One high growth segment is for disc centrifuges used in pharmaceutical and biotechnology processing. These centrifuges are providing vital process separation and are a major capital investment for many new biotech plants. Sales of sedimentation and centrifugation to the pharmaceutical/biotech industry are slated to rise to $332 million in 2008 up from $271 million this year.
The marketplace is being served by more than 1,000 companies. Most are specialized by industry, equipment type, and geography. Several companies have gained considerable market share through acquisition. One is GL&V whose sales in fiscal 2005 exceeded $556 million. In April 2005, GL&V acquired Jones & Attwood. Earlier acquisitions include Eimco and Door Oliver making it the world’s largest supplier of thickeners and clarifiers. Alfa Laval is another supplier who has grown through acquisition. Alfa Laval is the leading centrifuges supplier. Some years ago, they acquired Sharples who at the time was the world’s third largest supplier behind Alfa Laval and Westfalia.
USFilter is now part of Siemens. It has acquired hundreds of small companies in liquid/solid separation. However, many of these acquired companies supply some type of filtration equipment. While it is a leading supplier of sedimentation and centrifugation equipment, it is not dominant as it is in filtration.
China is the fastest growing market of sedimentation and centrifugation equipment. Hydrocyclones and thickeners purchases for power plant flue gas desulfurization exceed all other countries except the U.S.
China is building large numbers of wastewater treatment plants. Most include clarifiers. Many are using centrifuges for sludge dewatering.
The Chinese minerals processing industry is rapidly increasing purchases of clarifiers hydrocyclones and dissolved air flotation systems.
The Chinese market for sedimentation and centrifugation equipment is slated to grow from $1.1 billion this year to $1.5 billion in 2008.
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