By Edward C. Gregor, Editorial Board Chairman, International Filtration News
Lydall Performance Materials is a leader in delivering innovative filtration solutions for demanding applications to enable a cleaner, healthier and more energy efficient world. With headquarters in Rochester, New Hampshire, and production facilities and sales offices around the world, Lydall Performance Materials serves customers worldwide in air and liquid filtration and life sciences. In addition to the foregoing, Lydall provides materials to the specialty insulation market.
In Q3 2018, Lydall acquired Interface Performance Materials, a leading global designer and manufacturer of engineered materials, with the #1 position in fiber-based gasket material worldwide. With eight manufacturing facilities globally and over 100 years of experience, Interface products serve a diverse range of markets including heavy-duty equipment, motorcycles, industrial, automotive and related industries. Interface is part of the Performance Materials business segment of Lydall.
Lydall manages its extensive technical expertise and applications knowledge to develop liquid filtration media covering the broad industrial landscape across fluid power, transportation and coalescing fields. For liquid applications, Lydall offers LyPore® and LyPore Defender microglass filter media, and LyPore Unity microglass series is optimized for use in coalescing.
Lydall’s air filtration products constitute the critical media component of clean-air systems for applications in clean-space, HVAC (residential, commercial and industrial), power generation and industrial processes. From LydAir® media to Arioso® high performance composite media and the new LydAir GP gas phase media, Lydall uses decades of experience to deliver products tailored to your application.
Lydall offers media for the biopharmaceutical, medical, transdermal drug delivery and specialty process industries. The LyPore® family for liquid filtration includes microglass, meltblown and synthetic composite grades for removing particles ranging from bacteria to large sediment. LyPore Clarity binder-free microglass serves the diagnostic and analytical markets. LydAir products target the medical respiratory and surgical markets, and Solupor® membranes offer superior properties to collect, separate or remove contaminants.
Paul Marold serves as President of Lydall Performance Materials since joining the company in February 2016. Prior to joining Lydall, Marold was Chief Operating Officer at Sontara, a Jacob Holm Company and leading innovator in specialty nonwoven solutions in diverse markets like beauty care, critical cleaning and high-performance industrial. He was instrumental in the acquisition and integration of Sontara from DuPont and led its growth strategy during his tenure. Marold has also held executive leadership roles at filtration industry leaders, CLARCOR and AAF. Prior to his filtration experience, he was Senior Vice President of the Advanced Nonwovens business of Ahlstrom Oy, leading a global business with footprints on five continents. Marold is active with INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serving on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and is a past Chairman of the Board. He has also served on the Board of Directors for National Air Filtration Association and Connecticut Business and Industry Association.
Ed Gregor: I get the impression Lydall is on somewhat of a roll, leveraging capabilities into new areas. How important is filtration to the long-range scheme with core meltblown and microglass media?
Paul Marold: Filtration has long been a core sector for Lydall and a vital part of our success and growth plan. We have built an incredibly solid base of global filtration customers with our wetlaid nonwoven products and our associated applications knowledge, quality and reliability. We don’t expect this to change, and we’re excited about the future of the filtration industry. Our filtration investments over the past 10 years are a true testament of our strong commitment to this industry.
Ed Gregor: What are your thoughts about adding new media types in the future?
Paul Marold: We recognize the essential role that nonwoven microglass plays in filtration. We also know that our customers’ needs vary beyond a single solution, and different challenges will require a range of technologies. We are committed to solving our customers’ filtration problems, and we’ll continue to add new media types if they can play a part in those solutions.
Ed Gregor: Why focus on filtration, when so many market leaders in nonwoven and wetlaid fabrics target numerous market segments?
Paul Marold: We have a rich history in filtration, and I think a large reason for that is the attention we pay to the specific needs of filtration customers and end users. While we do focus on filtration, Lydall also services a wide range of applications and markets. For example, we supply engineered solutions to high and low temperature insulation markets, and with a recent acquisition, we now supply engineered products that are the materials of choice for gasket and sealing solutions. The heart of Lydall is engineered materials to enable a cleaner, healthier and more energy efficient world…so that’s what drives our efforts.
Having said that, we believe filtration will continue to require new technologies and developments to serve the world, our growing population, changing processes and the environment. These challenges will keep us excited and focused for a long time.
Ed Gregor: What in your mind differentiates Lydall from competition?
Paul Marold: Our main differentiator is we are customer-solution focused, looking at demanding applications. Many people can make nonwovens. We pride ourselves on understanding our customers’ needs and delivering value to applications that require it.
Ed Gregor: Do you see Lydall forward integrating into filters, much like the company did with gaskets?
Paul Marold: The global filtration landscape is quite varied, and in general, we see ourselves as a valued, qualified, reliable and responsible supplier in the filtration supply chain. We will continue our strong relationships with the world’s filter manufacturers to ensure that as partners, we bring the best possible filtration solutions to end users.
Ed Gregor: What do you see as Lydall’s most important capability or asset and why?
Paul Marold: Our people! We have solid strategies in place, but it’s the execution of those ideas that makes us Lydall. When I visit our facilities around the globe, nearly every employee—whether they be in operations or customer service or any function for that matter—every employee knows how they are implementing our plans and the impact they have on our customers.
Ed Gregor: What is your longer-term vision for Lydall?
Paul Marold: Our longer-term vision is to continuously improve at what we do and to invest in our shared future. Filtration protects us, our equipment, and the environment. That is a compelling industry to be a part of! The solutions that are in place today may not be what we need a decade from now. While we have been making filtration materials for almost 50 years now, we are always striving to improve what we do and how we do it, to ensure we are the filtration media provider of choice for decades to come.
Ed Gregor: Thank you for your time and comments.
Paul Marold: Thank you very much, Ed, and thanks to International Filtration News for the role you continue to play in our global filtration community.