Q&A With Randy Simmons
Randy Simmons is the President of Air Solutions Company, inventors and USA manufacturers of Air Intake Screens
What were you doing before you worked for Air Solutions Company?
Prior to Air Solution Company, I was in the document printing industry for approximately 25 years, working for several companies in North America. At the start of my career, my role was in a product planning, development and marketing capacity, by the end, I was Vice President of Marketing for the largest Printing Company in Canada (Crain Drummond – a division of US Based Reynolds & Reynolds).
How were Air Intake Screens developed/how did you come to work with them?
Upon leaving the document printing Industry, I joined with my father, Ken Simmons, who was a long-time member of the mechanical contracting industry, designing heating and cooling systems for business and industry; he is also the inventor of the first cottonwood filter screen (a Pulley Mount System) which he designed to help Ford Motor Company solve air intake problems on a process a cooling tower that supported new robotic welding systems.
After many months of unsuccessfully testing commercially available screen materials (most failing because they either didn’t provide adequate filtration or they were too restrictive and negatively impacted airflow and static pressure) we realised the challenge but felt it was something we could solve. We also recognised that if we could solve the air flow and static pressure related problems, the screens would have broad industry implications and could open new business and marketing opportunities for solving air intake problems on rooftop units, air handling units, dry coolers, cooling towers and evaporative condensers. To that end, we linked up with an engineering and textile company to help us develop HVAC compatible screen mesh that not only provided a balance between airflow and filtration, but also incorporated features that made the product exceedingly user friendly. Following over a year of development, we began Air Solutions Company.
Why do you feel they’re such a great product?
Air Intake Screens are a very intuitive, common-sense solution to mechanical equipment fouling problems, but the most interesting part of the product is that they help optimise operational efficiency by reducing fan motor run times as they enable equipment to run cleanly throughout the season. When fan motor run times are reduced, the client saves on energy cost and reduces CO2 emissions. Further, use of the filter screens reduces associated maintenance costs by up to 70%, by stopping airborne debris on the outside of the equipment where it is visible and easy to clean.
To make all of these intrinsic benefits available to the industry we simply were the first to recognise the value and invest the time and resources to solve the technical problems associated with air-flow through a mesh media. Today, Air Solution Company has nine patents and several others pending. For a product seemingly so simple and intuitive, there is much more to the Air Intake Screens than meets the eye.
What are your hopes for their success in the UK and European markets?
We have a very good partner in ECEX to reach the UK and European markets and have confidence in their ability to promote and grow the product. The best part of working with ECEX is that we share a common vision and work together as a team to meet the needs of the market. Although North America and the UK (and Europe) are separated by a large ocean, the problems related to fouling of air movement and cooling systems are the same. To date, ECEX is off to a very good start at introducing and selling introducing screens to market and both our companies are excited and look forward to continued growth.
Outside of work, what are your interests?
My outside interests include listening to music, volunteering for local and charitable causes, I’m a member of Rotary Club and am active with local politics.
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