Location: East Walpole, MA
Sales: $150 Million
Description: Key Personnel
Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO; Charles Miller, vice president and general manager, engine and industrial filtration; Kevin Porter, vice president and general manager, battery separator products; David von Loesecke, vice president and general manager, high efficiency and specialty filtration; Randall Rogers, vice president and general manager, industrial specialties and engineered composite materials; Juergen Binzer, managing director, European engine and industrial filtration products; Jean Paul Francois, vice president and general manager, European high efficiency and separation products; Tom White, vice president business development; Jeff Sherer, vice president and CFO; Douglas Klauber, vice president, technology; Frank Attardo, vice president, operations; John Sloan, vice president, human resources
East Walpole, MA; West Groton, MA; Easton, NY; Greenwich, NY; Floyd, VA; Hawkinsville, GA; Winchcombe, U.K.; Apizaco, Mexico; Kentmere, U.K; Hatzfeld, Germany
Winchcombe, U.K. ISO 9001 and QS 9000 certified; Easton and Greenwich, NY ISO 9001 and QS 9000; Floyd, VA ISO 9001; East Walpole, MA ISO 9001; West Groton, MA ISO 9001; Hawkinsville, GA ISO 9001 and AS 9000; Kentmere, U.K. ISO 9002; Hatzfeld, Germany ISO 9001
Wetlaid, melt blown, carded, crosslapped, needlepunched, thermal point bonded, thermal overall bonded, air through bonded, latex bonded, laminated
Advanced Fiber Nonwovens, AlphaPerm, AlphaSeal, Capofilter, DynaSeal, FiberRich, HiPerm, Hovoglas, Hovolin, Hovoliner, Hovopulse, Hovosorb, Hovotex, Hovo-therm, Magnaseal, PurePerm, Technostat, ValPac
Engine filtration media for air, fuel and oil filtration; HEPA and ULPA filtration media for cleanrooms; ASHRAE media for indoor air quality; respiratory protection media, including HEPA cartridge media and synthetic media for facemasks; HEPA filter media for component filters in vacuum cleaner and room air cleaners; laminated glass and synthetic media for liquid bag filter and filter cartridges; battery separators; gasket and sealing materials for automotive and industrial applications; nonwoven materials for the apparel and home furnishing industries; nonwoven mats and veils for sporting goods, aerospace, automotive and storage tank applications; activated carbon containing media for adsorptive applications general industrial nonwovens; contract manufacturing for industrial customers
By maintaining a conservative financial stance, roll goods producer Hollingsworth & Vose, Walpole, MA, has actually been able to benefit from the less favorable business conditions affecting the nonwovens industry in recent months. In fact, consolidation, which has occurred in many of H&V’s core product areas, has served the company as several of its competing production facilities shut their doors in 2001 and 2002. These conditions allowed H&V’s nonwovens sales to continue to top the $150 million mark.
H&V operates through four business divisions—High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration (HESF), Engineered Composite Materials (ECM) and Industrial Specialties (IS), Battery Separators and Engine and Industrial Filtration. The HESF division was enhanced through the acquisition of Hepworth Air Filtration, Kentmere, U.K., in March 2000. Renamed Hollingsworth & Vose Air Filtration (HVAF), the acquisition has broadened H&V’s product offerings and capabilities in the respiratory protective equipment, medical, cabin air, furnace filter, appliance and industrial air filtration markets. HVAF products are sold through the company’s sales forces in the U.S. and Europe, and the integration of the company’s resources have strengthened HESF internationally.
This portion of the business has also been strengthened by the development of melt blown products for high temperature liquid filtration applications, which are being developed at H&V’s Floyd, VA facility. “We have had several inquiries for small micron filtration applications where the media would be exposed to chemicals and/or high temperatures outside the operating conditions of standard melt blown polymers,” reported Val Hollingsworth, company president and CEO. “Our new line of polyphenlene sulfide (PPS) melt blown media provides greater resistance to a broader range of chemicals in higher temperature applications where traditional polypropylene or polyester polymers may not hold up.”
