2017 Nonwovens Sales: $371 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
Reporting a 7.2% increase in sales was Hollingsworth & Vose. The Walpole, MA-based manufacturer of technical nonwovens for filtration and battery separator markets achieved sales of $371 million as demand in its key markets continues to be strong in most areas of the world. “We believe this growth is influenced by global concerns about the impact of air and water quality on human health and increased interest in products that are more energy efficient,” vice president of business development David von Loesecke says.
In recent years, the development and expansion of two key products, Nanowave and Technostat, continued to drive growth for the company. Both cater to market interest in synthetic media for high performance filtration applications while offering significant reduction in air flow resistance, providing energy consumption benefits in HVAC applications and better comfort in respiratory protection applications.
In late 2015, H&V expanded production capacity for Nanowave with a new line in Hatzfeld, Germany, and added capacity for Technostat, an electrostatically charged air filter media, in Floyd, VA. Technostat’s expansion into industrial face mask, cabin air and appliance applications continues to boost demand for the material.
The company’s latest version of Nanowave, called Nanowave LT, offers up to 40% reduction in air flow resistance than conventional media while a pleatable version of the media can be used in rigid filters. Technossta MC now offers high mechanical efficiency.
Additionally, H&V is expanding the use of both technologies by pairing them with other materials made by the company to create composite structures that can address applications beyond HVAC and respiratory protection such as cabin air, paint spray booths and transportation applications.
Looking at the fuel filtration market, which continues to be an important market for the company, stringent global emissions regulations and consumer preference for clean, fuel efficient automobiles are the key drivers of growth in this market. “H&V’s synthetic technologies can be combined into multi-layer composites capable of delivering the high particulate removal efficiencies required in today’s fuel injection systems,” von Loesecke says. “Our unique capability to build composite media from a variety of proprietary in-house synthetic technologies is what provides our market advantage. “
The protection of human health from poor air quality and the drive to improve indoor air quality are key factors contributing to growth in H&V’s HVAC business. High efficiency filter media was traditionally used for protection of manufacturing processes such as cleanrooms. While still an important business for H&V, the attention in the filtration industry is now on HVAC applications requiring high efficiency media with lower air flow resistance to provide energy savings benefits.
Outside of filtration, battery separators continue to be a strong market for H&V. This market was boosted through the acquisition of a battery separator company in India with novel technology to meet the unique materials for battery performance in the region.
“It’s pretty much what you’d want a local company to do. Equally important is that we’ve established a physical presence that is enabling us to grow all of our businesses by having a local face to the market,” von Loesecke says.
In fact, global expansion is a top priority for H&V and the company has been working hard at capitalizing on recent investments in China and India. By being into those markets early in the stages of infrastructure development, it has managed to establish strong footholds in markets that need its products. It has invested heavily in both human capital as well as plant and equipment to strengthen its local service capability.
“Innovation, custom focus and global reach will continue to drive H&V’s growth in the future as the company invests heavily in new technology to improve filter media performance,” von Loesecke says. “Since we don’t make filters, we prefer to work collaboratively with our customers to help them develop great products with our media. Designing and producing media is a totally different endeavor than making filters. “