Issue: Dec 2006


Breathe clean air



by Rob White

“A few years ago (with a few exceptions), installing an air filtration system was definitely an afterthought and not where management would typically look for an ROI” - Bertil Brahm, President of Clean Air America.

Georgia, US-based Clean Air America Inc. makes filtration systems for a range of industries, including automotive manufacturers. The company provides end-to-end solutions, including initial on-site visits to assess what the customer needs. The company then generally goes on to provide the latest dust-collection and air-filtration equipment.

Clean Air America’s focus is to provide streamlined, modular solutions instead of the regular roof-mounted equipment that requires large duct-work. The company concentrates on placing the filtration equipment at the source of emissions and uses its patented True Down Flow technology which, it says, offers greater energy savings, fewer filter replacements, longer filter life, less filter cleaning and less plant maintenance.

They also use the latest 3-D CAD software to design, pre-engineer and engineer projects, which helps to cut down lead times.

One of Clean Air America’s clients is a Japanese company that supplies Honda and Nissan with engine cradle/sub-frame components from their US production hub. Clean Air America installed the first systems 3 years ago and this company is now both ISO 14001 and TS 16049 certified and is the benchmark for all Honda suppliers regarding filtration systems. Another happy Clean Air America customer is a German company that supplies Mercedes and BMW with engine cradle/sub-frame components.

Automotive Industries spoke to Bertil Brahm, President of Clean Air America, and asked him about his company’s future plans.

AI: What are some of the benefits for automotive companies in having good filtration systems?

BB: In addition to the tremendous all round cost saving benefits, a clean manufacturing environment is very beneficial to the production process and to quality control. Plant image is very important to our customers and their clients, especially during plant inspections, where it could mean either losing or gaining a contract.

AI: How successful has Clean Air been in convincing automotive manufacturers to use advanced filtration systems? How do you go about selling your technology to them?

BB: A few years ago (with a few exceptions), installing an air filtration system was definitely an afterthought and not where management would typically look for an ROI.
All of this is changing as newer and better air filtration technology becomes available and performance and cost savings can be measured better than ever before. These changes are usually driven from the top. Most of our systems installations are turn-key - we undertake the complete system design, engineering and installation.

AI: What are some of the new filtration technologies being designed by Clean Air America?

BB: The design team has created innovative designs for customized solutions for our clients since 1993. We begin with concept generation and continue through to the finished project. Design efforts continue to focus on systems that lower plant running and maintenance costs, using more sophisticated controls systems to continuously lower energy and maintenance costs and optimize functionality.

AI: By how much do you think the U.S. market will grow over the next few years?

BB: The niche market that we are in is definitely growing. The amount of that growth will depend on the state of the auto industry during the next few years. However, Clean Air America will continue to build on today’s success, which is our specialized turn-key projects for the auto industry.

AI: How does Clean Air America plan to increase your share of the market?

BB: The great majority of our clients operate plants all over the globe and they sometimes ask for our involvement in other markets, where we provide project management and engineering services. Primarily, outside of the U.S, Mexico is looking good for us. We are also looking at some very interesting overseas projects
for 2007.

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