Our aspiration is to become No.2 in the world in air compressor business
Rajesh Premchandran, Director (India, South Asia, Africa and Middle-east), ELGi Equipments, talks about the compressed air system in the pharma sector and the company's growth strategies
Tell us about the application of the compressed air systems in the pharma sector?
Compressed air is widely used in the production of healthcare products. During the production process in the pharmaceutical industry; solid dosages, liquid orals or sterile injectable vaccines, all require high quality compressed air, with zero contamination or traces of oil in it.
Traditionally, compressed air has had several shortcomings viz, high maintenance costs and contamination risks, coupled with the presence of moisture, impacting drug manufacturing and handling. This resulted in the need for compressed air meeting the stringent requirements of ISO 8573-1:2010 and ISO 8573-7:2003 with ‘Class 0’ air (Oil-free and moisture free). Depending upon the type, size and process capabilities, the compressed air requirement could vary between 10 cfm to 3000 cfm.
How have the air compressors evolved? How are ELGi’s offerings different from its counterparts?
Air compressors have evolved from lubricated reciprocating and screw to oil-free reciprocating and screw. But, the fundamentals for selection of an air compressor today are the quality of output air and the cost of operation. Oil-free air is more expensive than oil-lubricated air. The equipment is more expensive and the running cost in terms of energy is also very expensive. So, the challenge for the industry is – how do you bring the cost down and how do you take the efficiency up of these compressors that produce these oil-free air.
The recently launched AB ‘Always Better’ series of oil-free screw air compressors is a disruption in oil-free compressed air technology, offering customers a no-compromise, oil-free solution at reduced lifecycle costs when compared with the prevailing oil-free technologies.
Every pharma customer can now be assured of contaminant-free, ‘Class 0’ oil-free air with moisture content between +3°C, to -20°C PDP, which helps to meet global compliance requirements of ISO 8573, 1:2010 and ISO 8573-7. With significantly lower maintenance and ease of use, the ELGi AB Series compressors address the need for reliable, oil-free air for sensitive applications in the pharma manufacturing industry.
What are your investment plans for the next five years?
At ELGi, our aspiration is to become the No.2 in the world in the air compressor business. We are investing continuously in building technology, competencies, energy-efficient products and strong distribution networks.
Today, we are estimated to be No.7 in the global air compressor business. To accomplish our aspirational targets, our strategy will include, in addition to organic growth, business acquisitions across the world. Europe and the US will scale to be the major markets and some of our acquisitions will also happen in those two geographies, mostly for scale and customer access. We will continue to invest in technology, R&D, manufacturing and market development in our focus geographies such as the US, Europe and Australia.
What are your new innovations for the pharma sector?
As discussed earlier, the recently launched AB ‘Always Better’ series of oil-free screw air compressor is a breakthrough in oil-free compressed air technology, offering customers in the pharmaceutical industry with a no-compromise, oil-free solution at approximately 8 – 10 per cent reduced lifecycle costs when compared with the prevailing oil-free technologies. With the AB Series compressors, pharma installations get the purest form of compressed air for their sensitive manufacturing applications with high energy efficiency, increased reliability and quicker return on investment.
Tell us more about your international presence?
From a small reciprocating air compressor manufacturer in 1960, ELGi has grown into a global air compressor manufacturer offering compressed air solutions that are sustainable, and help companies achieve their productivity goals while ensuring a lower total cost of ownership.
Today, ELGi does business in more than 120 countries with a direct presence in 28 countries. ELGi has expanded its global footprint through the acquisitions of Rotair in Italy, Pulford and Advanced Air in Australia, Pattons and the more recent Michigan Air Solutions in the US.
ELGi’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in India, Italy and the US power a 400+ product strong portfolio. At this moment, over two million ELGi air compressors are driving critical applications across various industrial verticals worldwide.