Around 100 filtration media professionals gathered in Berlin, Germany last week for a two-day conference on topics relating to filtration. The programme addressed issues from sustainability to testing and standardisation, as well as providing inspiring insights on future trends in the health and the automotive industries.

The Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies provided a keynote presentation on a proposed move from curative to preventive healthcare. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic consumers today are increasingly aware of the quality of the air we breathe, which has a key impact on our health. As such filtration will only continue to grow in importance, as society looks to improve living and working conditions to ensure healthy lifestyles. Several of the speakers addressed this by showcasing product developments in filter media that can be used in domestic and institutional buildings’ filtration systems.

Euromonitor gave the keynote on the second day, which addressed the rate of transition to electrically powered vehicles. This is extremely relevant for the filter media industry, given the different nature of filters used in traditional combustion engines vs electrical ones. Despite many challenges that slowed down the roll-out of electric vehicles, such as cost and infrastructure for charging, a recent Euromonitor study predicts that by 2031, 50% of new passenger car registrations globally will be electric.

The event also included the presentation of the bi-annual FILTREX™ Innovation Award, the only award that recognizes innovation in the filtration industry. Participants were invited to choose the winner of the 2022 award from four shortlisted nominations; HycuTEC (inline charging technology) by Oerlikon Nonwoven, won the coveted prize after receiving over one third of the votes.

Dr Ingo Mählmann, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, along with his colleague Ralph Berkemann, Senior Manager Application – both from Oerlikon Nonwoven – were on site to accept the prize. “This is really a great honour,” said Dr Mählmann on receiving the award. “We invested a lot of work in the development of this equipment to more efficiently produce filter media. So we are really proud as it was only released at the beginning of this year and it’s already being recognized by the industry.”

“The innovation award was a big success this time, because we had more submissions than in previous years, with innovations very relevant for our industry,” said Marines Lagemaat, Scientific and Technical Affairs Director at EDANA. He added that the jury members remarked on the high quality of submissions this year. Lagemaat also received positive feedback from many participants appreciating the content and the discussions that took place during the conference itself.

“It’s very nice to have people from different countries and fields here. I think it’s a great possibility to exchange and have further perspectives for the future, and to get a lot of information and have the possibility to talk face to face,” said Bernadette Führer, Senior Scientist, at OFI Technology & Innovation, and also a speaker at the conference.

Fellow speaker Helen Woodworth, Business Manager Consumer Filtration Europe, at Freudenberg Filtration Technologies, who attended FILTREX™ for the first time “found it very good for meeting people [within the industry]. Very knowledgeable speakers and topics were included [in the programme] so it’s been quite interesting to hear different aspects and different innovations.”

For Joshua Manasco, Director of Application and Business Development at Elmarco the added value of attending FILTREX™ was the intimate setting: “I think some of the bigger conferences you don’t get such an opportunity to really meet and talk to [delegates]. I think the quality of the presentations and attendance is really high compared to some of the other conferences I’ve gone to, the right type of people are here to do the networking.”

FILTREX™ takes place bi-annually, with the next edition foreseen to take place in 2024. FILTREX™’s sister conference FILTREX™ Asia will be run online next month on 1-2 December 2022. More information on how to register and the programme are available here. The programme for FILTREX™ 2022 can be accessed here. A video summary of the event as well as an interview with the award winner are also available:

 About EDANA

Comprising over 310 members, EDANA is the leading global association advocating the benefits of nonwovens for society. Since 1971, EDANA has been providing a comprehensive range of services to enhance the industry’s goals and performance, including supporting sustainability ambitions, responsible product stewardship, and addressing common technical, regulatory and market challenges. EDANA also organizes several application-specific and geographic focus industry events.