terence shared some encouraging perspectives.
“In my opinion, 2022, especially for the first half of the year, will be very busy. From what I’ve read and what I’ve heard, from an investment standpoint to what customers are looking for, they are looking to expand and obviously still keep up with the times, planning to evolve and add something new to their product,” he stated. “Especially for WEKO this is an opportunity for us to step in and meet with our customers and show them what we can add to their products.”
Be sure to watch the complete interview!