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Old 04/02/2008, 04:57 PM   #1
SpectraPure
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What trends does Spectrapure see......

What trends in RO/DI water does Spectrapure see in the future?

There are four key trends we see for RO/DI water systems in the future:

1) Increased emphasis on Environmental Impact:
a. Focus on reduction of Water Waste
b. Focus on reduction of solid waste
c. Focus on recycling

2) Further reductions in Overall Cost of Ownership will drive all aspects of ultra pure water production for the foreseeable future.

3) Further Market Commoditization and increased downward pricing pressure from dominant Big Box stores.

4) System Product differentiation patented and markets consolidated under those with a licensable position.

Solid Waste Reduction and what are we doing about it?
There has been a move on in many industries to provide more environmentally responsible products, and ultra pure water production is coming into the sights of many municipalities as a significant contributor to water and solid waste. For one example; I estimate that since its introduction in 2007, the MaxCap DI cartridge on its own resulted in somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000+ fewer used DI cartridges being thrown away into landfills across the country. If we extrapolated the waste reduction based on potentially every aquarist RO/DI system in the USA using our MaxCap cartridge rather than convention DI technology, the waste reduction might be on the order of 950,000 or more cartridges not tossed into the trash each year.
Furthermore, if you consider that some systems employ membranes having less than 96% rejection, the 2% improvement in RO Membrane rejection possible with our “spectra select” membrane would double the life of existing downstream DI cartridges, cutting DI cartridge waste by another factor of two. It makes me think that conventional DI cartridges are the aquatic hobbyist version of the plastic diaper landfill problem.

Reducing Water Waste and what are we doing about it?
In my opinion, we are all heading for zero waste whether we acknowledge it or not. Currently, the available technology for zero waste ultra pure water production in most places in the USA is either too expensive to purchase, and/or too expensive to maintain. Another Fact we are trying to cope with is our potable water supplies are under ever more increasing use pressure which in turn makes the feed water more expensive, and in many cases require additional treatment to process cost effectively as quality water sources are fewer each year. In the short term, we have just released a new RO/DI system that produces two gallons of product water to one gallon of waste in most locations in the USA, it’s pre-filters last 2-3 times as long (or more), and provide a very low overall cost of ownership as a result. With much of the country experiencing drought, and others with problematic expensive waste issues, this system (The UHE series) is gaining momentum in our environmentally conscious customer base over the current crop of 4 gallon or more waste to one gallon of product systems. (Even more thought provoking are those 1 million plus under the sink drinking water systems that run at 20 gallons of waste or more to make one gallon of drinking water).

Commoditization and Price
I agree with the other posts regarding the heightened role of education to the ultimate survival (and success) of the hobby. Water Education in this hobby is imperative to our company’s very survival as we must demolish the erroneous commodity mindset that is so pervasive today, and to which I think is contributing to so many people entering the hobby only to eventually throw up their hands and give it up after toasting their investment with some $99 knock off system. One example of our commodity fight back program: SpectraPure recently developed the new MaxCap DI cartridge (2007) with its revolutionary proprietary formulation (high roughing capacity which cuts typical DI production costs in half etc. etc.) in response to the perception that industrial DI cartridge business (and RO/DI systems for that matter) were suffering more and more from a customer “commodity item” mindset wherein users assumed that all DI resins (and thus cartridges/systems) were basically “the same” (also propagated by many competitors both foreign and domestic). Buy decisions for the uninformed were becoming more frequently based solely on price, rather than actual performance (where SpectraPure has always excelled). At the same time, we seem to be getting more and more calls asking for our help to solve water quality problems, which we often were able to link to alternative “cheaper” water purification systems/cartridge from online sources or big box stores. The common customer lament in these situations seemed to be “I thought they were all basically the same”. (It has always amazed me that we still see customers who after having a tank for 10 years with thousands of hours and dollars invested will try to save a couple dollars on a cheaper filter or the like by buying into “they are all the same” mentality without any research into what may become a make or break decision affecting their precious livestock).

Technology
We are pursuing an aggressive patent strategy as we develop new products to meet the above challenges, as we continue to see our major competitors patenting actively in the areas we wish to compete in the future. As there have been and are likely to be further consolidation amongst the major manufacturers, owning a market position backed up with issued patents will be important to long term survival as the big fish gobble the little fish.
Developing new technology has always been a part of our SpectraPure history, from the Original Silica buster DI cartridge formulated in 1990, to the 2007 MaxCap DI cartridge, and now our latest technology offerings just released- UHE, LOADMAXX, and UPLC systems... AND more to come. A sizable part of our R&D is continually focused on developing products with minimal impact on the environment.

Bruce


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Old 06/17/2008, 11:14 AM   #2
Kengar
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i'd love to help with your patenting efforts. will work for membranes!


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