On April 2, 2004, the company Thermopol was established. Today it is the European leader in the development and production of high-tech non-woven materials, the owner of a reverently guarded brand Hollowfiber®.
However, these days, in strict accordance with Decree No. 206, the release of nonwovens has been suspended. And the company's birthday - a special day in the development of the project - is celebrated behind closed doors.
‘We, while supporting quarantine and non-proliferation of coronavirus measures, protect employees - each of them is unique in our project, we protect customers without exposing anyone to risk. However, the company’s office works remotely, forming pre-orders for the period of lifting restrictions and editing our clear production plan,’ said Viktor Gontar, General Director of Thermopol LLC.
‘The features of our universal technology and equipment capabilities allow us to start up and produce tens of kilometers of nonwoven materials per day at any time and meet the needs of the market and, if necessary, state needs. This is a merit of each of our employees, specialists of all levels, ”continues Victor Gontar.
Vladimir Lysak was at the origins of the project. Today he is the commercial director of the company, Honorary Worker of Textile and Light Industry. Vladimir Lysak was actually the first to start selling synthetic products with this strange name - Hollowfiber® in Russia. He recalls: ‘The products were very unusual for the stereotypes and mentality of the 90s, so there was no such confidence. The name ‘Hollowfiber’ generally dropped out of the patterns and was criticized, although imported synthetic products then appeared in Russia in the wake of foreign fashion for new chemical fiber products. It all started with pillow fillers. Until now, part of our audience has persistently associated Hollowfiber® with ‘fiber balls. Today they are called Puffs, and this is one of hundreds of varieties in the line of our own production. But then they entered the country - from South Africa, through the whole world. Then the canvases began to appear. And much later, already at our factory, we began to produce layers. Thus, the main product lines were formed: ‘balls’, canvases and layers.’
A feature of the project is personnel policy. The company has no turnover. Specialists are growing in production. For example, Elena Mezentseva, chief technologist at Thermopol factories, co-author of patents and co-developer of Hollowfiber® formulations, passed a 10-year OTK school after a textile university, essentially forming the direction of analysis and quality of bulk high-tech non-woven materials in the Russian Federation.
Permanent Technical Director Sergei Makhov says: 'We have created and are developing a product that became the first non-woven material in the Russian Federation to receive the certificate of international recognition OEKO-TEX standard 100 class 1 in terms of absolute hygiene and safety. The first domestic heater that passed the European certification EN 533 (flame retardation and preservation of properties when washing at t over 75 C). This is the first non-woven fabric to receive the paradoxical ‘Best Fabric of the Year’ mark. The first material, comprehensively studied, tested and recommended by almost all leading laboratories and centers (Central Research Institute of the Garment Industry, Scientific Research Institute of Occupational Medicine, Scientific Research Institute of Nonwoven Materials, etc.). The first insulation and filler recommended in products for newborns with the possibility of use even in direct contact with the skin. The first material recommended for the Special Climate Zone (1B, IV ‘Arctic’) and even for use at temperatures up to minus 60 C! The first material that surpassed in its properties and qualities all the best foreign developments supplied to the Russian Federation with a price 2-10 times higher than Hollowfiber® insulation. The first material that was approved for use by law enforcement agencies and oil and gas companies, which place high demands on human security. The first material in the Russian Federation that changed the idea of synthetic winterizer and generally about how synthetic insulation and filler should be in the final product. The first material, which became the basis for the development of fire-resistant Russian insulation Hollowfiber®-TEK. The first material, alternatively replacing foam rubber, coconut, synthetic winterizer, batting, wool. The first domestic heater, replacing the dubious foreign synthetics. Thus, to be and remain the first: this is the technological and marketing leadership of Hollowfiber®, probably announced in every Thermopol newsletter. To be one step ahead, not to be late to be earlier than others in new technological solutions.’
