Filtersafe Down Under: Our Australia & New Zealand Office

You can now find Filtersafe down under! 

Filtersafe’s latest international office and support center, Filtersafe Australia & New Zealand has opened in Adelaide, South Australia, servicing the entire Oceana region. Our Australia office specializes in filtration for Agriculture, Aquaculture, Mining, Industrial and other related applications, and brings unique solutions to these applications to meet the Australian market’s needs. 

For example, agriculture is the largest user of water from the River Murray System. Filtersafe has years of experience filtering water directly from rivers, reservoirs, and other dynamic bodies of water for use in irrigation. Filtersafe offers extensive experience in a variety of agriculture and aquaculture applications, including high-flow filtration, filtering water sources with high loads of TSS and organic matter, and other applications so important to corporate farms who rely on filters that run smoothly and won’t clog. 

Mining is another important industry that requires robust, proven filters that can work in the harshest conditions. Filtersafe filters have and are currently being used for various critical aspects of water filtration in mining, such as de-dusting, reuse, and treatment before discharge, and can be found operating reliably in the toughest climates, from Siberia to South America.  

These industries provide challenging water for filters as the water to be treated will have very high TSS and debris that can threaten the integrity of the screen. Filtersafe successfully not just passed but superseded a test done for the ballast industry, but is applicable to all industries, showing that even at 2,450 ppm TSS the filters do not clog. 

The team is led by David Thomson, the CEO. After working in filtration for decades, David was excited at the opportunity to build Filtersafe’s presence in Australia. He explains, “It is not often that the mechanical filtration industry, which is quite mature, has a big advancement, but Filtersafe’s patents and systems are a game-changer.” In addition to his roles as CEO, David is focused on bringing Filtersafe’s revolutionary technology to the corporate agriculture sector.  

Jamie Pickford brings his years of experience to serve Industrial applications. Jamie himself has spent 30 years in the water industry, working in South Australia, New Zealand, Queensland, Western Australia and Indonesia. During that time, he served in various management roles focusing on large industrial pumping and filtration projects for municipal, mining, aquaculture, agriculture, and industrial applications and will continue to use his expertise to show potential customers in these industries the benefits Filtersafe can bring to their applications. 

For Technical Sales & Support, Ronen Leyson rounds out the leadership team. His expertise is helping clients find the best Filtersafe product for their needs and providing support when needed. 

For more information on the products and services Filtersafe Australia and New Zealand offers to the region please reach out to fsaustralia@filtersafe.net or fill out our contact form here and we will get back to you.  

Filtersafe 2.0: The filtration experts for challenging waters

As Filtersafe approaches 20 years in business, we decided to take a deep look back at what has made us successful, and where we want to be heading. Over the course of the past year, we took time to self-reflect and identify our strengths so that we can continue to utilize them and see where we have the potential to grow. At the same time, we reached out and spoke to our clients, vendors, partners, and employees to help us get alternative points of view on the same questions.

Amongst the responses, there were three recurring themes that stood out, and that we felt a deep emotional connection to that touched on the answer of why we do what we do. We took these ideals and forged them into values that don’t just represent who we are as a company but also as a commitment for the future, that Filtersafe is and will always strive to be:

  • Committed to relationships
  • Leading the with expertise  
  • Driven by challenges

To help explain how these values touch in our daily function as a company we put together the following story: 

While we are still at our core a seawater filtration company founded to help protect the world’s oceans, we have grown to become a leader in the filtration of challenging water across the spectrum (fresh, brackish, reclaimed, etc.). Today, over 4,000 of our systems can be found installed on ships, in mines, in municipalities, on farms, on oil and gas rigs across the globe, to name a few locations.

With this growth, we decided it was time our brand was updated to reflect our growth.

As a company that heavily invests in R&D, we have significant developments that will be introduced to our markets in the coming year. This rebranding is done to reflect these developments and journey we are going through. This visual change may seem minimal, but they reflect the new additions and improvements to our product lines and processes that we’ve been making, and will continue to make as we continue to solve critical filtration challenges, together.

