Movers & Shakers – May 2021: ASHRAE publishes updated health care facility ventilation standard

International Filtration News Movers & Shakers
IFN covers the latest news and information coming out of the global filtration industry. Photo: iStock/metamorworks

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. Please check back for regular updates. If you have news that you feel should be added to this summary report, please email it to Matt Migliore at

Most recent update: May 13, 2021

FiltXPO panel sessions to focus on filtration’s role in addressing big challenges in environment, health and technology

The second edition of FiltXPO International Filtration/Separation Exhibition & Technical Conference will feature a series of panel sessions focused on issues around environment, health and technology. Industry leaders will discuss and debate ways filtration can address today’s societal challenges related to epidemic/pandemic response, sustainability, climate change, and other issues. The event will feature five panel discussions, an exhibition floor, and filtration-focused trainings.

Over three days, sessions will tackle:

  • How do we achieve better Indoor Air Quality? (Moderator: Ashish Diwanji, President, Lydall Performance Materials)
  • How did COVID-19 change the perspective on filtration and how prepared is the industry for the next pandemic? (Moderator: Mike Clark, Divisional President, Filtration Solutions, Hollingsworth & Vose Company)
  • What is the single-use filtration industry doing to improve its environmental footprint? (Moderator: Philip Whitaker, CEO, BFC Solutions)
  • Are filter standards friend or foe, a help or a hindrance? (Moderator: Tom Justice, President, Zene, LLC)
  • How can filtration/separation help ensure adequate clean water supply in a changing climate? (Moderator: Mark Siebert, General Manager, Healthcare and Specialties, US and Canada, Berry Global, Inc.)

FiltXPO will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center from March 29-31, 2022.


* International Filtration News is owned by INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (

ASHRAE publishes updated health care facility ventilation standard

ASHRAE has released an updated edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities. The standard offers guidance, regulation, and mandates to designers of health care facilities.

The 2021 edition delivers guidance for designers and operators of these front-line facilities and incorporates 17 addenda to the 2017 edition of the standard. Changes include:

  • Expanded requirements to allow airborne infectious isolation room exhaust discharge to general exhaust under certain conditions
  • Revised scope, with improved guidance on thermal comfort conditions provided
  • Extensive modifications to address the Outpatient and Residential sections
  • Extensive revisions to air filtration requirements
  • Addition of new columns in the ventilation tables to prescribe filtration requirement and designate unoccupied turndown
  • Expanded guidance on separation distance requirements for varied intake and exhaust arrangements, coordinating with related ASHRAE Standard 62.1 data
  • Improved guidance related to behavioral and mental health


INDA releases 2020 North American Nonwovens Supply Report

In 2020, North American nonwoven capacity increased to 5.552 million tonnes, a net increase of 0.7% (39 thousand tonnes) over 2019, according to the the eighth edition of the annual North American Nonwovens Supply Report by INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry.

Operating rates in 2020 were two sides of the same coin, as some end-use markets were completely shut-down for a few months, notably building and vehicle construction, and other end-uses were operating full-out. Producers were challenged by workforce and transportation issues. As a result, the overall operating rate only increased one-percentage-point over 2020. Additionally, as the operating rate is based upon tonnage, the increased demand for lighter-weight materials – medical apparel and fine-fiber meltblown – affected the total tonnage output, as some lines were running full-throughput of surface area, but not tonnage.

North American imports and exports, in tonnage, increased 51.2% and 14.2% respectively year-over-year. Imports were led by China (+97,200 tonnes, +121%) and India (+11,000 tonnes, +37 %). Even with the significant shifts in North American trade dynamics, nonwovens tend to stay where they are produced, with the net trade balance (imports less exports) accounting for less than 10% of the region’s capacity.

“This is a great time to be in nonwovens,” said Brad Kalil, Director of Market Intelligence & Economic Insights, INDA. “We are in a business that is expanding faster than the economy as production growth exceeded U.S. real GDP for the seventh consecutive year. Production growth also exceeded capacity growth for the fourth consecutive year. The overall operating rate for the industry also improved for the fourth consecutive year. Lastly – and most importantly – we are in a business that protects and improves people’s lives. This has been brought to the forefront recently with the benefits of protective medical apparel, respirators, face masks, and disinfecting wipes, now known by all. The nonwovens industry has responded to the pandemic and will continue to provide materials that keep the surfaces we touch clean, make safe the air we breathe, and provide a barrier to keep our bodies safe.”

The report is provided to INDA member companies and associates as part of their membership. The data gathered for this annual report serves as the foundation for the biannual North American Nonwovens Industry Outlook, which was published in December 2020.

* International Filtration News is owned by INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (


Kurk Wilks elected to MEMA Board of Directors

The American Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) elected Kurk Wilks, President and CEO of Mann+Hummel, to its board of directors for a three-year term.

Kurk Wilks of MANN+HUMMEL joins MEMA Board of Directors

“Kurk is a talented and respected industry leader who brings valuable experience from the global automotive and commercial vehicle sectors, in both the original equipment and aftermarket segments,” said MEMA chairman Tim Musgrave, who serves as president and CEO at Pressure Systems International.

“We are honored to have Kurk Wilks, an active member of the OESA CEO Council, serve as a member of the MEMA Board,” said MEMA president and CEO Bill Long. “Kurk’s perspective and active engagement in MEMA divisions will strengthen our ability to advance the business interests of the vehicle supplier industry and all of our members.”

“It is a great honor for me to be able serving such an important industry association. I thank MEMA for their trust and look forward to the upcoming term of office,” said Kurk Wilks, who has served as president and CEO of the Mann+Hummel Group since January 2020. Wilks has been with Mann+Hummel since 1998.


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