HESF has also developed a new line of pleatable synthetic HEPA media for component filters in room air cleaners and vacuum exhaust applications. This media provides much lower air resistance than glass media at equivalent airflows.
Another area of continued interest is Technostat, HVAF’s line of low resistance electret media, which has been expanded with the introduction of T2, featuring advanced triboelectric technology.
In 2001, H&V combined its ECM and IS businesses, which formerly operated as different divisions. This segment has been characterized by a brisk rate of new product introductions in recent months as H&V has developed waistband stiffeners for apparel applications, embroidery backings, window covering products, electronic gaskets, wall coverings and products for managing the reflection of radar. Most of the items were reportedly produced to customer specifications.
Also included on the ECM side of the business are H&V’s Dynaseal, Valpac and Magnaseal brands, which contain varying grades of gasket products for different temperature and sealing conditions. Meanwhile, the IS side of the business continues its focus on wetlaid embroidery backings. Most recently the Soft-N-Stable line of cut-away backings was designed to have high stitch holding capacity while remaining soft to the skin. “H&V plans to introduce several new products in 2002 aimed at applying this same soft hand technology to a line of tear-away backings,” Mr. Hollingsworth revealed.
The Battery Separators business was marked by two contrasting trends in 2001 and 2002, according to company executives. “The industrial battery separator business was suppressed in 2001 due to the decline of capital spending in the telecommunications industry and prospects for short term improvement are not optimistic,” Mr. Hollingsworth said. “On the other hand, consumer battery applications have grown with portable electronic devices and cameras.” Additionally, the battery separator division continues to reap the benefits of a global alliance with battery separator manufacturer Daramic, Burlington, MA, which was designed to meet the separator needs of the lead acid battery industry. This alliance has reportedly enhanced the global reach of both companies.
The Engine and Industrial Filtration division has been augmented by a two-year investment program designed to expand product capabilities and overall capacity, which is on track to be complete in 2003. The investment, which affects H&V’s Easton, NY, West Groton, MA and Hawkinsville, GA mills, will reportedly allow H&V to provide its filtration customers with a broader range of higher value-added products. Also included in the plan is the construction of a new solvent impregnation line incorporating the capability to impregnate filtration media with binders applied from solvent-based systems.
In new product news, the Engine and Industrial filtration business has introduced a new line of laminated glass media for the hydraulic filtration market. This line offers the benefit of improved capacity at lower flow restrictions, two of the primary drivers in the hydraulic filtration market. This new product line, along with the Binzer line of lightweight HELP products, significantly broadens H&V’s product range in this area, according to executives.
Additionally, this division has reaped the fruits of H&V’s acquisition of J.C. Binzer Papier Fabrik, Hatzfield, Germany, in February 2001. Renamed Hollingsworth & Vose Europe, this acquisition has given the company a stronger presence in Europe as well as a broader product line. H&V Europe expects to commercialize a proprietary nanofiber coating process called Nanowebin 2003. The application of Nanoweb will greatly enhance the efficiency of any number of different filter media.
In other acquisition news, H&V acquired two key product lines from Mead Specialty Paper, Exeter, U.K., in January. The product lines include saturated engine filtration media and a portion of Mead’s absorbent paper product line. H&V will transfer the production of these products to its sites in the U.K., Germany and Mexico. “The purchase of the Mead Devon Valley filter business helped us in two ways,” Mr. Hollingsworth explained. “First, it gave a line expansion in several key absorbent markets for which we previously had limited offerings. Second, it offered significant share growth opportunities in our core engine filtration business that we have successfully integrated into our operations.”
While executives would not comment on H&V’s future plans in terms of acquisitions, joint ventures or partnerships, Mr. Hollingsworth indicated that H&V will continue to focus on specialty markets where it has or can establish competitive or unique capabilities that add critical and valuable attributes to its customers and products. “H&V intends to establish a significant position in all of its major businesses in every major geographical market,” he said. “The method of establishment of sales and manufacturing capabilities in each market and geographic area will depend on the business opportunity and the circumstances surrounding it.”