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World Cement interview with AAF: part one

World Cement,


Please can you give a bit of background to the company? When was it launched, in which industries is it active, in which markets is it present, etc.


Our reputation for providing quality products and innovative solutions dates back to 1921 when a young paint shop entrepreneur called Bill Reed, pioneered the removal of airborne contaminants to improve the quality of automobile paint finishes. Currently the company has more than 3000 employees worldwide and has two business divisions: Air Filtration and Power & Industrial.

The Air Filtration division is focused on clear air solutions for many different sectors such as pharmaceutical, microelectronics, laboratories, homes and commercial buildings, including EPA, HEPA and ULPA filters together with gas-phase filtration systems.

The Power & Industrial division is focused on advanced products and solutions in industrial air filtration and is divided into two divisions: MFAS (Machinery Filtration and Acoustic Systems), which the core business is the sound insulation and filter systems for gas turbine and diesel engines equipment and APC (Air Pollution Control), for which the core business is the dust collection systems design for various industries (cement, steel, boilers, etc.).

With an extensive list of references spanning more than 90 years, AAF International has tackled some of the most difficult applications in almost every industrial sector. From wet, sticky, oil-laden air to hydroscopic and explosive dusts, AAF International has products and solutions to compliment all the different types of operations our customers are facing.


Industry in the 1920s must have looked a lot different than industry in the 21st century. When Bill Reed developed the Reed Air Filter, do you think he had any idea how great the need for industrial filtration would become?


Bill Reed was a visionary who was able to grow his business to the point that AAF is considered as the grandfather of the air pollution control industry. Back in 1932, AAF introduced the type D RotoClone® scrubber, a revolutionary breakthrough in the dust control industry. In 1939, the company introduced the first self-cleaning electrostatic precipitator and in 1954 AAF designed the first reverse-jet dry fabric dust collector. The previous examples give us an idea about the industry´s needs, which Bill Reed was able to anticipate. Without a doubt he had a very good understanding of how big this market would become.


How do you see the market for air filtration changing, particularly in the cement industry? Can you comment on geographical trends?


The air pollution industry is driven by legislation. With this in mind the recent changes we have seen in the States with the new NESHAP regulations result in a huge opportunity for retrofitting existing installations. It is a challenge for the end users to meet the new regulations and we are now discussing limits and pollutants not even considered a few years ago. Discussing mercury abatement technologies and total hydrocarbons is now common every time we need to face a new project and that will be the scenario in other regions in a short period of time, for example in Europe.

ESP conversions into baghouses is also an active market, as particulate emission limits are more and more restrictive and can be achieved only with bag filters.

Regarding geographical trends, during these last years the North African market has been very active. The economy in Europe is slow and that also has a consequence for our business. We do see the market in Middle East as a good opportunity, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

This is part one of a three-part article written by World Cement for World Cement’s November issue and abridged for the website. Subscribers can read the full issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the November 2015 issue here.

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