Made in Britain and Made in Sheffield – two key indicators of innovation and quality which EMSc’s founder, Dr Alex Mardapittas, is sure are convincing customers around the world to choose his company’s equipment.
“One customer said installing Voltage Optimisation was like having open heart surgery – all the power to their factory goes through our product,” says Dr Mardapittas.
“All the R&D has been done here, all the Intellectual Property belongs to us, the electronics are designed by us and made in the UK.
“The British are known for product quality and the diligence that goes into ensuring a product runs correctly. That has gained respect for our product and, when you add the Made in Sheffield mark, that respect becomes even greater.
“There aren’t many professional people in the world who haven’t heard of Made in Sheffield and that’s why we don’t see competition being a problem outside the UK.”
That’s one key reason why Dr Mardapittas was more than happy for EMSc to work with the Chinese Government after the company’s Powerstar technology was identified as a Champion Technology by a panel of 30 Chinese energy industry experts.
The Chinese Ministry of Steel – which spans everything from steel making to metal forming and car production – has bought two different Powerstar products to test in Chinese factories.
If the tests are as successful as we think they will be, they will roll our technology out throughout the industry and there are 60,000 companies under their umbrella,” says Dr Mardapittas.
“People ask me ‘Won’t they copy it?.’ So what? You cannot miss an opportunity like that. We have patent protection and if you go to any company around the world and say your product is British, there is such tremendous kudos.
“We’ve seen it in Dubai when we have been competing against the Chinese, the Indians and the Koreans. Some of them have products a third the cost of ours, but no one will buy their product when there is a British product next to it.”
Ironically, the position is slightly different at home. While UK customers respect the British name, they also look for the cheapest product, but, again, Dr Mardapittas is not worried.
“We have known competitors install 20 of their units and for five of them to go wrong. We have more than 5,000 systems in the market and we have never had a single unit go wrong. We might lose some sales to importers, but we know they won’t be here for long.”
In any event, Dr Mardapittas relishes the competition.
Voltages supplied to companies and domestic consumers will vary because the level of voltage falls the further you are from the electricity sub-station.
In the UK, power companies try to compensate for that by increasing the voltage to above the 220 volts that both domestic and commercial equipment is designed to operate at and those closest to the sub station could be getting as much as 250 volts,
Typically, that means the equipment runs hotter and that shortens its life, whether it is a machine in a factory or a washing machine in the home, some hi-tech electronic equipment or a domestic light bulb.
It also mean the user’s electricity bill will be higher than it need be and electricity generators are being asked to produce more than is technically needed – increasing the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
In other variations in power supply or the sheer distance the voltage is travelling to reach remote destinations can mean it drops below 220 Volts and equipment simply stops working.
Powerstar works by ensuring electrical equipment gets precisely the 230 volt supply it is designed to work at.
The Powerstar technology, which is also available to domestic customers through a separate company called VO4Home, can also eliminate power spikes and surges which would otherwise damage equipment or cause it to shut down.