Contrasting this to where we were virtually one year ago, recall that our businesses were operating at maximum capacity utilization with limited or no upside due to those capacity constraints. In fact, in some cases, we were turning away business. And at that point in time, we were accelerating and aggressively funding major capital investments and capacity expansions.
So we understand the cost of not having capacity especially in growth markets. Given the choice of where we are today compared to last year, we prefer to have capacity available. We're bearing some added costs as a result of that and while those costs are very transparent in our financial with the current level of sales, the value of having in our capacity will be very impactful when those incremental sales occur.
And it enables us to be highly responsive to an upturn in demand. Additionally, with the majority of our cash spent for these investments now behind us, we're positioned for substantial cash generation and substantial earnings growth potential going forward and we remain keenly focused on executing to meet the growing global demand for our products.
In the lead acid business, the future is in Asia which is the fastest growing region in the world. We've taken methodical and strategic actions over the past several years to be well positioned there. Today we serve the fastest growing customers in Asia. We have the largest facility and production capability in the region with more capacity beginning to ramp up in Thailand and China. And we have the most established infrastructure to service this region including manufacturing, sales, technical support and R&D as well as distribution capability.In healthcare with the additional PUREMA capacity that was recently installed, we're well positioned to capitalize on current and future demand in hemodialysis membranes and we anticipate demand across our healthcare applications to remain solid.