Tag Archives: Booyco Engineering

BOOYCO ENGINEERING’S COMMITMENT TO CSI MORE THAN JUST A TICK BOX

The commitment to Corporate Social Investment (CSI) should go beyond mere compliance and obligatory tick boxes, according to Brenton Spies, Managing Director of Booyco Engineering. According to Spies, the company has entrenched a genuine focus on lending substantive support to non-profit organisations dedicated to uplifting women and girls, forming a central part of Booyco Engineering’s corporate ethos.

For several years, Booyco Engineering has contributed significantly to the Frida Hartley Shelter located in Yeoville, Johannesburg. The shelter serves as a haven for homeless women and their children, who often bear the scars of neglect, abuse, trauma and incessant hardships of life on the streets. It also supports women who have lost employment, young homeless mothers striving for a fresh start and individuals navigating through financial turmoil due to retrenchment or unemployment.

Spies says that the Frida Hartley Shelter is not just a shelter; it is a platform for empowerment and renewal. The non-profit organisation offers more than just accommodation. Women at the shelter receive crucial psycho-social support, employment assistance and access to training programmes designed to equip them with skills for a better future. Further and importantly, the shelter ensures children accompanying their mothers receive proper nutrition and childcare. This provision allows mothers to focus on job-hunting and rebuilding their lives without undue stress.

Aligned with its own goal of facilitating skills development and learning, Booyco Engineering extends its support to other non-profit organisations concentrating on tertiary education. The company particularly backs educational initiatives that align with its business operations, thereby creating a synergy between its corporate goals and social investment endeavours.

“This strategic approach not only fosters a knowledgeable and skilled workforce but also ensures that the beneficiaries are aptly prepared for employment opportunities within and beyond Booyco Engineering,” Spies says.

Booyco Engineering’s CSI goes beyond mere token gestures of support, and the company is engaged deeply and sincerely with its beneficiary organisations, mirroring a commitment that is both strategic and heartfelt.

“By supporting organisations like Frida Hartley Shelter, we can not only provide immediate relief to women and children in distress but also invest in the long-term development and empowerment of individuals who have been marginalised and disadvantaged” he continues.

The alliance with Frida Hartley Shelter and other similar organisations reflects the company’s vision of a corporate identity that is deeply intertwined with social upliftment and empowerment, making a significant impact where it truly matters. This dual focus on immediate aid and sustainable development underscores Booyco Engineering’s approach to corporate social responsibility – an approach that is both responsible and visionary.

SA COAL MINER PRIORITISES UPTIME WITH BOOYCO HVAC MAN-ON-SITE CONTRACT

Keeping its mobile equipment operators comfortable in hot, cold or dusty conditions is a priority for a South African coal miner, so it has renewed its man-on-site HVAC maintenance contract with Booyco Engineering for another three years.

According to Booyco Engineering Managing Director Brenton Spies, the performance of HVAC systems is operationally and legally critical for companies wanting to optimise their uptime and production levels. Regular maintenance by specialised technicians can make sure that mobile equipment owners can achieve this vital goal, says Spies. 

“The conditions on many South African mines are demanding – especially the variations in temperature and the high levels of dust,” he says. “For this reason, the law requires that working conditions do not present any physical hazards to operators – including extreme temperatures.”

He highlights that underperforming HVAC equipment can result in a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act – as driver cabs have extensive window space for improved visibility. This exposes operators to considerable heat in summer, he explains, and cold in winter – as the windows provide little insulation from ambient temperatures outside.

“Our man-on-site contract with this surface coal mining operation gives the customer three of our trained and experienced technicians – with vehicles – who work on the mine site to ensure ongoing maintenance is conducted,” says Spies. “This includes maintenance of the equipment’s air conditioners at intervals of 500 hours, 1,000 hours, 2,000 hours and 4,000 hours.”

Regular cleaning of HVAC systems is also important, as mines are dusty environments where these installations can be quickly blocked up by fine particles. Cleaning ensures not only better machine uptime, but also prolongs the lifespan of the HVAC system.

“In addition to the valuable preventative maintenance that the man-on-site arrangement allows, the technicians can also attend to any unexpected HVAC breakdowns on production equipment,” he explains. “To comply with strict health and safety regulations on mines, these technicians have passed all the mine’s medical requirements and have pit licences to drive their vehicles to where they are required – without undue delay.”

The technicians on the contract have more than 15 years of collective experience with the company, and are equipped with necessary Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Academy (ACRA) accreditations, as well as being certified for the safe handling of gases. They are also provided with the lifecycle analysis of each component in the HVAC systems on site, to enhance the impact and efficiency of their work.

