Nonwovens to control our immediate environment

According to a 2015 study by EDANA, the international association serving the nonwovens and related industries and the sponsor of the INDEX™17 show, the nonwovens filtration market is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2014 to $4.6 billion in 2019, representing an annual growth rate of 5.6%, making filtration one of the fastest growing markets for nonwovens.

An increased awareness of the need to control our immediate environment at home, in the workplace or while traveling, leads filters to play an essential role in our everyday lives. Noora Blasi, Marketing Manager, Engine and Industrial Filtration and Advanced Filtration at Ahlstrom is convinced that, “Changes in demographics, in the healthcare industry, and in resource scarcity are the key drivers contributing to the changing needs of end users.”

Clean air and drinking water, infrastructure improvements as well as the replacement of textiles and paper filter media, make filtration the fastest growing market for nonwovens. Automotive filtration remains the largest application for nonwoven filter media, followed by water and air filtration.

Visitors and exhibitors will gather at INDEX17, the world’s leading nonwovens exhibition, in Geneva from 4th-7th April 2017, to gain first-hand knowledge of the latest developments in nonwovens for filtration applications, with exhibitors showcasing the astonishing functional qualities of these versatile materials. For the first time, FILTREX™, the leading conference and meeting point for the filtration industry will take place at PALEXPO in parallel with INDEX17 (5th-6th April), thus bringing together the worlds of filtration and nonwovens.

The deadly cost of air pollution

According to a 2016 World Bank study “The Cost of Air Pollution”, carried out in co-operation with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, air pollution costs the world trillions of dollars a year and severely impedes development in many countries. The World Bank found that in 2013 – the year from which the latest available estimates date – the annual cost of dirty air to the United Kingdom was $7.6 billion, to Germany $18 billion and to the United States $45 billion. In addition, the study reveals that air pollution is still the fourth leading cause of premature deaths worldwide, causing lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory problems. Air pollution must be made a priority and governments are slowly changing their legislation. Many factories worldwide have enforced the installation of filter bags – between 10,000 – 25,000 of these are employed in the average coal plant in China.

Indoor air pollution, the next challenge

Air pollution is a common issue in industrialized countries, however this problem does not stop at your doorstep. A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that the air inside homes can be even more polluted than outside. Such is the case in even the largest and most industrialized cities.

Solvents used to treat furniture, emissions produced from cooking, household products and soot from candles are among the long list of pollutants that can be found inside the home. This presents new opportunities for nonwovens. Filters made from nonwoven fiberglass and activated carbon – with rapid adsorption dynamics – are now being used by a number of forward-looking hotel chains in Europe now, often employing low-energy nonwoven air filters … and this is only the beginning.

For more information on INDEX™17 visit

Walker Filtration awarded Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Walker Filtration family receiving the 2016 Queen's Award.

Walker Filtration family receiving the 2016 Queen’s Award.

Walker Filtration has humble roots, a business that was started in 1983 by a team of two. Since, the business has grown immensely in its native North East of UK – and is now a leader in the production of air filtration and drying equipment.

They are at the forefront of the filtration industry, currently exporting 88 per cent of their products to over 65 countries. Not only that, but the business has recently strengthened its export strategy to increase sales of compressed air filtration products by 19 per cent! It has also grown turnover by more than £800,000 per year since 2013, with a growth of almost 1 million between 2014 and 2015.

In October 2016, the brand’s success was recognized when they welcomed a representative of Her Majesty The Queen, who presented the company with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, reflective of the global approach the business takes in the export of its products. While this was their first win in the innovation category, Walker Filtration has now been awarded the Queen’s Award five times in their 30 year history – a staggering achievement.

On the presentation of the award, Mrs. Susan Windfield, OBE, gave the engineering business praise for sticking to its origins but achieving worldwide success. She said: “This is a company established, developed, and based within Tyne and Wear, yet operating and supplying products worldwide, with an international reputation for innovation and excellence. My congratulations to everyone involved at Walker Filtration for this outstanding achievement in winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the fifth time.”

Walker Filtration also helped local children in 2016, working alongside the Engineering Development Trust to liaise with Newcastle Royal Grammar School to get students on an Engineering in Education Scheme (EES.) This project was a six-month ‘hands-on’ work experience period to encourage future engineers.

Just as the business has been recognized for its global efforts, it has also been noticed for its commitment to the local community. The company shortlisted for not one, but two local awards at the Insider Media Made in the North East Awards 2016.

Speaking of their place on the awards, Group Managing Director, Lianne Walker MBE, commented: “Walker Filtration is extremely proud of its North East heritage, and we are passionate about investing manufacturing and engineering in the region. To be shortlisted for the Made in the North East awards, that recognize and celebrate the success of local manufacturing businesses, is an honor.”

