Show Preview: FILTECH 2013

Over 300 exhibitors will be showing their latest offers at the German event.
Over 300 exhibitors will be showing their latest offers at the German event.

FILTECH 2013 will feature more than 300 exhibitors who will travel to Wiesbaden in Germany to showcase new equipment and highlight the latest in filtration and separation technology. The exhibition aims to provide visitors with a view of the recent innovations in filtration and separation technologies, particle measurement and analysis systems, as well as adhesive applications and specialty chemicals, composites, innovative filter media, cutting, welding and sewing equipment.

In addition to the exhibition, the event will host a major international conference at the Rhein-Main-Hallen arena, which will feature 200 papers from 37 countries. Organisers claim the conference will deliver important information on the different procedures and appliances of separation technology, as well as applications information – from the preparation of mineral raw materials and environmental technology and water purification, to pharmacy and biotechnology. Latest research projects, equipment-based solutions and procedures will also be presented at FILTECH’s 2013 educational conference. 

Growing show

At the previous show in 2011, the event grew markedly, with a 46% increase in exhibitor numbers and attendance up by 38%. So who attends? Well, in terms of international participants, 72% attended the show from Western Europe last time, and 44% of all participants came from within Germany.

The rest of the breakdown included one-in-ten participants attending from Asia, 9% from Eastern Europe, 5% from the Americas and 4% from the Middle East.

One exhibitor looking forward to this year’s event is Dr Giovanni Catania, managing director of Atech Innovations, the developer and producer of ceramic membranes for industrial applications. Regarding his company’s sector, he thinks the most important aim for manufacturers of ceramic membranes is to increase the packing density of their products.

“The goal is to provide to customers a maximum filter surface area at the least cost within the realms of what is economically and technically possible and appropriate,’’ he told Filtration+Separation.

“Within our R&D activities we are constantly focused on the improvement of our ceramic membranes through creating new designs with more favourable price-surface area ratio.”

Dr Canatia said that his company intends to highlight its 85-duct membranes that “provide an excellent price-performance ratio” at the show. 

Anja Michen, director of marketing and sales at IREMA, the Bavarian-based filter technology business, told F+S one of the major issues facing the filtration industry is the energy efficiency of the ‘filtration system’. “The challenge here is to develop filter media with preferably low pressure drops considering the final filter design and application as a whole. We’re addressing this by enhancing proprietary technologies and working closely with customers.”

She said at Wiesbaden IREMA would highlight a 3-V cell filter combining the company’s expertise in manufacturing filter media and mini pleats, as well as developing new media for liquid filtration applications.

Energy savings

Walter Lamparter, CEO at membrane and module supplier Microdyn Nadir, said that when discussing the operation of waste water treatment plants using MBR technology, factors like energy savings, reduction of the chemical demand, or minimisation of the total costs of a plant, are major priorities.

“In terms of energy savings, the best way to reduce the energy consumption, is just to use the MBR waste water treatment plant (WWTP) only when needed. This fits perfectly with the modular structure of MBR systems,” he said.

“With an intelligent control system a MBR plant is able to operate only as many lines as needed according to the actual inflow. Then every line can be operated on high flux rates and will relax when the next line takes the load. Only in cases of peak flow all the lines have to be in operation. But during normal operation lines can be turned off. Additionally, higher flux rates can be achieved with more sophisticated methods of cleaning.

“Microdyn Nadir developed the patented Mechanical Cleaning Process (MCP) for our BIO-CEL. When applying this, the performance is on a constant high level, because of no fouling on the membrane, this again reduces the energy demand significantly.”

Mr Lamparter commented: “All these actions help to minimise energy consumption and the risk of fouling, scaling and chemical membrane attacks. And to make it perfect, mechanical cleaning is often less abrasive to the membrane compared with standard chemical cleaning.”

He said that one matter is becoming increasingly important – that the membranes built into submerged modules and installed in a WWTP have to be of the highest quality in order to ensure, amongst other things, the compliance with international water standards when looking at effluent quality and turbidity.

“A damaged membrane is one of the worst things that can happen to an operator of a WWTP, and respectively to the manufacturer of the membrane module. Screw drivers or other tools falling into the filtration chamber of a plant severely damaging the membranes are not rare events.

“Microdyn Nadir is proud to announce that the unique BIO-CEL sheet, which represents the core part of the BIO CELMBR module by Microdyn Nadir, has a self-healing mechanism.

“Due to its sandwich-like and self-supporting structure the membrane ‘heals’ itself even though it might be damaged considerably (deep scratches, cut edge etc.) and closes any scratch or cut immediately.”

New innovations

Major names, such as adhesive manufacturer Henkel, will attend, showcasing new innovations to the filter sector. In Henkel’s case, that is a new adhesive that meets high quality requirements, given that industrial filters are exposed to a wide range of in-service stresses, such as heat, pressure and chemical attack.

Henkel’s new polypropylene hotmelt Technomelt AS 4216 offers numerous advantages, the company has stated. A filter bonded with this readily foamable hotmelt can durably withstand service temperatures of up to 120°C. Technomelt AS 4216 is ideal for the production of pollen or air filters destined for the automotive sector, the German business told F+S, as well as being suitable for the manufacture of clean room filters.

Other innovations from the company at the show will include Loctite UK 178 and Loctite EA 1623986, both of which carry approval for use in potable water filters. While Loctite UK 178 is used in the bonding of the filter membranes, Loctite EA 1623986 is applied in the manufacture of filter housings. These consist of wound and bonded glass yarn.

