Mark Milhous, President and Scott Ray, Director, Business Development
Back in the 1980s, Babcock & Wilcox, an energy and environmental technologies provider, developed an electromagnetic fluid filtration system to remove magnetic susceptible particles (magnetite) from liquid process streams. The situation highlighted the need for a partner who understood the complex needs of an electromagnetic control system. Milhous Company checked all the right boxes. Despite being only four years old at that time, this startup already had the experience of reengineering, programming, and troubleshooting control systems for various industries. Needless to say, it did not take long for the Babcock & Wilcox team to decide on signing a contract with Milhous.
The control system project was a success—so much so, Babcock & Wilcox appointed Milhous as the main contractor for manufacturing the entire electromagnetic system. This partnership went on for years until Babcock & Wilcox decided to revamp its business model and stop the production of the electromagnetic filter. “Witnessing several opportunities in the field and conversing with a plethora of businesses, we understood that the market was still very much in need of an advanced iron removal method. This drove us to take up the business,” mentions Mark Milhous, President, Milhous Company.
The rest, as they say, is history!
Today, Milhous is home to the BallMatrix Electromagnetic Iron Separator System and is also known for designing and manufacturing resistive and superconducting magnets. The mature technology of BallMatrix is primarily utilized in removing iron particles out of condensate. “It also has the capability to remove any magnetically susceptible particle, from any fluid—not just condensate. That’s why players across the pulp and paper, energy production and automobile manufacturing industries use our system today,” asserts Milhous. “It is pivotal to note that we are not a filtration company, but an electromagnetic company with a phenomenal electromagnetic iron removal system.”
It also has the capability to filter any magnetically susceptible particle out from any fluid—not just condensate
What makes BallMatrix unique is the magnetic field generated in the filter bed, which is consisted of small magnetic susceptible stainless-steel spheres. As the process fluid moves through the bed, suspended iron particles are captured by localized magnetic fields. “The BallMatrix removes more than 99 percent of magnetite from a process stream and the process for cleaning the filter matrix is also very simple.” mentions Scott Ray, Director, Business Development, Milhous Company. The back wash process for the BallMatrix is completely automated – the magnet coil is de-magnetized, valves are switched, the process fluid is reversed washing away all iron contaminants - the entire back wash sequence takes less than two minutes. And unlike other filtration systems, the filter bed of BallMatrix requires no maintenance or replacements. “Overall, the BallMatrix is virtually maintenance free. It’s a one-time purchase with absolutely no reoccurring filter bed maintenance expense,” Ray elucidates. “Filter maintenance can be a strain on companies, both monetarily as well as labor intensive. Our aim is to make iron removal easier all together."
Forging such an extensive experience with a state-of-the-art product, Milhous has carved a niche in the industries they serve. Over the years, several manufacturing entities have implemented BallMatrix. In this context, Ray recalls one project where they worked in liaison with a paper mill. “It was the first unit installed in North America” he asserts. The client was facing a significant challenge owing to excessive magnetite formation within the steam boiler system. It damaged heat transfer surfaces within the boiler and created downstream problems like fouling. BallMatrix eliminated magnetite within the condensate system, resulting in reduced blowdown frequency, improved heat transfer efficiency and longer intervals between chemical cleaning of their boiler system. The implementation of the BallMatrix saved their customer millions of dollars over the 40-year design life of the BallMatrix.
With such instances of client success up their sleeves, as well as being an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, Milhous is on a constant drive to identify other industries that will benefit from their elite product line. In a nutshell, Milhous Company has become a trusted partner for businesses that are struggling with iron contamination in their process streams. “It is our focus on innovation, dedication to quality, and urge to serve clients better that have helped maintain our leadership position in the market,” Ray concludes.