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March 09. 2014 4:09PM

Mini mill

Rochester manufacturer Lydall Filtration/Separation to present leaner look with new mini mill


Lydall Filtration/Separation Inc. designed a new mini mill, which can produce smaller orders than traditional equipment, at their Rochester facility. (Courtesy)

ROCHESTER — To offer customers more options and to embrace flexibility in the future, a local manufacturer of specialty filtration materials and non-woven products decided less is more.

Lydall Filtration/Separation Inc., which designs and manufactures technically advanced air and liquid filtration products for demanding thermal/acoustical and filtration/separation markets, is hosting a ribbon-cutting event to unveil the new mini mill at 134 Chestnut Hill Road from 10 a.m. to noon Friday.

The new addition inside the 172,000-square-foot-facility is the centerpiece of an ongoing effort to improve operations in the past 18 months, the company said. The facility produces wet-laid fiberglass and ceramic materials, synthetics and various composite.

"We're very excited about it as well," said David Williams, president of Lydall Performance Materials.

The investment, which cost "multiple millions of dollars just for this one piece of equipment," will expand operations by offering small-scale production to customers, both existing companies and new business, according to Geoff Crosby, director of marketing for Lydall Filtration.

"It's like digital printing verse traditional printing," Crosby said, adding the flexibility allows Lydall to help companies manage costs or quickly adapt to new materials.

This represents a change in the industry, which has offered large-scale production of various filtration products. As a result, Lydall can serve companies that require hundreds rather than thousands of high-quality products, especially in specialty markets for surgical filters, in gas turbine or nuclear plants and life science industry.

"The need for high volume production isn't effective (for every market)," Crosby said, adding the new mini mill was designed with these types of applications in mind.

Crosby said Lydall will continue to offer high-volume production at facilities in Rochester, New York and in France.

In 2012, Rochester became the headquarters of Lydall Performance Materials and includes most of the members of the company's research and development, sales, marketing and manufacturing teams. There are 125 full-time employees in Rochester, and the company said it plans to expand both manufacturing hourly and salaried staff this year.

Lydall Inc., which is headquartered in Manchester, Conn., was formed in 1969 and has been operating in Rochester since 1970.

Since then, it has acquired facilities in Hamptonville, N.C. in 1977, in Green Island, N.Y. in 1986, in Saint-Rivalain, France in 1991, in St. Johnsbury, Vt. and Gerherdt, Germany in 1998, in Ossipee in 2001 and in St. Nazaire, France in 2004, according to www.lydall.com.

Lydall employs about 1,400 people world-wide, also including sites in the Netherlands and sales offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.


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