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From Necessity to Innovation - The Amiad Story

From Necessity to Innovation - The Amiad Story

Joy Drori
Content Coordinator // 16 Nov. 2020
Joy has years of marketing communications and content creation experience.

From small farms and municipal installations to protecting the reverse osmosis membranes in desalination plants safe and data centers cool, you can find Amiad Water Systems filters almost anywhere in the world. As the world’s top filtration experts, it’s hard to imagine that Amiad Water Systems started its life as a tiny shed in a small agricultural community in northern Israel. So how did Amiad become a world leader in water filtration? 

The Early Years 

historical image picking fruits
Picking platform built by Amiad, 1962~

Amiad’s humble origin takes place in 1960, where one of the founders of Amiad – Gavriel Kohner, a 34-years-old member of Kibbutz Ami’ad, was sent on behalf of his community to a course in optimization and streamlining. His first invention following the course, was a mobile platform, designed to aid in fruit picking. The platform was a success and requests for more started to come in. This signaled the birth of what will eventually become Amiad’s main manufacturing facility, in 1962. 

Kohner kept inventing more equipment, designed to make farming easier, such as a special rolling apparatus to transport aluminum piping all over the field with ease, contraptions to help with the milking process, a railing system for transporting fruit containers, and more. The small factory was enjoying modest successes. 

The First Amiad Filter  

“In 1966, Hanan Horesh had a problem with the water filtration in the orchard …Hanan had been fighting a continuous battle against dirt in the water …sprinklers would clog often: not only the orifices, but the entire sprinkler system …water filtration for irrigation did not yet exist, apart from the early sand filters… We built a filter that was disproportionately large and heavy, with a complicated locking system, but lo and behold – it worked, and the sprinklers didn’t get clogged! This is the filter that stands before you today – marking the beginning of Amiad Water Systems.“ 

(From: The history of Amiad establishment by Gavriel Kohner,2007) 

amiads first filter
Cleaning the first Amiad filter, 1968~

Hanan was a member of Kibbutz Ami’ad and spent most of his early career working in the kibbutz’s citrus orchards. He was the first to complain about the quality of filtration from the old sand filters they used, and proposed that the community’s small welding shop build them a better filtration solution, never realizing the enormity of that idea.  

He went on to work in the regional water reclamation and drainage, and returned to Amiad Water Systems in 1990, serving as head of Import Dept 

From Manual to Automatic (1970-1980) 

amiad abf filter
ABF filter

The first water filters were all manual, meaning they had to be regularly opened, and the screen had to be cleaned manually – the result was that a lot of time was spent on making sure the filter is clean. This fact was not lost on Amiad’s team, as well as some of its competitors, and a race to develop a filter that can automatically clean itself began. 

The first automatic filters produced by Amiad were the ABF series, released in 1970The revolutionary new filter freed its owners from the need to regularly clean the filter. This meant that ABF owners could count on their filter to keep their water clean with minimal intervention. 

In 1978, Amiad made its first step towards international expansion, opening its first offices outside of Israel, in Australia.

New Tech (1980-1990) 

By the mid-1980s, Amiad built a professional reputation for their filters locally, as well as globally. As time passed, Amiad continued to research and develop new technologies, culminating with the development of automatic, electric water filters – the ACEEBS, and SAF series. 

In 1981, Amiad opened its second international office, in the USA this time. 

EBS Filter
EBS Filter

During the ’80s Amiad promoted the ACE series – hydraulically operated automatic filters. The ACE filters helped Amiad penetrate the industrial market, and the EBS serieswhich was launched locally and globally in the late ’80s, boosted Amiad’s presence in the industrial market, as well as the municipal market. 

The EBS filters were designed to modernize and replace the older ACE series. Meanwhile, Amiad developed an advanced alternative to the ACE filters – the SAF1500 and SAF 3000, expanding the range of flow rates they offer. 

More New Tech (1990-2000s) 

In ‘92, Amiad developed the SAF 6000, with a smaller frame and horizontal mounting, designed to complement the existing EBS line. It was followed by the SAF 4500  a smaller version of the SAF 6000, all with helical suction scanners. 

