There are numerous factors that dictate what type of air filter to use for different engines and truck fleet applications. According to Bert Elfers, director, global product management for Baldwin Filters, truck OEs will spec the best air filter based on performance, efficiency, and capacity.
“The OE will also make some decisions on mounting, such as whether to use a radial or axial seal design,” Elfers says. “Newer trucks with aerodynamic hoods may require a design that places emphasis on a high-density filter as provided with the corrugated media filters.”
Elfers notes that many filter makers are also now offering designs that reduce resistance to air flow, so fleets can increase their horsepower. The more “open” design allows more contaminant to pass through, he explains.
Donaldson Filtration Products says today's fleet manager is more plugged in to cost-per-mile, as opposed to looking at air filtration simply in terms of how much they are costing the fleet per month or per year. Fleets also want to have a single source from which they can get all their filtration products.
Tom Miller, director of air product management for Donaldson, says the challenge for air filter companies is today's EGR engines are “leaving less room under the hood to put our products. The ambient temperature is also going up.”
Donaldson says its PowerCore filter is specifically designed to handle the hotter engines temperatures. It has a straight-through airflow design and high-density filtration system that reduces restriction and extends filter life.
The manufacturer of Racor filters says that as engines become larger, air filters will have to be mounted closer to the engine and there will be hotter temperatures under the hood. The company recently introduced the ECO-III modular air filter that is injection molded so it can withstand temperatures up to 300° F.
The modular design of the ECO-III filter allows for easier first-fit installations, according to the company. The filter is also designed to provide for many different inlet and outlet orientations and is very easy to service, the manufacturer adds.
The makers of FRAM filters say proper maintenance of air filters is as important as ever for fleets. When filters are kept on vehicles beyond their useful life, they immediately begin robbing the fleet of fuel economy and have a negative impact on the costs of operation, according to the company.
FRAM heavy-duty air filters are available with both traditional and radial seal designs. They feature spaced pleats (SSP) to eliminate pleat bunching and even distribution of contaminant for extended filter life.
Fleetguard offers two types of air filtration systems — the OptiAir system with higher capacity, lower restriction and smaller packaging options, and the Magnum RS, the company's new-generation filters, with high-performance filter media, pleat locking and spading to extend filtration performance.
For severe-service, off-road construction and OTR trucks running on extended filter service intervals, WIX Filtration Products just introduced a new line of Radial Lip Seal air filters.
Bill Stamey, heavy-duty engineering manager at WIX, says, “We've put a metal end cap on the closed end of the filter to give it rigidity, while using polyurethane on the open [seal] end, which has superior capability to seal the dirty side of the filter from the clean side.”
The new filter line features several other improvements in design, including the use of hot-melt stabilization beads that are applied to the pleat pack using an air jet for improved penetration into the media. The beads help stabilize the pleats, Stamey explains, so they don't flutter when air passes through the filter. This prevents the pleats from collapsing on to each other as they load up with dirt, enabling the contaminant to be spread out over a wider area for improved capacity of the air filter.
Stamey notes WIX has also installed a handle on the closed end to assist technicians when servicing the filters. He points out that the added manufacturing cost to produce these improved filters is being absorbed by WIX to give customers a better product for the same price.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CIRCLE NUMBER ON REPLY CARD:
FRAM HEAVYDUTY FILTERS
RACOR DIV., PARKER HANNIFIN
WIX FILTRATION PRODUCTS DIV.