Nonwovens Industry
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Hollingsworth & Vose


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, managing director, European engine and industrial filtration products; Jean Paul Francois, vice president and general manager, European high efficiency and separation products; Tom White, vice president business development; Jeff Sherer, vice president and CFO; Douglas Klauber, vice president, technology; Frank Attardo, vice president, operations; 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, melt blown, 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

Major Markets
Engine filtration media for air, fuel and oil filtration; 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 filter 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; activated carbon containing media for adsorptive applications general industrial nonwovens; contract manufacturing for industrial customers

By maintaining a conservative financial stance, roll goods producer Hollingsworth & Vose, Walpole, MA, has actually been able to benefit from the less favorable business conditions affecting the nonwovens industry in recent months. In fact, consolidation, which has occurred in many of H&V’s core product areas, has served the company as several of its competing production facilities shut their doors in 2001 and 2002. These conditions allowed H&V’s nonwovens sales to continue to top the $150 million mark.
 
H&V operates through four business divisions—High Effi­ciency and Specialty Filtration (HESF), Engineered Composite Materials (ECM) and Industrial Specialties (IS), Battery Sepa­rators and Engine and Industrial Filtration. The HESF division was enhanced through the acquisition of Hepworth Air Filtration, Kentmere, U.K., in March 2000. Renamed Hollings­worth & Vose Air Filtration (HVAF), the acquisition has broadened H&V’s product offerings and capabilities in the respiratory protective equipment, medical, cabin air, furnace filter, appliance and industrial air filtration markets. HVAF products are sold through the company’s sales forces in the U.S. and Europe, and the integration of the company’s resources have strengthened HESF internationally.
 
This portion of the business has also been strengthened by the development of melt blown products for high temperature liquid filtration applications, which are being developed at H&V’s Floyd, VA facility. “We have had several inquiries for small micron filtration applications where the media would be exposed to chemicals and/or high temperatures outside the operating conditions of standard melt blown polymers,” reported Val Hollingsworth, company president and CEO. “Our new line of polyphenlene sulfide (PPS) melt blown media provides greater resistance to a broader range of chemicals in higher temperature applications where traditional polypropylene or polyester polymers may not hold up.”
 
HESF has also developed a new line of pleatable synthetic HEPA media for component filters in room air cleaners and vacuum exhaust applications. This media provides much lower air resistance than glass media at equivalent airflows.
 
Another area of continued interest is Technostat, HVAF’s line of low resistance electret media, which has been expanded with the introduction of T2, featuring advanced triboelectric technology.
 
In 2001, H&V combined its ECM and IS businesses, which formerly operated as different divisions. This segment has been characterized by a brisk rate of new product introductions in recent months as H&V has developed waistband stiffeners for apparel applications, embroidery backings, window covering products, electronic gaskets, wall coverings and products for managing the reflection of radar. Most of the items were reportedly produced to customer specifications.
 
Also included on the ECM side of the business are H&V’s Dynaseal, Valpac and Magnaseal brands, which contain varying grades of gasket products for different temperature and sealing conditions. Meanwhile, the IS side of the business continues its focus on wetlaid embroidery backings. Most recently the Soft-N-Stable line of cut-away backings was designed to have high stitch holding capacity while remaining soft to the skin. “H&V plans to introduce several new products in 2002 aimed at applying this same soft hand technology to a line of tear-away backings,” Mr. Hollingsworth revealed.
 
The Battery Separators business was marked by two contrasting trends in 2001 and 2002, according to company executives. “The industrial battery separator business was suppressed in 2001 due to the decline of capital spending in the telecommunications industry and prospects for short term improvement are not optimistic,” Mr. Hollingsworth said. “On the other hand, consumer battery applications have grown with portable electronic devices and cameras.” Additionally, the battery separator division continues to reap the benefits of a global alliance with battery separator manufacturer Daramic, Burlington, MA, which was designed to meet the separator needs of the lead acid battery industry. This alliance has reportedly enhanced the global reach of both companies.
 
The Engine and Industrial Filtration division has been augmented by a two-year investment program designed to expand product capabilities and overall capacity, which is on track to be complete in 2003. The investment, which affects H&V’s Easton, NY, West Groton, MA and Hawkinsville, GA mills, will reportedly allow H&V to provide its filtration customers with a broader range of higher value-added products. Also included in the plan is the construction of a new solvent impregnation line incorporating the capability to impregnate filtration media with binders applied from solvent-based systems.
 
In new product news, the Engine and Industrial filtration business has introduced a new line of laminated glass media for the hydraulic filtration market. This line offers the benefit of improved capacity at lower flow restrictions, two of the primary drivers in the hydraulic filtration market. This new product line, along with the Binzer line of lightweight HELP products, significantly broadens H&V’s product range in this area, according to executives.
 
Additionally, this division has reaped the fruits of H&V’s acquisition of J.C. Binzer Papier Fabrik, Hatzfield, Germany, in February 2001. Renamed Hollingsworth & Vose Europe, this acquisition has given the company a stronger presence in Europe as well as a broader product line. H&V Europe expects to commercialize a proprietary nanofiber coating process called Nanowebin 2003. The application of Nanoweb will greatly en­hance the efficiency of any number of different filter media.
 
