Egon the petrol pump attendant would be quite surprised if he could see what has become of the stuffed and bag filters which were used back in the days of the post‑war German economic miracle. Dr. Harald Banzhaf, product champion for oil and fuel filtration and Marcel Hofmeister carry on their discussion in the second part of their blog about current developments with oil and fuel filters.
Hofmeister: What are the current developments for oil and fuel filters?
Banzhaf: Today these two product segments account for roughly a third of the turnover at MANN+HUMMEL. In the meantime every year we produce an impressive 350 million spin‑on oil filters worldwide, e.g. for the VW Polo as well as for the trucks from Volvo. We have many new projects for OEMs in the pipeline and are constantly starting the mass production of new products.
Hofmeister: What do these products look like?
Banzhaf: Oil filters and fuel filters have developed to become very complex systems. These system solutions are based on the idea of integrating additional functions to save space and reduce costs. With oil modules, for example, through the integration of the oil cooler, thermal management and valve solutions and with our modern fuel filter systems, for example, through complex fuel fluid management. In this process the circulation of the fuel between the tank, pump, combustion process, common rail and back is supported via complex switches, valves, inflows and outflows.
Hofmeister: What requirements do modern engines have with regard to filtration efficiency?
Banzhaf: It’s clear that today we require ever finer filters with a higher performance. Modern diesel injection systems work with injection pressures up to 2,700 bar and the trend is to go even higher. This means that the fuel has to be very clean. In conventional fuel filters, the beta value which is important for the filtration efficiency is around 20 to 50. That means that of 20 or 50 particles only one will come through the filter. For the finest filters on the market only one particulate in 500 gets through and we are currently working on solutions where only one in 10,000 particulates can pass the filter.
Hofmeister: What new developments are there in the area of filter media?
Banzhaf: In this area there is a strong trend from cellulose-based filter media over to fully synthetic media. This makes it easier for us to meet the increasing requirements, i.e. to better adjust the filtration performance and with oil filters to better meet the additional demands for resistance to chemicals and temperature stability. At the same time the further development of the predominant cellulose products with regard to separation efficiency and dust holding capacity continues.
Hofmeister: Harald, finally I would be interested to learn the things you find most exciting in your field of work.
Banzhaf: This is without doubt the ability to provide a solution for the customer which he has not had up to now. Customers do not come to us because they wish to have a certain product, but because they have a requirement and need a corresponding solution. We often help them find such a solution, perhaps also to clearly define what those requirements are, to develop a solution and to transfer the solution over to a product which will convince the manufacturer and the car driver.