Partnership is Key to Product Innovation

Andrew Cowan, Aerospace Market Manager for Porvair Filtration Group, discusses how partnership is at the heart of the company's product development strategy.

Porvair Filtration Group is a manufacturer of specialist filtration products, supplying a diverse portfolio of aerospace customers with innovative design solutions for lubrication, hydraulic, fuel, air and avionics systems.

Partnership remains at the core of our product development pipeline for the aerospace sector, the objective has been to work directly with customers to deliver innovative value products and solutions.

Customer engagement is key to this, ensuring that they can benefit from our expertise in delivering innovative design solutions that optimise production whilst maintaining performance requirements.

Aircraft development can throw up a range of complex design challenges and it is vital for any partner to be involved at the outset of the project, ensuring that challenges can be overcome in the early stages of the project lifecycle.

By investing in expertise at a strategic level, clients benefit from enhanced retained skills as well as innovative value engineered products and solutions that meet their project design challenges.

Further operational benefits include reduced maintenance and life-cycle costs.

A key example of this strategy can be seen in aircraft hydraulic systems, which can present significant challenges to design engineers.

In particular hydraulic systems on helicopters can prove to be a challenging environment for filter technology, the filters being subjected to a highly dynamic environment including flow, temperature and vibration.

We have worked closely with industry partners to develop a range of filter elements which when used on these systems have been shown to reduce and maintain operating system cleanliness without impacting on filter life.

Trials show that systems fitted with these elements have reduced failures of major components such as pumps and actuators.

Clearly this drives greater operational efficiencies and cost-benefits due to reduced maintenance and increased aircraft availability.

Driving these cost improvements is increasingly crucial in the current financial climate and has a significant impact on the bottom line – our customers demand this.

We are also seeing transfer of intellectual design expertise where filters using this technology development are being used in Formula 1, an industry which continually raises the bar in terms of performance and technological innovation.

Other key developments in filtration and separation technology include the manufacture of laser drilled miniature filter screens/inserts, as well a surface treatment technology which gives filter media hydrophobic of hydrophilic characteristics.

The hydrophobic treatment enables the creation of separation devices that will allow air flow but prevent moisture in the form of droplets or aerosol to pass through the device.

Examples of applications of this technology are inlets screen, breather and vents. Through acquisition we have also extended the range of products available to flame arrestors which can be constructed from Sintered Metal Powder or mesh.

Our partner-focused strategy has ensured that we are an acknowledged international leader in the development and supply of materials and products for filtration applications.

We will maintain this position through our global expansion strategy which will see the development of a USA-based manufacturing facility.

The base in Ashland Virginia will offer increased capability to design and manufacture our aerospace products, as well as a strategic location to better meet the demands of the global aerospace market.

Our going success is based on a dedication to technical excellence and superior customer service.

Continuing to invest in R&D will enable us to remain at the forefront of the industry, by delivering innovative products that exceed the design challenges of our growing customer base in the aerospace sector.

Andrew Cowan, Aerospace Market Manager

Hall 4 Stand C1

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