A breath of fresh air
Founded 55 years ago, Nuaire is a UK ventilation solutions provider, with a proud history of designing and manufacturing pioneering and industry-leading products for the residential and commercial markets
Since it was first established in 1966, South Wales-based manufacturer Nuaire has been a pioneer in new air technology. With its heritage being in the design and build of fans and ventilation systems, the company today manufactures almost all of its own products in-house, from small bathroom fans to large air handling units. The first fan manufacturer in the UK to achieve the ISO9001 quality standard, today Nuaire employs more than 600 people worldwide, offers over 40,000 product lines to choose from, and continues to shape the industry with ground-breaking products that set the standard in clean air and energy-efficient ventilation.
“The early success of the business was built on its invention of the twin fan more than 40 years ago, with our range of these remaining the smallest, quietest and most energy-efficient on the market to this day,” begins Wayne Glover, Nuaire’s Managing Director (MD). “By working closely with our customers over the years, we have developed a host of products and technologies to suit their various needs and applications. Other important firsts for us have included the invention of our Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) range in the 1970s for use in the residential sector, which has since become an industry staple, and the creation of the XBC heat recovery system, which was specifically devised for a specific client, but has since become a product range of its own, with around 200 different iterations available in various sizes.”
Even more recently, at the turn of 2021, Nuaire also unveiled a brand-new range of products under the Haven Terminals (Haven) name. This solution has been designed to reduce the risk of spreading airborne pathogens and other pollutants in shared spaces. Haven has an extract capability whereby particulates or contaminated air can be removed from an indoor space and discharged to the building exterior, ensuring a consistent and optimally ventilated environment within individual workspaces.
“Haven was a product line that we started developing before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, because we had already identified a need for such a solution in shared indoor spaces,” Wayne reveals. “What the pandemic has done, however, is serve to further demonstrate the true importance of healthy indoor air quality. With Haven, we have created something that is easily configurable and simple to install, and that will create better indoor spaces – or a ‘Safe Haven’ – for all.”
The company’s clear ability to lead its sector was unquestionably a major contributing factor in it being presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2004. However, as Wayne goes on to point out, this level of inventiveness is far from Nuaire’s only defining quality. “Among our other strengths as a business are our market-leading service levels, our ability to understand our clients and their requirements, and above all our people. I look around, and our board of directors alone provides around 140 years of experience in itself. We also have a number of employees that have been with us in excess of 25 years, three of whom have been with Nuaire since the very beginning!”
Providing the means to advance through the business is essential to such longevity, with Wayne himself having joined Nuaire as an engineer, before working his way up through various Director roles and into the position of MD. “From apprenticeships on up, we have always encouraged our people to grow and given them the platform, and opportunity, to develop through the business,” Wayne states. “Investment in our people is continuous, be it through training or other developmental programs, and it helps us to not only keep people engaged but retain a real family-run feel to what is a growing organization. We are also proud of the fact that, even in a predominantly male-dominated industry, that we are have numerous highly skilled and talented women coming through our ranks also, which is fantastic to see.”
Meanwhile, from a manufacturing standpoint, Nuaire prides itself on its ability and willingness to adopt new, agile and lean manufacturing techniques as they become available. June 2021 will mark the company’s 50th year of operating from its facility in Caerphilly, where its factory operation now covers approximately 18,000-square meters of manufacturing space following several extensions over the years.
That need to grow continues to be an issue, with Wayne detailing how the company intends to respond. “What we have done is made the move to acquire a larger location upon which Nuaire can continue to expand,” he says. “This site – which conveniently enough sits literally across the road from our existing premises – is a five-acre piece of land, three acres of which have been developed upon to date, and it has the ability to virtually double our manufacturing capacity going forward. As we speak (at the beginning of March 2021) we are in the process of moving some of the product lines that we want to expand over to this new facility.”
Nuaire’s capabilities have resulted in the company being tasked with working on all manner of different projects for its international client base. Examples can be as varied as its work on the Project Goliat rig in the oil fields of the Barents Sea, or its support of stadium construction for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. In the case of the former, Nuaire was chosen to supply ATEX offshore fans, but was faced with the challenge of the extreme weather conditions of the Arctic Circle. “The harsh environment in which the fans were installed came with strict and challenging fan specification requirements,” Wayne explains. “This meant working closely with the client, keeping specific, exact requirements at the heart of every conversation. This saw our team install many ATEX certified, offshore stainless-steel short case axial fans, comprising of a 316-grade stainless steel case, full cast 316-grade stainless steel impeller, and ATEX NORSOK specification motors.
“In the case of our work in support of FIFA, the stadiums in question have been designed to achieve a Gold Sustainability Building Certification in the US Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings system. Our team supplied 185 fans to the Qatar Foundation Stadium, and another 213 to the Al-Janoub Stadium, whereby various sizes and types were specified to help ensure a safe environment for the 40,000-plus fans predicted to visit.”
Looking back on 2020, and the company’s performance during the course of the year, it began with a successful rebranding of Nuaire, in which the focus was very much put on its track record for innovation and being pioneers in its field. With the onset of the first UK lockdown, the company reduced production by around 50 per cent, however this was soon brought back up to full capacity come July. Around this time, it did a fair amount of work in supporting the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospitals around the country, often providing fan solutions without charge, and also took the bold move to step out of its comfort zone in order to manufacture 100,000 BSI certified visors for key workers, using its 3D printing and injection molding capabilities. Nuaire’s efforts this past year ultimately saw it crowned as the winner of the 2020 Building Awards ‘Proud to Help’ category, which is one of its proudest achievements to date.
Turning to 2021, and the years beyond, Wayne believes that the outlook is bright, what with the acquisition of a new facility, and the company is hedging its bets towards this with investment in new machinery and processes, as well as people, continuing undeterred. “For Nuaire, our future lays in our ability to keep on driving innovation forward, and in truth we probably have more ideas on the table right now than we even have time for,” Wayne adds. “We have lots of things going on product wise, and we are making good advances when it comes to providing enhanced service and digital offerings to our customers. One of the things we have seen in the last year or so is greater movement from our industry and our customers into the digital arena, with some amazing software now being used on building sites, which we feel is just the tip of the iceberg.
“All in all, we are extremely confident about our ability to continue to grow as a business, and we are excited about what the future holds for Nuaire.”
Products: Ventilation solutions