The challenges presented by inconsistent power supply, exacerbated by the everyday reality of rising fuel and energy costs, have to be navigated by businesses across all sectors of the South African economy to ensure their future sustainability.
Within this context, the pressure to find ways to operate more efficiently and reduce costs across the board is subsequently greater than ever before. Moreover, environmental legislation to counter climate change is also driving businesses to seek greener solutions in a bid to meet net zero carbon targets and avoid penalties. The global transition to cleaner, greener solutions is driving OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) like Atlas Copco to develop electric options alongside their existing offerings.
Mindful of these urgent and critical drives to efficiency and environmental compliance, Atlas Copco Power Technique remains steadfast in its commitment to the on-going development of new technologies and products. “Our aim is to address not only customers’ present day requirements, but to also have products ready to meet their future needs,” states David Stanford, Power Technique Business Line Manager for Portable Products. “We consider it not a sprint but rather a long distance marathon and we include our complete portable product portfolio, from our smallest to our largest air compressors, generators, light towers and pumps, on our efficiency journey.”
In addition to Atlas Copco’s renowned high quality, reliable and efficient range of mobile diesel air compressors, customers now also have the choice of an electric machine, the E-Air. “Our range of E-Air compressors delivers all the benefits of electric driven equipment,” asserts Stanford. Equipped with a zero emission, efficient, low-noise ruggedised motor, and available in fixed-speed and Variable Speed Drive (VSD), these plug-and-play units offer a sustainable solution for end-users, operators as well as the environment. For customers searching for ultra-efficiency, the E-Air VSD delivers best-in-class ownership driven by performance, ease of use, reliability, life-cycle and serviceability. “We are excited by the fact that we have already received an order for an E-Air machine from our distributor in Madagascar, for supply to a customer in the mining sector,” adds Stanford.
Stanford points out that the choice between diesel and electric driven equipment is not always an easy one as there are mitigating arguments for both. “End users have to weigh up the pros and cons. In addition to comparing the cost of diesel versus electricity, a number of other variables such as job site location, infrastructure availability as well as project duration, must also all be factored into the calculations.”
“We therefore strongly encourage customers to do their research and understand the challenges presented by each job and application in order to determine what would be the best, most cost-effective and sustainable solution. To assist customers, we have developed a TTC calculator that is easily accessible on our website which can be used to carry out a number of calculations to help find the most optimal solution – electric or diesel.”
The E-Air will potentially be the most efficient source of compressed air for job sites with access to electric power supply. Taking into account the current high cost of diesel, electric machines will also be more cost-effective while shrinking carbon footprints. The E-air’s quiet, zero-emission power unit is also the answer for enclosed spaces and noise sensitive environments, ensuring operator safety and comfort. For large open spaces and remote locations where there is no access to a power grid, the diesel air compressor would be the best option to go with.
“It is unmistakable that electrically operated equipment is not a sustainable solution for all applications,” notes Stanford. “Furthermore, not all businesses are ready to move to electric machines like the E-Air right now. But for those customers who are ready, we have the solutions, thanks to our forward-thinking, proactive approach and constant innovations. And those customers who will be ready in the medium to long term can also rest assured in the knowledge that we will have the products to meet their requirements. We also have the necessary know-how to be able to assist them in making the transition to electric as seamless as possible.”
Not forgetting the equally important service and after-sales elements, Stanford says that Power Technique’s technicians are kept up to date on all the latest technologies and product innovations. Through regular, updated training, they are upskilled to service, repair and maintain the very latest offerings in their product suite. “We foster long-term partnerships with our customers and it is important to us that our products to contribute to their success. We incorporate our innovations and advanced technologies along our entire value chain, developing products to deliver optimally on all key aspects – quality, reliability, performance, efficiency, long-life cycle low operational costs. We will keep on moving along this efficiency journey to be able to offer sustainable solutions that are ready to work when our customers need them,” concludes Stanford.