A dirty smokestack is not an attractive vision. But a new world has dawned in which the world’s worst offenders, especially during the last decade, have made a pointed effort – albeit with the help of stringent regulations – to transform their operations so that cleaner emissions have been more the norm than the exception.
Aiding in this environmental pursuit is Midwesco Filter Resources of Winchester, Va., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of filter elements, accessories, and maintenance services for industrial air filtration systems. With more than 10,000 styles of filter elements designed to fit almost any baghouse or cartridge-type industrial filtration system, Midwesco provides dry particle collection solutions for the steel, cement and chemical processing, and rock and metals industries. The company also is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing suppliers of filter bags, baghouse parts and services.
Size, technology and competence, combined with a strong field presence, make Midwesco a world leader in filter bag development, application and installation. No job is too large. The company’s products have been installed in some of the largest facilities in the world. And, as the needs of the world change, Midwesco is positioned to remain a growing presence, from supplying its largest power generation plant customer with more than 40,000 reverse air filter bags, to supplying the smallest material handling application.
Midwesco sells products in Canada, South America, China, India and Europe. Says Keith Ogilvie, vice president of marketing, China and India in particular are huge markets that will form an important aspect of future international sales. To support this growth as well as existing demand, the company maintains four manufacturing sites: two facilities in Virginia total 169,000 square feet; a cartridge and pleated facility is in Cicero, Ill., while another cartridge and pleat plant in Denmark is undergoing significant expansion.
Incorporated as MFRI in October of 1993, it became successor by merger to Midwesco Filter Resources Inc. in January of 1994. The company’s growth strategy has been through continual development of new products as well as through acquisition of existing companies that complement its product base. These companies include TDC Filter Inc., Cicero, Ill.; Nordic Air Filtration, A/S, Denmark; Perma-Pipe Inc., Niles, Ill.; Thermal Care Inc., Niles, Ill.; Boe-Therm A/S, Denmark, and AWS, also of Niles.
The Pleat+Plus® breakthrough
Midwesco has seen many milestones. The first occurred in the mid-1970s following the introduction of the Seamless Tube®, a knitted polyester fabric that was instrumental in the company’s success in the EAF/steel industry. Seamless Tube® brought Midwesco to the forefront of filtration technology, providing greater airflow in conjunction with lower pressure drops. The technology in Seamless Tube® allowed steel companies to operate more efficiently and increase steel production.
Recently, as part of its global growth strategies, Midwesco has manufactured and integrated its filter bag technology with cartridge filter technology from its subsidiary TDC Filter Manufacturing, Inc. Working closely to meld its newest technology into that company’s mainstream products, Midwesco has developed the Midwesco/TDC Pleat+Plus® filter bags. These bags can revitalize a company’s dust collector system by solving the most common bag house problem: lack of capacity.
Pleat+Plus® filter elements can double or even triple the filtration surface area in a baghouse system, significantly reducing the air to cloth ratios. In addition, Pleat+Plus® filter bags employ a spun bonded filter media similar to that used in its TDC pleated cartridge filters. Spun bonded media features a smooth surface finish with exceptional dustcake release during the cleaning cycle. The filter surface is calendered and compacted to resist penetration by the collected particulate. This results in better cleaning efficiency and a faster return to operating airflow after the cleaning cycle, than is possible with traditional felt media.
Not only can these filters provide increased volume at lower differential pressure, they operate at appreciably higher filtration efficiencies. Midwesco/TDC Pleat+Plus® filter bags can replace most top or bottom load bags and cages. Pleat+Plus® eliminates the need for cages and other bag accessories because bags are a one-piece design. They install easily on most industry standard bag cup, venturi or tubesheet designs. Metal or urethane top-cuff designs ensure superior fit and a dust-tight seal. This means trouble free installation and reduced downtime.
More than filter bags
In 1990 Midwesco developed a new customer service attitude that entailed providing customers with more than just filter bags, and started providing filtration system accessories and services that included installation, inspection and rebuilds. It also started to provide on-site technical support, on-site training for customers and troubleshooting tips.
Believing that it must do more than sell filter bags to continue as a dominant growing force in the industry, the company leveraged its purchasing power and years of experience in special applications to build relationships that offer opportunities and options that smaller, less resourceful, companies never see or experience. In some instances, such as with its Seamless Tube® fabrics, the company even developed its own textile capabilities and manufactures the entire product in its own facility.
To best serve its customers’ needs, experienced field service representatives specialize in on-site, face-to-face problem solving. “Our customer’s needs are often immediate,” says Ogilvie. “For this reason we maintain one of the largest fabric inventories in the industry. When combined with our modern manufacturing plant, our customers are assured that we have the capacity to handle virtually any job promptly.”
In addition, as part of its expanded customer service program, Midwesco offers an extensive line of baghouse parts, accessories and instrumentation. These products are engineered to maximize baghouse performance. “We provide customers with a greater product selection and a greater selection of services than most companies in the industry,” maintains Ogilvie. “A dust collection machine can have up to 30 parts, which means a company may have to contact as many as 30 vendors in order to service the machine. By going to Midwesco a customer doesn’t have to write 30 purchase orders. We either stock or manufacture the 30 products a customer would need.”
To further punctuate its reinvigorated customer service attitude, later this year, Midwesco is set to unveil its online e-business platform enabling customers to check the status of their order online. Internally, the company will be able to track an order through the entire production cycle, packaging and shipping phases using Made 2 Manage® software. Enabling real-time information gathering, the new system, says Ogilvie, will make the company more efficient and responsive.
Setting its sights on new and expanding markets – power generation, particularly coal-burners and waste to energy producers, such as municipal waste – Midwesco sees its entire global role through the intricate mesh of its filtration companies, maintaining that its filtration solutions are the most efficient on the market.
“While Filtration technology has been moving slowly over the last 15 years,” says Ogilvie, “as a company, we have expanded our product scope and broadened our capabilities to serve our customers needs. Our filters have a longer life and provide greater efficiencies and greater air flow.”