Movers & Shakers April 2023: Ahlstrom Launches Renewable Lignin-Based Automotive Filter

In the dynamic and global filtration industry, news and information is breaking on a daily basis. International Filtration News is tracking stories relevant to our industry from air and gas filtration to liquid filtration and the various end-uses for filtration technology. Here we will post news stories relevant to filtration and its downstream applications on an ongoing basis. Please check back for regular updates. If you have news that you feel should be added to this summary report, please email it to Ken Norberg:

Most recent update: April 28, 2023

Ahlstrom Launches Renewable Lignin-Based Automotive Filter

Ahlstrom is introducing a new range of renewable and sustainable filtration solutions for automotive applications. Ahlstrom ECO™ is a technology supporting the increasing sustainability demands of the global transportation market and offering a new choice for filter manufacturers.

Developed by Ahlstrom, a new renewable and sustainable filter media utilizes lignin-based* impregnation, replacing fossil-based resin. The resin solution contains a significant amount of bio-based, renewable lignin, while the mechanical properties and the durability of the filter media, even in challenging environments, are maintained.

According to Ahlstrom’s initial estimates, the new lignin-based impregnated filter media displays a lower carbon footprint than a standard fossil-based resin media. Additionally, the lignin-based impregnation recipe brings a significant reduction, between 50-70%, of formaldehyde emissions during the curing process.

Ahlstrom is partnering with Tecfil, a leading automotive filter manufacturer in Latin America, who is incorporating Ahlstrom ECO™ solution into a final filter design.

Gerard Daniel acquires Wire Cloth Manufacturers Inc.

Gerard Daniel Worldwide, a Graycliff Partners portfolio company providing wire mesh and filtration solutions across the globe, announced the acquisition of Wire Cloth Manufacturers (WCM), a manufacturer of woven and welded wire mesh. This strategic acquisition joins Gerard Daniel’s technical expertise and already wide-reaching inventory with WCM’s product portfolio and well-placed facilities.

Gerard Daniel serves a wide range of commercial B2B customers, focusing on providing OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 manufacturers with wire, wire cloth and wire cloth components, delivering additional value through unprecedented sourcing strength and inventory management programs. WCM predominantly focuses on the industrial, agricultural and construction industries, along with segments of the B2C market. Together, Gerard Daniel and WCM create the largest wire mesh distribution and filter mesh component company in North America.

Jack Slinger, Gerard Daniel’s chief executive officer said, “We are excited to have Wire Cloth Man join Gerard Daniel. They bring a solid team of seasoned employees, focused on efficiently serving their customers. Both companies are looking for opportunities to expand and bringing them together means we can double the locations we serve our customers from and offer additional products.”

K&N Announces New World-Class Manufacturing and Distribution Center in Grand Prairie, Texas

K&N Engineering, a leading manufacturer of high-performance automotive filtration products, announced the opening of a new manufacturing facility and warehouse in Grand Prairie, Texas. The new facility now serves as the company’s primary manufacturing and distribution center for the company’s global consumer demand.

K&N's new Texas facility. Photo K&N
K&N’s new Texas facility. Photo K&N

K&N’s new Grand Prairie facility is fully operational, and is world class in technology and in team

The state-of-the-art facility covers over 500,000 square feet and is equipped with the latest technology in manufacturing and distribution equipment, and currently manufactures over 5,000 part numbers within the K&N catalog, including premium engine air filters and air intake systems. The new plant will also be equipped for manufacturing the company’s growing demand for HVAC home air filters and industrial filters for data centers. Additionally, the expansive warehouse has a capacity of over 15,000 pallet locations and will allow K&N to better serve customers with faster and more efficient delivery times.

“We are thrilled to announce that our Grand Prairie facility is fully operational, this facility is World Class in Technology and in Team” said Humberto Mare, Vice President of Manufacturing for K&N Engineering. “This facility will enable us to increase our production capacity and meet the growing demand for our products. Additionally, we are proud to create over 300 jobs in the area and support the local economy.”

CLEANR Debuts Rapid Prototyping of its Microplastic-Filtering Technology for Washing Machine

CLEANR, a market-disruptive microplastic-filtration technology company, has accelerated the development of its solutions for washing machine manufacturers through its early access to the Formlabs Automation Ecosystem. The new platform enables new levels of 3D printing productivity through a highly scalable and automated workflow that can produce back-to-back 3D prints 24/7 with minimal human intervention.

US microplastic filtration technology company Cleanr is accelerating the development of its solutions for washing machine manufacturers through early access to Formlabs’ advanced 3D printing platform.
US microplastic filtration technology company Cleanr is accelerating the development of its solutions for washing machine manufacturers through early access to Formlabs’ advanced 3D printing platform.

The 3D printing platform will enable CLEANR to accelerate the introduction of its new microplastic-filtering solutions, and collaborate quickly and efficiently with appliance manufacturers to integrate the technology into their washing machine designs.

Washing machine wastewater is the world’s largest source of microplastic pollution and has come under growing regulation in Europe and North America. Multiple governments are developing and enacting legislative requirements that will mandate manufacturers to outfit new household washing machines with microplastic-filtering devices to prevent the flow of harmful microplastics into waterways, ecosystems and food chains.

