2011 Nonwovens Sales: $300 million
Key Personnel: Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO; David von Loesecke, vice president International; Mike Clark, president, High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration; Mitch Bregman, president, Energy and Industrial Specialties; John Madej, president, Engine and Industrial Filtration; Jochem Hofstetter, vice president and managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa; Josh Ayer, vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific; Jeff Sherer, vice president and CFO; Don Bockoven, vice president, Global Operations; John Fitzgerald, vice president and CTO; Ken Fausnacht, vice president, Human Resources
Plants: 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; Winchcombe, U.K.
ISO Status: Apizaco, Mexico, ISO-9001:2008; Corvallis, OR, ISO 9001:2008; East Walpole, MA, ISO 9001:2008; Easton, NY, ISO 9001:2008; Floyd, VA, ISO 9001:2008; Greenwich, NY, ISO 9001:2008; Hatzfeld, Germany, ISO 9001:2008; Hawkinsville, GA, ISO 9001:2008 and AS 9100C; Kentmere, U.K., ISO 9001:2008; Suzhou, China, ISO 9001:2008; West Groton, MA, ISO9001:2008; Winchcombe, U.K., ISO 9001:2008
Processes: Wetlaid, meltblown, carded thermal bonded (point and flat calendered), latex bonded, through-air bonded, needlepunched, thermal lamination, aqueous and solvent-based saturation, nanofiber-webs, composites, webs incorporating functional particles
Brands: AFM, AFN, AQF, AlphaPerm, AlphaSeal, Capaceon, Cycleguard, DynaSeal, EnergyGuard, EnergyGuard Plus, Fastock, HiPerm, HiPerm Plus, H2oudini, Hovomat, Hovotex, Inviscint, Magnaseal, NanoWave, Nanoweb, PerForm, PurePerm, Stitchbackers, Technostat, Technostat Plus, Unisorb, ValPac, ViaMat, WallTek
Major Markets: Engine and industrial filtration; high efficiency and specialty filtration; energy and industrial specialties
Reporting a 9% sales increase, Hollingsworth & Vose (H&V), a supplier of nonwovens to filtration and other specialty markets, saw sales reach $300 million in 2011 thanks largely to a balanced global customer base, local supply and steady growth in the Asian engine filtration market and the European HVAC and energy markets.
Josh Ayer, vice president and managing director of Asia and Pacific, sees growth in Chinese automobile manufacturing and heavy-duty equipment manufacturing—both key end uses of H&V’s filtration media. “H&V’s approach of producing in China for Chinese customers and for international companies based in China has helped us build our business,” he explains.
H&V currently operates a site in Suzhou, China, where it is adding a new paper machine capable of producing filter media for engine and industrial applications. Coming on-stream by the end of the year, this line will be H&V’s largest globally and will be designed with the full capabilities needed to serve the growing China and Asia-Pacific market with high quality, performance-based products.
In the engine filtration area, Ayer states that, “Chinese customers have outgrown local quality. The EPA in China is stronger and tougher in many cases than in the U.S. China has a five-year plan mandating fuel efficiency. H&V sells high-end products in China so the Chinese market is beginning to look like the U.S. and European market.”
Meanwhile, Europe, Middle East and Africa reported a strong increase in the first half of 2011 with sales easing in the second half of 2012 due to European economic uncertainty, according to Jochem Hofstetter, vice president and managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
While sales momentum has continued in filtration, energy and specialty markets, a number of new products have added to strong sales results. These include NanoWave, NanoWeb, MFM (Molecular Filtration Media) and Technostat Plus used in HVAC, engine, cabin air and specialty filtration applications, respectively.
In fact, an emphasis on higher value added products such as NanoWave and other composite products have helped H&V maintain its strength amid economic uncertainty and raw material price fluctuations. “H&V has responded to challenges in the global economy by focusing on continuous improvement efforts and increased focus on the execution of core projects,” Hofstetter says. “The key factor that has contributed to these results is efficiency,” adds Don Bockoven, vice president, Global Operations.
Despite these efforts, higher commodity prices in 2011 forced H&V to raise prices to customers in order to partially offset these expenses, according to Mitch Bregman, president, Energy and Industrial Specialties. H&V is starting to see competition from Asia, but the superior performance of products such as EnergyGuard has helped H&V ward off competition in the battery market.
