Location: Walpole, MA
Sales: $210 Million
Description: Key Personnel
Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO; David von Loesecke, vice president and general manager, engine and industrial filtration; Bob Schiller, vice president and general manager, high efficiency and specialty filtration; Tom White, vice president and general manager battery products; Randall Rogers, vice president and general manager, industrial specialties and engineered composite materials; Justin Harkiewicz, vice president and general manager, Asia-Pacific; Jeff Sherer, vice president and CFO; John Fitzgerald, vice president, technology; Mike Paddock, vice president, human resources
Apizaco, Mexico; Corvallis, OR; East Walpole, MA; Easton, NY; Floyd, VA ; Greenwich, NY; Hatzfeld, Germany; Hawkinsville, GA; Kentmere, U.K.; Suzhou, China; West Groton, MA; Winchombe, U.K.
Wetlaid, meltblown, carded thermal bonded (point and flat calendered), latex bonded, thru-air bonded, needlepunched, thermal and chemical lamination, aqueous and solvent-based saturation, nanofiber coating, composites, webs incorporating functional particles
AFM, AFN, AlphaPerm, AquaSure, BGO, Duo-Phase, DynaSeal, EnergyGuard, Fastock, HELP, HiPerm, HollTek, HovoFuse, Hovoglas, Hovoliner, Hovolon, Hovomat, Hovopulse, Hovosorb, Hovotex, Hovotherm, Hovotrim, Hovowipe, Magnaseal, Nanoweb, PurePerm, Saf ‘N’ Shielded, Soft ‘N Stable, Stitchbackers, Technostat, The Cat, Tufguard, Unisorb, ValPac, WallTek
Engine & Industrial Filtration; High Efficiency & Specialty Filtration; Battery Products; Industrial Specialties
Boasting $210 million in global nonwovens sales in 2006, Hollingsworth & Vose (H&V) saw an impressive 12% jump in revenue in 2006. H&V’s Engine and High Efficiency filtration businesses contributed significantly to this growth, despite continued high raw material prices, while Industrial Specialties has exhibited moderate growth.
The company attributes its sales and earnings results to two key factors—one positive and one negative. On one hand, H&V has continued to make strides in the development of new wetlaid synthetic materials, nanofiber media, next generation microfiberglass media and mechanically efficient meltblown composites. However, the company’s success has been tempered by ongoing high raw material prices for fibers, binders and chemicals as well as the continued high cost of energy. In response to such trends, H&V’s strategy is to differentiate itself through new product innovation, market focus and key customer relationships characterized by a high level of technical and logistical support.
In its High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration business, solid performance in 2006 was due to a combination of successful new and existing products. New products include next-generation microfiberglass HEPA/ULPA media, offering superior pleatability and dramatically improved pressure drop performance. H&V expanded the PurePerm family of products to address the growing needs of the flat panel display industry and introduced nanofiber alternatives to electrospun products. Carded nonwoven and meltblown composites were also expanded for HVAC applications (MERV 12+). In addition, H&V’s facemask business benefited in 2006 from continued fears about the Avian Flu.
Also enjoying continuing growth are the pleatable synthetics and pool /spa product lines introduced during the past two years. Pleatable synthetic media for the MERV 6-12 segment of the HVAC market continues to grow with increasing demands for better filtration performance in the residential, commercial and industrial HVAC markets. “H&V is uniquely positioned via these composites to meet and exceed market requirements and more stringent industry standards for mechanical efficiency,” commented Angelika Mayman, director, business development for H&V. “Our pool and spa media just received NSF 50 certification, which is designed to evaluate circulation systems and components for swimming pools, spas and hot tubs. This certification saves H&V customers time and money when obtaining cartridge approval.”
In the wallcovering area, H&V remains focused on products that exhibit unique characteristics such as easy strippability and permeability, which have driven demand in Europe and the U.S.
Meanwhile, the Engineered Composite Materials (ECM) product segment has grown in two segments—parts for automotive applications and adsorbent products. The adsorbent products remove gases, water or hydrocarbons from air streams. In H&V’s Advanced Fiber Nonwovens (AFN) business, new specialty carbon fiber surfacing veils are targeting various high performance composite applications. The veils provide conductivity, anti-static and anti-spark properties.
Located in Hawkinsville, GA, the AFN manufacturing line maintains AS 9100 Rev B, QS 9000:1998 and ISO 9001:2000 quality certifications. H&V’s Battery Products business offers separator materials and other products for VRLA (valve regulated lead acid) and HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) battery types. “The telecommunications sector was constant versus 2005,” Ms. Mayman noted, “while other sectors such as transportation SLI (starting/lighting/ignition) were more dynamic.” New products include laminated cellophane battery separator materials.
Also performing well in 2006 was the Engine and Industrial Group, including both cellulose and synthetic media. Nonwovens areas of the business, including gas turbine, dust collection and hydraulic media, are also meeting expectations. “Our media offerings, which include wetlaid synthetics, submicron fiber media and composites, are well received in the market,” Ms. Mayman said. “Our two decades of expertise in glass and laminated glass grades for hydraulic applications has positioned us well to address increasing demand for elimination of static dissipation and improvement in beta stability in cyclic flow applications.”
When it comes to new products, H&V has kept busy rolling out a variety of offerings. One recent innovation is its Advanced Cure Resin (ACR) engine filter media, which is performing well in Europe, a market traditionally favoring solvent-based media. H&V continues to innovate in the window treatment market, offering substrates for cellular shade, roller shade, blackout shade and pleated shade applications. Uncoated fuel cell GDL layer material is available on a sheet basis; in addition, coated sheets can be requested.
Also new are high temperature wetlaid and meltblown materials with specified CTE (coefficient of thermal expansion), which are available via the AFN group. These materials find application in printed circuit board substrate applications and emphasize the use of p-aramid materials. Other recent innovations include laminated cellophane materials for battery applications as well as water-dispersible materials for use in a variety of applications including wipes, labels and environmentally friendly products.
On the European front, H&V reports that synthetic filter media continues to be demanded by the European HVAC and HEPA/ULPA market.
In Asia, H&V is up and running with a new wetlaid manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China. The plant’s first machine, which came onstream in 2007, will provide products to the engine filter and industrial products markets. Regarding the second machine, “We expect our wetlaid microglass manufacturing line to be operational in 2008 in our Suzhou mill, offering filter media and battery products at the quality standards industry leaders expect,” she reported.