Beginning in January 2025, France will require all new washing machines sold in-country to include a microplastic-filtration solution. Meanwhile, members of the UK parliament, California and Oregon state legislators in the U.S., and provincial legislators in Ottawa, Canada are working through similar proposals, with other governments around the world following suit.

Sulzer to Establish New Clean Technology R&D Center in Singapore

Sulzer Chemtech has signed an agreement with JTC Corporation, the master planner and developer of Singapore’s industrial infrastructure, to build and operate a new research center for its separation technology solutions.

Front row, from left: Ulric Seah, Senior Technical Consultant, Sulzer Chemtech; Uwe Boltersdorf, Division President, Sulzer Chemtech; Leow Thiam Seng, Group Director, Industry Cluster Group, JTC; and Lim Junwei, Director, Urban Solutions & Construction Cluster, JTC
Front row, from left: Ulric Seah, Senior Technical Consultant, Sulzer Chemtech; Uwe Boltersdorf, Division President, Sulzer Chemtech; Leow Thiam Seng, Group Director, Industry Cluster Group, JTC; and Lim Junwei, Director, Urban Solutions & Construction Cluster, JTC

The new facility will be located at the Jurong Innovation District’s CleanTech Park, Singapore’s first eco-business park specifically designed to support clean and sustainable manufacturing and urban solutions. Sulzer will focus its research activities on chemical separation processes for circular operations such as polymer recycling and bio-based fuel and polymer production.

Executive Chairwoman of Sulzer Suzanne Thoma said: “This investment in a new research and development center for Asia Pacific is a significant expansion to Sulzer’s global footprint and supports our strategic goals of progress, and the development of sustainable solutions. It also shows our commitment to innovation through continuous, significant spending in R&D.”

Uwe Boltersdorf, Sulzer Chemtech division president, added: “Several Sulzer Chemtech separation technologies are enabling the transition towards more eco-conscious, circular operations. With our clean technology R&D center in Singapore we continue to anticipate and address market needs and enable sustainable manufacturing in the region.”

Sandra Martinez Joins Hollingsworth & Vose

Hollingsworth & Vose announced that Sandra Martinez will be the company’s new Vice President & Chief People Officer on April 18. Martinez brings a strong blend of human resource experience from her extensive 20-year career.

Sandra Martinez
Sandra Martinez

“At H&V, our people are our most important resource, and Sandra was the ideal person to lead this essential facet of our organization,” said Josh Ayer, CEO of H&V. “We selected Sandra due to her business acumen and experience working with a global workforce in key markets such as the Americas, APAC and Europe.”

Prior to joining H&V, Martinez served as the head of human resources for the industrial segment of Barnes Group, a global industrial and aerospace manufacturing company. She has a keen understanding of the manufacturing industry, as she has worked in this sector since 2015. Before her shift to manufacturing, Martinez served as vice president of human resources and compensation and benefits at Univision, the world’s leading Spanish-language media company. She also spent a significant portion of her career at General Electric, where she served for many years in both Europe and the United States.

Within her roles, Martinez has extensively worked across DEI, organizational development, talent management and HR operations. She spearheaded multiple employee engagement campaigns and has addressed employee concerns through innovative solutions. Martinez also served as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council for the Manufacturers Alliance.

Donaldson Unveils Environmental Ambitions

Donaldson Company, Inc., a leading worldwide manufacturer of innovative filtration products and solutions, announced new 2030 goals that include reducing greenhouse emissions, improving gender and racial/ethnic representation, protecting the health and safety of employees, and positively impacting communities as part of its new sustainability strategy – Filtration for a Thriving Future. The new strategy and 2030 ambitions reflect Company investments to prioritize, pursue and advance its environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts. Donaldson released the new strategy and ambitions as part of its fiscal year 2022 Sustainability Report.

Donaldson Company’s Filtration for a Thriving Future sustainability strategy includes the following fiscal year 2030 strategic ambitions:

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Donaldson is committed to helping mitigate climate change. The Company is targeting an absolute reduction of its Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by the end of fiscal year 2030 from a fiscal year 2021 baseline. This ambition, along with the execution roadmap, is science-based and aligns with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5°C global warming scenario.

Employee Health & Safety: Donaldson is committed to providing safe and healthy workplaces. The Company aims to have year-over-year reductions in life-changing events and consistently have zero life-changing events by the end of fiscal year 2030.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Donaldson believes having a globally diverse and inclusive culture and we know embracing the uniqueness of each individual drives innovation and helps meet customer needs. The Company is committed to advancing opportunity and equity in the workplace and aspires to recruit, retain, develop and promote a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities in which it works. Donaldson aims to increase the number of women in global leadership positions to 35% by the end of fiscal 2030 starting from a January 2023 baseline. The Company strives to make progress toward gender parity and to improve racial and ethnic representation in leadership positions.

