At the turn of the millennium, the newly independent IPS Ventilation A/S was finding its foothold. The decade became a turning point in the company’s history with new subsidiaries, new ownership structure and the onset of a global financial crisis, which turned out to be a crock of gold for an innovative alternative technology in an old-fashioned industry like the construction sector.
FabricAir Through the Decades: The 00s
In 1999 Veidekke had separated the fabric air dispersion division from the remainder of Jonsereds and created an independent company, called IPS Ventilation A/S. The newly independent company continued its international expansion and in 2002 the UK subsidiary opened.
Continuous product development led to the introduction of a new non-permeable fabric line, the FabricAir® Poly. This is an economical fabric primarily used in heavy industrial applications to disperse isothermal or heated air.
The global demand for fabric-based air dispersion solutions was steadily increasing and by 2002 the original Danish production facilities were struggling to keep up with the ever-growing demand. The search for a future-proof solution was initiated and brought FabricAir to Alytus in Lithuania; a town renowned for its high-quality textile product manufacturing facilities. In 2003 part of the production was moved to Alytus at a new local subsidiary – the UAB FabricAir.
When Veidekke decided to sell the company of in 2005, Brian Refsgaard acquired it and changed the name to FabricAir A/S to create a globally consistent brand. Brian had been with the company for 15 years and he had a unique in-depth knowledge of the products and technology. Simultaneously with the acquisition it was also decided to move the remaining part of the production to the subsidiary in Lithuania.
With the new visionary ownership in place, the company was geared for growth. Together with the team, Brian lifted the company into the 21st century through a renewed focus on refinement and innovation. Keeping two simple ideas in mind, “make it better & make it easier”, the team set out to develop the portfolio through market focused research and development. Two new fabrics were introduced in 2006: FabricAir® Combi and FabricAir® Glass 220.
FabricAir® Combi is the most versatile line of fabrics. It is exceptionally strong and durable and comes in permeable as well as non-permeable options. It comes with an optional anti-microbial coating and it is even rendered ideal for Cleanroom Class 3 applications. The fabrics are Oeko-Tex 100 certified attesting the absence of harmful substances.
FabricAir® Glass 220 is a non-combustible fabric made from glass fibers. It has a working temperature range from -60°C to +200°C [-76°F to 392°F].
New subsidiaries followed over the next years: FabricAir GmbH in Germany and FabricAir Turkey A.Ş. The onset of the global financial crisis in 2008 turned out to be an advantage to the company.
The construction sector was deeply affected by the crisis. The traditional industry and conventional solutions were abandoned in the name of value engineering, as the various stakeholders sought more efficient and economical technologies. Fabric-based air dispersion technology was – and still is - a natural alternative to the traditional metal ducting. Significantly quicker to install, lower in investment and with a much shorter lead time the technology quickly became much more popular among architects, consulting engineers and contractors worldwide.
The All-in-One suspension was introduced in 2009, as a duct accessory allowing the dispersion system to stay open when the air is turned off. It became an immediate success, with clear advantages in many applications. It creates a more aesthetic look and prevents the ducts from hanging low in the room when the system is off.