In other acquisition news, H&V acquired two key product lines from Mead Specialty Paper, Exeter, U.K., in January. The product lines include saturated engine filtration media and a portion of Mead’s absorbent paper product line. H&V will transfer the production of these products to its sites in the U.K., Germany and Mexico. “The purchase of the Mead Devon Valley filter business helped us in two ways,” Mr. Hollingsworth explained. “First, it gave a line expansion in several key absorbent markets for which we previously had limited offerings. Second, it offered significant share growth opportunities in our core engine filtration business that we have successfully integrated into our operations.”
 
While executives would not comment on H&V’s future plans in terms of acquisitions, joint ventures or partnerships, Mr. Hollingsworth indicated that H&V will continue to focus on specialty markets where it has or can establish competitive or unique capabilities that add critical and valuable attributes to its customers and products. “H&V intends to establish a significant position in all of its major businesses in every major geographical market,” he said. “The method of establishment of sales and manufacturing capabilities in each market and geographic area will depend on the business opportunity and the circumstances surrounding it.”
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.
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.”
Location: Walpole, MA

Sales: $175 Million

Description: Key Personnel
Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO; Charles Miller, vice president and general manager, engine and industrial filtration; Tom White, vice president and general manager battery 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 of sales, European high efficiency filtration and separation products; Justin Harkiewicz, vice president and general manager, Asia-Pacific; Jeff Sherer, vice president and CFO; Douglas Klauber, vice president, technology; Mike Paddock, vice president, human resources; Mark Hutchison, vice president, operations

Plants
Apizaco, Mexico, Corvallis, OR, East Walpole, MA, Easton, NY, Floyd, VA, Greenwich, NY, Hatzfeld, Germany, Hawkinsville, GA; Kentmere, UK, Suzhou, China (under construction), West Groton, MA, Winchombe, U.K.

ISO Status
Apizaco, Mexico, QS-9000; Corvallis, OR, ISO 9001:2000; East Walpole, MA, ISO 9001:2000; Easton, NY, ISO 9001:1994 and QS 9000: March 1998; Floyd, VA, ISO 9001:2000; Greenwich, NY, ISO 9001:1994 and QS 9000: March 1998; Hatzfeld, Germany, ISO 9001:2000; Hawkinsville, GA, QS- 9000 and AS 9100; Kentmere, UK, ISO 9001:2000; West Groton, MA, ISO 9001 and QS-9000; Winchcombe, UK, ISO 9001:2000 and QS 9000

Processes
Wetlaid, meltblown, carded, crosslapped, needlepunched, thermal point bonded, thermal overall bonded, thru-air bonded, latex bonded, thermal and chemical lamination, solvent-based saturation, composites

Brand Names
AFM, AFN, AlphaPerm, AquaSure, Duo-Phase, DynaSeal, EnergyGuard, Fastock, FiberRich, HiPerm, HollTek, HovoFuse, Hovoglas, Hovoliner, Hovolon, Hovomat, Hovopulse, Hovosorb, Hovotex, Hovotherm, Hovotrim, Hovowipe, Magnaseal, NanoMelt, Nanoweb, PurePerm, Saf 'N' Shielded, Soft 'N Stable, Stitchbackers, Technostat, The Cat, Tufguard, ValPac, WallTek

Major Markets
Engine & Industrial Filtration: Air-heavy duty, automotive and cabin air; Fuel—heavy duty, automotive,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 Products: 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 covering
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 7% sales increase was reported by Walpole, MA-based Hollingsworth & Vose with all business units posting strong results, thanks primarily to strengthening of the cleanroom market, solid battery product sales resulting from an improvement in the telecommunications sector, general growth in engine filtration applications, new synthetic composites and meltblown product introductions into the HVAC market and further penetration into the wall covering market.
 
H&V’s main businesses are High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration, Industrial Specialties and Engineered Composite Materials, Battery Products and Engine and Industrial Filtration. The High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration (HESF) segment has continued to introduce new products including NanoMelt meltblown media, pleatable synthetic composites and additions to its pool and spa filtration media line. In addition, H&V has continued to penetrate existing market segments with its glass and synthetic product lines.
  
“Innovation continues to play a strong role in this segment,” said company president Val Hollingsworth. “For example, our NanoMelt product is being very well received in the market due to its ability to outperform current products and meet new filtration standards such as Swedish National Testing Institute P mark certification and the EN779 standards.”
 
Nanomelt media’s fine fiber structure provides a higher mechanical filter efficiency than other meltblown media with coarser fiber content. Though an electrostatic charge boosts the initial efficiency to an even higher level, the media continues to perform at high levels of mechanical efficiency even after the electrostatic charge becomes masked from particle loading and fume exposure, according to executives.
 
H&V’s pool and spa media product line, AquaSure now includes a copper version, which maintains antimicrobial functions while incorporating copper’s ability to inhibit the growth of mold, fungi and algae. Beyond pool and spa, this technology has potential in other liquid and air filtration markets, according to the company.
 