“By having a specialist on site, a mine has someone who can focus on the HVAC aspects of the mission critical mobile equipment,” concludes Spies. “This allows the mine to focus on the business of mining.”

HVAC SERVICE AGREEMENTS CAN DRIVE DOWN TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP

When the productive uptime of capital equipment is compromised by HVAC failure, a primary casualty is the machine’s total cost of ownership (TCO) – making regular servicing a vital investment.

With strict health and safety regulations, even faulty air conditioners can bring work to a standstill, points out Booyco Engineering managing director Brenton Spies. The answer, says Spies, is regular and quality maintenance planned in advance and conducted by skills technicians. 

“On mining or earthmoving sites – where temperatures can be extreme and dust is an ever-present factor – it is regulated that an operator’s cab must be comfortable,” he explains. “This means that when an HVAC system goes down, there is a real possibility that conditions become unconducive to safe work. The operator can stop work, and this can seriously affect productivity.”

To avoid such circumstances, Booyco Engineering not only supplies custom-engineered HVAC solutions for these trucks, but can also maintain and service them regularly. The company offers a maintenance agreement – also known as a ‘man on site’ – which dedicates the necessary skills and experience to the customer’s equipment. 

“With our ‘man on site’ service, we can also offer customers an extended warranty on our equipment, as we feel confident that it is receiving the necessary attention,” he says. “We know from our own experience that Booyco Engineering’s HVAC units can last 20 years or more when they are well looked after.”

He notes that a five year warranty on any equipment used in the mining sector is generally unheard of; however, the company has been known to offer such warranties for HVAC equipment in mining vehicles if there is a Booyco Engineering maintenance programme in place. 

When the company designs its products, it develops the optimal schedules for replacement of certain components, according to Grant Miller, executive director at Booyco Engineering. These schedules also set out the intervals for service interventions. 

“This is specifically designed for the customer to achieve the lowest TCO from these units, but the designated work does need to be conducted timeously – and by a specialised technician,” says Miller. “We can therefore put the required skills and equipment on site, depending on the customer’s fleet size.”

Building on its depth of technical expertise, Booyco Engineering has introduced a learnership scheme for field technicians to support its pipeline of skills. Taking young technicians after their college courses, they are given 12 months of intensive theoretical and on-site training in the company’s HVAC range. 

“This kind of initiative gives us the skills foundation from which to grow our technicians; we can therefore offer customers maintenance contracts on a range of HVAC installations,” he says. “Most mines have HVAC systems on trucks and vehicles, but some also need support on HVAC for rail locomotives.”

An important aspect of the company’s service is its compliance with the necessary health and safety requirements on mines – making it quicker and easier to get staff onto site and operational. With onerous compliance to achieve a ‘pit licence’, it often takes time to new entrants to be allowed to attend to a vehicle in the mining area. 

The interventions within a maintenance agreement are planned to fit in with the customer’s work programme so that there is as little disruption as possible. Booyco Engineering has recently rationalised its product offering so that HVAC units can be deployed over multiple vehicle types. This has allowed a streamlining of the stockholding strategy, so that lead times can be reduced. 

“All in all, our maintenance contracts ensure that customers can achieve the lowest TCO on their high value mining trucks by planning and budgeting in advance for servicing HVAC units,” he says. “In this way, the TCO can be driven down by ensuring a longer operating life, while also avoiding costly downtime undermines the trucks’ ability to generate value.”

BOOYCO ENGINEERING RAISES THE BAR IN AIR FILTRATION ON DUSTY SITES

Catering for the increased focus on the environmental aspects of surface mining, quarrying and construction, there are now enhanced options available for air filtration on mining and earthmoving equipment.

Well known for its specialised mobile HVAC solutions, Germiston-based Booyco Engineering is now a distributor for Sy-Klone International’s air filtration technology. According to Booyco Engineering’s Field Services Sales Manager Gordon Postma, this brings a range of exciting products to its local customers. The Sy-Klone offerings include enclosed cab filtration, air precleaning for engines and high efficiency air filtration for heavy equipment.

Sy-Klone products can withstand extreme environments, reducing operator exposure to harmful particulates and extending engine life.
Sy-Klone products can withstand extreme environments, reducing operator exposure to harmful particulates and extending engine life.

“We can offer customers a complete cab air quality system that includes both fresh air and recirculated air systems combined with high-efficiency HEPA and EPA filtration as well as real-time CO2 and pressure monitoring,” says Postma.

