Recently, Jon Beville, Director Sales & Marketing of Air Techniques International, USA was in India. He speaks on the significant developments in his company, strategies for growth, the company’s plans for the Indian market etc. with Express Pharma. Excerpts
A bit about the history of ATI?
Air Techniques International is a division of Hamilton Associates, a privately – owned Baltimore, US-based manufacturing firm comprising several speciality businesses. Hamilton Associates was established in 1951 by two brothers and continues to be family owned and operated, exhibiting the same professional and time-honoured principles of its founders. Our history of innovation begins in 1962, with the introduction of the world’s first portable photometer for cleanroom certification. More recently:
- 1996 – the world’s first digital aerosol photometer
- 1999 – TDA-100P Penetrometer/ Filter Tester, supplanting the MIL STD 282 test requirement with a neat, cold nebulized aerosol, which remains the industry standard
- 2005 – Joint Service Mask Leakage Tester (JSMLT) for integrity testing of US military protective masks
- 2012 – Model 2i the only photometer providing full functionality and operational control from the scanning probe
- 2016 – The launch of the Environmental Biosurveillance system. EBS is the state-of-the-art in real-time biological threat detection, and uses a patent-pending polarisation-based optical technology to classify airborne biological threats.
What are the products manufactured by ATI?
Our range of equipment includes aerosol photometers and generators for HEPA Filter leak testing, respirator/ mask testers, automatic filter testers, aerosol reagents, diluters, etc.
Tell us about your recent acquisition of a British company
On March 9 this year, ATI announced its acquisition of DOP Solutions, UK and its sister company, the Academy for Cleanroom Testing. Through these acquisitions, ATI will expand the breadth of its cleanroom testing products and services. DOP Solutions manufactures aerosol photometers and generators, while the Academy for Cleanroom Testing (ACT) provides training and education services. We believe there is a strong cultural fit, and our combined capabilities will create significant value for our customers in India and world-wide.
Since 1988, DOP Solutions has been a leader in clean air testing, offering aerosol detection and generation instruments and accessories including positive injection pumping systems, aerosol injection ports, sparge pipes, and smoke generators. The Academy for Cleanroom Testing grew from a heritage of providing theory and practical training for cleanroom testing, based on proven techniques and industry standards such as ISO14644 and EN12469/ NSF49.
What are your plans for this year, especially India? Are you looking at any M&As in India?
This is a very big time of change for ATI. In March, we announced the acquisition of DOP Solutions which is a very significant development in the photometer market globally. With respect to India, I think our goal with the acquisition is to raise and maintain the high level of service that ATI has focused on with our partner MeasureTest for many years. I don’t think we are looking at any M&As in India but India is an important focus for the photometer market for ATI.
2016 is really an opportunity for ATI to listen, learn and gauge the market in a way that we haven’t done in a long time. So, we have a unique position, especially with the acquisition of DOP Solutions as well as the incredibly long history and heritage that ATI has in the Indian market through our partnership with MeasureTest. So, we have a unique opportunity to listen to customers from both companies to understand their needs and expectations and then to plan for the future.
How does ATI interact with and train its customers in the cleanroom and filter testing industries?
We have a knowledge centre on our website, where answers to FAQs are given including:
- PAO-4 particle size distribution on a thermal condensation generator
- Particle size distribution of Laskin Nozzle Generator using PAO-4
- Compressed air volume required for a Type IIIA Laskin Nozzle Aerosol Generator
- Upstream challenge aerosol introduction point
- Required upstream aerosol concentration
- Loading effect of oil aerosol challenge during filter leak testing
We also associate with various firms and organisations to impart training including Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST); International Air Filter Certifiers Association (IAFCA); National Sanitation Foundation (NSF); National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB)
Where can one physically see your products in India and world – wide?
Some of the many industry events we will be participating and exhibiting our equipment this year:
- CBRNe Convergence Asia (Tokyo, Japan; June 1-3 2016)
- ABSA (Grapevine, TX; Oct 1-3 2016)
- CBRNe Convergence (San Diego, CA; October 31 – November 2 2016)
- Filtration 2016 (Philadelphia, PA; November 6-10 2016)
In India, our distributor MeasureTest Corporation regularly participates in industry events such as the CCSI-ISHRAE-ASHRAE lecture and product presentation held in Mumbai recently. The theme was ‘Latest Trends in HEPA filter Testing & New Developments in Contamination Control’. Earlier, they took part in the One Day Theory & Hands-on Training Workshop on ‘Testing, Adjusting & Balancing (TAB) of HVAC Systems & Validation of Cleanrooms’ where I understand over a hundred delegates participated. Sheesh Gulati, CEO, MeasureTest is also Chairman of Contamination Control Society of India (CCSI). I am informed that CCSI is a member of the International Confederation of Contamination Control Societies based in the Netherlands, and conducts one, two and four day certificate courses with exams on Cleanroom Technology.
What have been significant developments at ATI lately, globally and for India?
From a global perspective, ATI is going through a period of profound change. In 2014, Ron Adkins joined ATI as the new president. Then on, we started to build our new leadership team and strategy for ATI. I think you would see more changes for ATI in 2016-17 globally, especially in product development and expansion in contamination control technologies. Over the next six to 12 months, you will hear more from ATI as we expand and globalise the Academy for Cleanroom Testing. ATI’s focus is on building state-of-the-art instrumentation and monitoring systems for contamination control.
This is a very exciting time for ATI, both in terms of developments that are taking place among the company leadership as well as in terms of our outlook on the global market. We see India as a market with incredible growth potential for ATI and other companies in contamination control technologies. It is very exciting to work with our local partners and the customers as we realise that growth together.
Our mission is to protect people, protect products and protect critical infrastructure.
EP News Bureau – Mumbai