Meanwhile, sales in the Industrial Specialties segment improved on new product introductions and favorable exchange rates. New products include embroidery backing, waistband products and friction materials. “H&V’s wallcovering substrates, HollTek and WallTek, have also continued to penetrate the market, displacing vinyl coated paper. Key benefits of using H&V’s substrate include the ability to easily strip the wallcovering and the nonwovens’ permeability, which avoids mold and mildew found in traditional products. These products also meet ASTM F793 requirements for Category V Type II commercial wallcovering,” Mr. Hollingsworth said.
 
H&V’s Engineered Composite Materials (ECM) line continues to expand into new markets including friction materials and adsorptive products. H&V recently introduced saturated friction material to the automotive aftermarket for use in automatic transmissions. H&V’s material is bonded to steel plates and used as clutch discs inside the transmission. Quality and durability are the key performance characteristics and commercial quantities are in production for the domestic market; introduction into the European and Asia-Pacific markets will be made soon.
 
Also included in this division is Advanced Fiber Nonwovens (AFN) where a focus has been placed on two product lines—conductive nonwovens and fuel cells. The key differentiating characteristic of H&V’s nickel-coated carbon and stainless steel veils and mats is their isotropic properties.
 
H&V supplies 9, 12, 50 and 100 gsm products globally to applications such as EMI and radar absorption and reflection; ground planes for antennas and communications modules and lightning strike protection. AFN is leveraging H&V’s experience with electrochemical devices by supplying high quality gas diffusion layer (GDL) substrates for use in PEM fuel cells. During 2004, AFN has expanded its fuel cell product offering to include domestic production of uncoated and coated gas diffusion layer (GDL) materials.
 
H&V’s Battery Products business has benefited from a gradual rebound from the 2000/2001 telecommunications sector crash. In addition, the alkaline, or primary battery, market continues to be a key market for H&V.
 
New product developments in the Engine and Industrial Filtration Group have focused on providing high performing synthetic media to the market. These products combine the durability and efficiency performance characteristics the market requires at a cost-effective price so that customers can employ the product with the best cost per unit of performance, according to Mr. Hollingsworth. To extend its capabilities in the nanofiber areas, H&V recently signed a global licensing agreement with Donaldson Company, covering technology used to produce nanofiber filter media and nanofiber-containing filter elements for pleated air filters for on-road vehicle operations. H&V will independently make, use and sell nanofiber filter media and sublicense customers.
 
From a regional perspective, H&V Europe’s contribution to the engine and high efficiency filtration business has been enhanced by the successful startup of a new meltblown line in Hatzfeld, Germany. This state-of-the-art line supplies media used in a broad range of applications from HVAC bag media, face mask and vacuum bags to auto and cabin air and fuel filtration and can process a broad range of polymers including polypropylene, polyethylene, polyesters, polyamides, polycarbonate and polyphenylene sulfide. Basis weights between 5 and 400 gsm and calipers ranging from 0.07-13 mm can be produced. H&V is also capable of producing sub-micron fiber diameters on this line.
 
“We expect meltblown to have a long-term role in the filtration market as the performance requirements for engine filtration increasingly require longer life products that are more efficient at current pressure drops,” Mr. Hollingsworth said.
 
Another core growth area for H&V is China where the company formed a subsidiary in 2004. Hollingsworth & Vose (Suzhou), Ltd. is a wholly owned foreign enterprise (WOFE). A machine capable of producing engine filter media is being installed.
 
New markets such as China as well as new products across all of its divisions will continue to drive growth going forward for H&V, according to Mr. Hollingsworth. “As we noted last year, H&V will continue to grow organically though product innovation, key customer relationships and market focus,” he said. “In addition, we will strategically and selectively evaluate acquisition opportunities which complement or extend our business base and manufacturing assets.”
Location: Walpole, MA

Sales: $187 Million

Description: Key Personnel
Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO; David von Loesecke, vice president and general manager, engine and industrial filtration and 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; Juergen Binzer, vice president and general manager, European engine and industrial filtration products; 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

Plants
Apizaco, Mexico; Corvallis, OR; East Walpole, MA; Easton, NY; Floyd, VA; Greenwich, NY; Hatzfeld, Germany; Hawkinsville, GA; Kentmere, UK; Suzhou, China (under construction); West Groton, MA; Winchombe, U.K.

ISO Status
Apizaco, Mexico, QS-9000; 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, QS-9000; Winchcombe, UK, ISO 9001:2000 and QS 9000

Processes
Wetlaid, meltblown, carded thermal bonded (point and flat calendared), latex bonded, thru-air bonded, needlepunched, thermal and chemical lamination, aqueous and solvent-based saturation, nanofiber coating, composites

Brand Names
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, NanoMelt, Nanoweb, PurePerm, Saf ’N’ Shielded, Soft ’N Stable, Stitchbackers, Technostat, The Cat, Tufguard, Unisorb, ValPac, WallTek

Market Sectors
Engine and industrial filtration: air-heavy duty, passenger car and cabin air; fuel-heavy duty, passenger car, common rail, in-tank; oil-heavy duty, passenger car; industrial-gas turbine, dust collection, hydraulic. High efficiency and specialty filtration: analytical/medical/biotech equipment coalescers; drinking water; electronic equipment; HEPA, ULPA and cleanroom; HVAC; pool and spa; room air cleaner; respiratory protection/surgical face masks; specialty liquid filtration and separation; vacuum cleaner. Battery products; battery chemistries for industrial and automotive markets: alkaline manganese, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, valve regulated lead acid; specialty-lithium thionyl chloride, zinc air, paste fiber-PA10-6. Industrial specialties; apparel; embroidery backing; label stock; waistband canvas; engineered composite materials; automotive and industrial sealing materials; thermal/acoustical barriers; electrical insulators; specialty roll form composites; friction substrates; UL-rated materials; floppy disk liners; home furnishings; drapery buckram; wallcovering substrates; window covering; 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

