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Ongoing air of optimism

18 April 2013


Mattei is a leading manufacturer of rotary vane compressors. Founded in Italy in 1919, it has subsidiaries and distributors across the globe. In 1987 it opened its UK division, based since 1991 near to Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire

Since the move to Warwickshire just over 21 years ago, the business has expanded and over time has seen the launch of a series of new compressed air products and solutions for the marketplace.

This continual development programme endures today and it is this ethos that drives the success of its parent company ING. Enea MATTEI SpA in Milan. Some of the solutions to enter the marketplace included, in 1997, the then revolutionary energy saving 2-speed Optima. This was the predecessor to Mattei’s current Optima variable speed compressor and also helped in the development of Mattei’s low speed Maxima compressor in 2003; a fixed speed base load machine offering, says Mattei, unrivalled energy efficiency.

However, as the global business continued to grow other changes were also afoot as the original UK management team retired from their position. In search of a new business leader, Mattei appointed Andy Jones as general manager in 2007. With over 25 years’ business development experience in the mining, oil and gas and heavy engineering sectors, Andy was tasked with strategically developing and growing Mattei’s UK business.

To aid him in his new role, Colin Young was recruited to the role of distribution network manager for the UK operation and with over 30 years’ experience in the compressed air industry Colin was an excellent addition to the UK management team.

The new management team would look to drive the Mattei brand and its vane technology not only to the UK end user market, but also to the compressed air industry’s distributor network. Over time, the team would go on to open up the availability of Mattei’s products and spare parts, as well as embark on a PR and marketing campaign to raise awareness of the brand and the benefits associated with Mattei products.

Compressed air over the years While the concept of compressing air has been around for thousands of years, the use, effectiveness and in fact appearance of compressors has changed dramatically. From humble bellows used to stoke iron mongers’ fires to the mechanical compressors born out of the industrial revolution, the basic principles remain the same. One of the crucial changes however is the ever-growing requirement for compressed air and the associated cost of its use.

Without a doubt, the biggest focus for companies today is energy efficiency and how they can ultimately save money. While many businesses are looking more closely at the energy efficiency of their compressors, some are now actually taking a real interest in the efficiency of their entire system. This is welcome news and indicates that our efforts in raising awareness of compressor efficiency are beginning to be recognised.

Crucially, electrically driven compressors are a major user of energy but don’t always operate to their greatest potential from an energy efficiency point of view. Yet there are some simple tools such as energy efficiency assessments, data logging and leak detection surveys and repairs that can really help businesses to reap the greatest benefits from their systems.

It is our continued belief that not enough business directors are really aware of the potential savings that can be achieved by improving the efficiency of a compressed air system. Helping to inform businesses of the real opportunity that they are presented with in reducing energy usage, carbon emissions and ultimately cost must now be a priority.

As a business however, we are confident in the future and celebrated record growth in 2012. Thanks to the launch of a number of new initiatives, hopefully more detailed energy audits in accordance with ISO11011 being one of them, the outlook for 2013 and beyond is looking promising.

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