The sound of success
October 2009 was a very exciting month for the Industrial Acoustics Company (IAC) Group, as it marked 60 years of the company leading the world in noise control products and solutions.
Founded in 1949 in New York, design and manufacture have always been the key strengths of IAC, partnered with many of the sector’s best engineers and designers.
In the 1990s the company encountered some difficult times, but the recent leadership of group president and CEO Brian Quarendon, has seen the Group turnover triple with over 30 per cent of coming from exports. “Despite the economic downturn, IAC continues to thrive in part due to our good reputation,” said Brian, in October. “All our employees can be proud of how far IAC has come, and on this our 60th anniversary I’d like to thank each and every one for their valuable contribution to our continuing success.”
IAC Nordic is the Danish division of the Group, which undertakes offshore noise and vibration projects for the oil and gas industry in the North Sea. Originally IAC Nordic was a Danish company known as HM Akustik, which was bought by IAC in 2000, combining decades of experience in the industry.
Today, IAC Nordic is a specialist in turnkey projects, with its professional engineering staff able to provide solutions to solve vibration and noise problems of every kind. Clients can approach the company with a noise or vibration problem and IAC Nordic can do the detailing measurements and specifications followed by the production and installation of the chosen solution. Much of the organisation’s six million euro turnover also comes from ready-to-use individual material sales such as anti-vibration moulds.
Lars Birch Nielsen, managing director of IAC Nordic, elaborates on Brian’s comments about the current economic situation: “I think that everybody is experiencing some problems with the financial crisis but our strengths lie in the factthat, aside from the offshore industry, we are active in a range of markets including the food processing industry and factory production. One of our successes in 2009 has been the delivery and installation of audiology rooms for hearing tests at hospitals and private clinics all over Scandinavia. We regard ourselves as being on top technically because we have new solutions and highly-skilled engineers to take on any problem.”
He continued: “We work with all kinds of noise and vibration control on-and offshore. Our main geographic area is in the Nordic regions, predominantly in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. We have developed from being a local Danish company to being extremely active in the offshore markets, as well as in the automotive industry in Sweden working with companies such as Volvo, SAAB and Scania.”
In the offshore oil and gas industry, vibration and noise control is of great importance for the comfort and productivity of employees. Hearing damage and sleep-deprivation from acoustic problems is a prevalent risk when working in noisy environments. The installation of soundproof observation or control rooms, test cells for the experimental testing of noisy machinery, audiological screening rooms to carry out regular checks on workers’ hearing, and structural absorptive panels and doors can greatly aid the reduction of uncomfortable vibration and noise in these difficult locations.
IAC Nordic appreciates these important factors and as such is a trusted partner in the industry. Furthermore the business has developed products that are innovatively designed to counteract common problems on oil and gas platforms.
Lars comments: “We have made a lot of noise enclosures for both turbines and compressors using IAC acoustic louvers – these ensure that Nordicair can still penetrate the area while at the same time providing good noise reduction. It works as an open grill with noise reduction built in and this is of great importance offshore as you need to avoid the risk of having a concentration of gas or explosives in an enclosed area.”
From its early days IAC has been known for innovation in the field and has consistently been the first to develop the sector’s new solutions to noise pollution. To this end, IAC Limited has research and development (R&D) facilities across the world. Though not in the Nordic division, IAC France, US and UK have advanced R&D facilities that ensure that the products IAC Nordic provides are well documented and investigated in test facilities and laboratories, reaching the highest noise and fire standards for a range of industries. This close collaboration between members of the IAC Group enables the company to be at the cutting edge of acoustic and vibration control, utilising the experience and expertise of other countries.
IAC Nordic’s experience of the industry is still highly valuable, but the market is challenging as Lars explains: “In the North Sea a lot of the installations on platforms are approaching 20 or 30 years old – they are becoming worn out. Due to this a lot of renewals or new installations need to be done in order for us to produce effective noise control solutions.”
Finding solutions to these issues is the company’s aim going forward. In addition, IAC Nordic is aiming to penetrate the Scandinavian market and continue growth in Sweden and Norway where it has already seen a string of successful projects. In addition, IAC Nordic is looking to increase its influence in the offshore sector in the Norwegian areas. In fact, IAC is looking forward to the next 60 years leading the field.
PRODUCTS: Noise and acoustic control