The world’s 13th largest roll goods producer Hollingsworth & Vose, East Walpole, MA, was able to achieve successful results in 2005 despite industry-wide energy and energy-related raw material pricing hurdles. Most business units reported good results despite these challenges, and H&V’s total nonwoven rolls goods sales in 2005 were $187 million, up a solid 7% from 2004 revenues of $175 million.
 
“Continued high raw material prices for fibers, binders and chemicals, and the ongoing high cost of energy, have resulted in earnings pressure and necessitated further price increases to our customers during 2005,” commented Angelika Mayman, director, new markets for H&V. “A portion of these cost increases are still absorbed by the roll goods manufacturer, resulting in margin reductions and increased pressure to improve manufacturing efficiencies,” she added.

In H&V’s high efficiency and specialty filtration business, growth continued, stemming from the strength of its base business, despite a modest downturn in the cleanroom market in 2005 relative to 2004. “Our respiratory business had favorable results, due in part to H&V’s high quality media and our ability to meet many international standards,” reported Ms. Mayman.
 
New products in this segment include H&V’s patented low boron PurePerm, which has been well received by the cleanroom market. PurePerm is comprised of unique glass fibers that contain negligible trace levels of boron oxide, which ensure that the filter medium does not contribute to boron contamination in the cleanroom.
 
H&V’s NanoMelt meltblown media, pleatable synthetic composites and pool and spa line continue to do well. During 2005, H&V continued the development of its NanoMelt media, adapting the product for expected U.S. standards. According to H&V, NanoMelt media provides a higher mechanical filter efficiency than other meltblown media due to its fine fiber structure. NanoMelt was originally developed in 2004 to meet new filtration standards going into effect in Europe.
 
Pleatable synthetic composites are now a commercial product for mini-pleat ASHRAE applications, offering ease of pleating, high efficiency and low resistance. The pool and spa product line, which includes both silver and copper versions (AquaSure Ag and AquaSure Cu, respectively), has fared well in the market due to its high water flow rates, minimal resistance, superior filtration efficiency and dirt holding capacity. H&V describes AquaSure Ag as the first pool and spa media to integrate antimicrobial protection into the fiber (rather than a surface coating) for longer lasting effectiveness over the life of the filter.
 
In its industrial specialties segment, markets were stable between 2004 and 2005 for H&V. A continued focus on home furnishings, including window treatments and wallcovering materials, embroidery, waistband and friction markets, offset declines in certain other markets such as diskette.
 
In the wall coverings sector, HollTek and WallTek continue to penetrate the wallcoverings market due primarily to specific characteristics (easy strippability and permeability) that H&V’s products offer as well as the continued penetration of nonwovens into this traditional woven market.
 
The engineered composite materials product line, part of the industrial specialties business, has been successful with its introduction of new friction materials and adsorptive products, additions to the traditional gasket business.  H&V’s saturated friction material is used in the automotive aftermarket for use in automatic transmissions and offers quality and durability.
 
In H&V’s AFN segment, the focus continues to be on conductive nonwovens as well as composite roll covers and lightning strike protection. H&V’s conductive nonwovens are isotropic, extremely uniform and conductive. Composite roll cover media is used for paper machines and printing sleeves where H&V’s nonwovens offer surface smoothness, durability, stiffness and uniform wear. The company’s media for lightning strike protection is a component of a composite structure employed to protect aircraft and wind turbines.
 
“H&V’s high quality gas diffusion layer (GDL) substrate for use in PEM fuel cells continues to be an important development for the company. We offer both coated and uncoated versions, and have brought certain critical process functions in house to ensure the highest quality product,” offered Ms. Mayman.
 
Although many applications for fuel cells are still in the market development phase, H&V is taking steps to ensure that it is well-positioned to provide the market with the media for this complex product. H&V is leveraging its expertise with electrochemical devices to participate in the broader alternative energy market, which includes both fuel cells and NiMH batteries for hybrid electric vehicles.
 
As for H&V’s battery products segment, the business continues to expand. “Our battery business is exhibiting good, steady growth and continues to benefit from an improved telecommunications market,” she said.
 
The company’s engine and industrial filtration group performed well in 2005, benefiting from H&V’s ability to provide high quality cellulose and synthetic products to the engine and general industrial market. “Our innovations in synthetic composites, begun several years ago, combine durability and efficiency to provide the best cost per unit performance. As the market has increasingly turned to synthetic media for certain applications, H&V’s broad product offering has successfully met customer needs,” Ms. Mayman said adding that H&V has the flexibility to provide these substrates as free sheets or composites, including meltblown/cellulose composites, fine fiber meltblown, adsorptive filter media (AFM), Technostat, H&V’s triboelectret media, and Nanoweb, its proprietary nanofiber coating.
 
