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CONTACT US | Download the 2021/2022 issue | ©Atlas Copco AB
In an uncertain world where needs can change overnight, renting equipment is a safe bet. Flexible air, nitrogen, power and flow solutions will get the job done in all conditions.
"We team up with our customers to provide a total solution that suits their particular industry. Our experts know exactly how to best unburden any given situation, and how to set up the equipment in the best way."
How can a power plant quickly handle a machine breakdown that could shut down the electricity supply to an entire city? How can a brewery speed up production during seasonal peaks? And how can a contractor manage construction projects in remote locations with no access to a power grid? The answer is quite simple: rental solutions.
“Our rental solutions are designed to help our customers excel through agility. We are here to provide them with what they need, when they need it, in a quick and hassle-free way,” says Janne Scheepmans, Sales Excellence Manager in Atlas Copco’s Specialty Rental division.
“We team up with our customers to provide a total solution that suits their particular industry. Our experts know exactly how to best unburden any given situation, and how to set up the equipment in the best way. That means our customers can relax and concentrate on their core business,” she adds.
A flexible complement
Atlas Copco’s Specialty Rental division typically provides mobile air compressors and dryers, light towers and generators. Recently, nitrogen generators, boosters, steam boilers, pumps and battery packs were added to the equipment range. Most of the division’s customers operate in the manufacturing industry (including aviation), oil and gas, mining and drilling or power and energy.
“Rental services are a complement to the customer’s existing machine park or fleet,” says Janne. “In some cases, ownership is the better option, but in other cases rental makes most sense. It’s not an either/or situation. Our customers often buy machinery to cover a certain baseload and then rent equipment for more temporary needs.”
One example of this flexible approach is when two 180-meter offshore wind turbines were built near the U.S. city of Virginia Beach in July 2020. Clean energy projects like this one are increasing around the world, but the construction phase can harm marine life. The solution here was to bring in an Atlas Copco compressor that produced a temporary bubble curtain around the site to protect the sea mammals. The compressor released small air bubbles from a perforated hose, creating a noise-reducing screen.
This kind of bubble curtain, from the seabed to the surface, can reduce noise levels by more than 90%, and thus prevent sea mammals from experiencing sonic disturbances that can result in them becoming disoriented or even deaf.
When building offshore wind energy mills, marine life must be protected from being disturbed by noise and vibrations. The solution is to create a protective curtain of small air bubbles. With the help of an Atlas Copco compressor, air is pushed through a perforated hose, forming a bubble ring around the construction site.
Scaling up solutions
Rental solutions often also come into play when a customer identifies the need for a higher level of capacity and wants to quickly scale up production without expanding their regular machine park. When a Russian company making glass containers for food and beverages experienced an unexpected peak demand one summer, an electric, 100% oil-free air solution was brought in to keep the production going. Atlas Copco’s service engineer also worked on-site, making sure that everything ran smoothly.
In case of emergency
Another situation could be if a breakdown occurs in a factory and there is an urgent need to keep production going.
“Instead of having to shut down the entire facility, a rental solution can maintain the part of the flow that is unaffected to prevent downtime,” says Janne.
A less common but significant application is providing solutions in case of emergencies like floods, power outages or urgent healthcare. The installation of an Atlas Copco electric air compressor at an emergency hospital in Milan, Italy, created 400 extra intensive care units during a critical phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Resource-efficient, and also sustainable
According to Janne Scheepmans, there is a global trend to not focus on the cost of ownership as much as the cost of “usership”. After all, idle equipment does not add much value. According to this increasingly common trend, optimal usage becomes crucial.
“Here, renting could be an important key for sustainable operations, as it helps you optimize your resources. You only use the equipment when you need it, and it can then be put to use somewhere else. This way, the equipment is always used in the most efficient way possible,” she says.
Janne adds that rental solutions can also contribute to greener operations, as the equipment is often newer and more energy efficient than companies’ existing machines.
“This is a result of the fact that we use the newest, most innovative and clean technology, such as diesel compressors that conform with the latest emissions legislation.”
Another plus for rental solutions is that they can facilitate the journey toward electrification and other new technologies. Renting equipment is a way for companies to minimize their risks by testing out new equipment and making sure it fits their needs.
“It speeds up innovation,” says Janne. “If our team has implemented a new and innovative solution successfully for customer A, customer B can immediately take advantage of it as well. Not every customer has to innovate on their own. Instead, they can rely on us to provide an innovative and proven solution.
Atlas Copco Rental provides compressors, power generators, dryers, dewatering pumps and steam generators for planned or unplanned temporary needs, 24/7 and all year round. Tailor-made solutions ensure optimal performance and efficiency, and service specialists keep track of all maintenance requirements.