Another Henkel innovation being showcased is Loctite EA 3316. This product can be used at temperatures up to 80°C and can therefore also be applied in the manufacture of filters used in the dairy industry where cleaning processes take place at higher temperatures.

Kristina Müller, spokeswoman for fellow German company Sandler, said a key trend in today’s filtration industry is that installation spaces are becoming smaller while filters are required to perform at increasingly higher levels.

“Likewise, in view of rising energy costs, energy efficiency is a key factor in the operation of filter systems,” she commented. “In the wake of this development, pleatable filter media gain in importance, as does a large inner surface of the medium, supporting high efficiency and mechanical deposition effects. Synthetic media that outperform other filter media owing to the combination of various properties are also highly in demand.”

Sandler is addressing these issues with 100% synthetic filter media for applications ranging from heating, ventilation and air conditioning to automotive filtration, she said.

“In close cooperation with customers and partners, and through specifically chosen raw materials, Sandler filter media are tailored to the respective application – pocket filter media, pleatable materials, mat filters and nonwovens for synthetic vacuum cleaner bags,” said Ms Müller. “Featuring a low pressure drop, they reduce the energy consumption in operation.

“Progressively structured filter media comprise finest fibres of less than 1µm and achieve high efficiency and high dust holding capacity. Even after discharge, Sandler filter media maintain their efficiency, fulfilling current standards. Pleatable Sandler filter media are excellently processable in all common pleating processes. A longitudinally oriented fibre structure allows for accurate pleating. The utilised polymers make the pleats resilient and resistant to mechanical influences, temperature or moisture.”

She revealed that Sandler AG will present its range of synthetic filter nonwovens: media for filter classes G3 to E11 for applications in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, automotive filtration and synthetic vacuum cleaner bags. “In 2013, with new developments for pleat filters being at the centre of Sandler’s trade fair participation, FILTECH visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about these innovations during a lecture held by a Sandler representative within the scope of the accompanying symposium. Another highlight at the show are newly developed nonwovens for water filtration.”

Environmental concerns

A spokeswoman for Kelheim Fibres, the viscose speciality fibres producer, said that the company was addressing the environmental concerns with viscose fibres.

“In contrast to other cellulosic fibres such as cotton, for example, viscose fibres stand out as a result of their definable and reproducible geometry, which enables a perfect match to be made to the specific processing route or end application,” she said. “The incorporation of functional additives allows the manufacture of tailor-made fibres according to the end product’s exact demands.

“Kelheim’s fibres are ISEGA certified and medically and environmentally compatible. So they are ideally suited for sensible applications such as hygiene or medical products. Made of a 100% renewable material, viscose fibres are carbon neutral when incinerated at the end of the filter’s life span or can – depending on the residue in the filter – be composted.”

Other participants told the event’s organisers why they are attending, with some returning after making their exhibitor debut in 2011.

Stockmeiser Urethanes GMBH was one of the companies who exhibited at the 2011 event for the first time. Frank Steegmanns, its key account manager adhesives, said the show had exceeded expectations in terms of the quality of visitors present.

“FILTECH is a great opportunity to meet decision makers and technical staff to discuss new products and applications,” he said.

“Because of our success at the last show we’re coming back to FILTECH 2013 in a new hall with more space to present our polyurethane adhesives for the filter manufacturing sector.”

Worldwide developments

Leander Mölter, managing director at Palas GMBH, said:“FILTECH is for us the most important trade fair for meeting with potential global clients, especially from Asia and the US. The congress offers us the opportunity to keep up-to-date on the latest research results, worldwide developments and procedures.”

Andrea Trautmann, marketing manager at Coperion GMBH, called the event “an ideal platform” for a filter manufacturer such as her company. “With the combination of specialist lectures and exhibition, visitors can find out about the latest technical developments and trends in a very manageable amount of time.”

FILTECH’S conference this year will emphasise a number of themes, and include short courses on Solid/Liquid Separation, and Fine Dust Separation. Topics for this year’s conference include ‘Testing; Instrumentation; Control’, ‘Simulation and Modelling’, ‘Filter Media’, Solid-Gas-Separation’, Solid-Liquid Separation, and ‘Membrane Processes’.

This year’s plenary lecture will be given by Professor Kuo-Lun (Allen) Tung from the National Taiwan University who will discuss nature-inspired separation membranes on a biological/organic and mineral basis.

His talk, ‘Nature-inspired separation membranes: Geomimicry versus biomimicry’ will look at the lessons from mimicry in nature. Recently, several new concepts to develop novel membrane materials have been proposed and new preparation methods from a fundamental understanding of formation mechanism and morphology of natural materials have been designed. Professor Tung will look at several potential routes which mimic existing biological and geological processes to develop novel organic and inorganic membranes.

Keynote lectures

The conference will host several keynote lectures, including ‘Industrial gas cleaning processes – trends and perspectives’ by Professor Markus Lehner of Austria’s Montanuniversität Leoben University on the opening day. Professor Lehner will provide an overview of current trends in industrial gas cleaning processes with a focus on large scale installations, like carbon capture or new approaches towards desulphurisation of power plant exhaust gases.

Also on day one of the conference Professor Urs Peuker, of the Technical University, Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany, will present on ‘Separation and classification in the size range below µm’. Professor Peuker will aim to show the physical limits of the established classification and sorting principles, and point out the potential for process enhancement as well as new concepts for separation emerging from nano and bio-technology.