2018 Nonwovens Sales: $654 million
Dale Barnhart, president and CEO; Paul Marold, president, Performance Materials
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
Acquisitions, as well as divestments, continue to influence Lydall’s nonwovens sales as the company continues to focus on growing in new areas while growing in existing areas. In recent years, the company’s aggressive acquisition strategy has expanded its manufacturing footprint into Canada and China and provided entry into new markets like energy storage and geotextiles while reinforcing its role in its core market of filtration.
Lydall’s most recent acquisition was the gasket materials business from Hollingsworth & Vose in April, which builds on another recent acquisition, Interface, in August 2018. The Interface brand is a globally recognized leader with a comprehensive portfolio of complete sealing solutions, deep in-house technical capabilities, and vertical integration. This purchase will expand the company’s position in the global gasket material sector.
“We are extremely excited about the acquisition of the gasket materials business from H&V,” says Paul Marold, president, Lydall Performance Materials. “It coincides perfectly with our strategy of continuing to grow our market share in the sealing market with high-quality products. We look forward to serving the needs of existing and new customers as a result of this transaction, and we believe all will experience a seamless transition to Lydall Performance Materials.”
In 2018, Lydall reported that is Performance Materials segment increased its sales by $52.5 million to $169 million. Specifically, sales of filtration products grew 6.8%, fueled by healthy demand as well as the acquisition of Precision Filtration, a Totowa, NJ-based maker of high-quality air filtration media serving the commercial and residential HVAC markets with MERV 7-11 products. The addition of these products and capabilities enables Lydall to provide its customers with a full range of air filtration media from low efficiency MERV 7 through high-performing ULPA. Additionally, this acquisition further enhances Lydall’s flexibility in manufacturing, planning and logistics for our new and existing customers.
Looking ahead, Lydall’s filtration business is expected to benefit from the launch of innovative products like LydAir GP gas phase filter media. Layered in pleatable substrates, LydAir GP media consists of highly uniform, highly efficient, specialty sorbent particles that aid in the adsorption of acid and base contaminants as well as other volatile organic compounds.
Lydall’s flexible process creates multiple opportunities for technically advanced composite development with LydAir GP filter media and Lydall’s core particulate filtration media. Particulate layers can range from MERV 8/G4 to HEPA and can be laminated with a variety of Lydall adsorption layers to allow for removal of multiple airborne molecular and particulate contaminants in one medium.
LydAir GP media is perfectly suited for applications such as office buildings, airports, restaurants, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, automotive cabin air or any environment where airborne molecular contaminants are a concern.
Within Lydall’s Technical Nonwovens segment, sales increased $8 million to $277 million. This division has benefited from the Texel and Gutsche businesses, which were acquired in 2016. Organic growth of 1.6% was led by 4.9% growth in industrial filtration and offset by lower sales in advanced materials, particularly lower intercompany sales to the Thermal and Acoustical Solutions segment.
Earlier this year, as part of an effort to streamline its focus on core markets, Lydall sold its Texel Geosel business, which installs geosynthetic products in the civil engineering and environmental protection sectors, principally within the province of Quebec, Canada.
“The divestiture of Geosol follows Lydall’s strategy to focus on our core technologies and capabilities that improve our effectiveness and positioning as a specialty materials provider,” says Dale G. Barnhart, president and CEO of Lydall, Inc.
Texel will continue to supply geosynthetic materials to FC to ensure that customers maintain access to high quality products and services.
“We have found the ideal purchaser that shares our passion for this business and its people. FC’s deep expertise in geosynthetics installation and their local market knowledge positions them well as the new owner of Geosol. Additionally, Texel’s continued supply of geosynthetic materials to FC ensures end customers will maintain access to high quality products and service,” says Joe Abbruzzi, former president of Lydall’s Technical Nonwovens segment.
Lydall’s third segment, Thermal and Acoustical, largely supplies the automotives market with products that are used both in the exterior and interior of the car. Here, Lydall was able to grow 1.6% despite a market that is flat globally. Within the segment, high commodity costs, combined with a product complexity of much higher product launches hurt profitability. The North American team launched almost twice the number of thermal shield parts in 2018 compared to 2017, causing operational disruptions and higher costs in the year. Lydall continues to exercise a disciplined approach in solving these issues and saw progress in the second half of 2018. Raw material costs eased somewhat in the last quarter of the year. Operations in the largest market, China, showed a 16% sales growth and healthy operating margins.
Meanwhile, in personnel news, Lydall, named Abbruzzi president, Lydall Thermal Acoustical Solutions, in July. He replaces Scott M. Deakin, who is departing Lydall to pursue alternative opportunities. The company has initiated an external search to identify a new President for the Lydall Technical Nonwovens business segment.
Abbruzzi, who most recently served as President of Lydall’s Technical Nonwovens business, has a long history with both Thermal Acoustical Solutions and the automotive industry. From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Abbruzzi led the turnaround of the Thermal/Acoustical Fibers business segment, a segment that was combined with Thermal / Acoustical Metals in 2017 to create Lydall’s Thermal Acoustical Solutions business segment.