On the European front, the new meltblown line in Hatzfeld, Germany was started up successfully during 2005. The original plan was to focus on significantly extending H&V’s capability and capacity in meltblown production for high efficiency filtration market segments and provide local supply for its European customers. Market demand for technically advanced filtration media in high efficiency air and liquid filtration has been strong, and the line has been running successfully throughout 2005, the company reports.
 
In Asia, the company’s immediate strategy is to complete the construction of its manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China to serve the broader Asia-Pacific region. H&V also plans to maintain and expand its presence in the Americas and Europe to support key businesses.
 
In Mexico, H&V purchased its joint venture subsidiary in Apizaco in January 2005. “This was an initial step in a process of continued investment in the mill to support regional and global engine and industrial filtration customers,” explained Ms. Mayman.
 
Wrapping up, she pointed to organic growth through product innovation, key customer relationships and market focus as key strategies for short- and long-term growth. “Geographic expansion and acquisitions will be evaluated selectively to complement or extend our business base and manufacturing assets,” Ms. Mayman concluded.
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

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; Winchombe, U.K.

Processes
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

Brand Names
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

Major Markets
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.
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

Plants
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

ISO Status
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

Processes
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

Brand Names
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

Major Markets
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.
Location: WALPOLE, MA


Sales: $240 Million


Description: Key Personnel
Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO; David von Loesecke, vice president and general manager, engine and industrial filtration; Mike Clark, vice president and general manager, high efficiency and specialty filtration; John Madej, vice president and general manager, Energy & Industrial Specialties; Jochem Hofstetter, vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East, Africa region; Josh Ayer, vice president and general manager, Asia-Pacific; Jeff Sherer, vice president and CFO; Mario Sandoval, vice president of operations; John Fitzgerald, vice president, technology; Mike Paddock, vice president, human resources

Plants
Apizaco, Mexico; Corvallis, OR; East Walpole, MA; Easton, NY; Floyd, VA; Greenwich, NY; Hatzfeld, Germany; Hawkinsville, GA; Kentmere, UK; Suzhou, China; West Groton, MA; Winchcombe, UK

ISO Status
Apizaco, Mexico, ISO-9000.2000; Corvallis, OR, ISO 9001:2000; East Walpole, MA, ISO 9001:2008; 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; Suzhou, China ISO 9000:2000; West Groton, MA, ISO9001:2000; Winchcombe, UK, ISO 9001:2000.

Processes
Wetlaid, meltblown, carded thermal bonded (point and flat calendered), latex bonded, thru-air bonded, needlepunched, thermal lamination, aqueous and solvent-based webs, composites, webs incorporating functional

Brand Names
AFM, AFN, AlphaPerm, ALPHASEAL, AquaSperse, BGO, Capofilter, Cycleguard, DynaSeal, HiPerm, Holltek, HiPerm Plus, HovoFuse, Hovolon, Hovomat, Hovopulse, Hovosorb, Hovotrim, Hovowipe, Magnaseal, NanoWave, PurePerm, Saf ‘N’ Shielded, Soft ‘N, Stable, Technostat, The Cat, Tufguard, Unisorb, ValPac, ViaMat,

Major Markets
Engine & Industrial Filtration; High Efficiency Filtration; Energy & Industrial Specialties

Hollingsworth & Vose Company (H&V) looks back on 2008 as a yearof steady growth despite rapidly escalating raw material and energycosts and strong pressure to increase pricing at what proved to be thestart of a worldwide economic recession. Even in the face of suchfactors, worldwide sales were up 7% for H&V, with nonwoven rollgoods sales totaling $240 million in 2008. Both H&V’s Engine andIndustrial Filtration business as well as the High Efficiency and SpecialtyFiltration businesses contributed significantly to this growth.Meanwhile, the company’s Energy and Industrial Systems businessshowed a modest sales increase from 2007 to 2008.

Continuing to be a vital area of development and revenue forH&V is the filtration market, where energy efficiency and productcosts are top concerns of the market. As end user demands to improveair quality, further driving the need for higher performingfilters, the HESF business group anticipates continued salesgrowth in personal protective equipment and applications of IAQequipment and services. These include residential dwellings, commercialbuildings, schools and healthcare facilities.

To meet increasingly sophisticated demands from the market,H&V’s High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration business is offeringa variety of durable, high efficient, low pressure drop filter mediasolutions, such as Technostat and NanoWave extended surface filtermedia to provide a next-generation superior HVAC filter thatmeets and exceeds industry indoor air quality standards and contributesto a building’s LEED certification.

H&V’s NanoWave capacity was boosted in May with the rebuildof its NanoWave production line, a move set to expand itsproduction range of NanoWave products beyond ASHRAE bagfilters. NanoWave can be used in pleated panel air filters, as paintspray booth diffusion media, in respirators and facemasks, vacuumcleaner bags and filters and room air cleaners.

For its part, PerForm, H&V’s next generation HEPA/ULPA filtermedia for cleanroom applications, is setting new standards forperformance and processability. PerForm offers a significantlylower cost of ownership over the life of the filter, a benefit valuedby customers.

