I recently had the opportunity to share my ideas on filtration and separation trends and practices with World of Chemicals magazine. My favorite part may have been the headline, “Aging with perfection in filtration technology.” I like to think they were talking about me — ha ha!
In the meantime, I thought I’d excerpt some of the thoughts I shared in that interview.
Talking about global trends in filtration & separation equipment market, I noted, as the world’s population grows, there is a need for cleaner energy, improved water & food and advanced health care….Advances in healthcare and pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals [are also allowing] people to live longer, healthier and more productive lives.
This means, “filtration and separation technology suppliers must continually improve their products to meet these needs. The trends in the filtration market space are two-fold: moving towards continuous filtration (which is more efficient) as well as moving towards finer and finer particle size removal.”
I suspect we’ll see high demand for filtration and separation products in “pharmaceuticals with smaller batches, cleanability and multipurpose operations.” Also, “for increased food supply, we see growth in the agrochemical market including fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.” Plus, “cleaner water is driving the specialty chemicals for resins and catalysts.”
As chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers adapt to more multipurpose facilities, filtration and separation equipment must be cleanable and avoid cross-contamination between products. Batch sizes are also smaller, and we demand for finer filtration and separation to 0.5 microns as well as automatic operation for safety, efficiency etc.
Automation trends & more
Automation technology is one of the most important aspects for customers today. It is critical for filtration and separation products for preventative maintenance, efficient operation, mechanical troubleshooting and process analysis. Applying improved automation technology greatly reduces the energy usage and improves accuracy and precision to the overall process.
Automation also provides for optimum operations, time monitoring systems, report generation and recipe management.
We’re also going to have to incorporate R&D to meet market demands. At BHS, we’re working with clients to combine technologies for full turnkey responsibility to minimize lifecycle costs and reduce operating costs. So, overall, we are focused on innovation, automation, continuous processing, cleanability and overall reliability to 99 percent uptime. We strive to provide complete process solutions with spare parts, service and continually to improve the client’s operation.
This requires testing — of course. “Testing provides the collaboration with the client to provide innovative and cost-effective process solutions.”
At the same time, one big challenge in our market is the need for speed. Speed of innovation is impacting our clients who are developing new processes very quickly using micro-reactors, new chemistry, and new products.
The speed at which the filtration and separation suppliers must operate to meet the clients is even faster. Successful companies must fulfill this “speed” objective without sacrificing any core values of safety, efficiency, quality, and service.