Filtration company Donaldson has dedicated laboratories for developing its own filter media. The technology-driven filtration company has led the industry in this regard, says engine air product management manager Ivan Botha.
The company’s aftermarket products are classified as premium aftermarket products, he adds, explaining that this means the products match, or exceed, original-equipment product specifications.
“These products provide customers or end-users with equivalent or better-performing products that enhance equipment service life and overall uptime of equipment. Our focus is on improving the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the users of equipment or vehicles,” he says, noting that the company also communicates directly with large end-users to provide them with the benefit of dealing with the original part manufacturer.
Donaldson industrial air filtration (IAF) division commercial manager Darren Naicker, meanwhile, enthuses that the company’s industrial range of products is unique, as the company has invested over a third of its income yearly into research and development of its products in this field.
“Donaldson’s strides in filtration media as well as the actual dust collector are cutting edge and employ the latest technology to ensure we deliver to our customers efficient and economic solutions that actually work,” he comments.
The IAF division’s products and services focus solely on industrial air filtration and can be used in almost any industrial application where dust generation and the capture of that dust is required.
Common industries are mining, pharmaceutical, agriculture, industrial manufacturing as well as food and beverage
From an engineering perspective, Donaldson’s products operate mainly in the construction, mining and transportation markets. The company also has a strong presence in the agricultural and marine markets, as well as various other sectors.
The company’s mining applications, specifically, relate to both opencast as well as underground mining – where a large amount of equipment classified as construction equipment can also be found.
“Our hydraulic business has been a big contributor to our growth in new business - both stationary and mobile hydraulics. Bulk clean fuel solutions have also seen an increase owing to awareness of the importance of clean fuel,” Botha explains, emphasising that direct end-user engagements still remain a top priority for Donaldson, as does offering transparent solutions that help the end-user.
Meanwhile, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Donaldson found the global supply chain to be disrupted, while it simultaneously seeing increased demand for commodities around the world.
Considering that most global suppliers faced some sort of challenges during this time, Botha comments that Donaldson’s experience was that “whoever had stock of products would be the successful supplier”.
Since then, and as economies recover, the markets have found a degree of stability and supply chains have returned to some sort of normality, he notes.
Overall, Donaldson has done well locally and globally, setting record sales for its 2022 financial year.
Botha attributes this success to the existing pool of opportunities, from pre-Covid, which are still active and being pursued.
“What we are seeing is that the end-users are becoming more aware of TCO and running leaner and smarter operations,” he comments.
As a result, Donaldson is investing in growing its product offering from its local manufacturing facility, offering original equipment manufacturers more options.
“We are also growing our hydraulics and bulk fuel product ranges significantly. Our focus will remain on our strategic accounts, building relationships, and offering transparent solutions to the end-users,” Botha says of the company’s forward focus.
However, he remarks that “as the global demand changes to more environment-friendly products, our objective will remain to be innovative and develop technologically advanced products to serve the markets in which we are active”.
Naicker, meanwhile, is a bit more cautious in that he notes that “a degree of uncertainty” remains in the market regarding a complete economic bounce-back post Covid.
However, he notes that activities have started to increase, which means the company is seeing some increase in maintenance activities by its customers.
“There are, however, a number of capital equipment investments that have been shelved by some key players in the market that have no signs of being re-awakened,” Naicker laments.
As such, the company’s objective going forward is to regain the market that has been lost to cheap inferior products and to remind the market that Donaldson is “still here and is here to stay”.
“We are very invested in assisting the sub-Saharan African market with its dust challenges and offering our expertise to ensure lower emissions, cleaner workplaces and the best products at a competitive price,” Naicker concludes.