About Us

Who we are

On May 29, 2013, Alfa Laval acquired Niagara Blower and Kathabar – expanding its heat transfer portfolio and building a leadership position with wet surface air cooler and dehumidification technologies in North America. The Niagara Blower and Kathabar product ranges are currently being fully integrated into Alfa Laval. 

Alfa Laval is a leading global provider of specialized products and engineered solutions based on its key technologies of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling. The company’s equipment, systems and services are dedicated to optimizing the performance of their customers’ processes, time and time again. These solutions help them to heat, cool, separate and transport products in industries that produce food and beverages, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, starch, sugar and ethanol. Alfa Laval’s products are used in power plants, aboard ships, with oil and gas exploration, in the mechanical engineering industry, in the mining industry, and for wastewater treatment, as well as for comfort climate and refrigeration applications. Alfa Laval’s worldwide organization spans nearly 100 countries. 

Today, Alfa Laval maintains their continued commitment to the Niagara Blower and Kathabar ranges of uniquely engineered products. 

Founded in 1904, Niagara Blower is known for providing innovative “engineered to order” heat transfer solutions. The Wet Surface Air Cooler (WSAC®) technology cools gases and liquids, used in the power, natural gas, refinery, petrochemical and other industries. The portfolio includes No-Frost refrigeration and dehumidification systems – which provide energy-efficient refrigeration, dew point depression and air cleaning for meat, poultry, food, and beverage industries, and Kathabar desiccant systems which are used for dehumidification and energy recovery in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries, as well as in hospitals and “green” buildings. 

Since becoming part of Alfa Laval, notable new orders have been secured that will be manufactured in the new 120,000 square foot facility on Sawyer Avenue. One is for a large $13.9 million dollar air cooler system which is scheduled to be completed and shipped in 2015. Another is a $9.1 million dollar order to supply air cooler systems to a U.S. natural gas plant, with delivery also scheduled for 2015. 

The Kathabar business continues to develop, with ongoing orders secured in the pharmaceutical, food and brewery industries. New market developments are also underway related to air safety in health care environments. 

The Niagara Blower and Kathabar product ranges are currently being fully integrated into Alfa Laval. 

Founded in 1904, Niagara Blower originally manufactured heating and ventilating equipment for commercial and industrial buildings. 

In the 1920’s, Niagara Blower expanded its products to the air conditioning and refrigeration field, which was beginning to gain popularity at that time. 

In the 1930’s, Niagara Blower was manufacturing and marketing many types of engineered air products and systems, and was becoming known as an industry innovator.  The company adjusted its vision to concentrate on niche markets.   

During World War II, the company’s production capabilities were concentrated on components needed for the war effort (refrigeration, storage and cooling).  After the war, production was focused on spray coolers, condensers, fan heaters and coolers, and various heat exchangers. 

Around 1945, and after extensive research and development, Niagara Blower developed and patented the first liquid desiccant-based cooling and dehumidification system, named No-Frost.  While the company continued to refine the No-Frost design, it also expanded the application to closed loop, evaporative cooling with the introduction of the Wet Surface Air Cooler (WSAC®). 

In the 1960’s and 1970’s the demand for larger assembled units resulted in the creation of new innovative vapor condensing heat exchangers, including concrete basins, and structural steel frames. From there, Niagara Blower concentrated on manufacturing refinements, improvements and new applications. 

In 2004, Niagara Blower celebrated 100 years of manufacturing excellence. All products are designed, engineered and built in Buffalo, and the No-Frost and WSAC® ranges remain leaders in the heat transfer industry. 

In 2008, Niagara Blower acquired Kathabar Systems, Inc., which designs and manufactures liquid and dry desiccant systems for dehumidification and energy recovery, and which subsequently became Kathabar dehumidification systems. 

In 1930 – Dr. Bichowsky at Frigidaire Division, General Motors, develops the concept of using liquid desiccant for air drying. 

In the 1950’sKathabar begins to use salt-based desiccants in both commercial and industrial applications. 

In 1996Kathabar created an additional dry desiccant product line, ideal for very low humidities and warm, dry applications. The system utilizes an adsorbent desiccant wheel / rotor which is primarily composed of silica gel, entrapping moisture in the silica matrix. 

TodayKathabar is the most diverse dehumidification product range worldwide. Kathabar installations are found in commercial buildings, hospitals, laboratories, schools and museums; and in industries including candy and confectionary, food, brewery, and water treatment.