Community Engagement & Giving: Donaldson is committed to positively impacting our communities through education. The Company aims to increase charitable giving through the Donaldson Foundation by 25% every four years, giving cumulatively at least $13.5 million from fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2030, to organizations within Donaldson’s communities with a focus on meeting educational needs.

Meissner to Build New Manufacturing Facility in Georgia

Meissner Corporation is investing nearly $250 million in a new manufacturing facility in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, USA. The company manufactures advanced microfiltration products and therapeutic manufacturing systems for the development and manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs, therapeutics, biologics, and cell and gene therapies. Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Camarillo, California, the company operates globally with a European manufacturing location in Castlebar, Ireland.

The new Meissner facility will be located at the Christian Industrial Tract in Winterville. When the currently planned facilities are complete, it will more than double the company’s manufacturing footprint in the US. The new site in Athens-Clarke County will consist of multiple structures, including state-of-the-art cleanroom facilities, laboratories, research and development and office spaces. Operations are expected to begin in early 2026.

CECO Environmental Expands Filtration Capabilities with Acquisition of Houston-Based Transcend Solutions

CECO Environmental Corp., a leading environmentally focused, diversified industrial company whose solutions protect people, the environment, and industrial equipment, announced it has completed the acquisition of Transcend Solutions, LLC (“Transcend”), a Houston-based process filtration solution design and manufacturing company with applications in hydrocarbon and chemical processing.

The addition of Transcend to CECO’s Separation and Filtration business platform advances CECO’s capability to offer customers around the world a turnkey performance-enhancing engineered solution for process fluid separation and filtration in a wide range of high-performance applications. Transcend is the second acquisition for CECO in 2023, following the previously announced deal for U.K.-based Wakefield Acoustics Ltd. in January 2023 and four transactions in 2022, continuing CECO’s steady execution of its programmatic M&A strategy launched in early 2022.

Marmon Industrial Water Launches Graver Mobile Powdex Condensate Polishing Trailers

In response to growing demand for flexibility in process water treatment, Marmon Industrial Water recently launched the Graver mPowdex Condensate Polishing Trailers. As the first precoat filter demineralizer on wheels, the mPowdex system will allow plants to reuse and recover steam condensate on an as-needed basis, providing water, energy and capital savings across manufacturing sectors, including power generation, refining and petrochemical applications.

“The Graver name has been synonymous with condensate polishing for over half a century,” said Marmon Industrial Water Director of Strategic Marketing & Innovation John Yen. “Now more than ever, plant managers and operators are in critical need of efficient water treatment technologies that can be deployed quickly, due in part to new environmental regulations, aging infrastructure, and capacity increases. Graver mPowdex is the solution, and we are thrilled to continue sharing our expertise with the sector.”

mPowdex is a precoat filter demineralizer that combines ion exchange and filtration to remove solid and dissolved particulates, such as iron and copper, from high value process steam. By removing these contaminants, it protects costly generation assets, such as turbines and deaerators, and maximizes plant uptime. This form of condensate polishing has also been shown to drastically reduce the frequency of required blowdowns, where large amounts of water, energy and labor are lost.

Mott Acquires US filtration company Digested Organics

Mott Corp has acquired Digested Organics, a Michigan, USA-based engineering company that manufactures advanced filtration solutions to help customers reduce wastewater disposal costs, reclaim clean water for reuse, and produce valuable co-products.

Mott Corporation Logo

Digested Organics specializes in water reclamation solutions for waste streams. The technologies Digested Organics deploys are critical to addressing global issues such as water scarcity and groundwater pollution, and to the creation of sustainable, circular agriculture. Through customized filtration solutions, Digested Organics’ technology can dramatically reduce the costs for farmers of disposing of millions of gallons of wastewater by converting them into clean water and products like fertilizer and animal bedding. Digested Organics also provides solutions that facilitate the conversion of organic wastes into renewable energy sources.

Mott is one of the world’s most innovative manufacturers, providing filtration and flow control solutions to cutting edge industries including semiconductor, clean energy, aerospace, healthcare – and now water and agriculture. Mott’s engineered solutions help build and improve our technological world, with applications from satellites and cell phones to implantable medical devices and green hydrogen facilities.

NX Filtration Partners with GreenTech for Advanced Water Treatment Applications in China

NX Filtration, the global provider of breakthrough direct nanofiltration (dNF) membrane technology for pure and affordable water, was selected by GreenTech Environmental, a leading publicly listed company in advanced water treatment and wastewater recycling in China, to supply its dNF membranes for large-scale water supply projects in China.

The commercial agreement follows a pilot program of approximately one year, in which NX Filtration’s dNF technology was tested on the removal of emerging micropollutants from surface waters in China. The new full-scale project developments will use dNF membranes to produce drinking water from micro-polluted surface water and quality reclaimed water from alternative water sources, which are increasingly important sources for water production across China.

In anticipation of additional large-scale drinking water projects in China, GreenTech and NX Filtration also concluded a partnership agreement that forms the basis for further expansion across China. In this context, Greentech has started the development of standard pre-engineered modular systems, each with a capacity of 10,000 m3 per day, based on NX Filtration’s dNF technology. These standard building blocks will enable fast delivery of future large-scale projects.

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