Amiad’s acquisition of Filtomat marked the end of the ACE series. It was discontinued and the company’s focus changed to the Filtomat M100 and M300 filters, thanks to their fantastic filtration and cleanability.  

In 1997, Amiad opened new European offices, this time in France and Germany, and in 1998 they took their first steps into South America, opening an office in Uruguay. 

Filtomat (2000) 

Filtomat’s story begins in the late part of the 1970s, when the founders, brothers Itzik and Tzvi decided to develop a filter for water and other liquids, mainly for agricultural uses. They opened their first production floor in the port of Tel Aviv, where they developed the first Filtomat automatic filter – a short 300-series model, under the original company’s name – “Filtration Ltd.”. 

filtomat battery jiangsu chemical engineering
Filtomat battery, chemical plant, China

Between 1990-1995 the company developed a new series of filters, under the name MCFM, with an internal pump and spray nozzles, designed specifically to deal with tough dirt, and to operate in the paper-production industry. At the same time, the company developed a new kind of filtration system that uses a unique thread cassette with fine threads wound over a rigid grooved base plate, capable of filtering down to 2 micron, and are now known as Amiad’s AMF filters. 

During that time, the company started producing the Filtomat M100 model. These filters provided an efficient and cost-effective solution for agricultural use. 

In 2000, Amiad acquired Filtration Ltd. and integrated its products into its lineup and adding the new technologies into its existing selection. 

In 2005, Amiad Water System (AFS) released its initial public offering On the AIM London Stock Exchange, at a valuation of $45 million. 

Arkal Filters (2010) 

spinklin red
Arkal SpinKlin™

Arkal was founded in the 1960s as a plastic-injection factory in Kibbutz Beit-Zera, in the north of Israel. In the late 1960’sArkal’s engineersseeing the growing demand for effective water filtration, acquired the patent for a World War 2-era oil filter that used metallic discs as the filtration element, with the intention of applying this method to water filtration. 

In the early 1970s, Arkal released a groundbreaking manual water filter, with stacked grooved polymeric discs. During the late 1980’s, Arkal released the first automatic Spin Klin™ disc filters, pioneering this innovative technology.

Interestingly, Arkal Filters was originally a division of Arkal Plastic Industries and specialized in polymeric filters. Only in 1992, did Arkal Filters become an independent company. In early 2010Kibbutz Beit Zera and their partners, the owners of Arkal got into talks with Amiad Water Systems about a possible merge between the 2 companieswhich was successfully finalized in the summer of 2010. 

The Age of Sigma & Omega (2010s) 

After merging with Filtomat and Arkal, becoming a leading company in the world of water filtration, and even though Amiad’s existing filters enjoyed a fantastic reputation, their engineering team continued to work on even better, more effective filter designs. 

2010 saw new Amiad offices in India, followed by Amiad Brazil in 2011, and Amiad Mexico in 2012. 

By the second decade of the 21st century, Amiad developed and released the Omega and the Sigma automatic screen filters. 

Amiad’s latest expansion was in 2015, opening its offices in the UK.

amiad automatic filters installation
Amiad Omega batteries, oil refinery, Romania


What’s Next for Amiad 

The future is smart – Amiad recently released its smart controller, the ADI-Pwhich collects more data than any similar controller on the market and provides superior control over your filtration system, via your smartphone’s Bluetooth.

adi-p controller app
Amiad’s ADI-P controller & App

The future is autonomous – We know that the concept of a truly smart controller will bring on a shift in water filtration as significant as the inventions of the first automatic filter had on existing manual filters. A smart controller will take an automatic filter and turn it autonomous by monitoring water quality, pressure, temperatures, and other types of information, allowing the controller to manage the filter in real-time. We see a future where a filter, once installed, will function at optimal capacity without the need for monitoring. 

The future is global – Amiad aims to keep growing and expand to more countries. We truly believe everyone deserves to have clean water, and that it is our prerogative to make that happen. 

Got any questions for us? Please let us know at [email protected]