“Our systems provide safety for the users of laboratory equipment as well as environmental safety,” points out Antoine Hauville, the founder’s son and COO of Erlab DFS SAS. “They are easy to use, IOT-connected and internationally certified. Far more energy-efficient than conventional systems, they are the lab safety alternative in more ways than one.”
Since the company operates in a clearly defined niche market, going international was inevitable. “In the first ten years, we sold our systems in as many as 40 countries worldwide,” says Mr. Hauville. “France is still an important market, yet today we are a global enterprise with foreign sales of 75%.”
Erlab attends numerous fairs every year to make the benefits of its laboratory filtration systems known to visitors and experts from all over the world. The internet, email campaigns and personal visits to customers add to the group’s international recognition. A family enterprise to this day, Erlab operates three production facilities in North America, France and China, six offices and over 40 distribution bases worldwide.
Still today, the focus of design, development and production is on the integrated workbench with filtration systems, says the COO: “Everything is carried out in-house, from the development, production and distribution of filters and fume hoods for working with chemicals and hazardous materials to storage systems to general air purification systems for laboratories.”
Far more energy-efficient than conventional systems, our systems are the lab safety alternative in more ways than one. Antoine HauvilleCOO
Since all systems are IOT-connected these days, the need for filter replacement is indicated. Erlab not only supplies replacement filters, but also arranges the environmentally safe disposal of used ones in cooperation with partners. “This is an important step to close the cycle,” emphasizes Mr. Hauville. “We guarantee safety at work. We register the customer’s data prior to start-up so we can document that our plant provides workplace safety – and safety for the environment.”
For obvious reasons, the choice of filter materials is just as important as their handling. Backed by more than half a century of know-how and experience, Erlab is in a virtually unique position when it comes to choosing the right type of filter medium. The company uses carbon and vegetable-based materials that are carefully processed to obtain full functionality.
“Our specific competencies in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, physics and electronics enable us to treat each material in the best possible manner,” confirms Mr. Hauville. “We serve all kinds of laboratories, not just medical and pharmaceutical ones, but also laboratories in the food, cosmetics, petrochemical, aviation and automotive industries, among others. Our filters and fume hoods provide safety wherever R&D or quality control take place.”
With ultra-modern production facilities covering a total area of 18,580 m2, 300 dedicated employees and annual revenues worth 30 million EUR, Erlab is well established in national and international business. Expansion is on the agenda, as the company is setting up a new 12,000 m² plant in China to meet growing demand. On the development side, Erlab’s motto ‘Simpler, Safer’ has gained full meaning with its first system using smart technology, an exclusive set of tools comprising smart-light communication™, chemical sensors, real-time status and the eGuard app.
“We will continue to invest in R&D and new technologies to make our systems even more powerful,” says the COO. “To this effect, we will collect and analyze more data. Apart from work safety, we are able to offer PCR today, protection for the processed elements. Generally, our entire chain is important, from development to production and distribution right through to storage and service.” As many laboratories are still clinging to conventional systems, convincing clients of the lab safety alternative is an aim for the future that Erlab pursues with work safety and the environment in mind.