With a successful year now drawing to a close, the engineering business sets its sights on 2017. Having already increased their global sales and been recognized in the Queen’s Awards for a fifth time, the filtration company is proof that staying local but thinking globally can help your business succeed.



Parker Hannifin to Buy Filtration Maker Clarcor, Deal Valued at $4.3B

Industrial conglomerate Parker Hannifin Corp. said it would buy filtration maker Clarcor Inc. for about $4 billion. Parker Hannifin is paying $83 a share, an 18% premium to Clarcor’s closing price on November 30, 2016. The company is funding the deal with cash and debt. Clarcor shares rose 15% in premarket trading. Parker Hannifin shares were inactive.

The companies valued the deal at $4.3 billion including debt.

Parker expects the deal to add to earnings per share, after certain costs are taken out, and expects annual cost synergies of about $140 million three years after closing.

Clarcor, based in Franklin, Tennessee, makes mobile, automotive, industrial and environmental filtration products with annual sales of about $1.4 billion. Clarcor will merge with Parker’s filtration group. Parker Chief Executive Tom Williams said the deal combines Parker’s strength in international markets and original equipment manufacturers with Clarcor’s U.S. presence and recurring sales.

The deal boosts Parker’s recurring revenue, as 80% of Clarcor’s sales come from the aftermarket.

The deal is expected to close by the first quarter of Parker’s 2018 fiscal year. Its 2017 first quarter ended in September. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Clarcor shareholders and regulators.

INDA Marks 25th Anniversary of Filtration International Conference & Exposition with Record Exhibition Space Booked and Complimentary Admission Day

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, is celebrating the 25thAnniversary of its annual Filtration International Conference & Exposition with record exhibition space booked and by offering a complimentary admission day for attendees.

INDA expects more than 1,500 industry participants and 140-plus exhibitors to showcase their latest innovations in 18,400 square feet at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Booth space was increased in response to the strong demand.

Filtration 2016 International Conference & Exposition will take place Nov. 8-10. New this year, complimentary admission to the exhibit hall will be offered to industry participants on Nov. 10.

“The unwavering strength of the Filtration International Conference & Exposition demonstrates the importance and staying power of the filtration segment as it responds to seismic shifts in our industry and the world around us,” said INDA President Dave Rousse. “This event continues to show its tremendous value in connecting industry pioneers, providing clear solutions to needs, and presenting the latest on important industry topics.”

Pure Need Program

Focused on the theme of “Pure Need,” which reflects the solutions-orientation of the exhibits, the conference will feature presentations by industry thought leaders in the areas of Pure Science, Insights, Standards, Need, and Facts.

Alfred Weber, president and CEO, MANN+HUMMEL International and GmbH & Co. KG will deliver the keynote address on “Filtration Meets Digitalization,” followed by a full slate of presentations from top scientists, researchers, engineers, product developers, business leaders, and government officials on Nov. 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Filtration Exposition kicks off Nov. 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will be highlighted by an industry reception on the show floor from 5 to 6 p.m. where INDA will commemorate the important 25th year milestone with a special recognition. The complimentary admission day on Nov. 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. will wrap up the event.

“H&V has been an exhibitor, presenter, and organizing committee member at the Filtration Show for years.  As a filtration media manufacturer, the Filtration Show remains an important venue to showcase our products and network with present and prospective customers,” said Catherine Aikman, Corporate Communications Manager, Hollingsworth & Vose. “Even in this digital age, the personal interaction possible only at the show makes it critical to our marketing effort.”

“INDA and the annual Filtration International Conference and Exposition are vital to our success and growth in this market,” said Daniel E. Oberle, Director Global Market Development, Henkel Adhesive Technologies. “The conference offers a comprehensive and compact view of the entire industry in just a few days, helping to ensure the needs of the industry and the technology developments are properly aligned.”

Brian Vancrum, Vice President & General Manager, CLARCOR Industrial Air, said participation in the event allows his company to “connect with current customers and suppliers while developing new customers, and learning about new technology and the evolving competitive dynamics in our industry segment.”

“Filtration 2016 is an extremely valuable forum for charting the future direction of our industrial filtration business,” Vancrum said.

The event also fulfills the educational needs of participants with a one-and-a-half day course Nov. 8-9 on Nonwoven Filter Media led by Christine Sun, Ph.D., Principal, Filtration Technologies International.

For more information, visit the Filtration 2016 website –

About INDA

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serves hundreds of member companies in the nonwovens/engineered fabrics industry in global commerce. Since 1968, INDA events have helped members connect, learn, innovate, and develop their businesses. INDA educational courses, market data, test methods, consultancy, and issue advocacy help members succeed by providing them the information they need to better plan and execute their business strategies. For more information, visit or call +1-919-459-3700.

