2014 Nonwovens Sales: $357 million
W. Leslie Duffy, chairman of the board; Dale Barnhart, president and CEO; Scott Deakin, CFO
Rochester, NH; Saint Rivalain, France; Green Island, NY; Heerlen, The Netherlands; Hamptonville, NC; Yadkinville, NC. Industrial Filtration locations: North Augusta, SC; Bethune, SC; Rawtenstall, U.K.; Bury U.K.; Stoke-on-Trent, U.K.; Wuxi, China; Shanghai, China
AppLY Mat, Arioso, Biotherm, CRS Wrap, Cryo-Lite, LydAir MG, LydAir MB, LydAir SC, LyPore Defender, LyPore MB, LyPore SC, LyPore XL, Lytherm, ManniGlas, Solupor, dBCore, dBLyte, ZeroClearance. Industrial filtration brands: Fiberlox, Checkstatic, Microfelt, Pleatlox, Ultratech, Powertech, Powerlox, Microcap, Duotech
Specialty insulation, high-efficiency air and liquid filtration media and automotive
In February 2014, Lydall finalized the acquisition of baghouse filter media maker Andrew Industries, which added needlepunch capabilities as well as manufacturing sites in the U.S. and China to its existing facilities. The new business, now known as Lydall Industrial Filtration, adds about $130 million in sales annually to its overall results.
According to executives, the biggest change in the acquired business has to do with capitalizing on synergies with Lydall’s existing businesses. For instance, as Lydall has faced supply shortages in capacity for its needlepunch-based thermal acoustical nonwovens, they have been relying on some capacity from the acquired business to meet demand.
Meanwhile, Andrew’s Chinese operation, formerly known as Chinese Felt, which is Lydall’s first in that region, will ultimately help the company globalize its other business, namely the thermal acoustical operation, which largely serves the rapidly-growing automotives market. Lydall sees particular potential for this technology in Asia.
Andrews’ core business was industrial filtration, which the company found as an attractive adjacency to existing businesses.
Growth in both new and existing markets continues to be a focus for the company. Prior to the acquisition, Lydall’s sales were split into two separate divisions—Performance Materials, containing wetlaid operations targeting filtration and insulation applications, and thermal/acoustical fibers, a polyester needlepunch technology that primarily serves the automotives market.
According to executives, growth in automotives, particularly in acoustical areas, has been strong as nonwovens offer favorable characteristics compared to competing products. Areas where Lydall provides products include underbelly pans, wheel well liners and plastic injection materials, which are lighter weight and more durable than other materials and help automakers achieve requirements for lower weights and improved fuel efficiency.
Meanwhile, Lydall’s Performance Materials division, which includes its wetlaid nonwovens, targets sophisticated filtration applications for air, fluid power and industrial applications, liquid science applications and thermal insulation solutions for building products, appliances and industrial materials. Its product lineup in this segment constitutes the critical media components of clean air systems for applications in clean-space, commercial, industrial and residential HVAC, power generation and industrial process.
Within this segment, the LyPore liquid filtration media series addresses a variety of application needs in fluid power including hydraulic filters, air-water and air-oil coalescing industrial fluid processes and diesel fuel filtration.
While automotives sales are growing more solidly, driven by new application areas for nonwovens as well as total market growth, the filtration business has a higher base for Lydall, representing about $246 million of its $357 million in nonwovens sales last year so growth there is more significant to overall results.
In March 2014, Lydall improved its filtration operations with the addition of a small wetlaid line in Rochester, NH. Described as a minimill, this state-of-the-art line, dedicated primarily to smaller runs, offers benefits like a faster start up, increased efficiency and better flexibility. This will help Lydall cater to the life science markets where many applications have smaller batch sizes. The line can provide customers with products in an efficient manner and allows Lydall to hold research and development and testing trials without monopolizing its existing assets.