The Donaldson BOFA R&D Dividend

Innovation in materials science and industrial processes is driving productivity gains and opening up new market opportunities for manufacturers.

Laser processes are accelerating, 3D printing is proliferating…and OEMs are looking to producers of essential fume and dust extraction systems not just to keep pace, but to anticipate their future requirements.

Fortunately, as leaders in portable industrial extraction, Donaldson BOFA not only employs 16 specialists within its own research and development team, but it also has access to over 100 Donaldson company technical laboratories around the world. This network of world-class scientists and industry-leading facilities is supported by R&D investment comprising some $78m annually.

It is in this context that Donaldson BOFA continues to push the envelope in portable extraction technology, with recent projects involving in-house specialists in fabrication, airflow, filter loading, and pressure drop characterization.

Company engineers use solid modeling computer-aided design, computational fluid dynamics, and finite element analysis software in product design and evolution, along with industrial lasers and 3D printers for testing and prototyping.

Nigel Bedford, Technical Development Manager at Donalson BOFA, highlights how access to the Donaldson R&D technical network is supporting significant advances in extraction technology and delivering business benefits at the same time.

“Being able to leverage the Donaldson network compounds the value of our own R&D resources,” says Nigel. “It means we can test new materials more quickly, develop new generation filtration solutions, and also work at pace on proof-of-concept innovations. Having all this available in-house gives us a significant competitive advantage in our marketplace.”

Nigel points to a recent additive manufacturing project that involved ignition testing reactive particles generated in metal manufacturing and analyzing filtration effectiveness down to sub-micron levels.

“The collaboration was first class and enabled us to make progress on a project looking at a new 3D printing filtration architecture.”

Going forward, Donaldson BOFA sees this R&D resource as increasingly important in the development of new-generation fume and dust extraction systems, as manufacturers look to exploit the productivity gains of evolving industrial processes while ensuring they maintain a safe working environment for their people.