Five years of reverse osmosis membrane elements from LANXESS in Bitterfeld

“Our foray into the reverse osmosis (RO) membrane business five years ago has truly been a success story. We have almost reached the limit of our current capacity so we are going to double production capacity in the coming year,” said Jean-Marc Vesselle, head of the LANXESS Liquid Purification Technologies (LPT) business unit, on the occasion of a celebration of the five-year anniversary of the Lewabrane plant operated by IAB Ionenaustauscher GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of the LANXESS specialty chemicals company. “The Lewabrane brand has established a firm place for itself in the market, not least on account of its high quality and performance properties, which both we and our customers expect from ‘Made in Germany’ products,” he added.

The specialty chemicals company has invested a total of 40 million Euros in the site in the last five years alone. In addition to the membrane elements plant, LANXESS also operates the world’s largest ion exchange resin plant in Bitterfeld.

“Here in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, LANXESS is truly writing history, something we are really proud of. As a company with a long tradition in water treatment, LANXESS has grown steadily and now occupies a leading position in the market,” said Petra Wust, mayor of Bitterfeld-Wolfen, continuing: “Part of the company’s philosophy has always been its regional commitment and special bond with Bitterfeld-Wolfen, and I am extremely grateful for that. I wish the company a great deal of continued success!”

Vesselle emphasized the company’s association with the site and the region. “In 2011 – before the membrane plant – we had about 100 employees in Bitterfeld. That number has now grown to about 160 and will continue to increase. We value the skills, commitment and reliability of the workers here, which is a key element in our success.”

Expansion of capacity to meet increasing demand

The market for RO membrane elements is currently projected to grow at an above-average rate of 10 percent annually in coming years (CAGR 2015-2020). Because the plant is already operating at almost the limit of its capacity, LANXESS has decided to double the corresponding capacity at the Bitterfeld site. The additional capacity is scheduled to come on line in the second half of 2017. The expansion will create up to 10 new jobs.

Commitment to research, training and development

LANXESS is demonstrating its commitment to the Bitterfeld site in a number of different ways, including in Research & Development. In this regard, Vesselle said: “We are continuously conducting research in all areas of modern water treatment so that we can continue to provide our customers with the requisite expertise from a single source.” For that purpose LANXESS is cooperating with technical universities and other research facilities in the region such as the Fraunhofer Institutes for Factory Operation and Automation (IFF) in Magdeburg and for Microstructure of Materials and Systems (IMWS) in Halle.

A total of 18 apprentices have started their careers with IAB Ionenaustauscher GmbH since the site was expanded, with eight currently in training. After completion of their training, these chemical production technicians, chemical laboratory assistants, industrial mechanical engineers and electrical engineers for automation technology can look forward to promising careers, not least with the company itself. Of the 10 apprentices who have already completed their training seven were taken on.

Comprehensive water treatment expertise

LANXESS is one of only two companies in the world that offer know-how and products both in membrane elements and ion exchange resins. “With this comprehensive water treatment capability we can meet the requirements of customers all over the world,” Vesselle remarked. The membrane element plant is the logical continuation of a tradition dating back almost 80 years in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. The industrial production of ion exchange resins began there in 1938, and after the Second World War the Lewatit brand became famous worldwide. LANXESS operates additional production facilities for ion exchange resins in Leverkusen, Germany, and Jhagadia, India.

Because membrane and ion exchange technology frequently go hand in hand, the development and introduction of the LewaPlus integrated design software was a major contribution to optimally linking the strengths of both technologies. The software, which is continuously being expanded and refined, reflects LANXESS’s comprehensive know-how in the field of water treatment.

Membrane elements for a wide range of applications

LANXESS has continuously expanded its line of membrane products since production began in September 2011 and the products were introduced to the market in early 2012. Numerous types of elements are available in different sizes and can be optimized to be particularly fouling-resistant or energy-efficient or for high performance.

That opens up a wide range of applications for the company and its customers in the treatment of process water and wastewater in many different industries. An additional important area of application is the recovery of potable water from brackish or seawater. LANXESS and its products make important contributions in this field, facilitating access to clean drinking water for an ever-growing world population.

“In addition to the quality and performance of our products, the innovative spirit and creativity of our employees have been particularly responsible for our membrane elements establishing a firm place in the market in just a few years,” Vesselle said. One example of this innovation is a new type of multi-function spacer inside the membrane elements. This “feedspacer” consists of filaments of different thicknesses, which explains the designation “Alternating Strand Design” (ASD). It was brought to market in record time and is now helping to increase the energy efficiency of the corresponding membrane elements and simultaneously optimize fouling resistance.

The LANXESS Liquid Purification Technologies business unit

The LANXESS Liquid Purification Technologies (LPT) business unit currently employs 500 people worldwide, more than 300 of which work in Germany. LPT is part of LANXESS’s Performance Chemicals segment, which recorded sales of EUR 2.0 billion in 2015.