In the Engine and Industrial Filtration Group, H&V felt the impactof overall economic conditions as global demand fell for enginefilter products. The slow-down also reflected a significantreduction in automotive production and constant increases inpipeline inventories. Looking forward, however, the company expectsto see an uptick in demand due to legislation targeting morestringent air emission standards.

“Market pressures will drive smaller auto engines, smaller filters,longer service intervals and higher performance, with respect to increasedengine protection and resistance to heat and water,” predictedDavid von Loesecke, vice president and general manager forthe engine and industrial filtration business unit at H&V. He addedthat biofuels loom as a priority for 2016 emissions and are a mainfuel filter driver. “The group’s ability to provide high quality celluloseand innovative synthetic products to the engine and general industrialmarket ensured our continued market leadership in 2008.”

In its Engineered Composite Materials business, H&V enjoyedmodest growth in 2008. The business is expanding into areas thathave the ability to utilize H&V technology and focus on new applicationsoutside of the historical core markets for this material. Thecompany reports that demand for gaskets and seals are on the rise,mainly driven by a rebound in end use markets, rising demand forsealing products made from advanced materials and a slowdown inproduction growth for most OEM market segments. However,H&V expects this to be offset somewhat by advances in the maintenance/repair/operation market in light of the substantial amountsof new machinery and equipment put into use over the long term,creating opportunities for suppliers of component products.

Meanwhile, the Advanced Fiber Nonwoven (AFN) group remainscommitted to working with unique fibers to produce technicallydemanding composite materials. The Battery Productsbusiness continued introducing several new products to its EnergyGuardhigh-strength VRLA battery separator line.

In the area of surfacing veils, H&V’s AFN business holds itsplace as a worldwide leader and despite the economic downturnhas seen positive results in the sale of veils into the tank and pipemarket segment for static dissipative and corrosion resistancepurposes. In March, AFN introduced ViaMat, a new nonwovenorganic reinforcement material for electronic packaging.

The new ViaMat paper delivers improvements in dimensionalstability and enables higher interconnect densities. ViaMat featuresextreme surface smoothness, low CTE, isotropic propertiesand excellent laser ablation and drillability. “The product launchwas well received in the market and we’re currently working with a number of customers towards qualification,” explained NateBurnes, AFN business manager.

H&V has also kept busy recently with the rollout of several innovations.For instance, H&V’s Engine and Industrial Filtration businessintroduced a new line of Nanoweb-treated filter media at the2008 Filtration Show, which is designed to meet the growing needsof original equipment applications in gas turbine/dust collector airfiltration and deliver higher efficiency and longer filter life. RecentlyH&V introduced flame-retardant Nanoweb grades and will also belaunching all-synthetic versions later this year.

In its Battery Products business unit, the newest member ofH&V's patented EnergyGuard family of high-strength, uniform batteryseparator products was unveiled. EnergyGuard X delivers greateracid absorption resulting in a capacity boost and longer life for increasedwarranty performance. The separator's composition offershigh strength and greater capacity and product uniformity to ensureexceptional battery performance and manufacturing efficiency.

H&V’s Industrial Specialties group has rolled out new, environmentallyfriendly, low formaldehyde friction products for offroadvehicles and ViaMat for electronics packaging.

Beyond its North American base, H&V’s European operationswere strong during the first two quarters of 2008 but were negativelyimpacted during the second half, consistent with the industryand overall economy.

On the other side of the globe, H&V’s Asian operations inSuzhou, China continue to be the manufacturing base supplyingengine filter media and other technical specialty products forH&V’s customers in the Asia-Pacific region. “Many grades havebeen qualified and are now commercial,” said Bob Murphey, vicepresident of marketing for H&V’s engine and industrial filtrationbusiness unit. The facility’s second machine is now commercializinghigh quality filter media for HEPA, ULPA, HVAC and applianceapplications.

Moving forward into 2010 and beyond, H&V plans to continueinvesting in novel process technologies and increased capacityaround the world to serve core markets. The company is also lookingto further geographic expansion and continue the implementationof lean/six sigma principles. H&V’s business leadersconcluded that the strategy to differentiate through new productinnovation, market focus and key customer relationships will continueto drive growth and guarantee leadership in the marketscurrently served.
Location: Walpole, MA

Sales: $215 million

Description: Key Personnel
Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO; David von Loesecke, vice president and general manager, Engine and Industrial Filtration; Mike Clark, vice president and general manager, High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration; John Madej, vice president and general manager, Energy and Industrial Systems; Jochem Hofstetter, vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East, Africa region; Josh Ayer, vice president and general manager, Asia-Pacific; Jeff Sherer, vice president and CFO; Mario Sandoval, vice president of operations; John Fitzgerald, vice president of technology 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.

