Interview with Pradeep Randhawa, Managing Director of Mann+Hummel India
- MANN+HUMMEL is a leading global expert for filtration solutions. Established in 1941, the company group is headquartered in Ludwigsburg, Germany, and develops solutions for automotive, industrial applications, clean air in metropolitan areas and buildings and interior spaces.
- OurAir,a brand of MANN+HUMMEL, provides clean air solutions for indoor spaces that combine cutting-edge IOT technologies, world-leading filtration expertise, engineering innovation and a deep commitment to the well-being of our customers.
- Our approach to better air is end-to-end, data-driven, and optimised to the customer’s needs. Solutions are seamless and integrated, resulting in a trusted clean air ecosystem. This is a differentiated offering from what is currently available in the market, where the products and services are standalone. Globally, OurAir is the only one that provides a complete intelligent HVAC filtration solution, from knowing your air quality, improving it and finally being able to manage it.
- Our “Know-Improve-Manage” approach helps our customers make smarter choices for better air.
- Know: We have a range of professional grade air quality monitors, certified by a 3rd party in terms of data veracity, to help establish the level of airborne contaminants in your indoor space, whether at home or at work. The air quality monitors measure the top 5 most common parameters (PM2.5, CO2, TVOCs, Temp and Relative Humidity) and this information is displayed on the OurAir App or Web Portal.
- Improve: We have a range of filtration solutions for commercial, industrial and residential applications, and these are based on the intelligence and actionable insights derived from the air quality monitors.
- Manage: OurAir digital platform enables you to manage the air quality across multiple sites and assets. The air quality data is presented in real time on the App and Web Portal, and provides guidance on selecting the best filters for your operating environment, so you can ensure the efficiency of your air delivery system and the safety of your building occupants.
- The outcome that we want to achieve is that you can understand and take control of the air you breathe, and help keep yourself, your family and your building occupants healthy.
What is the advanced technology used by OurAir?
Customizable, Scalable, Global
- OurAir is a customizable, client-ready solution that enables organizations to monitor, improve and manage filtration solution from a centralized platform.
- It is fully integrated with IOT solutions on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and utilizes AWS Lambda and AWS IOT platform services.
- Our platform acts as an ecosystem that brings maximized scalability with multi-cloud environment and global capability.
Cutting-edge IOT technology
- Real-time data powered with actionable dashboards and domain-specific visualization for asset management purposes.
- Our user-friendly designed APIs supports integration to end-to-end security for sensor data and device management.
- Pushes out alerts and actionable insights through the data collected, and provides recommendations through our patented eco16 program, where it finds a sweet spot where the filtration system supplies a safe level of air quality but at the lowest possible energy demand.
- Our top-notch and award-winning air quality sensors comes with industrial protocols and backhaul WAN technologies. One of the recent awards that we won was the prestigious AirparifAirlab award in Paris, France, for our SPS208 sensor, beating 19 other competitors.
- Our air quality sensors and the data provided are certified by a well-regarded certification system RESETTM, the only one globally that provides certification of devices and real-time data, providing the assurance that the air quality is indeed better in operations, and not just at design and construction stage.
What has been the response from the Indian Market so far?
Prior to OurAir Launch in Sept,18-Low awareness, and lack of information. Generally, the awareness of indoor air quality issues was low. This is attributed to:
- Low media coverage of indoor air pollution issues.
- Lack of understanding of how outdoor air pollution causes indoor air pollution.
- The misconception that rudimentary measures e.g. closing the windows, will improve air quality
As outdoor pollution is frequently reported, there is some basic understanding of air quality issues such as the Air Quality Index. However, once you scratch past the surface, general public do not have much knowledge of the different aspects of pollutants. For instance:
- Particulate matter (PM), also known as fine dust, refers to the size of particles in units of µm. The risk for humans is eye, nose, and throat irritation, breathing difficulties, lung irritation, asthma, weakened immune system, increased risk of stroke and heart disease.
- Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs). The risk for humans is irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes, damage to the liver and kidneys, allergic skin reactions, respiratory issues, probable carcinogen
- VOC: organic chemicals emitted by solids or liquids, e.g. hydrocarbons, alcohols and organic acids.
- Formaldehyde – a type of VOC used in building materials and many everyday products.
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2): World Health Organization recommends 1000 parts per million (ppm) as an acceptable limit, and healthy range is around 600 – 800 ppm. Elevated levels of CO2 affects cognitive ability, productivity and encourages mold and bacteria growth, which is harmful for respiratory health.
However, initial responses are very encouraging since our launch in Sep 2018
- Based on our strawpoll results, even highly educated corporate employees do not know what the air quality is and how it will affect his health. Even in our national capital Delhi, theworld’smostpollutedcity, people do not wear mask while commuting in roads. This is indicative of either a severe lack of awareness or increasingly, indifference due to the inability to take action at the individual level.
- We believe that individuals can take action, and when we bring the OurAir solution to our customers, the responses are often jaw-dropping:
- Know: Through our interactive touch screen air quality monitors, our users are able to see the actual quality of their indoor air, in real time. They are often keen to find out more about how the rest of their spaces perform, whether it is at home or at work. Through this data, they are empowered to take action.
- Improve: Through our filtration solution and providing data on the actual filtration performance, users are able to see and experience how much better their air can be.
- Manage: Due to its superior user interface, even technicians on the ground can easily use the platform and manage the filtration system through our platform. It informs them of when the filters need to be changed, and what kind of filters to use in order to optimize cost, energy consumption and performance.
What are you’ll looking to achieve from the Indian Market in 2019?
Increasing awareness and empowering people to take action
- We are planning a number of education seminars to raise the awareness about indoor air quality at the workplace; and also general awareness about air quality, the health impacts and also solutions to overcome some of these air quality issues – which can be implemented quickly, deliver effective results and are highly cost-competitive.
- We are currently targeting the most polluted metropolitan cities in India, e.g. Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Based on today’s (11 Dec) results, AQI in the various cities show that ground-up action is sorely needed.
- In these cities, some of the groups that we are focusing on areKnowledge workers (commercial interiors), Tourists (Hotels), School children (schools)
What prompted you to introduce this product in the Indian Market?
Outdoor air pollution grabs the headlines, but indoor air pollution is deadlier
- Air pollution is the fourth greatest cause of death worldwide, with 92% of the world’s population breathing air deemed unsafe by the World Health Organization.
- But while outside air pollution grabs most of the headlines, the air we breathe inside can be much more harmful. And most people in India spend around 90% of our time indoors, those places we feel safest may not be as healthy as they seem.
India needs better air. Indian cities frequently top the rankings for air pollution: Delhi is the most polluted city in the world, followed closely by Mumbai at number 4.Indoor air pollution in India is 2x higher than outdoor air pollution, and this has a tremendous impact on health, wellbeing and productivity. As the Indian market develops and consumer demands more sophisticated, we see an increased interest in health issues. Air quality issues should take centre stage, particularly since we drink 2-3 litres of water, but breathe 15,000 litres of air every day.