Over the past 5 years, through complementary acquisitions and extensive R&D, the Environment and Process Business Area has established itself as a global leader in solid/liquid separation technologies and offers the most extensive range of mechanical and thermal dewatering equipment.
Since development of the belt press technology in the early 1970s, Andritz has been the technology leader in sludge dewatering equipment. Following the Sprout Bauer purchase in 1990, screens and sieves were integrated into the product portfolio. The production rights for pressure and vacuum disc filters were purchased in the 1980s, and for centrifuges and drum drying equipment in the early 1990s (with the purchase of Guinard and TCW, respectively).
The purchase of Swiss-based 3-Sys AGat the end of 2002 contributed belt drying technology to the Andritz portfolio, for drying of sludges, any kind of waste, and also products such as biomass by means of waste heat at around 100°C, thus saving primary energy.
A total of three acquisitions marked the year 2004, a turning point for the Business Area. The purchase of Bird Machine provided Andritz with the full range of Bird and Humboldt process centrifuges, which were added to the sludge centrifuge portfolio. It made Andritz one of the leading suppliers for petrochemical and also for ore and mineral treatment equipment. The proven Rittershaus and Blecher filter presses, also on the range of Bird machines, provided access to this traditional dewatering technology field.
Just 7 months later, Andritz bought the filtration business from Netzsch and thus became market leader for filter presses. The excellent sales organisation of Netzsch filtration provided us with direct access to important markets in South East Asia, South America and India.
At the end of 2004 Andritz took over the drying technology section of VA Tech Wabag in Ravensburg (formerly Escher Wyss and CT Umwelttechnik), a leading supplier of fluid bed systems for drying and cooling industrial bulk materials. Complete systems, consisting of dewatering and drying, for instance for the petrochemical industry, can now be offered.
Acquiring Lenser Filtration in 2005 was a further logical step toward significantly strengthening Andritz filtration know-how. Andritz is now able to offer all technologically relevant filter press components from a single source. Lenser will remain an independent organization within the Andritz Group, which will enable it to continue acting as world leader in the supply of filter plates.
Environment and Process has current Sales of over 300 million EUR per annum, with sludge treatment accounting for some 50 per cent. The other half is contributed by different mechanical and thermal solid/liquid separation processes in the petrochemical, chemical, mineral handling and food industries.
An important role is played by customer service during the plants’ lifecycle. Nearly a third of Sales is due to spare parts, service and maintenance business. Sixteen specialized service and repair centres form a complete after-market network.