Location: Walpole, MA
Sales: $225 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; Jochem Hofstetter, vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East, Africa region; Justin Harkiewicz, vice president and general manager, Asia- Pacific; Jeff Sherer, vice president and CFO; Mario Sandoval, vice president of operations; John Fitzgerald, vice president, technology; Mark Hutchison, vice president of lean six sigma and process 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, UK; Suzhou, China; West Groton, MA; Winchombe, UK
Apizaco, Mexico, ISO-9000.2000; Corvallis, OR, ISO 9001:2000; East Walpole, MA, ISO 9001:2000; Easton, NY, ISO 9001:2000; Floyd, VA, ISO 9001:2000; Greenwich, NY, ISO 9001:2000; Hatzfeld, Germany, ISO 9001:2000; Hawkinsville, GA, ISO 9001:2000 and AS 9100; Kentmere, UK, ISO 9001:2000; West Groton, MA, ISO9001:2000; Winchcombe, UK, ISO 9001:2000
Wetlaid, meltblown, carded thermal bonded (point and flat calendered), latex bonded, thru-air bonded, needlepunched, thermal lamination, aqueous and solvent-based saturation, nanofiber coating, composites, webs incorporating functional particles
AFM, AFN, AlphaPerm, AquaSperse, AquaSure, BGO, DynaSeal, EnergyGuard, Fastock, HELP, HiPerm, HiPerm Plus, HovoFuse, Hovoglas, Hovoliner, Hovolon, Hovomat, Hovopulse, Hovosorb, Hovotex, Hovotherm, Hovotrim, Hovowipe, Magnaseal, NanoWave, Nanoweb, PerForm, 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
Massachusetts-based Hollingsworth & Vose Company (H&V)—similar to just about every company in this year’s report—pointed to increasing raw material and energy costs as the number one factor impacting financial results this year. Worldwide sales were up slightly more than 7% at H&V with nonwoven roll goods revenue totaling $225 million in 2007. The company’s Engine and Industrial Filtration business as well as its Battery Products business contributed significantly to this growth and the Industrial Specialties business had steady sales from 2006 to 2007 as well.
In its High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration (HESF) business, H&V introduced several new products in 2007. The business benefited from the company’s new HVision Technology Platform, an in-house collaborative process designed to enhance the development and commercialization of breakthrough products.
Two of the most innovative, NanoWave and PerForm, were launched at INDA’s Filtration Show in November. H&V’s patented NanoWave is an extended surface, highloft all-synthetic fabric with three times the dirt-holding capacity of conventional media. The initial target application is the ASHRAE bag filter market, but H&V will move this technology into several additional filter media markets in the months ahead. NanoWave features half the resistance at a given efficiency versus standard synthetic media in an uncharged state, excellent dust holding capacity, high stiffness to maintain shape during filter life and unique benefits for a range of air filtration applications.
PerForm, a next generation HEPA/ULPA filter media for cleanroom applications, is setting new standards for performance and processability by increasing filter performance and lowering pressure drop, maximizing filter production line productivity and ensuring high quality pleats through superior uniformity.
“New products like these are driving \ growth within the HESF business because of their unequaled performance across multiple products and markets,” said Angelika Mayman, director, business development for H&V. “The HESF business group anticipates continued sales growth from these best-in-class products.”
For the company’s Engine and Industrial Filtration business, 2007 was a very strong year, seeing increased sales in Europe, continued growth in Asia and steady sales in North America. H&V attributes the continued success of this business unit to sustained spending on automotive and heavy-duty equipment and the group’s ability to provide high quality cellulose and synthetic products to the engine and general industrial market. “H&V’s broad array of web-forming technologies and lamination processes has enabled this group to respond to customer demands for products with longer service intervals, lower emissions and flame retardancy,” stated Ms. Mayman.
One of the most recent technologies developed at H&V within the Engine and Industrial Filtration group is a next-generation Nanoweb synthetic nanofiber media. The patent-pending nanofiber technology was designed to significantly enhance particle capture efficiency at a minimal increase in pressure drop compared to electrospun products.
As for the Engineered Composite Materials group, specializing in high performance composite materials for the engine gasket industry, the business experienced growth over the past year with its friction and absorptive media products.
In the Advanced Fiber Nonwoven (AFN) group, work continues on a variety of exotic fibers to produce technically demanding composite materials. “2007 was a solid year with strong growth coming from the carbon fiber surfacing veils market segment,” said Ms. Mayman. These veils provide conductivity, static dissipation and corrosion resistance properties for a variety of different applications. Operations reside primarily in H&V’s Hawkinsville, GA mill, which maintains its AS 9100 REV B and ISO 9001:2000 certifications.
The Battery Products business also had strong year in 2007, introducing several new EnergyGuard products. H&V’s high strength VRLA battery separator EnergyGuard line consists of combination materials that blend the best properties of microglass with the added strength of synthetic fiber. These separators have significantly higher puncture resistance, which leads to a lower incidence of shorting in batteries produced with all grid types.
H&V’s Industrial Specialties group also introduced several new products this year. AquaSperse water dispersible materials were launched under the HVision platform and offer a unique dispersible technology to be used in wash-away labels and environmentally-friendly packaging. New reinforcing waistband products for men’s slacks with desirable stretch and recovery characteristics were also introduced. Although various combinations of stretch materials have been available for some time, this H&V product is the only unitary web product currently available for this particular application, providing a simpler solution. The company also continues to introduce opaque window covering materials using its capability to laminate opaque materials to nonwoven and woven face fabrics. Several products of this type have become commercial during the year.
Turning to the company’s wallcoverings business, Ms. Mayman explained that H&V made the strategic decision to exit the North American wallcoverings business in 2007. “European wallcoverings still remains strong and will continue to be manufactured in Europe,” she said. “Overall the wallcoverings business in Europe is doing well and is expected to do so for the near future.”
H&V is also faring well in Europe with its engine filtration portfolio, which had a record year due to a strong market. “The European filtration groups performed particularly well and are expected to continue doing so in the future.”
In Asia, H&V’s state-of-the-art media facility is up and running. The plant, located in Suzhou, China, had its first wetlaid machine come onstream in 2007, producing engine filtration media and other technical specialty products for customers in the Asia Pacific region. The second machine has just begun producting high quality filter media for HEPA, ULPA, HVAC and appliance applications as well as valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) battery separator substrates. Continued investment and expansion is planned at the Chinese facility in the future, beyond the two wetlaid lines currently installed.
For the future, H&V expects its strategy of differentiating itself through new product innovation and maintaining market focus and key customer relationships to continue to drive growth. “Over the past year we have placed a huge emphasis on increased innovation and new product introduction,” said Ms. Mayman. “With a new R&D process in place, we’ll develop leading-edge technology at an increased pace and will continue to be the technology leader in markets served.” She added that H&V plans to look to further geographic expansion and increase implementation of lean/six sigma principles.