“Tighter international standards – embodied in the ISO 23875 global standard for cab air quality – are leading the world’s major mining companies to adopt better air quality control systems for their heavy machinery cabs and other operator enclosures,” he explains. “The trend is also being felt in southern Africa, as mining and construction companies look for more effective dust control solutions.”

RESPA cab air quality systems, available from Booyco Engineering, ensure fresh and recirculated clean air and include a pressure/CO2 monitor making these ISO 23875 compliant.
RESPA cab air quality systems, available from Booyco Engineering, ensure fresh and recirculated clean air and include a pressure/CO2 monitor making these ISO 23875 compliant.

The new ISO standard will require machine cabs to have a fresh air pressurisation solution, a recirculation system and a monitoring device, he points out. They will also need to be fitted with filtration that exceeds 94% efficiency at 0.3 microns, such as Sy-Klone’s EPA and HEPA filters. Many mining and earthmoving vehicles and equipment are imported with filtration systems that are not suited for the region’s dry and dusty conditions.

“Sy-Klone solutions can be retro-fitted onto vehicles and equipment to provide unsurpassed levels of protection and be in compliance with emerging standards,” says Postma. “Higher levels of filtration also support the safety of machine users, promoting operator alertness and improving productivity.”

The South African market now has easy access to Sy-Klone's RESPA solutions which are suitable for both large and small machines.
The South African market now has easy access to Sy-Klone’s RESPA solutions which are suitable for both large and small machines.

He highlights that the Sy-Klone distributorship is a natural fit with Booyco Engineering’s HVAC specialisation and experience – as more effective filtration for the cab also enhances the performance and lifespan of the air conditioning system.

“This collaboration allows us to offer an even more comprehensive solution to our customers’ needs, harnessing the latest technology to meet rising global standards,” he concludes.

ROBUST HVAC SYSTEMS FOR MINING, EARTHMOVING NOW ON SHORTER LEAD TIMES

With a solid reputation for built-to-order heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems for mobile mining and earthmoving equipment, Booyco Engineering has now cut the lead time on these systems in line with trends in mining. 

“The market has shifted, and mines can no longer afford any downtime on the HVAC units in their mining trucks and other earthmoving equipment,” says Grant Miller, Executive Director at Booyco Engineering. “Our strategy has kept pace with a standard HVAC range that is available at short notice.”

Miller highlights the stringent health and safety environment in mining, where it is mandatory to provide a comfortable working environment for operators. In open pit operations in hot areas of the country, it is not unusual for temperatures to rise above 40 degrees Celsius, he notes. 

“The impact of an HVAC system failing under these conditions can be significant, as it could take the entire vehicle out of the operation cycle,” he says. “The negative effect on production – perhaps even triggering penalties for contractors – invariably has financial consequences much more serious than the cost of cooling the operator’s cab.”

Booyco Engineering is well known for the cooling performance and long lifespan of its HVAC units, and customers are sure to appreciate not having to compromise on their expectations when procuring units under time pressure. 

An advantage for customers is the standard range of HVAC systems being produced by Booyco Engineering.
An advantage for customers is the standard range of HVAC systems being produced by Booyco Engineering.

“We have applied strategies to ensure that the same levels of engineering excellence are applied to each HVAC unit that we supply,” he says. “Unlike many imported products, our units are designed and manufactured to facilitate regular and ongoing maintenance – which makes them very reliable and extends their life well beyond what customers expect from most of our competitors.”

Going forward, Booyco Engineering will maintain a stockholding of fast moving spare parts allowing ready access which is especially relevant for customers with larger earthmoving fleets and will reduce lead times. The standard HVAC units come in a modular integrated format as well as split systems, to suit a wide range of mobile equipment. Depending on the application, the integrated unit is available with either an engine-driven compressor or a 24VDC electric compressor. Booyco Engineering’s trained and experienced service teams are there to install and maintain the units, and the company can also provide a ‘man on site’ package to oversee HVAC maintenance and repair.

BOOYCO ENGINEERING’S BUSHCOOLER SAVES MINES COSTLY DOWNTIME

Replacing large non-ferrous alloy bushes in mining equipment like cone crushers can be time consuming and expensive, but Booyco Engineering’s Bush Cooler provides an innovative solution to this challenge, and can be purchased or rented under certain conditions.

