Filters are used in everything from automobiles to nuclear power plants, and Eastern North Carolina is earning a reputation for its growing expertise in making them. That is especially true in the city of Washington, a Beaufort County community commonly called “Little Washington” to distinguish it from Washington D.C. Washington, N.C., supports several manufacturers that produce fibrous filters designed to block and remove dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and solid particles. One of those companies is Flanders Filters, the nation’s largest manufacturer of HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) filters used in vehicles, hospitals, homes and aircraft. Flanders also makes filters for biological, chemical, radiological, pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries.
Also in Washington is Swedish-based Camfil Farr, a manufacturer of industrial and commercial fans and blowers as well as air purification equipment. The company makes a variety of environmental products that include high-temperature filters, hospital clean-room systems, air purification units and gas turbine inlet filters. Pronamic Industries also does business in Washington, supplying low-dust, spun-fiberglass raw materials to filtration manufacturers. Additionally, the company is involved in research and development efforts that provide customers in the air filtration industry with the latest in specialized solutions. In 2014, Stanadyne Corporation, which has been manufacturing diesel fuel filters in Washington for agricultural and construction equipment for decades, sold the division to Tennessee-based CLARCOR, a top international supplier of filtration products and systems, for $325 million. Stanadyne’s 200 employees now work in Washington for CLARCOR and continue to manufacture diesel fuel filters, along with a full line of water separators used in off-road equipment. Another prominent regional manufacturer of HVAC equipment for commercial and residential markets is Mestek Inc. in Farmville. Field Controls also makes venting, combustion and air purification products in the region, and is a leading supplier of draft controls for oil, gas and solid fuel applications.