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Hollingsworth & Vose



Published January 1, 2004
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Hollingsworth & Vose
Hollingsworth & Vose
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Location: East Walpole, MA

Sales: $165 Million

Description: Key Personnel
Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO; Charles Miller, vice president and general manager, engine and industrial filtration and vice president, international; Tom White, vice president and general manager of battery separator products and vice president, business development, 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 filtration and separation products; European Jeff Sherer, vice president and CFO; Douglas Klauber, vice president, technology; Mike Paddock, vice president, human resources.

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

ISO Status
Apizaco, Mexico, ISO 9001 and QS-9000; East Walpole, MA, ISO 9001:2000; Easton, NY, ISO 9001 and QS 9000; Floyd, VA, ISO 9001:2000; Greenwich, NY, ISO 9001 and QS 9000; Hatzfeld, Germany, ISO 9001:2000; Hawkinsville, GA, QS-9000; Kentmere, U.K., ISO 9001:2000; West Groton, MA, ISO 9001 and QS-9000; Winchcombe, U.K., ISO 9001:2000 and QS 9000

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

Brand Names
AFM, AFN, AlphaPerm, Alpha­Seal, DynaSeal, Energy­Guard, FiberRich, HollTek, Hovoglas, Hovoliner, Hovo­mat, Hovopulse, Hovosorb, Hovotex, Hovotherm Magna­seal, Nanoweb, PurePerm, Saf ‘N’ Shielded, Stitchbackers, Technostat, ValPac

Major Markets
Engine & Industrial Fil­tration:  Air-heavy duty, automotive and cabin air; Fuel-common rail, in-tank; Oil-heavy duty, automotive; Industrial-gas turbine, dust collection, hydraulic; High Efficiency & Specialty Filtration:  Analytical/medical/biotech; coalescer; drinking water; HEPA, ULPA & cleanroom; HVAC; pool & spa; room air cleaner; respiratory/surgical face masks; specialty liquid; vacuum cleaner; Battery Separators:  Battery chemistries for industrial and automotive markets—alkaline manganese; nickel cadmium; nickel metal hydride; valve-regulated lead acid; specialty-lithium thionyl chloride, zinc air; Industrial Specialties:  Apparel-embroidery backing; label stock; waistband canvas; engineered composite materials-automotive gaskets; industrial sealing materials; thermal/acoustical barriers; floppy disk liners; home furnishings:  drapery buckram; wallcovering substrates; window coverings; Advanced Fiber Nonwovens:  Composite roll materials; composite tank and pipe materials; EMI shielding; ESD and ground planes; fuel cell GDL materials; RADAR absorbing veils; low observables; sporting goods; surfacing veils

A spate of new products across all of its divisions led to an increase in roll goods sales for Walpole, MA-based Hollingsworth & Vose. Sales increased to an estimated $165 million in 2003, compared to $150 million the year before thanks to product innovation and customer focus across all of the company’s four divisions—High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration, Industrial Specialties and Engineered Composite Materials, Battery Separators and Engine and Industrial Filtration.
 
Among the highlights of this innovation are: synthetic and composite media for engine and air filtration; HollTek wallcovering substrates; Energyguard valve-regulated lead acid battery separators; a patented pool and spa filter media and a NSF-approved meltblown filtration media for drinking water. Additionally, the telecommunications market, which has been blamed for past sales bottlenecks, has begun to recover.
 
“Customers’ product applications require increasing levels of performance in terms of durability, capacity and technical requirements,” said Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO. “The ability to deliver technology advances to our customers will be critical to our ongoing success.”
 
This concept has been applied to all of H&V’s core areas. In HESF, core markets include HEPA, ULPA, cleanroom and HVAC, vacuum bag, room air cleaner, pool and spa, drinking water, coalescer, respiratory, face mask and analytical/biotech. Highlights of this division’s 2003 performance were a peak in face mask production instigated by the outbreak of sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Asia as well as successful product introductions including a patented antimicrobial pool and spa media, an improved line of glass ASHRAE media, advancements in meltblown media for pocket filters and pleatable synthetic products for HEPA and ASHRAE filters. In the future, executives expect that increased use of synthetic media in filtration segments will continue to drive growth in this area.
 
The Engine & Industrial filtration segment provides media for use in automotive and heavy-duty air, oil and fuel filters as well as industrial filtration substrates. Recent investments include a solvent saturation line in Hawkinsville, GA, which came onstream last year. The new line is routinely supplying commercial quantities of a new generation of product with advanced cure resin (ACR) air and liquid filter media. “This product line has been well received by the market due to our ability to tailor the degree of cure while greatly eliminating harmful emissions and energy consumption at customers’ facilities,” Mr. Hollingsworth said. “The media offer better pleatability, embossability and pleat definition in most applications.”
 
This segment also includes Hollingsworth & Vose Europe, the portion of the business acquired from J.C. Binzer Papier Fabrik in 2001. In July, the company announced plans to add a meltblown line to the Hatzfeld, Germany facility. This investment will expand the division’s capability and capacity in meltblown production in the high efficiency filtration market segments and provide local supply for its European customers. “It is one element of a broader nonwovens strategy to meet market demand for technically advanced filtration media in high efficiency air and liquid filtration and also engine filtration applications,” Mr. Hollingsworth said.
 
The company expects that meltblown will figure more prominently as the preferred media for the filtration industry because of its ability to convert many filter designs. These include pleated elements from traditional materials such as glass fiber media, to meltblown and composite synthetics. H&V plans to be well positioned to lead this transition, according to executives.
 
H&V’s Industrial Specialties and Engineered Composite Materials business includes wallcovering substrates, home furnishings materials, apparel-related products, advanced fiber nonwovens (AFN) and products for niche applications. HollTek wallcovering substrates, which meet residential customer needs, has been the critical launch from this division in recent months. They bring new product properties to a market nonwovens are increasingly penetrating. The product is currently available in the U.S. with a European rollout scheduled for the near term. On the home furnishings front, substrates for cellular-pleated shades and vertical blinds are H&V’s main focus.
 
Meanwhile, the ECM product line, a portion of the industrial specialties business, is expanding from its traditional role in gasket applications into new areas such as friction papers used in transmissions. Also included in this division, H&V’s AFN product line includes 100% synthetic nonwovens with exotic, high-performance fibers. These specialized advanced composite materials are being used in demanding applications such as radar-absorbing veils, tank and pipe composites, EMI shielding and ESD, composite rolls and sporting goods. Additionally, AFN includes high-quality gas diffusion layer substrates for use in PEM fuel cells, which were introduced in 2003.
 
The fourth division, Battery Separators makes materials for three principal chemistries—valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) for telecommunications and motive power applications, alkaline for disposable batteries and nickel metal hydride. Conditions in this segment have improved thanks to the strengthening telecommunications market and continued growth is expected through the remainder of this year.
 
By region, all of H&V’s production is currently located in North America and Europe. In recent years, considerable investment has centered on Europe with the acquisition of J.C. Binzer and that facility’s recently announced expansion as well as the purchase of Hepworth Air Filtration and the engine filtration business of Mead Devon Valley in the U.K. As Europe continues to be an important growth area, other target areas include Pacific Rim countries. H&V has recently established a trading company in China.
 
“H&V will continue to grow organically through product innovation, key customer relationships and market focus,” Mr. Hollingsworth said. “In addition, we are always looking for acquisition opportunities which complement or extend our current capabilities.”