We are pleased to note that a lawsuit we filed against Amiad in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Case No. 1:18-cv-05473 (LJL)) has been settled. We are bound by confidentiality provisions of the settlement agreement not to discuss the settlement terms, nor any confidential information we learned during the course of discovery. We will respect and fully abide by the settlement agreement. Whatever was filed with the court in the course of the lawsuit is public information, and anyone can access and review it.
We feel more vindicated than ever by the steps we took over the past five years to deliver higher quality and more reliable filtration to the community of owners and engineers who demand outstanding product water for their buildings -- in particular, true 10 micron filtration.
Having spent years building and fulfilling demand for Amiad, in 2016 we decided to introduce America to an alternative screen solution, which, when customized for New York City's challenging water conditions, became our Omicron line by STF FIltros, with enormous manufacturing facilities in Monzon, Spain.
Beginning in about 2014, we began to observe so many quality control issues with Amiad filters we had supplied that we could no longer chalk them up to "incidental occurrences". We observed one owner, to whom we had supplied a great number of filters, become so frustrated with poor performance they eventually decided to scrap every one they bought.
At the same time, we saw the market growing ever more demanding of 10 micron. We knew, from hard experience, that in prevailing NYC water conditions at typical building flow rates, 10 micron was rarely a practical option using Amiad technology.
The reasons are not complicated, and we address them in other posts on the site. Bottom line: In our opinion, Amiad filters are just too small to deliver reliable 10 micron at any but the most favorable water conditions and at limited flow rates. You want fine filtration? You need a big filter. Simple as that.
We found that the more we explained the choices to engineers and owners, the more they chose Omicron. This, of course, would make Amiad unhappy.
In the Spring of 2018, Amiad found a new distributor. Although that company had for some ten years been promoting another brand as an equal or better to Amiad, it now abruptly ditched that line and took up Amiad. (We know because when it happened, the orphaned manufacturer proposed we represent them.)
There are numerous reasons why Omicron is demonstrably superior to Amiad technology, but we won't go through all the points here. Rather let's focus on the essentials, which we are confident defining in this comparative way because our knowledge and views are the product of our extensive, empirical experience with both technologies in the field:
- Far greater quality control and attention to detail during manufacturing.
- Many more options for customization and field-settable values.
- The capacity to operate well under high pressure, with three builds available for every model: Standard up to 150 psi, medium for up to 230 psi, high for up to 360 psi. Which allows us to supply filters downstream of house pumps, a solution that has been enthusiastically adopted by the MEP community
- Much greater screen area, which makes all the difference in assuring 10 micron filtration at flow rates typical of NYC buildings.
This last point is the least intuitive, but arguably the most essential. Although the Omicron filters we supply are about the same in overall footprint as Amiad units, they are much more efficient at leveraging available space for screen area within the housings. The upshot is that the largest filter Amiad’s new distributor offers provides about 6000 cm² of screen area. That's much the same as our smallest, with about 5300 cm² of screen. Omicron models go up from there, to our largest simplex model with 21,300 cm² of screen – which is 3.5 x the screen area of a 6000 cm² unit.
We offer all of our filters in duplex builds as well. Many of our NYC projects now apply 33,000 or 42,600 cm² to achieve reliable 10 micron filtration at high flow rates. It would take six or seven 6000 cm² units manifolded together to provide the same screen area. (Imagine that footprint and cost.)
Although from the technology standpoint -- i.e. how it works -- Amiad and Omicron are similar, it's in the actual construction, and its implications in the field, that the differences become profound. That's why, when informed of the differences, we find decision-makers consistently choosing Omicron over Amiad.
Based on our 15+ years selling Amiad for NYC projects, we developed a true understanding of the product line's limitations. We are therefore surprised to find their new distributor now making the most extravagant claims for the technology, specifically with respect to the necessary alignment of screen area / flow rate / micron degree / incoming pressure. Specifically, we often see claims that they can deliver 10 micron at a high flow through a small screen area at low pressure.
We get that now that our 10 micron solutions have become widely adopted, the new distributor feels a need to offer something competitive. But, frankly, you need to have the goods. Waving a piece of sales literature doesn't make it happen. We believe in being completely transparent about what it takes to deliver fine filtration in NYC water conditions.
So we suggest that when our new "competitor" claims "oh this amount of screen area will work just fine..." an engineer or owner asks for evidence to support the claim. As in, "Can you document where you have actually succeeded with that?" Better yet: Contact Amiad directly and ask if they stand behind their new distributor's performance claims and sizing recommendations for typical New York City water conditions.