Engineering culture and industrial consistency lay success in every step of the company. One of the plant’s most experienced specialists, chief engineer Igor Nemtsov, is sure that the success of the Thermopol production project is directly related to the production system, which is understood by all project participants, is much broader than, for example, production planning or systematic production operations. Perhaps the systemic factor is the main principle in building any relationship. Public, personal and, of course, industrial. Temporary worker is out of system. He can never become a significant element of the chain. Non-systemic approaches are extremely unreliable and short-lived. A comprehensive understanding of systematicity in the Thermopol project developed quite naturally. This is not an external condition. Doctrine not imposed by the authorities. Not following any written rule. Not at all. Everything is much simpler. The very essence of the Hollowfiber® product is the predetermination of systemicity. This is not an end product. That is why it is constantly included in other multi-level production system chains: clothing manufacture, furniture business, production of insulated hangars, filter equipment, etc. etc. Thus, being dependent on system circuits, Thermopol itself has in recent years become a convenient, almost ideal, reliable, tested, production and commercial system that does not fail under any conditions. The measure of the importance of the formed Thermopol system is the benefit of all participants who also build their reliable systematic schemes that guarantee comprehensive success. ”
Despite its purely production context, Hollowfiber® is a creative product. When the first production batches of the most magnificent furniture fillers were launched in 2005, foreign experts recommended that we choose the 5-6 most technologically simplest positions for production. There were also those who even thought that the 6 articles of Hollowfiber® were a lot! As absurd alternative schemes, examples of sintepon workshops were produced, which produced 2-3 varieties and at least somehow survived. But the peculiarity of Thermopol lies in the fact that in 2004, when the production project was being created, and in 2005, when we achieved the first successes in the flowing articles, the task was only leadership. Nobody knew for sure whether the project would go, whether it would be successful with such ambitions, whether the non-existent product would be needed by Russian manufactures - all this had to be proved, justified, designed and ... composed. All subsequent years to the present moment - the Thermopol team has been oriented towards the creative writing of new materials, the latest recipes, and methods of release. Often, round-the-clock work led first to the creation of notes, then to musical scores and only after that to excellent symphonies with outlandish subtitles Soft, Hard, Puffs, Medium, Volumemetric, Carbo, Thermo, Micro, Pros .
Today, the creative component is inherent in every level of both the Thermopol internal production system and the external model associated with the innovative implementation of dozens of Hollowfiber® innovations and even the formation of sub-sectors oriented to the use of our materials.
This is not a romantic production model. Of course, for each of our employees, detailed instructions for his actions and interpretation of duties at the workplace have been developed. But every specialist of various levels is motivated by transformation and invention, in fact - by creativity.
We analyzed salary experience, generally accepted stimulation mechanisms, millions of different factors - and came to the conclusion that only the opportunity for a specialist at each level to create and see the introduction of his creative ideas in a material product can develop him as a master, as an expert, as an accomplice in the industrial chain. In simple words: the worker sees his quality product in children's clothing and a grateful smile from his mother; this is just the worker who suggested packaging so effectively, for example, Hollowfiber® insulation that not a single extra speck of dust will get into it.
It can be argued that Thermopol over the years has systematically formed a special type of meaningful personnel, where the priority is not only training, but understanding. Leadership, engineering and managerial staff, production management, technologists, technicians, workers are a creative team with creative tasks, a clear order of execution, independent or cooperative (depending on the specifics and qualifications) - a team aimed only at an effective result.
Thermopol Nonwoven Fabrics Project Development Director Vladislav Ivanov, says: ‘Hollowfiber® was formed very, very difficult, not immediately. Yes, it is being formed, it is changing today. This is a ‘multi-story’ system, an organism with many subsystems. To make it the way it is perceived today, we literally washed, washed, boiled, set it on fire, wrinkled, torn it, buried it in the ground, burned it in the sun, tried to freeze it, rubbed it, missed it, twisted it, stretched it, blew it, soaked it - with whatever we didn’t test it! To make it the way it is perceived today, we showed it, we proved its properties, we convinced and convinced everyone of the prospects of innovation. To make it the way it is perceived today we spent thousands of days and nights. Now you use it with joy and pleasure - material that does not fail. And we always say that the main thing is inside!’.
Celebrating the company's birthday, Thermopol thanks its customers and consumers with Hollowfiber® products!