Cool operators

Originally established in the UK in 1986 as Waterloo Air Technology, and following a management buy-out of Waterloo-Ozonair in 1995, today the company known as the Wozair Group (Wozair) has earned a reputation for innovation in the high integrity heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment market.

With over 24 years of established expertise, Wozair designs and manufactures high integrity HVAC equipment and provides a full range of Dampers, Air Handling Units, Air Intake and Diffusion Solutions and Refrigeration Units. Yvan Lavaux, Director of Sales and Marketing at Wozair believes that “this complete and integrated offering is what sets us apart from our competitors.

“We also have a dedicated sales and technical team based in offices all over the world as well as manufacturing facilities in UK, Singapore, Malaysia and Houston. This global reach enables us to Wozair 171 bstreamline each project and provide HVAC solutions in shorter timeframes.”

Thanks to this comprehensive, global, ISO 9001-certified presence, Wozair has an annual capacity of 250,000 man hours and 15,000 m² of workshop space available.

Wozair’s head office and primary manufacturing base is in the UK, and its factory includes 7000m² of workshop space and 1250m² of office space. It employs 50 skilled operatives (including 25 coded welders), 45 engineers, five document control staff and an array of contract and temporary staff including controls engineers, welding engineers, structural engineers and acoustic engineers. It employs the latest technology, including new CNC laser cutting equipment and manufactures all types of Wozair products.

Over the years, Wozair has learnt to adapt and respond to the changing demands of the market and its clients by developing innovative and bespoke solutions. Yvan describes an example of this where “a client was looking for a blast protection solution with water penetration protection on the air intake and winterisation under very cold conditions. Our classic solution would be to install several products behind one another which would take up more space and would complicate testing.

“Therefore, we developed the SE1 Atom which removes rain and sea spray from the air whilst withstanding small blast events. Its streamlined design resulted in a much smaller product, which benefited areas where space is restricted. This unique product provided a complete solution which enabled us to meet their exact requirements.”

As well as finding new solutions for its clients, Yvan describes a number of other products that have become increasingly popular over the years and somewhat synonymous with Wozair, particularly in the oil and gas industry. Wozair’s recent projects include work with major industry names and their facilities such as, Chevron TCO Kazakhstan, Petrovac UAE, Wood Group Canada, Dubai Petroleum Shell and Total.

“Firstly, the Wozair Blast Tube Array (BTA) is a technical revolution in blast protection, mitigating the passage of blast pressure in ventilation systems for the oil and gas industry. The specialised design addressed several technical challenges providing improved safety and protection.

“Years of research and development have resulted in a lower pressure drop, no moving parts and maintenance free operational lifetime resulting in an extremely cost-efficient product that has become synonymous with Wozair. The Wozair Blast Tube Array is patented, fully tested and verified, and completely unique.

“Secondly, many marine and oil and gas applications are protected from fire by our MFD (Wozair Marine Fire Damper). This is our most versatile and popular damper which holds a number of type approval certifications. Its many qualities and strong construction permit our customers to install on platform, FPSO and many other marine uses. The damper can be used in ATEX areas and we have now a new approved fast closing actuator, which enables us to offer another electrical solution.

“Our customers now also have the possibility to use the MFD on landside applications such as a refinery, as we now have a certification under EN 1366-2 (E120 vei o)S, E120 (vei o) and E90 (vei o)S. We already provide this solution for nuclear applications, which is also technically very demanding.”

Aside from the Oil and Gas industry, Yvan acknowledges that there have been several sectors performing particularly well in the HVAC industry in recent years for Wozair. In particular, the Cruise and Ferry market for renowned operators in the USA, and Nuclear sectors. “We believe the growth is due to our capability to provide dedicated solutions to our markets.Wozair 171 c

“Wozair provides a more technical and specialised solution for the Nuclear industry and a simpler solution for Cruise and Ferry industries. We use the same range of products and designs but have a dedicated approach for each project, always keeping the requirements of the industry in mind. An example of this can be seen in the Nuclear industry, where high level traceability factory testing and on-site testing are compulsory.”

Thanks to the spread of sectors across which it works, Paul Azzopardi, Shareholder and Director at Wozair was also pleased to highlight that Wozair is seeing excellent growth in the Nuclear and Marine sectors. “We are seeing more projects and some new products coming through,” he confirmed. The company has worked on the most significant nuclear and radiology sites in the UK and Europe, including Sellafield, Dounreay, Heysham, Sizewell B, Engie Axima and Milwep.

Looking through the history of Wozair makes it apparent that the Group is no stranger to acquisitions, and as a result of this approach the Group as it stands includes Veotec (Air Separation and Filtration), Jet Environmental Systems (Warehouse HVAC) and the newly acquired Thermoplant (Offshore Services). This latest addition to the Group was undertaken as recently as July 2019, when a majority shareholding in Thermoplant (Offshore Services) Ltd from Bassaire was completed.

Yvan describes the benefits that will arise from the acquisition of the two companies. “Thermoplant specialise in manufacturing refrigeration equipment, control panels and more compact type packaged units, which will enable Wozair to continue to develop our dedicated solutions to our clients for products such as Air Handling Units and Chillers.” Paul noted that he is “very much looking forward to the two companies working closely together and both benefitting from synergies that will create growth, security and co-operation. The combined resources of both companies will provide an unparalleled level of supply and service to customers across the globe.”

Thanks to this constant dedication to innovating and ultimately broadening its horizons, Wozair has continuously added to the sectors where its products can be found, while developing and extending their product range. Yvan describes a number of recent investments in new technology and equipment to extend their capabilities.

“Due to increased demand over the year, we purchased a temporary manufacturing facility at our Gillingham offices to enable additional IFAT (Integrated Factory Testing) on large equipment which proved to be vital to the completion of one of our largest projects of recent years.

“The Veotec acquisition has led to a number of new technologies being implemented at our head offices. These include a Plastic Extrusion Line – this is a process in which raw plastic is melted and formed into a continuous profile, and a Roll Forming Line which involves the continuous bending of sheet metal for use in products. The process of filter manufacture and vane manufacture have also been introduced.

“We have also improved elements of our system design by developing automated functions within Drive Works which reduces the workload and time taken to produce technical drawings. All of these additions will assist in speeding up the production process and will help to keep costs down.”

Wozair’s high standards and vast experience have seen it grow to become one of the foremost global manufacturers of HVAC equipment. Its broad product range, comprehensive engineering and site service capabilities and peerless innovation positions it as a company capable of meeting customer requirements in a wide range of sectors and environments. On top of this, Wozair’s uniquely automated design, estimating, drafting and production engineering software enables quotations to be quickly provided and orders processed to manufacture extremely efficiently.

As the company approaches its 25th year in business, Wozair can be proud of its development so far into a reliable, trusted experienced supplier. With Group sales of £27m, and worldwide staff in excess of 150, it has firmly established a global reputation for professionalism, cost-effectiveness and innovation.

Products: HVAC equipment and systems for specialist applications