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Demand for filters in the US is expected to increase 4.3% per year to more than $11 billion in 2009, according to a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm. Advances will be driven by ongoing sales in the aftermarket, which accounts for the vast majority of demand. Manufacturers' increasing interest in reclaiming production inputs from process water and investing in water recycling processes to reduce costs will also drive demand for filters. Increasing penetration of newer products, particularly motor vehicle cabin air filters and many varieties of home air and water filters, and the development of a significant aftermarket within these segments will fuel advances. Gains will be slowed by the ongoing development of filters featuring longer lasting media or other technologies that extend their useful life, thus negatively impacting replacement sales.
In 2004, fluid filters (e.g., fluid power, municipal water and waste, consumer water and industrial fluid filters) accounted for the largest share of total shipments, with 37 percent. Growth going forward will be buoyed by strong gains in the consumer market and a rebound in manufacturing activity. Although conventional fluid filters compete with high-end membrane separation technologies in certain applications, filter sales will benefit from the fact that such systems often use conventional filters as a pre-treatment step. Shipments of air purification filters are expected to post the strongest growth through 2009, driven by advances in manufacturing activity, changes in environmental regulations and gains in the consumer market.
The motor vehicle market will continue to account for the largest portion of total demand, with a 25-percent share in 2009. The consumer market is projected to post the strongest gains, powered by concerns about the quality of indoor air and potable water supplies and increasing penetration rates. Filter demand growth will be aided by robust sales of home water treatment systems and air cleaners, which require frequent filter changes, along with the development of high-efficiency filters for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Filter demand in the industrial and manufacturing market (including pollution control and process filters) and utilities market will also register above-average gains.