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Hollingsworth & Vose



Published January 1, 2003
Related Searches: nonwoven fiber composite wetlaid
Hollingsworth & Vose
Hollingsworth & Vose
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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, vice president and general manager, European engine and industrial filtration products; Jean Paul Francois, vice president and general manager, European high efficiency and separation products; Tom White, vice president of business development; Jeff Sherer, vice president and CFO; Douglas Klauber, vice president, technology; John Sloan, vice president, human resources

Plants
East Walpole, MA; West Groton, MA; Easton, NY; Greenwich, NY; Floyd, VA; Hawkinsville, GA; Winchcombe, U.K.; Apizaco, Mexico; Kentmere, U.K; Hatzfeld, Germany

ISO Status
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

Processes
Wetlaid, meltblown, carded, crosslapped, needlepunched, thermal point bonded, thermal overall bonded, air through bonded, latex bonded, laminated

Brand Names
Advanced Fiber Nonwovens, AlphaPerm, AlphaSeal, Capofilter, DynaSeal, FiberRich, HiPerm, Hovoglas, Hovolin, Hovoliner, Hovopulse, Hovosorb, Hovotex, Hovo-therm, Magnaseal, PurePerm, Technostat, ValPac, AFM, HELP, Nanoweb

Major Markets
Engine filtration media for air, fuel and oil filtration; cabin air intake filtration media, hydraulic oil filtration media, coalescing media; 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 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; general industrial nonwovens; contract manufacturing for industrial customers

Nonwoven roll goods sales were approximately flat at $150 million for Hollingsworth & Vose, Walpole, MA. While many of the company’s core markets posted gains, difficulties in the telecommunications sector limited sales in some of H&V’s key areas. Despite these difficulties, 2002 was a better year for the company than 2001 and these improvements have continued in 2003, according to executives.
 
“H&V has acted to gain marketshare in certain markets, to control costs and to introduce new products to improve its manufacturing capability,” explained Val Hollingsworth, company president and CEO. “This has led to an improving environment for H&V, despite weakness in some areas. Sales growth rates, however, have remained below targets, particularly in those products related to telecommunications.”
 
To overcome challenges facing the nonwovens industry, H&V has continued to pursue a strategy of providing higher performing materials that meet the requirements of customers. In many cases, these products are designed for the specific customer, application or converter line.
 
H&V operates through four business divisions—High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration (HESF), Industrial Specialties (IS) and Engineered Composite Materials (ECM) Battery Separators and Engine and Industrial Filtration.
 
HESF continues to focus on addressing the trend toward substituting glass media with synthetic products. For instance, H&V recently launched a line of pleatable synthetic ASHRAE and HEPA media and meltblown media that meet concerns over efficiency lost during electrostatic charge decay. These products use synthetic fibers and feature lower pressure drop, pleat heights up to three inches and full pleatability on standard processing equipment. Applications include filtration of air streams, indoor air cleaners and vacuum cleaner exhaust filters.
 
The ECM and IS businesses operated as two separate divisions until the company restructured in 2001. While the product lines in the two areas overlap slightly, the two segments do benefit from each others’ technology. For instance, the division is in the process of introducing commercial and residential wallcoverings. These products, which would traditionally be grouped in industrial specialties, are manufactured on equipment traditionally used to produce ECM products. Additionally, carbon, aramid and other products derived from its Advanced Fiber Nonwovens business may be used in conjunction with certain ECM materials. The combined business unit now markets materials from most of the company’s domestic manufacturing facilities.
Also grouped under industrial specialties are laminated films and nonwovens produced on a thermal laminated line, which was installed in Floyd, VA, in 2002. So far, this technology has yielded bright white opaque window covering products as well as flame retardant and scrubbable materials for various other home furnishing applications. On the ECM site, H&V last year began producing materials, which are saturated for use in automatic transmission parts.
 
H&V’s third business unit, Battery Separators, continues to focus on fibrous materials for use in battery systems, valve-regulated lead acid, alkaline manganese, nickel-metal hydride and lithium-based systems.
 
Finally, Engine and Industrial Filtration has benefited from the recent start-up of a new solvent-based resin impregnation line in Hawkinsville, GA. This line is specifically designed to produce engine and heavy-duty filter media that will reduce or eliminate the energy necessary for further processing and reduce or eliminate emissions from filtration manufacturing lines. So far, the company has participated in this product area only in Europe and expects to continue this success in the U.S. This facility also produces advanced cure resin filtration media products, which represent a major step forward in the filter market. For the first time, the filter manufacturer can specify the degree of cure he would like to use in his process. The line was a part of a two-year investment plan aimed at providing filtration customers with a broader range of higher value-added products.
 
“Our new process has the capability to dial into that level of resin advancement and to control it within a narrow range,” Mr. Hollingsworth explained. This process will produce media that will reduce or eliminate the energy necessary for further processing while lowering the emissions from customer manufacturing lines.
 
Also included in the Engine and Industrial Filtration division is Hollingsworth & Vose Europe, the portion of the business acquired from J.C. Binzer Papier Fabrik, Hatzfield, Germany in February 2001. H&V recently expanded this operation to support its customers in the region. “We now have a broader variety of web forming processes and significantly more capacity,” Mr. Hollingsworth explained. “The performance of the combined businesses is significantly improved when compared with that of the various pieces that we brought together during the past several years.”
 
Another European acquisition helping H&V’s overall business is Mead Specialty Paper, Exeter, U.K. Executed in January 2002, this acquisition includes a saturated engine filtration media line and a portion of Mead’s absorbent paper product line. Both areas have been fully integrated into H&V’s existing business.
 
H&V’s results have been positively influenced by acquisitions in filtration areas in Europe, and it is expected that these activities will continue to guide H&V activities for the remainder of this decade. “H&V continues to place a high priority on expanding our product offerings globally and offering improved support to our customers no matter where they choose to establish their operations,” Mr. Hollingsworth said. While executives wouldn’t comment on how capital expansion and acquisitions would shape its future, they would admit that high performance products would continue to respond to more demanding customer needs in the future. “We will apply the wide range of different and unique H&V processes to this challenge. In addition, we will find new ways to manufacture composite materials combining different materials to produce new products and reach levels of performance previously unavailable,” Mr. Hollingsworth concluded.