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Home » Integrated Air Solutions gains traction in the railway sector

Integrated Air Solutions gains traction in the railway sector

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Graham Russell, GiGi CEO and CEE managing director, Gavin Acar, shake hands on signing the deal. Image credit: GiGi
Graham Russell, GiGi CEO and CEE managing director, Gavin Acar, shake hands on signing the deal. Image credit: GiGi

Compressed air systems specialists, Integrated Air Solutions, are proud to announce the appointment of Compressor & Engine Engineering (CEE) as their exclusive distributor for the ELGi compressor range that is tailored specifically to the local railway industry and allied sectors.

Established by Johannesburg based GiGi Investments in 2017, Integrated Air Solutions is the exclusive regional sales and service partner in South Africa for ELGi Equipment, including electric and diesel-driven compressors. Incorporating advanced technologies that optimise performance, reliability and efficiency, these machines deliver best-in-class total cost of ownership (TCO).

“The premium ELGi brand positions us as one of the country’s leading suppliers of quality air solutions to an extremely wide range of market sectors including mining, construction, engineering, cement, pharmaceutical, automotive, food & beverage, agri-processing, water well as well as oil & gas exploration,” notes Graham Russell, GiGi CEO.

ELGi also offers a range of air compressors that are specially designed and engineered for the railway industry which Integrated Air Solutions is looking to introduce to the local market. These top-quality machines, which include compressors suitable for diesel and electric locomotives, supply air for a variety of applications including the powering of braking systems and the positioning of pantographs on the roofs of electric trains. “Globally renowned for their robustness and reliability, these compressors are designed to meet the harsh conditions typical of the rail environment,” states Integrated Air Solutions managing director, Wayne Jacobs. “Compressors fitted on the under carriage for example, have to be particularly rugged in order to withstand punishing conditions such as high temperatures, vibration and dust.”

“As the railway sector is a new market for us, we decided that our best route to market would be to partner with a like-minded company that has a well-established reputation and in-depth experience in this segment,” comments Graham. “CEE, one of our long-standing customers, proved to be just such a company that ticked all the right boxes.” Spearheaded by managing director, Gavin Acar, and founded by Gavin’s father, Leigh Acar, in 1989, CEE is a leading manufacturer and refurbisher of components for the locomotives industry. Both Graham and Gavin, as successful entrepreneurs, recognised the mutual advantages of a partnership between their two companies.

From humble beginnings in a small Boksburg factory on Johannesburg’s East Rand, the early years saw the CEE family business engineer compressed air components, specialising in reciprocating compressors. Following a R2.5-million investment in new offices and a showroom at the Boksburg facility, CEE is today a leading supplier of tailor-made air solutions to large and medium-sized organisations across Southern Africa’s private and government sectors.

Gavin attributes the company’s success to their ability to conduct 80% of their engineering requirements in-house. “Moreover, we have adapted our capabilities and product and service solutions to keep in step with evolving technologies.”

CEE specialises in the refurbishment, repair, maintenance and sale of locomotive compressor and vacuum systems for trains operating on mines. The Compressor Division focuses on the sales, service and repair of all makes of rotary screw, rotary vane and reciprocating compressors. “Our turnkey air services also extend to installation and commissioning, scheduled maintenance programmes, compressed air requirement analysis, compressor room layouts and piping installation,” affirms Gavin. The manufacturing of locomotive and vacuum brake components as well as the refurbishment of diesel compressors is handled by the Engineering Division. The company also houses a Filtration and Locomotive division.

“Gavin and his highly experienced and accomplished team share our passion for offering quality products supported by excellent service,” says Wayne. “Starting out as an artisan on the shop floor, Gavin has a fantastic hands-on approach, sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience. With CEE’s proven reputation, solid track-record and wide footprint across Southern Africa, we are confident that we have partnered with the right company with all the necessary capabilities to springboard us into the rail segment.”

Highlighting a further value add for the distributor partnership Wayne says, “Certain ELGi compressor parts and spares are interchangeable with non-ELGi machines, giving us a definite market edge. If an air compressor has reached its end-of-life, CEE is able to offer the customer a brand new ELGi machine, a win-win for both companies!”

Weighing in on the new distributor agreement which was signed in September 2022, Gavin notes, “Alongside our excellent long-standing relationship with Graham and his professional team, ELGi is a world-class brand that we can offer to our customers with confidence.”

“We are fully on-board with this new partnership which has put us on track to secure a foothold in the railway sector and we look forward to a long and mutually prosperous future with CEE,” concludes Graham.

CEE will initially hold stock of fast moving and critical machines and components with the possibility of future expansion as determined by emerging trends. The skilled CEE team is responsible for all maintenance and repairs of ELGi Rail compressors.