The 1990s and the 2000s were times of transformation for Albany International, two distinct evolutions but connected in their ultimate impact on the future of the Company.
The Company faced a turbulent economic climate in the 1990s with a recession early in the decade, intensifying global competition, and rapid technological changes. Despite the challenges, Albany continued to grow rapidly, making strategic acquisitions, building new plants in Europe, and most significantly, expanding into Asia with the purchase of a dryer fabric operation in Panyu, China, and construction of greenfield plants in Chungju, South Korea, and Hangzhou, China.
The Albany Press Fabric Plant in Hangzhou, China, began production in 2007.
In 2007 the Company began an extensive multiyear transformation and restructuring to remain competitive and respond to changing markets. Albany divested noncore businesses, including its Filtration business, Albany Door Systems, and PrimaLoft Products. At the same time, Albany right-sized its paper machine clothing and engineered fabrics business and consolidated operations in Europe and the United States, while making strategic investments in its composites business. The Company adopted a worldwide commitment to Lean/Six Sigma and was able to emerge from the Great Recession even stronger than prior to 2008.