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Ventilation: install cheap, pay more

Supplier: Fanquip
11 January, 2011

An air movement specialist that now handles specialised maintenance of fan driven ventilation has expressed its concern on the high rate of Australian companies taking cheap options in this area of industry.

The puzzling nature of it all, according to Fanquip, is that so many operators would never take a cheap option on air conditioning in their own company cars. Yet, when fitting a fan-driven extraction or ventilation system to their own businesses they are prepared to compromise.

"A solution of this nature is an integral component not only to company operations but also OH&S matters and HACCP regulations, depending on which industry sector is involved," said Sales and Marketing Manager of Fanquip, Karl Stutterheim.

"So such systems should never be bought on price; there should be a thorough analysis of the duty cycles involved and quality components be fitted to suit the demands. A cheap option almost always leads to breakdowns – often very frequent breakdowns – and it is this downtime that costs the operator dearly.

"Considering how much industrial humidity flows through a ventilation system it is inexplicable why so frequently our maintenance division is contacted to service systems where cheap, easily corrosive fan systems are used. It makes no sense that any rust-prone part be used. Everything should be of stainless steel and last a very long time. But time and again, we see inferior systems in factories, food processing plants, foundries, mine sites, agricultural sites – just about everywhere."

Stutterheim believes there needs to be a shift in planning, not just from the client base but also from ventilation system suppliers. To the greater extent, many suppliers are way too small and have limited industry nous to properly facilitate the challenges of larger projects and those working 24/7. Also, he levels criticism at the market players which prefer to supply an inferior solution which will only have a short lifespan. This is a questionable practice done to generate post-installation business through repeated service and maintenance calls.

"Australia is looked upon by the world as being one of the elite industrialised countries, so each fan-driven solution should be of the highest order and from the very beginning made to last without breakdowns," said Stutterheim.

"For our industry sector, the onus on suppliers should be to constantly look for new customers where we improve their ventilation systems, rather than upkeeping a false economy through repeated servicing of poor installations at existing client sites.

"High industrial quality is the key to our technologies and it leads to is the reduction of downtime - that is what really matters with our products.'