Processes
Wetlaid, meltblown, carded thermal bonded (point and flat calendered), latex bonded, thru-air bonded, needlepunched, thermal lamination, aqueous and solvent-based saturation, nanofiber -webs, composites, webs incorporating functional particles

Brand Names
AFM, AFN, AlphaPerm, ALPHASEAL, AQF, AquaSperse, AquaSure, BGO, Capofilter, Capaceon, Cycleguard, DynaSeal, EnergyGuard, Fastock, HiPerm, Holltek, 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, ViaMat, WallTek

Major Markets
Engine and Industrial Filtration; High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration; Energy and Industrial Systems
 
The global economic recession led to a 10% drop in sales for Hollingsworth & Vose Company (H&V), last year, but already the supplier of engineered papers and nonwovens is reporting global demand back at pre-recession levels.
Core to H&V’s success is its streamlined business model which includes global business segments—Engine and Industrial Filtration, High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration and Industrial Specialties—targeted specialty, high performance applications. The company offers high performance nonwovens across a number of industrial and consumer-oriented markets.
Within the company’s Engine and Industrial Filtration segment, demand was slow during the first half of 2009, but this was to some degree offset by increased demand for engine filter products, which showed significant improvement in Asia in both the original equipment and aftermarket segments. In the second half, business confidence improved with a steady, month-by-month increase in demand that continues into 2010. “Although some of the improvement can be attributed to re-filling of the supply chain, we believe business conditions have markedly improved,” said David von Loesecke, vice president and general manager of H&V’s Engine and Industrial Filtration business unit. “We maintained our production capabilities through the recession, which enabled us to commit supply in the subsequent period of recovery.”
For its part, the global filtration market has been trending upwards, driven mostly by replacement businesses and some improvement in OEM volume. Also driving demand is increased water consumption, turnaround in motor vehicle and heavy equipment use and rigorous environmental and product purity laws that drive demand for improved filtration performance.
“Some market segments for replacement filters can be considered ‘recession-resistant’ but not recession-proof,” Mike Clark, vice president and general manager of H&V’s High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration business unit said. “Filter replacement cycles are becoming longer but eventually the filter has to be replaced to ensure appropriate system operation.”
Despite the global economic challenges, H&V continues to invest in this leg of its business.
In November 2009, H&V announced plans to install an additional meltblown production line in Hatzfeld, Germany that would expand a technology platform already available in Floyd, VA and a line previously installed in Hatzfeld. This investment responds to a growing demand for its technically advanced products used in air filtration, automotive air and fuel filters, specialty liquid applications, as well as face masks and respirators. The new line is expected to be operational in 2010. Meanwhile, in January 2010, H&V struck a deal with Fiberweb to acquire its AQF line of carbon-containing composite filter media, which allows H&V to better serve the growing global market for gas phase filter media. This new technology asset, including improved testing capabilities, increases the breadth of H&V’s technological competencies, according to the company. “H&V recognizes a growing market need for gas phase filter media and wants to bring these capabilities to our North American customers,” Mr. Clark said.
Also, H&V recently announced plans to rebuild one of its production lines at the Winchcombe, U.K. manufacturing site. This investment will result in step change performance improvements in the microglass media produced at the site and will more than double H&V’s European microglass filtration and microglass battery separator manufacturing capability. The rebuilt line is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2011. H&V has owned and operated the Winchcombe site since 1982.
Another business unit, H&V’s Industrial Specialties business is comprised of a number of segments, including ECM, AFN, apparel, home furnishings and label.  “Many of these segments are consumer oriented businesses which have come back slowly with the recovering economy,”  said John Madej, vice president and general manager of H&V’s Energy and Industrial Systems business unit.
“The ECM business continues to expand into areas which have the ability to utilize our proprietary wetlaid process technology and focus on new applications outside of the historical core markets of friction and gasket for this material,” Mr. Madej said. “The Advanced Fiber Nonwoven (AFN) group continues to work with unique aramid, glass and carbon fibers to produce technically demanding composite materials.  During 2009, high capex costs were an obstacle to bringing new capacity online in many industries, but economic growth will resume, driving growth and supply tightness along with it.”
H&V reinforced its presence in the Asian market with its Suzhou, China facility, which now entered its third year of operations and continues to be the manufacturing base supplying customers in the Asia-Pacific region. The facility already offers a solid platform of OEM-approved products in engine filtration, HEPA, HVAC and battery separator media and output continues to increase there.
On the new product front, 2009 saw the launch of Capaceon filter media, a new line of products for automotive and heavy duty air applications that offers significantly greater dust-holding capacity.  “Capaceon represents a new category of filtration media that breaks the link between performance and basis weight,” said Mr. von Loesecke. Capaceon filter media were designed specifically for application across an extensive range of original equipment and aftermarket requirements.
H&V’s High Efficiency and Industrial business introduced Technostat Plus, an electret media that exhibits exceptionally low resistance at any given efficiency, which ties in with all the other durable, high efficient low pressure drop filter media solutions offered by H&V.
Additionally, H&V’s capability to produce a wide range of NanoWave extended surface filter media products beyond ASHRAE bag filters will ensure continued market leadership. For example, the Nanowave technology platform can be adapted to residential air filter media as a cut-and-frame concept; it can also be used in respirators, facemasks and vacuum cleaners.
 “Despite the economic downturn, Nanoweb has been very well received in the market.  H&V has recently introduced flame-retardant Nanoweb grades and will be promoting all-synthetic substrates in 2010. 
H&V will expand its Nanoweb line with products for the automotive air filtration market later in 2010. “Nanoweb for automotive air applications will be specifically designed to eliminate the need for oiling yet will retain high element capacities,” Mr. von Loesecke said. “This new media will prevent de-misting and minimize mass air flow sensor fouling for optimized engine performance.”
Beyond filtration, H&V’s most recent innovation is its Stretch and Recovery Nonwovens, launched in conjunction with the 2009 IDEA show, which represent a proprietary and innovative design of wetlaid and drylaid nonwoven fabrics with high stretch and elastic recovery characteristics that can be used in applications such as apparel, medical and personal care. It is products like these that will help H&V continue to stand out in the nonwovens industry.
“H&V’s strategy is to differentiate itself through new product innovation, market focus and key customer relationships, which will continue to drive growth and ensure leadership in the current markets served,”  Jürgen Gaudry, product manager of H&V’s new business development group, concluded. “H&V will foster innovation, evaluate selective geographic expansion opportunities and continue to apply key Lean Six Sigma principles to its overall operations.”

