23 May, 2022

Boardroom Report - Challenges and opportunities

11 February, 2021

thing about the future with regard to technological enhancements/innovations in the UK over the next couple of years or so? Bartlett’s view is that materials – particularly non-metal ones – is going to be more and more important, as is inherent recyclability – something he believes the industry has often neglected. “The really exciting area for me, though, is hydrogen,” adds Bartlett. “If we are truly to transition from the steadfast reliability of carbon-based fuel, we have to make a good fist of Hydrogen – with all its challenges – and cooperation across many disciplines and industries is the only way this can happen.”

Chessari explains that MP Filtri will continue to produce the standard range, but it will have an increase percentage of bespoke products, which will be technologically based. “In order to satisfy the demand, business will try to develop products with the lasted technology, which can serve a wider range of applications,” he adds.

Anderton believes innovation is the single most important aspect of Slack & Parr’s business at the moment. “We are well aware that there are lower-cost alternatives in the market to the equipment we provide,” he says. “Customers are generally comfortable paying slightly more provided they are getting value for money and seeing the benefits that extra cost is giving them. The minute you lose sight of that as a supplier, you can guarantee your customers will also notice. Therefore, for us, constantly pushing to ensure our products are at the top of the list for quality, and constantly looking at ways we can innovate and improve our range is expected of us. This is a way of ensuring our customers are constantly receiving the return on investment they are looking for.”

Pavlov believes we will continue to witness innovations in machine drive technology, drying technology, connectivity, and visualization, along with digitalisation of business processes. “For instance, in some cases we can now do a remote audit of a compressed air system, instead of installing loggers on the machines,” he says. Pavlov adds that another trend expected to continue is the longer service intervals on new compressors, which will require less service interventions.

Ringlstetter re-emphasises the importance of IoT, the reduction of lifecycle cost and energy efficiency, but adds that we are also witnessing a rise in demand for oil-free and contaminant-free compressed air while still meeting the expectations of reduced lifecycle cost and digital (IoT) compatibility. “At ELGi, we are already providing such solutions and are particularly proud of our recently launched AB ‘always better’ compressor series, which can be considered a disruption in the existing range of oil free compressed air technologies,” he says. “ELGi’s AB portfolio offers customers a no-compromise, oil free solution at approximately 8 to 10% reduction in lifecycle costs when compared to prevailing oil free technologies. It offers significantly lower maintenance costs and improves ease of use, with unprecedented reliability and high air purity for sensitive industry applications. We have witnessed strong adoption of our AB range in the pharmaceutical industry on account of our technology’s high reliability coupled with the lowest life cycle cost in the market. In Europe’s food & beverage industry, this technology is proving its value in, for example – a winery in the South of France. This specific customer produces high-quality organic wines and therefore purchased several AB Series air compressors to ensure zero contamination during their production processes.”

 Best of both worlds

With the shift away from mass production towards mass personalisation and ever smaller batch sizes, Parker-Bates comments that proponents of electric drive technology have been quick to pronounce the end




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