Specialists in custom engineered industrial HVAC systems, Booyco Engineering developed the mobile Booyco Bush Cooler so that mines could conduct the bush cooling process cost effectively and safely on site. This process traditionally makes use of liquid nitrogen – a hazardous chemical – or dry ice, which must be purchased specifically for each use, and transported to site on often significant lead times. In contrast, the Bush Cooler can be quickly put to use as often as it is needed. When purchased outright, it is estimated that the cost of the Bush Cooler will be recouped in its first usage.

According to Grant Miller, Executive Director at Booyco Engineering, the Bush Cooler can be trailer or skid mounted, and can even be fitted down a shaft for underground use. This innovation could also be used by manufacturers of crushers, when fitting bushes to new equipment.

“Our dual stage cooling technology will cool the bush in the Bush Cooler’s chiller to minus 40 degrees Celsius in just six hours, even in ambient temperatures as high as 40 degrees,” says Miller. “This provides a much safer, more convenient and cost effective process than the conventional use of liquid nitrogen or dry ice, especially since the Bush Cooler obviates the need for consumable expenditure every time.”

Booyco Engineering developed the mobile Booyco Bush Cooler so that mines could conduct the bush cooling process cost effectively and safely on site.
Booyco Engineering developed the mobile Booyco Bush Cooler so that mines could conduct the bush cooling process cost effectively and safely on site.

With a chiller area measuring 1,2 metres in each direction, users can cool large bushes measuring up to 1 metre in length and 1 metre in diameter, with a wall thickness of 20-30 mm. The bush is lowered into the cooling box through a hatch, which is then closed for the cooling phase.

In its trailer mounted configuration, the Booyco Bush Cooler has a total mass of about 1 300 kg and can be towed by a light utility vehicle. The trailer is fitted with a jockey wheel to facilitate manual parking, and stabilisers are provided at each corner to enable the user to level and stabilise the cooler irrespective of the underfoot conditions.

Replacing large non-ferrous alloy bushes in mining equipment like cone crushers can be time consuming and expensive, but Booyco Engineering’s Bush Cooler provides an innovative solution to this challenge.
Replacing large non-ferrous alloy bushes in mining equipment like cone crushers can be time consuming and expensive, but Booyco Engineering’s Bush Cooler provides an innovative solution to this challenge.

The cooling system uses the internationally accepted, ozone friendly R507 refrigerant. The main electrical housing and controls are easily accessible on the side of the unit, and all components are secured in place, including copper pipes and electrical harnesses, using pipe retaining clamps and straps to prevent chafing, fatigue and abrasion during transportation.

COAL MINE TURNS TO BOOYCO ENGINEERING FOR LOCO HVAC SOLUTION

A leading South African coal producer will be supplied with Booyco Engineering’s purpose-designed heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for its 8E locomotives.

The order is for six of these specialised HVAC units, to be manufactured and installed by Booyco Engineering, says the company’s managing director Brenton Spies.

“We first developed an HVAC system for this class of locomotive almost 20 years ago, and we have supplied close to 100 units to South Africa’s main freight rail operator,” says Spies. “They have certainly stood the test of time. With regular maintenance, they have shown how  well they perform over many years.”

Designed and manufactured in-house at Booyco Engineering’s Germiston facilities, the 8E HVAC units are equipped to withstand the harsh conditions of rail and mine-site applications – including shock, vibrations and dust. The 8E locomotive was first released in the early 1980s, with a design that did not include air conditioning equipment for the operator’s cab.

“When HVAC systems became a requirement, locomotive owners soon realised that the rail environment was too harsh for conventional, off-the-shelf commercial systems,” he says. “To achieve the reliable performance and longevity that was expected, a special design was required which was initially installed in 2003.”

For this new order, Booyco Engineering has modernised the initial 8E HVAC system design to incorporate various technological improvements. These include a more energy efficient refrigerant compressor, updated electrical switchgear to railway rated versions and upgraded heating capacity, he notes. Judging from the company’s extensive experience in the rail industry, however, there are still companies operating in this sector that are not fully aware of the physical demands and harsh environment that rail transport places on HVAC systems.

“Air conditioning systems that are designed for use in buildings, for instance, are still sometimes installed in locomotives – but they seldom last more than a few months, if not weeks,” he explains. “Some of these do not even last a single trip on a long distance train journey, such is the intensity of the vibration and shocks.”

Booyco Engineering has built its reputation on decades of experience – designing and manufacturing bespoke engineered solutions for a range of specific applications in different sectors, explains Grant Miller, executive director at Booyco Engineering.