East Walpole, MA
www.hollingsworth-vose.com
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.”
East Walpole, MA
www.hollingsworth-vose.com
2013 Nonwovens Sales: $322 million

Key Personnel
Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO; David von Loesecke, vice president new business development; Mike Clark, president, high efficiency and specialty filtration; Mitch Bregman, president, energy and industrial specialties; Josh Ayer, president, engine and industrial filtration; Jochem Hofstetter, vice president and managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa; John Zhang, vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific; John Madej, vice president and CFO; Ken Fausnacht, vice president, global operations; John Fitzgerald, vice president and CTO

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.

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, AlphaPerm, AlphaSeal, Capaceon, Cycleguard, DynaSeal, EnergyGuard, EnergyGuard Plus, Fastock, HiPerm, HiPerm Plus, H2oudini, Hovomat, Hovotex, 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 

Demand for new filtration products plus strong cleanroom and battery separator sales helped drive sales up for Hollingsworth & Vose. The Walpole, MA-based manufacturer of nonwovens for filtration and other technical end uses reported sales at $322 million with success being achieved in all of the company’s major businesses—High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration; Energy and Industrial Specialties and Engine and Industrial Filtration.

Demand has increased across all segments but especially so in the HVAC, life sciences, and fuel/water areas,” says Mike Clark, president, high efficiency and specialty filtration. “Increasingly stringent indoor air quality standards continue to drive demand for higher particulate efficiency media in HVAC.”

Clark credits two new filtration prdoucts—NanoWave and Technostat—as major contributors to his company’s growth in recent years. “On the product development front, H&V has prioritized development of products that improve both air quality and energy efficiency and reduce emissions,” says a company source.

NanoWave is an extended surface area, multilayer filtration media for HVAC applications. Using nano and coarse fiber layers NanoWave delivers 2.4 times the surface area of normal flat sheet media. The waved nanofiber layer allows for maximum mechanical efficiency with very low resistance while more than doubling dust-holding capacity compared to standard synthetic media.

“This patented technology is increasingly preferred for HVAC in hospitals, airports, automotive and pharmaceutical production facilities as well as in large retail stores. Product performance is widely recognized and lifecycle cost of HVAC systems employing NanoWave is superior to competitive media,” says Jochem Hofstetter, vice president and managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

In October 2013, H&V announced plans to add NanoWave production capacity to its plant in Hatzfeld, Germany to support rapid growth in demand for the high performance filter media. The investment, which will offer performance attributes for the technology as well as increased capacity, should be complete in mid-2015.

“European NanoWave demand has been particularly strong due to increasing preference for media with high mechanical filtration performance, particularly in applications such as HVAC where electrostatic-based media performance can degrade due to ambient air conditions,” Hofstetter claims.

Another new product contributing to growth for H&V is Technostat, an electrostatically charged air filer media which offers high efficiency and dust-holding capacity, low airflow resistance and effective shelf life and has been used in higher performance areas like respirators, vehicle cabins, HVAC systems and vacuum cleaners.

In November 2013, H&V said it would add production of the material to its Floyd, VA site. This effort will support the successful launch of Technostate Plus, the latest extension to the Technostat brand, as well as the ongoing demand for Technostat. It is expected to begin by the end of the year.

Hofstetter says that new products, like NanoWave and Technostat respond to global growth in filtration products.

“The global filtration market is expanding as the public becomes more aware of the health issues associated with air pollution and water quality.  Government regulations all over the world are mandating air cleanliness standards and lower carbon-based emissions at the source,” says John Zhang, vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific.

For example, developing economies in Asia are adopting the strict European air quality standards, EURO 4 and EURO 5, for automotive exhaust emissions.

In addition to investments in Hatzfeld, Germany and Floyd, VA, H&V has a new engine filter media production line in Suzhou, China, which is helping drive growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Sales in China were on track in 2013 despite a slowdown in the construction, mining and other off-road markets earlier in the year.  Josh Ayer, president of the EIF Division, says,  “We see significant growth in China.  With our new production line in Suzhou, China we can offer additional capacity to serve the growing markets of gas turbine, and diesel fuel.” 

Beyond China, H&V global expansion priorities include India and Brazil. H&V is supplying customers in Brazil from manufacturing sites in North America and Europe. Segments of these markets are served through Reipel, an authorized distributor.

“H&V serves its customers with a strategy combining manufacturing and product innovation in key regional markets, using its proprietary process technologies and regional product development capability to serve customers with both global and local requirements,” Ayer says.