A Los Angeles-based manufacturer of water filtration systems has installed one of its self-cleaning systems at a 70-year-old company specializing in protective packaging materials for fresh fruits and vegetables. Forsta Filters manufactures water filtration systems used in industrial, municipal and irrigation applications.

Michelsen Packaging Co. in Yakima, Wash., had just installed a 125 hp water-cooled air compressor that required cooling water in order to prevent overheating. According to Michelsen's research and development engineer, Carey Bruskland, the application required the company to cool the heated water coming from the compressor through a set of heat exchangers. The cooling water on the other side of the exchangers contained fine paper fibers and biological growth, which thrived in the heat generated by the vacuum pumps. Both the fibers and the bio-growth had to be removed to ensure that the heat exchanger wouldn’t plug.

"We needed two high quality durable filter units that would be self-cleaning and easy to maintain," Bruskland says. "They needed to be made from noncorrosive materials to withstand harsh chemicals and be able to supply the 100 gal/min flow to our heat exchangers throughout the cleaning cycle.”

Bruskland and his team selected the Forsta A2-90 filter model equipped with a100 µm stainless steel screen. The A2-90 would protect the heat exchangers, which cool the water for the water-cooled air compressor. The selection came following an analysis of Forsta’s technology, including system integration, internal components and backwash mechanism.

Michelsen chose Forsta because the company provided, "high quality units at a lower cost than the other manufacturers," Bruskland says. “We also really liked the fact that the filter operates on inlet-water pressure alone and does not require an external source of water for the very short backwash.

"This was our first filter unit of this type, so we had many questions," Bruskland says. "The Forsta engineers were very helpful and thorough as we were looking at the different types of filter units and choosing the unit which best fit our needs." He says that Forsta engineers “were always very courteous and professional. We were always able to get in contact with them and they always answered our questions. They were very helpful not only before we purchased the units but also as we were assembling them. They followed up and contacted us after installation to make sure everything was working properly."

Bruskland notes that he would recommend Forsta to other companies with similar applications. For more information on Forsta self-cleaning filters, go to www.forstafilters.com.