“In the South African rail sector, there are also space constraints to consider when designing for locomotives, due to our narrow-gauge rail specifications,” says Miller. “Our internal design capacity allows us to develop and test solutions that are fit for purpose.”

This includes designing for uncommon voltages which are not ideal for many electrical components, he notes, as well as coping with significant voltage fluctuations. Regulations governing health and safety, – both in the mining and rail sectors – now also make it vital that HVAC systems are both effective and reliable. These requirements are in place to avoid any safety incident from occurring as a result of an unconducive working environment, he explains.

This includes designing for uncommon voltages which are not ideal for transformers, he notes, as well as coping with significant voltage fluctuations. Regulations governing health and safety, , – both in the mining and rail sectors – now also make it vital that HVAC systems are both effective and reliable. These requirements are in place to avoid any safety incident from occurring as a result of an unconducive working environment, he explains.

“HVAC’s are classified as a type A Hazard and should there be a lack of cooling in an operator’s cab, this could lead to an operator being entitled to stop work,” he says. “The cost of an ineffective or faulty HVAC system would then be measured not simply in repair or replacement costs, but in terms of vastly more costly downtime and general operational disruption.”

Key to Booyco Engineering’s ability to delivery world-class quality solutions is its conformity to ISO 9001:2015 – and its approval by several OEM railway equipment companies. Each design undergoes stringent type testing to Booyco Engineering’s internal standards and to customer specifications. Systematic quality checks are also conducted through a detailed build process, followed by comprehensive production testing.

HVAC LEADER TAKES HIGH-TECH APPROACH TO PROTOTYPING

Decades of experience have combined with leading edge software to give Booyco Engineering world-class rapid prototyping capability.

Known best for its customised heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) systems, it has embraced technology to meet global standards. According to Brenton Spies, managing director at Booyco Engineering, simulation software is a key asset.

Booyco Engineering’s CFD simulation to balance flow rates out of louvres in a vehicles ducting.
Booyco Engineering’s CFD simulation to balance flow rates out of louvres in a vehicles ducting.

“In the past, the conventional practice in product development was to build a physical prototype and then put it through a series of tests,” says Spies. “Often, these tests would lead to the rebuilding of new prototypes – to progressively remove the weaknesses we discovered by testing.”

The company has invested over R10 million in specialised Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software. These are used for modelling factors such as the strength of components, structure-borne vibration, and airflow and heat distribution inside its HVACs and conditioned spaces.

“These resources allow us to run simulations and iron out most of the issues before we even build a prototype,” he says. “The simulations cut down significantly on the time taken by the traditional ‘trial and error’ route in developing solutions for customers, allowing us to get product to the customer faster, saving both time and money.”

This capacity has led to Booyco Engineering becoming an approved supplier to global rail OEMs. Grant Miller, executive director at Booyco Engineering, explains how the company became the first South African supplier to locally manufacture a cooling tower for electric locomotives. Working within the customer’s demanding framework of specifications and standards, the value added by the software was vital to the successful outcome.

“We developed our initial prototype design, which was then systematically verified against the customer specifications using CFD or FEA simulations to ensure the design was producing the expected results,” says Miller.

Only then was a physical test conducted. This test, he says, was almost a formality – to verify the calculations and simulations.

“For the cooling tower we designed and built, we physically vibration-tested the components but not the actual structure,” he says. “This was because the structure weighed about a ton and a half. But we could conduct a detailed FEA to verify the structure, which satisfied the customer’s requirements.”

This approach is proved by the fact that this cooling tower has successfully operated on an electric locomotive since 2016 with no structural failures.

LOCAL HVAC EXPERT WORKS TO GLOBAL RAIL STANDARDS

While Booyco Engineering has been designing HVAC systems for South Africa’s rail industry for over three decades, it has also been serving the world’s largest rail players for more than 15 years by meeting their exacting standards including design, development, qualification and documentation.

“Having developed HVAC systems for the defence and mining sector, we understand the requirements for designing and manufacturing products for harsh operating conditions,” says Grant Miller, executive director at Booyco Engineering. “Our customised HVAC solutions for the local rail sector were based on our proven expertise.”

About 15 years ago, the company raised the bar even further working with the large rail multi-nationals based in Europe, the US and China. Its local office of engineers and designers began aligning its engineering design and development processes with international rail industry standards.

“When South Africa’s rail utility started to move towards a more standards-driven approach, we ensured we were up to speed with all the standards and specifications that the world’s leading players required,” says Miller. “This meant that we were already familiar with the way of working required to meet  the demanding standards specified by multi-national rail companies.”

