Weinheim, July 2020 –The Weinheim rubber floor covering manufacturer nora systems, now part of global flooring leader Interface, continues its growth course and had a solid fourth quarter 2019, exceeding the growth expectations for the year. In 2019, Interface reported net sales of $1.3 billion, up 14% versus $1.2 billion in 2018. Investments at the Weinheim site have also continued to grow. The company spent a total of 5.6 million euros on new equipment and technical innovations. "The largest investments in 2019 were two rolling mills and a new kneader with a total investment volume of 1.5 million Euro", explains Ton van Keken, Vice President of Supply Chain and director of nora systems GmbH. "Our floor coverings are renowned for their unrivalled quality and functionality. These investments will further strengthen the competitiveness of our organization and ensure first-class production of rubber floor coverings", says van Keken.
nora systems has been part of the Interface family since 2018. At the beginning of 2019 Interface expanded its Carbon Neutral Floors™ program to include nora rubber sheets and tiles. These products are now carbon neutral across their full product life cycle1. "Through our Carbon Neutral Floors programme we are supporting our customers to achieve their own sustainability goals", adds van Keken. Interface and nora continue to align systems and to ensure support of the full family of products and to meet customer needs and requirements across all key segments. For example, rubber flooring recently made a valuable contribution to creating an hygienic environment in connection with the corona pandemic. The floors are in use in hundreds of hospitals around the world, where they are proving their efficiency – also in terms of hygiene. Already during the SARS pandemic that broke out in China in 2002, Chinese hos-pital planners relied on nora floor coverings in particularly affected regions. The floorings that had proved their effectiveness in the crisis at the time and were therefore also used again for the Huoshenshan Clinic, which was recently built in record time in Wuhan for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The same applies to the temporarily built 450-bed hospital at the Miami Beach Convention Center in the United States.
This year – 2020 – nora floor coverings celebrate their 70th birthday. It all began in 1950 when the first rubber floor covering was produced using a vulcanising machine. At the time, the nora plant was still part of the Freudenberg group. In the 1930s, the traditional Weinheim-based company began manufacturing shoe soles and sealing elements from rubber compounds. On the lookout for a further source of income, brothers Richard and Hans Freudenberg – grandsons of the former company founder Carl Johann Freudenberg – decided to manufacture rubber floor coverings. The new product was named after the inventor of the rubber formulation, the chemist Dr Nürnberger. The current brand name, nora, was created from the Latin spelling of his name (norimbergensis).
The first floor produced at the Weinheim plant was noraplan uni, a single-coloured floor with a smooth surface that is still present in the standard range today. Almost 20 years later, the production facility launched a second product line from which the legendary pastille flooring was developed at the end of the sixties. The pastille floor achieved cult status thanks to its installation in Frankfurt Airport in 1970, where it remained for around 40 years. The company has remained loyal to the production and administration site on the Bergstrasse, an ancient trade route in South-West Germany. Every day, floor coverings are sent all over the world from this factory. Today, nora rubber flooring is used by millions of people – in hospitals, schools and universities, in trams and shops, museums and large production halls in many industrial sectors.*
Read more about 70 years of nora rubber flooring production.
1) nora floor coverings are CO2 neutral over the entire product life cycle. We are continuously working on further reducing CO2 emissions within the value chain through various measures. Remaining CO2 emissions are offset by the acquisition of certificates relating to audited emission reduction projects.
Photos: Header image and # 1, 2 © nora systems GmbH, # 3, 4 © Freudenberg & Co. KG, company archive, # 5 © Andrea Lhotakova, #6 © Davide Saibene, Hanson Architects
* The text can be freely used. Publication of images in connection with press releases of nora systems GmbH is free of charge if the source is quoted. The copyright can be found under Image Properties >> Details. The use for advertising purposes is not permitted. We ask for a specimen copy.
About nora systems
nora by Interface is the commercial rubber flooring brand of Interface, Inc. Produced in Germany for more than 65 years, nora premium rubber helps to support operations, efficiencies, health, safety and well-being with sustainable flooring that eases maintenance, reduces noise, and provides added comfort underfoot.
Interface, Inc. is a global flooring company specializing in carbon neutral carpet tile and resilient flooring, including luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and nora® rubber flooring. We help our customers create high-performance interior spaces that support well-being, productivity, and creativity, as well as the sustainability of the planet. Our mission, Climate Take Back™, invites you to join us as we commit to operating in a way that is restorative to the planet and creates a climate fit for life.