Ballasting Flow Rates: The True Cost of Delays & How to Avoid Them

In today’s maritime industry, ship owners and operators are required to make new, costly investments to ensure that vessels comply with the latest environmental regulations. This includes the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC), which requires most vessel owners to install and operate an effective ballast water management system (BWMS). Typical BWMSs have a primary treatment component, in most cases a filter, then a secondary treatment component to neutralize the organism found in the ballast water. With profit margins under pressure, and numerous products to choose from, many shipowners see BWMS and filter selection as a weighty decision with long-term CAPEX and OPEX implications.

To make a smart decision, it is essential that shipowners understand both the regulatory and technical benefits of specifying a BWMS that includes a suitable filter – one that promotes proper filtration to avoid ballasting delays and non-compliance with the BWMC.

 

Regulation and non-compliance

In order to comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention and the additional US Coast Guard (USCG) ballast water regulation, it is essential to select and operate a high-performing BWMS to ensure long-term and reliable treatment of invasive aquatic species. In practical terms, most ships ballast in port or river estuary waters, where sediment is significantly higher than out at sea. This can significantly impact flow rates if a low-quality filter is installed, which can then extend ballasting times.

 

Flow rates impact finances

Ballasting rates for a vessel are designed alongside the rates of cargo loading and discharge. For vessels to safely load and unload cargo, the ballast pumps must be able to either load ballast water or discharge ballast water to maintain the stability of the vessel. The slowing of the flow during ballasting can have dangerous consequences for vessels during cargo discharge if the stability of the vessel becomes compromised, such as listing.

A decreased flow rate occurs for two primary reasons: firstly, during heavy loading, when filling the tanks to maximum capacity as quickly as possible, the filter will often go into continuous backflush and a significant portion of the water will be diverted through the backflush line. Secondly, filter loading and increased differential pressure across the mesh places a larger discharge head on the ballast pump, causing the pump to flow less water to the tank.

In reality, the time it takes to move ballast can range from 12 hours to nearly 90 if the filter is not designed for heavy loading. In comparison, a filter appropriately designed for a vessel’s loads and the waters where it will be ballasting may be able to move more than three times as much water than a filter that slows or clogs.

The exact amount of money that can be lost will depend on the market, the type of vessel, whether the vessel is in port, how busy the crew is, and what the costs may be for additional time alongside. However, as an example, a VLCC tanker earning a typical $36,000/day, every hour of delay can cost $1,500 plus any port charges. These costs can rapidly add up and should be kept in mind when considering CAPEX and OPEX for a BWMS installation.

 

The challenge of sediment

An additional factor that can decrease flow rates is the level of sediment being collected while ballasting. Two particular locations, the Mississippi River Delta and the Yangtze River, show exceptionally high Total Suspended Solids levels and present a particular challenge to many BWMS technologies.

Sediment is one of the critical factors in filter clogging but allowing sediments to accumulate has further implications to the vessel. The buildup in the ballast tanks between drydocking periods can create an unpumpable, permanent ballast that, if not removed, reduces the vessel’s cargo capacity over time.

For vessels contracted in the bulk and oil trades, this may affect the charter agreement and cause vessels to carry less than the obligatory cargo amounts as per the voyage plan, with potentially significant implications for a ship’s earning ability. Vessels are designed to carry a specific amount of cargo based on weight and displacement, so vessels ferrying around even a few inches of sediment over the entire bottom of ballast tanks can quickly see tonnes of additional weight added to their dead weight. This additional dead weight may offset cargo loads.

The choice of a BWMS and its filter is critical for shipowners and operators to avoid non-compliance and expensive ballasting repercussions. It must be economically sound, both from a CAPEX and long-term OPEX standpoint. The filter within a system has a big effect on its ability to perform effectively, efficiently and within the regulatory parameters. As such, it is an investment with potential implications for many company departments, including technical, operations and finance. This makes BWMS and filter selection a business critical issue.

For more information on this topic, please download our whitepaper on the cost of compliance here: https://filtersafe.net/the-true-cost-of-compliance-in-the-marine-bwms-industry/