2016 Nonwovens Sales: $350 million
Val Hollingsworth, president and CEO; David von Loesecke, vice president 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; Susan Ward, vice president, human resources
Apizaco, Mexico; Corvallis, OR; East Walpole, MA; Easton, NY; Floyd, VA; Greenwich, NY; Hatzfeld, Germany; Hawkinsville, GA; Kentmere, U.K.; Mysuru, India; Suzhou, China; West Groton, MA; Winchcombe, U.K.
Wetlaid, meltblown, carded thermal bonded (point and flat calendered), latex bonded, through-air bonded, needlepunch, thermal lamination, aqueous and solvent-based saturation, nanofiber-webs, composites, webs incorporating functional particles
Demand for synthetic and composite filter media as well as HEPA media for cleanroom applications helped drive Hollingsworth & Vose’s sales in 2016 to more than $350 million in 2016. And, growth is expected to continue thanks to investments in key technologies like NanoWave and Technostat, new product development and investment into new geographies.
During the second half of 2015, H&V expanded production capacity for Nanowave with a new line in Hatzfeld, Germany. “NanoWave delivers maximum mechanical efficiency with a step change in low airflow resistance, while more than doubling dust-holding capacity compared to standard, flat sheet synthetic media. This translates into significant energy savings and longer filter life in HVAC applications,” says Mike Clark, division president of Hollingsworth & Vose’s high efficiency filtration business.
Meanwhile, capacity for Technostat, an electrostatically charged air filter media with high efficiency, and dust-holding capacity, and the lowest airflow resistance in the industry compared to other media with the same efficiency, was added in Floyd, VA. The product is in high demand where low air resistance without a compromise in efficiency and dust holding is required such as in respiratory protection, cabin air filtration, HVAC and appliance filters.
And demand will continue to rise thanks to an expansion of the Technostat platform into industrial face mask, cabin air, and appliance applications. In these markets, the materials can offer a 20% reduction in thickness at the same efficiency.
Investments, like the ones in Germany and Virginia, have helped H&V maintain its leadership position in filtration and create a local presence in key regional markets to support its customers, a goal that is fundamental to its leadership strategy. “We offer premium, high performance products with a lower cost of use to end users,” says CTO John Fitzgerald. “This translates into quantifiable value such as a longer life, reduced energy use and the same or better performance packed into a smaller physical form factor.”
H&V achieves this by working closely with customers to develop products that address their own market strategies. The company offers advanced technology platforms and uses them to tailor products to meet unique customer needs.
Recent developments inlcude a new fuel filtration media using synthetic fiber that uses the same particle removal efficiency as a glass-based media and AlphaPerm, a high performance meltblown that offers lower resistance with the same efficiency for room air cleaners.
“We put our sales, manufacturing, customer service and technical resources in close proximity to our customers and engage with them in a manner that makes us a highly trusted partner,” Fitzgerald adds.
H&V uses a variety of media technologies to solve real world issues with air and liquid cleanliness and energy use. The company’s solutions have multiple synergies. “For example, energy is required to move air and liquids through HVAC filtration systems, room air cleaners and fluid hydraulic systems. In designing media we consider not only the requirements for filter life and particle removal efficiency, but also the resistance required to move air or fluid through a filter to reduce energy consumption. Fuel filtration media plays an important role in removing harmful particulates in fuel delivery systems and simultaneously helps lower engine emissions.”
Global expansion is also a part of H&V’s growth strategy. In late 2014, the company acquired Mysore-based Raman FibreScicne (RFS), a technology and innovation-driven company specializing in advanced materials for filtration media and battery separator applications.
More than two years later, the operation continues to manufacture the Hi-Sep battery separator product for the flooded battery market. The unique characteristics of this product, especially for batteries in tropical climates, have been demonstrated in industrial and automotive applications. David von Loesecke, H&V’s vice president for business development, adds: “Our Mysuru operation is being positioned to support H&V’s full line of business in the battery and filtration markets. We are adding local resources to support these markets and plan additions to our manufacturing capability.”
According to Engine and Industrial Filtration Division president Josh Ayer, “H&V is bullish about China, India, Southeast Asia and South America. These regions are in various stages of significant infrastructure improvement, all of which favors high growth rates. Requirements in these markets are often distinctly different than in North America and Europe. We are responding with products to fulfill unique requirements in these markets, particularly the protection of people, buildings, manufacturing processes, vehicles and heavy duty equipment from high levels of ambient air pollution like soot and dust.”
In its near three decade-long history, H&V has been no stranger to diversity. Starting out in the paper business, the company began making filtration media in the 1940s and has since moved into new market areas and geographies.
“H&V’s story is one of longevity,” says CEO Val Hollingsworth. “We think for the long term, adapt to changing markets and invest in new ones. We’ve been particularly aggressive in our willingness to invest in new technology, develop patentable products and lead the market in the adaptation of new technology that we commercialize.
“Many of the nonwovens technologies used in the industry today were the result of H&V’s investments years ago. We’re in a good place right now. Public opinion and government regulations will require increasing attention to clean air, clean liquids and energy storage. We have a good story to tell with our vision of advanced materials for a cleaner world.”