The McIlvaine Company

High Growth Rate For Air Filters Over Next 3 Years


Source: The McIlvaine Company

Annual sales of air filters will rise from $6.l billion worldwide this year to $7.1 billion in 2010. (The forecast is in constant dollars and does not include inflation.)  This is the new prediction of the McIlvaine Company, Northfield IL, in its online continually updated Air Filtration and Purification: World Markets.

The company cites the following reasons for the projected increase:

  • Expanding customer base
  • Increased purchases per customer
  • New applications

Expanding customer base: 20 years ago most of the air conditioned office and residential space was in the United States.  Now the rest of the world is embracing the comfort of forced air heating and air conditioning.  More than 10,000 new high rise office buildings are under construction in major Chinese cities.  The skyline of Shanghai is a forest of roof mounted cranes.

Increased purchases per customer:  Health concerns have encouraged filter purchasers to upgrade to more efficient filters.  A medium efficiency residential filter will cost three to five times as much as its low efficiency counterpart.  There is also more awareness of filter changeout advantages.  This is resulting in a slight decrease in the interval between filter changes.
The combination of odor and noxious gas reduction along with particulate removal has also increased the purchases per customer.  Carbon or other adsorbents are either impregnated on the filter are furnished as a separate filter in the system.

New applications: There is a steady development of new applications for air filters.  The automobile cabin air purification system was a novelty two decades ago.  Now there is a system for your refrigerator.  Frigidaire's new PureAir filtration system, developed to remove food odors from refrigerator compartments uses baking soda and a carbon block plus a synthetic form of zeolite in its filter.  The system also includes a user-controlled fan that circulates air within the refrigerator for 12 hours and shuts when the door is opened.
The terrorism threat is resulting in substantial investment in building protection.  This includes a positive pressure recirculating air system which includes high efficiency filters on both the intake air and that which is recirculating.

The air filter manufacturers are enjoying increased profits and sales.  The major suppliers have built a number of new plants.  Because freight and inventory costs are significant, the strategic location of manufacturing can result in lower costs and higher profits.  Automation has also substantially increased production and decreased labor costs.

Media suppliers are partnering with filter manufacturers in a continuing development of new media.  The use of smaller fibers results in higher efficiency at the same energy consumption. Impregnation of the fibers with adsorbents in ways that increase contact area improve efficiency of gas removal.

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