Pyroban has been actively protecting millions of workers worldwide in potentially explosive atmospheres for generations.
We convert all brands and types of materials handling equipment for use in Zone 1, 2, 21 and 22, such as lift, reach, pallet and stacker trucks, VNA, access platforms, tugs and cleaning equipment.
We also make designated ‘safe areas’ even safer with active gas detection for any equipment, of any age, from MHE, vans and cranes, through to shutters and shrink wrap machines.
With best in class service, we actively support our customers globally to keep lifetime costs low with technical support, parts, engineer training, annual safety audits and more. Justine Wren, Sales and Marketing Director at Pyroban spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What are your best-known products and services?
Pyroban is well known for providing explosion proof conversions for businesses needing lift trucks (or other vehicles) to operate in potentially explosive atmospheres. This is for industries such as waste, chemical, food and drink, and many other manufacturing and logistics operations.
One of our best-known products is Pyroban’s system6000™, a materials handling equipment conversion which combines active gas detection with other specialist protection technologies to help keep people safe in Zone 2 hazardous areas. It can be applied to most makes and types of diesel or electric equipment, such as reach, pallet, stacker and counterbalance trucks, VNA and picking equipment.
Active gas detection on mobile equipment is needed to help protect people in Zone 2 hazardous areas. Without active gas detection, operators can be ‘blind’ to the presence of potentially explosive gas or vapour, putting people, the company’s reputation and the supply chain at risk.
Another popular product is Gascheka™, which is also for businesses handling potentially hazardous materials. Gases can easily cross from Zone 2 areas into what is considered a ‘safe’ area and put people in danger. Pyroban’s Gascheka active gas detection system can be used with any equipment, of any age, to keep people safe in these ‘designated safe’ areas.
Gascheka monitors the surrounding area of any type of electric, diesel or LPG vehicle or equipment and alert people to risk. Fitted on site to equipment such as forklifts, cranes, shutters and shrink wrap machines, Gascheka can get users active in less than one day, making designated ‘safe areas’ even safer.
What new products/services will you be launching next year?
Pyroban is a bespoke engineering company that develops solutions for all the latest materials handling equipment on the market. In many cases, we are developing and launching the very first explosion proof truck of its kind, each time. This makes us a very unique business within the materials handling sector.
Our system6000 conversion for Zone 2 is continually evolving to meet growing market demand and technological change. We are bringing converted trucks for Zone 2 to market faster than ever before, fully compliant to ATEX, and with the lowest cost of operation and minimal impact to the performance of the original equipment.
Tell us about your business highlights or a project you have recently completed?
We have seen significant growth this year in the UK market across many different sectors, with some large fleets going into operations in the chemical, pharmaceutical, coatings, beverage, waste and logistics industries, among many others.
Our recent focus has been on educating OEMs, dealers and end users about the important role that active gas detection plays in keeping people safe in Zone 2 and ‘designated safe’ areas. When more and more companies are adding blue spots and other driver awareness systems to their vehicles, it seems obvious to also provide drivers with an active alert for gases or vapours.
What challenges will the business environment offer to your industry in the coming year? How will you turn these challenges into opportunities?
Safety is the number one concern for most businesses, particularly when handling flammable material. In recent years we have seen a lot of Zone 1 areas reduced, meaning that companies have increased the footprint of their Zone 2 area. In this instance, businesses want to be made aware of a potential spillage or release of gas or vapour.
More businesses are using active gas detection on their lift trucks to give audible and visual alerts to the driver so that not only is the driver protected, but the problem can be investigated and rectified immediately preventing further risk.
By contrast, passive explosion protection systems will work through a hazardous area so the driver will not even be aware that there is a problem, potentially leaving the hazard to escalate into a far bigger risk. The challenge for us is to educate the market to reconsider their approach to explosion protection in Zone 2, particularly across Europe.
What industry sectors do you see offering you the most potential next year?
Any business handling flammable material in Europe must assess its operations and formally classify areas into Zones according to the ATEX Directive. That is true of many manufacturing and logistics operations where flammable material is contained in volume, such as storage tanks, silos, drums, IBCs or other vessels.
A proportion of the operation will be classified as Zone 1 or 2, with ATEX compliant equipment specified quite correctly. However, large areas of these sites will typically be designated as ‘safe areas’, where standard equipment with no explosion protection features are often cleared for daily use, or a ‘hot work permit’ routinely issued.
The problem at these sites is that there is always the risk of an accidental release or breakdown in the process. This can create an explosive atmosphere that spreads very quickly. And gases can easily cross from Zone 2 areas into what is considered a ‘safe’ area. A sign and line do not necessarily help.
We therefore see great potential to provide active gas detection, such as our Gascheka system. This can be fitted to all types of equipment working in these “designated safe” areas, which are commonly found in logistics and warehousing applications.
Are you investing in new premises over the next 12 months? What about recruitment, staff development and training?
Since the establishment of Pyroban’s new senior leadership team in November 2017, the Company has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to creating jobs, recruiting local talent and providing career development opportunities across all areas of the organisation. 75 new jobs have been created since 2018 at our Shoreham by Sea factory in West Sussex, UK.
In October 2018, the company announced a further £500,000 investment in its UK centre of excellence, which created a variety of new career opportunities. This included the introduction of a new electric vehicle conversion production line while increasing the Company’s market share in the UK and in export markets.
Pyroban continues to implement people-focused programmes including performance reviews and career and development processes; designed to recognise, reward and retain talent. Employees across the organisation have benefited from these new and exciting programmes, including the promotion of several employees into management positions.
As a result of this ongoing investment, training and development initiatives, Pyroban has managed to reduce its lead times significantly and become more efficient in supporting OEMs, dealers and the end customer.
And finally, if you had to sum up your company in a hashtag what would it be?