This includes conducting extensive vibration and shock testing, airborne and structure borne noise testing, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing, and high and low temperature and humidity cycling testing specifically to the standards of the rail sector. To fully leverage its expertise, Booyco Engineering’s in-house resources include over R8 million worth of specialised Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software for modelling factors such as the strength of components and structure-borne vibration.

“For instance, these tools allow us to demonstrate to rail companies that our HVAC systems will not transmit vibrations, which could create resonance in the train’s structure,” he says. “Our digital design verification using CFD and FEA allows us to ensure that the physical tests conducted are more or less a formality, saving both time and money.”

Among the global rail standards against which Booyco Engineering has qualified its HVAC products are EN14750 thermal comfort in urban and suburban rolling stock, EN14813 thermal comfort in driving cabs, EN13129 thermal comfort in main line rolling stock, EN61373 for shock and vibration tests, EN15085 for welding qualification, EN50155 for the electronic equipment qualification and EN50121 for EMC compliance testing, all of which are standards developed specifically for the rail industry.

Once the big global players could see the company’s level of professionalism and conformity with the highest standards, it was also asked to design a cooling tower for an electric locomotive. To date, it is the only South African firm which has successfully designed and manufactured this equipment locally, adding significantly to the railway’s South African local content targets.

“Stepping down and converting the catenary voltage in a locomotive generates considerable heat of up to 400 kW,” he says. “Our cooling tower design is capable of effectively ejecting that heat in a +50°C ambient through the radiators at an airflow rate of 10 cubic metres per second.”

He highlights that the cooling tower order was another important indicator of the company’s extensive local design and manufacturing capacity, placing it in a strong position to serve the country’s needs while meeting global industry standards.

HOT OR COLD, KEEP HVAC RELIABLE WITH GOOD MAINTENANCE

Reliable air conditioning systems in large mobile equipment on mines, quarries and bulk earthworks sites can make the difference between profit and loss; it all comes down to good maintenance, according to Booyco Engineering.

Weather and humidity can be extreme in many parts of southern Africa, with temperatures fluctuating from minus 10 degrees to 40 degrees Celsius, and humidity levels reaching 95%. Booyco Engineering managing director Brenton Spies says these factors, combined with harsh operating conditions on remote sites, raise the risk of unexpected work stoppages.

“Not only do these conditions place heavy demands on climate control systems, they can also seriously undermine productivity when these systems fail,” says Spies. 

He highlights that in many situations an operator is entitled to ‘down tools’ if environmental conditions in the cab are not conducive to health and safety. 

“This means that the whole operation is dependent on functional and efficient air conditioning,” he says. “Achieving this through regular and professional maintenance is not difficult, but many companies do not give this work the priority that it deserves.”

He disputes that it is a financial issue, because the actual cost of good maintenance pales into insignificance compared to the cost – and reputational risk – associated with load and haul equipment standing idle during an unplanned breakdown. Something as simple as a clogged filter presents a safety risk, and keeping it clean minimises the risk of fire, short circuits and malfunctions.

“Avoiding downtime is not the only reason for conducting scheduled maintenance,” he notes. “Well-maintained air conditioning equipment is also more energy efficient – so it delivers ongoing savings to the operation while performing better for the operator.”

It also adds to the life of the air conditioner, reducing overall cost of ownership. When this equipment is maintained properly, argues Spies, it can last up to 15 years. 

The key is to engage the right skills and experience to conduct the work, and to have a plan in place to ensure it is carried out regularly. This requires a technician qualified to work on pressurised refrigerant systems, who understands how these systems are best applied in harsh working conditions.

“Booyco Engineering has decades of experience in designing and building these climate control systems from the ground up – customised for specific applications,” he says. “This puts us in a unique position to support and maintain this equipment through its life cycle.”

The company has a range of maintenance offerings. A monthly service involves cleaning of return and fresh air filters, checking for leaks and functional HVAC testing, while a bi-monthly service also includes blowing out the condenser coil. In a three-monthly service, a chemical cleaning of the condenser is done, as well as checking of wiring, fasteners, V-belt tension, gas leaks and refrigerant pressures. In an annual service, a compressor oil level check is added, and a chemical cleaning of the evaporator coil.

“We can provide service level agreements for customers, after surveying their equipment and advising on the appropriate maintenance schedule,” he says. “We offer all customers a 24/7 service, 365 days a year, with response time of just 12 hours where there is not an MOS in place.”