In its Engine and Industrial Filtration segment, H&V has witnessed a global need for increased filtration driven by emission regulations, power needs, global affluence and health concerns. The worldwide trend of continued urbanization has resulted in the creation of new infrastructure. The infrastructure, in turn, supports the expansion of automobiles, roads and further urbanization—all of which drive increased filtration needs.
“Other product development has focused on extending service intervals and making filters more space efficient in order to reduce the amount of waste products,” says Bregman.
H&V’s Capaceon meets both of these requirements, delivering 20-50% higher dust-holding capacity at equal basis weight, caliper and surface area. With Capaceon, new premium filter designs can provide equivalent or improved efficiency while also achieving longer filter life, lower pressure drop and energy savings throughout the lifetime of the filter.
H&V’s NanoWeb for air applications offers energy efficiency and longer service life. It is designed with H&V’s proprietary nanofiber technology to enhance particle capture efficiency at a minimal increase in pressure drop. NanoWeb media is designed for demanding air filtration applications, which call for long-lasting, extremely durable nanofiber media with high dirt-holding capacity for the toughest environments.
Meanwhile, H&V’s High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration business continues to be strong in the gas turbine, energy markets and indoor air quality markets but has remained flat for other businesses. Today, there is an increased interest in higher efficiency (HEPA) synthetic media to improve uptime in gas turbine filtration. “NanoWave has gained traction in Europe due to newly ratified HVAC EN779-2012 standards,” says Mike Clark, president, High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration. This standard relies on discharged efficiencies to simulate more rigorous longevity tests. NanoWave is the highest performing synthetic filter media providing mechanical filtration that outperforms glass mat in pocket filter applications.
NanoWave provides a broad technology platform for products being developed for various markets, including HVAC, gas turbine, air filtration and liquid filtration.
H&V’s MFM (molecular filtration media) has experienced global growth due to an increased level of interest in HVAC gas phase filtration to remove pollutants or gases from the air. Worldwide, there is an increased level of interest in improved indoor air quality, particularly in office buildings and in automobile cabin air. The benefit of MFM media is that it can capture smaller particles and remove pollutants and odors.
The many applications for TechnoStat Plus such as disk drives, cabin air, room air and medical devices, have kept product revenues on track. TechnoStat Plus media exhibits exceptionally low resistance, HEPA high efficiency and very high dust loading. The new Technostat Plus delivers all the benefits of Technostat, plus higher efficiency for a given basis weight.
In 2011, H&V completed two major investments: a new line in Winchcombe, U.K. and the Mark Hollingsworth Technology Center in Suzhou, China. The Winchcombe line began production as scheduled in the third quarter 2011 to supply, predominantly, the HESF and battery markets. This new line is a step change in performance and more than doubles H&V’s European capacity of glass media.
“These investments (meltblown in Germany and glass fiber media in the U.K.) have added product capabilities and strengthened our position to support growth in key filtration and battery separator markets in EMEA,” says Hofstetter.
Within the industrial specialty markets, recovery has been slower than in other areas, but 2011 sales were able to meet pre-recession levels. This recovery has been driven by a recovery in demand for heavy equipment and engine products, particularly for friction and gasket materials and the new products the company has developed for the home furnishings market. The U.S. auto recovery has helped business, as has the movement of a small number of apparel manufacturers back to the U.S. from Asia.
Advanced Fiber Nonwovens (AFN) has developed new surfacing veils for fiber-reinforced plastics for aerospace companies, automobile companies and the military. H&V has a new home furnishings business where the company has product design and manufacturing capabilities along with specialty applications in packaging and labeling.
“Our product mix continues to move toward EnergyGuard as it is more durable and can be used in all applications,” notes Bregman. Other upcoming market segments for H&V include power generation in the engine filtration division, start/stop AGM batteries in high-end automotives and HESF products for air cleaners, medical devices and appliances.
“H&V continues to grow geographically with substantial manufacturing investments,” says John Madej, president, Engine and Industrial Filtration. “Expansion in all three main geographic markets is on track to meet expectations. Growth in our Engine and Industrial division sales tend to follow market trends in the overall transportation and power generation segments—and both segments have grown well over the last few years.”