Further to this, the company took the initiative to upgrade its product range by extending it into the industrial sector.
In addition, it acquired the German-multinational brand Ultra-filter, which offers a range of compressed-air and gas filters, desiccant dryers, oil and water separators, chillers, in-plant compressed-air systems and condensate purification systems.
Company marketing representa- tive Guy Sheehan says that Donald- son’s products are ideally suited to Africa’s challenging environments.
“We can handle all challenges, including transport on the growing network of highways that link the continent’s important centres, agriculture and mining in our varied climatic zones and industrial air quality in the manufacturing sector,” Sheehan notes.
He adds that the African continent requires filtration solutions in particular.
“These solutions protect and enhance human working environments on one hand and extend the operating life of vehicles, machinery and equipment on the other.” As Africa’s need for filtration solutions deepens, Donaldson believes that it has a range that addresses all these concerns with products and technology.
“We are at the forefront of the filtration industry worldwide,” Sheehan continues.
Donaldson also develops, manufactures and markets a full line of industrial hydraulic filters for the protection of machinery and components in hundreds of applications.
These products are used in both factories and heavy-duty mobile equipment.
Sheehan explains to Engineering News that Donaldson’s heavy-duty high-pressure filters sit behind pumps and other prime movers to protect critical hydraulic components, such as cylinders, motors and valves.
“These contain our Synteq synthetic filter media, specially developed by Donaldson for high-efficiency liquid filtration,” he explains.
The company’s Duramax pro- duct, meanwhile, is well known as the highest-rated spin-on-style filters available and are most often used in return-line positions.
“As spin-ons, they are particularly well suited for duplex circuits.” It is learnt that the company’s low-pressure filter products are the most commonly-used type of filter in hydraulic circuits, used as return- line filters in applications with typical working pressures.
“We offer flow and pressure combinations to fit most applications and continuous filtration of bulk fluids through dedicated off-line circuits helps to keep fuel, oil and lubricants clean,” Sheehan explains.
In terms of its hydraulic acces- sories, Donaldson offers an expanded line of accessories for hydraulic lines and reservoirs.
“The hydraulic circuit can be completed with filter service indicators, pressure gauges, test-point assemblies, valves, flanges, reservoir-level gauges, sight glasses, a variety of tank and filter breathers, caps, vents, plugs and magnets.” Donaldson also offers its clients a broad selection of hydraulic replacement cartridges and coreless elements.
“Customers can choose from our different filter media to find exactly the right filter to help them with the cleanliness requirements of the hydraulic systems,” he furthers.
Sheehan reports that Donaldson delivers a complete system of filtration and separation products for compressed-air systems.
“Our technology in the field of compressed air, gas and fluid separation extends from the compressor tool to all points of use in the factory,” he adds.
Components are designed and matched for optimal performance, while the company engineering service leads new products from concept to reality.
The Donaldson Ultrafilter range comprises a complete list of refrigerated, desiccant and membrane compressed-air dryers to meet specific air-quality requirements.
In terms of the compressed-air filters, the company has over 30 years’ of compressed-air purification experience.
Further, it has developed an extensive line of air filtration pro- ducts with a range of efficiencies and optional features to cost-effectively meet clients’ needs.
“Our prefilters and afterfilters can be custom-configured to suit the requirements of clients’ specific applications.” When it comes to products related to oil and water separators, the company’s separators condensate to a residual oil content as low as five parts per million, which allows the processed water to be discharged into most municipal water-treatment systems.
Other challenges that face the pneumatic industry is the routine discharge of condensate from compressed-air systems, which can result in significant energy consumption in the form of wasted compressed air.
For this reason, Donaldson has developed a ‘zero-loss’ drain valve that is used to discharge condensate without any loss of compressed air.
Providing process filtration solutions for gases and liquids that come into contact with the product during manufacturing, maximum purity standards are maintained.
Product applications include chemical, biological, pharma- ceutical, electronics, food and bever- age, paint, packaging, air, gas and water filtration.
The Donaldson Ultrafilter systems offer engineered solutions for the reliable and economical use of compressed air and gases.
Sheehan says that these systems are tailored for production requirements that range from energy regene- ration through to application.
Donaldson believes that its customer-relationships management is key to the company’s success.
Sheehan says that Donaldson is not selling commodities but rather focuses on solutions.
Additionally, all Donaldson Ultra- filter products are ISO 9001-certified.
“We were one of the first in the industry to have received this certification for high-level quality control,” he explains.
More about the company
The company was founded in 1915 and started a three-man shop manu- facturing simple air cleaners for farm tractors. By the 1950s, Donaldson had established worldwide sales and distribution through licensing agree- ments with overseas manufacturers.
The company’s strong client relationships accelerated its international growth nearly 40 years ago. Donaldson established operations in England to support Caterpillar in 1958, and today its services the needs of its customers through operations in 19 countries. This includes its operations in South Africa. From South Africa a broad customer-service footprint extends well into Sub-Saharan Africa.
Today, the business has expanded its product portfolio and has grown into a worldwide corporation with some 11 000 employees.
During the 1970s, the company applied its technology to create innovative filtration solutions to clean inlet air for gas turbines.
Now, Donaldson creates and manu- factures air-filtration systems for stationary gas turbines and other rotating equipment used in power generation, oil and gas production.
“Thus far, the new century has been a good one for us and the diversification with strategic acquisitions has resulted in a strong financial performance,” Sheehan concludes.