Tap water is available worldwide, however it is often not potable. Diehl Controls develops technologies for high-quality water purification
Drinking tap water? What is possible here, involves health risks elsewhere. The US-American authority "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" (CDC) published a study in 2019 listing 187 countries in which unfiltered tap water is not potable. Among them are countries such as Turkey, South Africa, India or China. Filter units purifying tap water in separate devices or directly at the water faucet in order to quench thirst, cook or wash are an alternative to buying tap water in plastic containers.
Diehl Controls is investing in a growth market
Especially in China, the market for commercial water purification in households and industry is growing rapidly: According to data issued by GEP Research, the annual turnover in 2013 there was around one billion euros and is supposed to grow to more than six billion euros this year. The technology enterprise Diehl Controls, headquartered in Wangen im Allgäu, supports manufacturers of plants for water purification with innovative electronic components: The company not only develops digital HMI displays (human machine interface) but also control elements for its customers from the household industry on a worldwide scale. In order to respond to the needs arising from the growing market for electronic systems in China, Diehl Controls is currently opening a new plant in Qingdao which is the second plant in China after the location in Nanjing. Already today, Diehl Controls Nanjing (DCNJ) is among the market leaders for electronic HMI solutions of front-loading washers in the Middle Kingdom.
HMI displays and electronics from Diehl
"We are consistently expanding our capacities for water purification systems on the Asian market and aim at increasing our turnover many times over thanks to the new plant," states Gerhard Teschl, responsible for Diehl Controls in Asia. "We develop, in particular, customer-specific HMIs indicating, for example, temperature, degree of hardness or purity of water as well as electronic main control systems controlling filtration processes or water pumps on a plant in real time.
Real time means that purified water does not need to be stored in tanks but can be drawn directly from the tap. As a general rule, contaminated water needs to be purified using five or more process steps to make it hygienically clean and germ-free. First of all, coarse dirt particles are filtered. Activated carbon filters remove chlorine and other contaminants in order to subsequently disinfect water to become germ-free with the help of UV filters. In addition, reverse osmosis filters (RO) are used which are, for example, used in space travel to remove salts as well as harmful metals. However, reverse osmosis filtration cannot be carried out under normal water pressure and requires additional water pumps that are also operated by electronic components from Diehl Controls.
High-quality water purification in demand worldwide
Commercial water purification is not only in demand in Asia: British market researchers form Technavio estimate the worldwide market for 2020 on a volume of around 15 billion euros which will increase to almost 23 billion euros by 2025. Whereas the Asia-Pacific region comprises almost three quarters of the turnover, the market shares in Europe and North America only make up about ten percent each. Even in countries, such as Germany, Great Britain or the US where tap water is generally potable, the commercial water purification gains importance due to hard water: Own installations are able to significantly reduce the degree of hardness. In this country, the average degree of hardness is at 16 degrees German hardness (GdH) and is thus twice as high as the optimum value for soft water. Hard water not only leads to limescale deposits of devices, such as washing machines, dishwashers or coffee machines but it is also more harmful to the environment because it requires more laundry detergent or soap for efficient cleaning. Moreover, hard water may also affect coffee and tea consumption. Beyond that, the use of plastic and glass bottles can be reduced thanks to the integration of water carbonators which, as a result, saves resources and energy.
"Water purification is a global topic because clean water is not only important for survival but also fundamental for high-quality and healthy food," says Carsten Wolff, President of the Diehl Controls Division Board. "We combine decades of our expertise in the field of home appliances with our latest technologies to create a sustainable customer experience together with our customers."