TEL, the UK based international pioneer of the fume hood airflow controls and monitors critical to the respiratory protection of laboratory workers worldwide, this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Established in 1969 as a manufacturer of temperature controllers, the company began to produce airflow controls and monitors in the early 1990s, when electronic engineer Graham Eady joined as co-owner.
At that time, laboratory workers only had basic pressure monitors for protection – if any protection at all. A new British health and safety standard, BS7258, was introduced in 1994 to safeguard their health, and Eady spotted a gap in the market for protective equipment.
Beginning with the launch of the first airflow monitor, the AFA2A, TEL embarked on a journey to become the world-leading specialist in the manufacture of airflow controls and monitors, its products used in hundreds of thousands of laboratories globally.
Over the last 50 years, the company has upheld its pioneering status, developing a series of further industry-leading products, including in 2016 the AFA5000 – one of the first laboratory room space controllers to communicate directly with fume cupboards, affording an unrivalled degree of control, comfort and energy-efficiency.
As environmental sustainability grew in importance throughout all sectors of the economy, TEL’s products, designed to deliver energy savings, won the loyalty of fume cupboard manufacturers, contractors and users across the world.
After Graham assumed sole ownership of the company in 1989, he was joined in 2002/3 by his sons Andrew and Richard, both also electronic engineers, who went on to become directors of the company.
Now based in Glossop, Derbyshire, and with an international supplier network spanning Asian Europe, the US and Africa as well as the UK, TEL has worked on a number of laboratory projects recognised in leading sustainability awards, such as the Green Gown and S-Lab initiatives.
Earlier this year, the firm recently expanded its product offer with a range of VAV (variable airflow volume) and CAV (constant airflow volume) terminals for the wider, non-laboratory market, enabling the sustainable generation of clean air in any building space where the reliable supply of clean air is a health and safety stipulation.
TEL’s range of terminals and attenuators are suitable for any laboratory or commercial application and allow users to effectively control the distribution of air into any building space or room.
The energy-efficient rectangular VAV RVP-P terminal and the circular VAV RVP-C terminal enable precision control of the amount of air entering a room. They can be supplied with a variety of control options for different applications and are ideally suited for use with TEL’s AFA5000 room space controller.
Mechanical CAV terminal units are used for maintaining a constant volume of extract and supply air. The rectangular CAV VRRK terminal ensures a constant volume of supply air of up to 10,000m3/hr into a room, while the circular CAV VRK terminal is maintenance free and with a range of between 75 to 1,650m3/hr. Both are available in a range of sizes and are adjustable in the field over a set volume range in order to meet users’ specific air supply and extraction requirements.
A collection of energy-efficient attenuators limits the sound made by the ventilation systems, the aerodynamic form of the PZX and PZM models minimising drag and so saving energy. All products can be quickly and easily installed in new or refurbished premises.
Last year, TEL also broadened its offer to include a range of sustainable digital laboratory ovens. Introduced in response to customer feedback, the ovens are suitable for most drying, warming and general laboratory applications. Featuring 65mm insulation, they ensure that heat is effectively retained within the unit and does not transfer to the outside of the oven. As such, they are more energy-efficient than many other ovens on the market which use 40mm insulation.
The units are fitted with a microprocessor control system with dual display of set point and actual temperature, facilitating precise temperature control. Available in eight standard sizes, ranging from 30 to 200 litres, the ovens can be customised to meet a laboratory’s specific requirements.
Said Richard Eady of the firm’s 50th anniversary: “That TEL has achieved its 50th anniversary in such robust health is testament to a combination of factors. The firm is an expert in the field of sustainable airflow controls and monitors, and provides customers with a remarkable level of customer service – a factor that is, I think, partly attributable to its status as a family firm.”
Added Graham, now retired: “I am extremely proud of TEL. Proud of its pioneering role in the respiratory protection of laboratory workers, proud of its commercial success and of course, proud of its longevity.”
TEL provides a full-service offer, including product and laboratory design consultation, product supply and installation, training and technical backup.