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Construction : Components Accessories Spares Hardware | September 2018 | Source : Equipment India

Filters are moving away from standard to customer-specific

Elofic offers filters for fuel, oil and air segments which help the equipment to achieve the required emission and performance levels. MB Sahni, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, and KD Sahni, Vice Chairman-cum-Joint Managing Director, Elofic Industries Ltd, share more on the company and the industry scenario.

What is the role of filters in an equipment? How does a filter help in achieving better fuel efficiency and productivity in an equipment?
The major role of filters in equipment is to separate suspended solid particles (dust, dirt, debris) from liquid by adding a medium through which only the fluid can pass. Filters extend the life of pumps, valves, seals and oil by removing the troublesome solids, maintain oil seal between moving parts, reduce disposal cost, minimise maintenance down time which helps to improve the equipment efficiency and productivity.

Modern mining and construction equipment incorporate state-of-the-art technology that requires advanced filtration to maximise performance and reliability. OEM filters are designed specifically to achieve superior protection at extended maintenance intervals. Filters incorporate many patented designs and innovative filtration media not found in aftermarket filters.

Hydraulic filters are used in the torque converter, transmission, steering and hydraulic systems of most machines. These systems have both high pressure and high temperatures. Hydraulic filters act to remove small particles caused by wear and tear in sliding components and plate lining. The wrong filter with a weak centre core can cause a filter to collapse and spread contamination throughout the system. Filters are designed to handle temperature and pressure variations within the hydraulic systems.

the industry mostly uses two types of filters, a hybrid and a fully synthetic. The hybrid media is 75 per cent paper and 25 per cent micro fibre. The newest filter is 100 per cent micro fibre. Now filter manufacturers have begun to pay more attention to reducing pressure loss because of the potential cold start issues.

What are the emerging technology trends in hydraulic and lubrication oil filters? 

Today's application requires longer filter change intervals, higher operating safety, increased separation efficiency and increased compatibility with new generation of hydraulic oil. High-performance filters maintain the cleanliness of the hydraulic fluid over its entire service life. Most high-performance filters are double-layered. These layers consist of a coarser pre-filter layer to capture the larger particles and a main layer to trap smaller particles. The combination of the pre-filter and the fine filter layer increases the dirt-holding capacity and improves oil cleanliness.

In the past, conventional hydraulic oils often contained zinc dithiophosphate (ZDDP), protecting them from wear and tear and corrosion, and acting as an antioxidant. Since this component has now been classified as harmful, users have turned to zinc-free oils. The reduction of organometallic additives such as ZDDP lowers the conductivity of oil. Therefore, the elimination of this additive, For e.g., in environment-friendly oil, reduces the conductivity and increases the risk of electrostatic charging.

The current trend is moving away from standard filters to customer-specific filters. By means of functional integration into the filters or by system integration of the filters, for e.g., in hydraulic tanks, an entry barrier is created that makes copying difficult because of the very high technical complexity or prevents it due to protective rights. This ensures that original replacement filter elements are always used and the desired oil cleanliness is achieved over the entire service life.

In the technology of some new cars, sensors can monitor parameters such as operating hours, engine speed, oil temperature range and number of cold starts, and use this data to develop service life software models. Ultimately, the user receives a service indication for the oil or filter change only if it is actually required, instead of changing the filters at regular intervals regardless of the operating cycle. This technology will be adapted to future filtration systems. The trend to improve machine reliability will continue, and will be supported by the need for information and sophisticated monitoring and control algorithms. Even machines at remote locations are warned of imminent machine damage to prevent unscheduled downtime and reduce operating costs.

What are the new developments in filters to meet the latest emission norms? New generation filter solutions are an integral part of today's or future engine modules. Maximum performance depends on multiple technical requirements. Elofic took on these challenges and now offers various products in fuel, oil and air segments which are able to meet today's as well as future requirements and help to achieve emission level and higher performance. For eg, in diesel fuel, currently the sulphur content is 50 ppm which also plays a major role in lubrication of engine parts. While after implementation of BS VI norms, sulphur content is going to reduce to 10 ppm from 50 ppm, which means there would be more wear and tear, resulting in generation of fine particles which can damage engine parts. Also, in order to maintain lubricity in the fuel, additives are combined with the fuel which do not allow the water content to be separated easily.

These additives have several effects on the properties and behaviour of diesel. They increase the surfactancy of the fuel, reduce the interfacial tension of fuel and decrease the stable drop sizes of water in fuel. Fuel contamination by water is a major factor affecting performance of diesel engines. Water commonly enters the fuels via precipitation, humidity, and condensation of atmospheric moisture. Water can also react with chemicals in the fuel to form acids that can corrode fuel system parts and generate particles that can plug filters and orifices and in some cases cause failure of fuel injection equipment. Water is also known to reduce the lubricity of fuel when present in emulsified form. Fluctuations in temperature can change the solubility of water in diesel and cause dissolved water to phase separate in the fuel. Lower the interfacial tension of fuel increases water solubility, which further complicates the oil-water separation. The adverse effects of water on the engine performance can result in emissions exceeding the standards set for the diesel engines.

Elofic has developed fuel filters for diesel application which are able to achieve efficiency level of >99.5 per cent at 4 micron and also higher dust holding capacity and water separation efficiency.

Could you elaborate on your range of filtration products and solutions?
We have a wide range of filtration products which include the following:

  • Lube oil filter: Low and medium pressure, ecological filter, bypass filter, and depth filter
  • Fuel filter: Pre and fine filter,
  • fuel water separator with hand priming pump
  • Air filter: Air cleaner (plastic), metal type element, polyurethane element, plastic filter (injection moulded)
  • Cabin filter: PM 10 and PM 2.5
  • Strainer: Steel mesh
  • Breather
  • Hydraulic filter
  • Coolant filter

How do filtration and filters vary with geological, climatic and environmental conditions?
Filtration and filters vary with geological, climatic and environmental conditions. For eg: if we have to design an oil filter for extreme hot conditions, we need to consider special sealing materials like acrylic and viton rubber, which is able to meet heat resistance. Similarly is the case for cold conditions also as we need to select special media, which does not restrict oil of high viscosity due to low temperature and generate higher system pressure drop. Elofic offers filters to OEMs based on their different applications.

What is the current market trend for hydraulic and lubricant oil filters? What are the growth prospects?
The global oil filter market for automotive is projected to expand at a CAGR of 3 per cent between 2018 and 2026, according to a new research report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). Latin America is expected to witness rapid rise in demand for oil filters, with the market in the region anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 3 per cent during the forecast period.

The global hydraulic filter market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.4 per cent from 2018 to 2023. The major drivers of growth for this market are increasing production of construction, mining, and other equipment, development of innovative and energy efficient hydraulic filters, and increased focus on preventive maintenance of hydraulic equipment and systems.

Emerging trends, which have a direct impact on the dynamics of the hydraulic filter industry, include the introduction of new micro glass materials, a unique six layer design that delivers 50 per cent more dirt holding capacity, and development of new cyclone effect technology.

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