In its twenty-first year of servicing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, local air-filtration and dust-collection products manufacturer Filtaire SA has completed a significant enhancement to its production plant, with the acquisition of an additional 16 sewing machines and the addition of seven new production staff.
This brings the total number of sewing machines present in the facility to 67, and the total number of production staff up to 23.
“This has increased our market share and allowed for a shorter lead time, from order date to delivery for clients. We have also considered the possibility of opening a second production plant. We have looked at two different factories, both with good opportunities, but have not set a date or confirmed the location at this time,” states Filtaire SA founder Michelle Croucamp.
Filtaire SA manufactures and specialises in the selection and installation of new equipment, and the replacement of filters for the HVAC, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage industries.
Croucamp emphasises the importance of building and maintaining good relationships with clients in achieving the company’s current market share.
The company is based in South Africa, supplying the local market, and also exports its products to the rest of Africa and elsewhere. This includes countries such as Namibia, Mauritius, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, India and Russia.
Meanwhile, Croucamp explains that the local air-filtration industry has undergone significant changes in the past few years, largely owing to technological advancements and the creation of new products that have improved indoor air quality.
Subsequently, this has reduced the cost of installing and operating air-filtration equipment in industrial and commercial industries.
As a manufacturer of air filters that also stocks and imports higher-grade and technical raw materials and machinery, the company is required to keep up to date with international standards and implement them.
However, Croucamp maintains that, with the growth of many small and medium-sized and microenterprises, many of these companies are neglectful of complying with air-quality regulations.
“It is disheartening to see how many production facilities do not consider the impact of the problems caused through incorrect air-quality controls. From polluting the environment to increased maintenance for plants, machinery and buildings, this lowers the quality of production and places the employees’ health and safety at risk”.
She highlights that HVAC filtration is a significant factor determining the quality of indoor air, and that proper maintenance of filters is required for them to perform optimally. She states that it is a concern when company’s spend more money on buying new, advanced filters, while neglecting maintenance of already-installed filters.
“Filters are often a hidden cost and failure to maintain them may cause damage to your HVAC equipment, including clogging up condensers and discolouring on the building.”
“Filters are supposed to get dirty, it’s part of their job. Should the filters not be performing as per specification, it could be from a lack of maintenance, that you don’t have the right filter for the application, or that is is ill suited to the environment”.
Croucamp does, however, emphasise the potential of the local industry, as well as South Africa as a whole, to grow considerably and “return to the powerhouse of Africa”.