PlasmaMades’ investments show results
“Our new motor will become the only motor hoods need”
Innovations can have a major impact, even when they concern invisible components like filters for cooking hoods. PlasmaMade in The Netherlands recently introduced an extremely small filter that could surprise the market in terms of technology and usability. “This may be the only motor that the kitchen market still needs.”
PlasmaMade is doing well, says owner Martin van der Sluis, who runs the company with his wife Janita. The production of filters is rapidly growing and while PlasmaMade sold 15.000 filters in 2016, this amount is expected to increase to 25.000 this year.
This growth is mainly thanks to the rising export figures. PlasmaMade filters are currently being sold in 27 countries. Germany shows the strongest increase in sales, followed closely by Scandinavia and other Western European countries. Also Switzerland and Austria prove to be fans of PlasmaMade. The reason that these countries embrace the product is probably due to the pressure from the European and local governments to seek more environmentally friendly solutions in the building industry.
“Our newest innovation, a much smaller filter combined with the new EBM motor, fits perfectly into sustainable building requirements. In terms of energy consumption and emissions the motor stays within the standards for building a house according to the standardized energy performance coefficient (EPC)”, explains Van der Sluis. “This is a very significant fact because the Dutch government is putting pressure on EPC. This alone is enough for trade media in the building and interior design industry to give us quite a lot of attention.”
Keep it simple
Van der Sluis doesn’t worry himself about the potential expansion of his company. ‘Keep it simple’ seems to be his motto. After all these years PlasmaMade is still using the same sales method with only five different fixed prices for the total retail industry. For distributers in new countries the rule is: they don’t have to sign contracts but receive a contribution for marketing the product in the first three years. But they only receive this if they invest the same amount themselves. This way they show their commitment to the brand and generate a sufficient marketing budget.
“Initially we don’t talk much about sales numbers. We understand our filter is a new product and that is always difficult to sell. We never know exactly how a country is going to respond to it and that’s why we give a local market some time to get to know the PlasmaMade filter.”
The new, compact motor PlasmaMade is now introducing can help the company accelerate. Martin’s brother Kenny van der Sluis is fully occupied with designing the engine and the filter. He emphasises: “This is an exciting moment. This motor can cause a breakthrough.”
The new model has been developed in partnership with EBM Papst, one of Europe’s largest motor suppliers, turning out more than 20 million motors per year for the extractor hood industry.
The result of the cooperation is a small engine with a suction capacity of only 300 m3 per hour, which still achieves the same efficiency as its larger predecessors. The hood will work just as well as its larger counterparts.
Martin Van de Sluis explains what the benefits of this engine are. “First, this model consumes much less energy, which means that architects can include it in their EPC calculation. It goes without saying that smaller models use fewer resources and besides this we solely make use of fully recyclable materials. Last but not least: the motor is smaller and therefore fits in more types of cooking hoods.”
The new engine can turn around its axis. This implies that manufactures can use it both horizontally and vertically. And this makes the motor suitable for both ceiling and wall fixed hoods.
“There are sixteen different types of motors in the market for all types and sizes of hoods. We can replace them all with our new version. In short, our new engine will be the only engine manufacturers need.
“EBM Papst has predicted a sales of 10,000 units a year. But that seems to us to be too modest. You see, the engine in combination with our smaller filter is also very good at removing particulate matter, which is a very hot topic.
Baking three hamburgers in olive oil produces just as much micro dust as ten old timers running on diesel. Politicians are already addressing this in Dutch parliament. We provide a solution for this with our new engine and PlasmaMade filter, which fit in all types of suction hoods. Because of this we expect a very sharp increase in sales.”
PlasmaMade has also updated the software of the motor. A big green sticker on the casing makes this known. “This sticker tells that the power consumption has been decreased by fifty percent, the standby time is shorter, the filter cleans the air more efficient, the calibration has been improved, and that the motor has become even safer.”
The PlasmaMade filters are equipped with a thoroughly tested OACS (Ozone Active Control System) and IACS (ionization active control system). They are completely recyclable and made of recycled materials.
Van der Sluis is proud of what his company has achieved. “We’ve been working on this product for one and a half year, and it means a lot that a supplier like EBM Papst wants to connect its name to this. I think this really proves that we look forward and respond to the needs of the manufactures. I’m excited about the coming years, because then we will see how the market responds to our new product.”