Steve Totman, Product Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia, looks at the features now available in premium fans and considers the benefits of choosing a local supplier with the additional uncertainty that BREXIT brings.
Fans have evolved… there has been a great deal of investment in R&D in recent years by leading ventilation manufacturers to create the best performing fans that offer the simplest installation and operation. So, with a wide selection to choose from what should wholesalers look out for when deciding what to stock? With manufacturers working hard to improve the energy efficiency, silence and comfort of unitary fans as well as ease of installation, these are great areas to focus on and they are also great selling points for wholesalers. However, buying local is becoming increasingly important too.
British is best
Given the present climate for businesses operating in the UK it’s also important to consider availability of stock which has been highlighted recently by ever growing uncertainty over Brexit. One answer to ensuring stock availability but without having to stockpile in warehouses, is to buy British. This ensures a shorter supply chain and brings all the benefits of ‘just in time’ delivery without having to stock pile large amounts of goods.
Leading ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia creates high quality, technologically advanced fans, such as the Lo-Carbon Svara, that are designed and manufactured in Britain and don’t rely on international imports. Conveniently located in the south east, close to major transport links and their own markets, the responsiveness of a local manufacturing facility will always be an advantage over manufacturing products on the other side of the globe. It can nimbly respond to peaks in demand and save wholesalers the additional stress and cost that comes with planning large foreign orders.
Vent-Axia’s commitment to UK Manufacturing was underlined when the firm completed the reshoring of its domestic fan manufacturing from China to the UK a few years ago with the launch of three new production lines at the company’s manufacturing facility. The culmination of a four-year project, the new assembly lines doubled the company’s on-site manufacturing of residential unitary fans.
As a result, Vent-Axia can now produce shorter runs of specific bespoke products to meet customer needs, therefore making the firm more competitive and responsive in the marketplace. Having manufacturing to the UK also means the company no longer needs to hold high levels of stock in its warehouse to anticipate demand. On the environmental front, reshoring reduced the energy consumed in delivering products and lowered transport emissions. Up to 15 Tonnes of CO² emissions are avoided each year since reshoring due to the reduction in international shipping.
Improving indoor air quality
Having recognised the benefits of an assured local supply, it’s important that wholesalers help electricians understand the other advantages offered by these high quality British fans, including providing households with an aesthetically pleasing fan that is quiet and provides good indoor air quality (IAQ). Old inefficient unitary fans can be very noisy with some households turning off their extract fans altogether, potentially leading to damage to the fabric of their property, and the twin blights of mould growth and poor IAQ, which can lead to ill health. So with ventilation essential to the health and comfort of individuals in the home, consumer demand for silent products has led to manufacturers investing in improving bathroom extractor fan acoustics. One such example is Vent-Axia’s Svara which operates at just 17dB(A) – quieter than a whisper!
The technology behind the evolution
Behind this design evolution is extensive research and development backed up by comprehensive in-house testing. In-house design and manufacturing means manufacturers can easily and rapidly bring a product to market using a range of design tools. One example of a design tool used by Vent-Axia is computational fluid dynamics, which is used to map the airflow through a fan to ensure it flows as efficiently as possible. Fan blade design is another important area, with designers ensuring they move as aerodynamically through the air as possible to increase efficiency and reduce noise.[insert ‘R&D 2’ image. Caption: In-house testing ensures lowest sound levels possible]
As technology has advanced in a range of industries, the ventilation industry has benefitted too. For example, the rise of 3D printing means that manufacturers can use this in-house in their product development programmes. 3D printing means prototypes can be produced very quickly and easily allowing design changes to be made swiftly, meaning manufacturers such as Vent-Axia can rapidly respond to market demand.
In-house testing is advantageous too… Vent-Axia has its own UK-based R&D laboratory, including a laboratory for sound testing. This ensures its products are designed in-house to meet the lowest sound levels possible before the sound levels are confirmed from an outside testing facility. Conducting R&D and testing at a local level means that Vent-Axia’s fans are constantly evolving and staying ahead of the competition.
By offering customers premium British made fans that are packed with features and offer simple installation, wholesalers can assure their customers that not only can they be certain of the quality of the fans they are installing, they will be able to get them when needed. By avoiding potential delays in receiving stock due to international delivery lead times, installers won’t have to postpone jobs to get the fan they want, benefitting their customers as well as being a great boost to wholesalers’ reputation.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
To learn more about the British made vans from Vent-Axia, visit: www.vent-axia.com