Profile: Polypore International Inc (PPO)
27 Feb 2015
Polypore International, Inc., incorporated on April 19, 2004, is a high-technology filtration company. The Company develops, manufactures and markets specialized microporous membranes used in separation and filtration processes. The microporous membranes it produces are highly-engineered polymeric structures that contain millions of pores per square inch, enabling the management of ions, gases and particles that range in size from the cellular to the nano or molecular level. The Company’s products and technologies are used in two primary businesses: energy storage and separations media. The energy storage business produces and markets membranes that provide the critical function of separating the cathode and anode in a variety of battery markets and is comprised of two reportable segments. The electronics and EDVs segment produces and markets membranes for lithium batteries that are used in portable electronic devices, cordless power tools, electric drive vehicles (EDVs) and emerging applications such as energy storage systems (ESS). The transportation and industrial segment produces and markets membranes for lead-acid batteries that are used in automobiles, other motor vehicles, forklifts and uninterruptible power supply systems. The separations media business, which is a reportable segment, produces and markets membranes and membrane modules used in hemodialysis, blood oxygenation, plasmapheresis, other medical applications and various high-performance microfiltration, ultrafiltration and gasification/degasification applications.
In the Company’s energy storage business, its membrane separators are a critical performance component in lithium and lead-acid batteries, performing the core function of regulating ion exchange and thus allowing the charge and discharge process to occur between a battery's positive and negative electrodes. These membrane separators require specialized technical engineering and must be manufactured to extremely demanding requirements and specifications including thickness, porosity, mechanical strength and chemical and electrical resistance. The energy storage business is comprised of two reportable segments: Electronics and EDVs, and Transportation and industrial segments.
In Electronics and EDVs segment, the Company develops, manufactures and markets a broad line of patented polypropylene and polyethylene monolayer and multilayer membrane separators for lithium batteries that are used in numerous applications such as consumer electronics devices, EDVs, cordless power tools and ESS. Lithium batteries provide critical performance advantages relative to alternative battery technologies, such as faster charging rates, improved battery life and higher power density, which results in more compact, lightweight batteries.
The Company’s transportation and industrial segment develops, manufactures and markets a complete line of high-performance polymer-based membrane separators for lead-acid batteries. Approximately 75% of its lead-acid battery separators are used in batteries for automobiles and other motor vehicles. The remaining approximately 25% are used in industrial battery applications such as forklifts, submarines and uninterruptible power supply systems.
In the Company’s separations media business, its filtration membranes and modules are used in healthcare and high-performance filtration and specialty applications. These membranes perform the critical function of removing sub-micron particulates from fluids and introducing or removing gases (gasification/degasification) within liquids. Both healthcare and specialty filtration applications require membranes with precisely controlled pore size, structure, distribution and uniformity. The Company’s supply relationships with customers in healthcare and certain filtration applications such as pharmaceutical manufacturing are reinforced by the rigorous testing, clinical studies and/or regulatory approval that its membranes undergo prior to end-product commercialization. The separations media business is a reportable segment serving two broad application end markets which include Healthcare, and Industrial and specialty filtration.
In the healthcare segment, the Company develops, manufactures and markets a complete portfolio of patented polyethersulfone membranes used in the hemodialysis market. Hemodialysis is the artificial process that performs the function of a healthy kidney for patients with permanent kidney failure, a condition known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The Company’s synthetic membrane, PUREMA, has been classified in the highest level (category 5) of Japan's dialyzer reimbursement rate system, reflecting the efficacy of its PUREMA membrane. The Company is marketing PUREMA's performance advantages, such as by co-branding its customers' dialyzers with the PUREMA logo. The Company develops, manufactures and markets polyolefin membranes used in the blood oxygenation market. As a component of heart-lung machines, blood oxygenators temporarily replace the functions of the lungs during on-pump open-heart surgery. The oxygenator contains highly specialized membranes which remove carbon dioxide from the blood while oxygen is diffused into the blood. The Company’s Oxyplus membranes, which are made of polymethylpentene, are increasingly used in intensive care applications to serve as an artificial lung for patients with severe lung trauma or lung failure following sepsis, multi-organ failure, or infectious diseases. Major producers of such artificial lungs are Sorin Group S.r.l., Maquet Cardiopulomnary AG, Terumo Medical Corp., Medtronic, Inc. and Medos AG. The Company develops, manufactures and markets polypropylene and polyethersulfone membranes for the plasmapheresis market. In plasmapheresis, plasma is separated from the blood and either retained for the production of therapeutic proteins or filtered and returned to the blood as a treatment for various autoimmune disorders.
In industrial and specialty filtration segment, the Company produces a range of membranes and membrane-based elements for microfiltration and ultrafiltration as well as gasification/degasification of liquids, covering a broad range of applications in the filtration market. The Company serves a variety of filtration end markets, including water treatment, food and beverage processing and pharmaceutical, semiconductor and flat panel display manufacturing, and it is working closely with current and potential customers to develop innovative new products based on its technology and capabilities.
The Company competes with Entek International LLC, Baoding Fengfan Rising Battery Separator Co., Ltd., Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd., Asahi Kasei Corporation, Toray Industries, Inc., SK Holdings Co., Ltd., Ube Industries Limited, Fresenius Medical Care AG, Baxter International, Inc., Toyobo Co. Ltd., Medical Corp., Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical Co., Ltd., Dainippon Ink and Chemicals, Inc., Koch Industries, Pentair, Ltd., Merck KGaA and Pall Corporation.
Polypore International Inc
1430 N. Community House Road
CHARLOTTE NC 28277-1591