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A balanced approach to air control


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F2A boasts a quarter of a century of experience in the design and manufacture of aeraulic and acoustic solutions for the HVAC sector. These solutions are aimed at OEM manufacturers, building contractors, distributors and solutions integrators.

“Our slogan is ‘Balancing the air’, and our mission is to make air-conditioning as unobtrusive and energy efficient as possible,” says General Manager Jean-Philippe Margrita. “We achieve this through a combination of specially designed technical solutions and our expert consultancy.”

F2A’s commercial and technical activities are organized around five product lines, each of which makes its own contribution to maintaining the balance of a ventilation network. They cover volume control dampers and backdraught dampers, splitters and silencers, flexible connectors, heat exchangers, and textile ducts.

Production takes place at three separate locations. Acoustic products are produced at F2A’s headquarters in Beligneux while air control products are manufactured at its second French site in L’Aigle. All textile products are made at its plant in Tunisia. All three areas are relatively balanced in terms of their contribution to turnover, as are the customer groups targeted.

“We supply OEM manufacturers of air-conditioning equipment as well as building HVAC installation engineers working on large buildings such as shopping malls, and sports and leisure centers,” explains Mr. Margrita. “The third area concerns special projects for structures such as nuclear power stations, marine and offshore applications, and tunnels.”

Here, F2A has built up highly specialized expertise, particularly in the nuclear area. France’s reliance on nuclear power for a large proportion of its energy needs means that companies like F2A have had the benefit of a large domestic market in which to expand.

“We have been active in the nuclear industry since 1975 and have supplied ventilation air flow dampers for virtually all of France’s nuclear power plants,” says Mr. Margrita. “The most recent contract in this area we received last month to supply dampers for the Jules Horowitz reactor in Cadarache, southern France. This is a new reactor that is currently under construction and will produce nuclear isotopes for medical use.”

As well as controlling air flow efficiently, these products must be able to withstand the extreme conditions of these environments. “Many of the projects we work on set stringent parameters regarding the operating specifications,” explains Mr. Margrita. “For example, our dampers are all fire resistant for two hours at 400 °C, but we can also produce dampers with even higher fire resistance.”

Our slogan is ‘balancing the air’ and our mission is to make air conditioning as unobtrusive and energy effi cient as possible. Jean-Philippe MargritaGeneral Manager

The company’s expertise in acoustics is also much in demand when it comes to planning ventilation systems. F2A has a team of three full-time acoustic engineers engaged in conducting dynamic acoustic studies to determine the optimum sizing of acoustic dampening equipment for a given project. The use of its textile ducts also helps to reduce vibrations and therefore acoustic emissions.

Experts forecast that temperatures are set to rise still further as a result of man-made climate change. This in turn means that demand for air-conditioning and ventilation systems will also rise in the future. The conditions are therefore positive for future growth.

“The challenge facing the world is how to keep cities experiencing ever-higher temperature peaks habitable,” says Mr. Margrita. “For us, the challenge is how to manage international growth in high potential markets such as Germany, where F2A is planning to open an office soon, and to focus on specialist niches such as oil and gas, and tunnels, where F2A has strong expertise. I hope to increase turnover to between 35 and 40 million EUR in the next five to ten years and expect our foreign activities to push that figure up to 50 million EUR soon after.”