"For months, authorities and the inconsistent tendering rules in the federal states blocked the use of mobile air purifiers in schools. Now the manufacturers' business is booming. There are already bottlenecks in some places." This is how the Tagesschau of the ARD currently puts it surprisingly openly on its online page.
But UlmAIR managing director Daniel Ehrhardt warned of the bottlenecks as early as the beginning of July 2021. At the time when number 8,500, an UlmAIR X80, was being packed at the Dornstadt plant, he said due to the sudden demand resulting from the 190 million euro funding release in Bavaria, electronic components in particular, such as those for the board control manufactured in Asia, were hard to come by. In a live interview with the SWR-Aktuell programme, he explained that the high demand could make it tight with components. Politicians must set appropriate priorities for the supply of manufacturers. In the article on Tagesschau.de/Economy, UlmAIR sales manager Rebekka Deck is now quoted: "The market is empty." Bavaria in particular had already issued extensive tenders in August and ordered enormous quantities. In the case of high-performance units with large air volumes, she said, there are delivery delays of up to six months, which stalls the supply of individual parts. The competitor AAF from Heppenheim also reports delays due to bottlenecks with filters.
At the Indoor Air trade fair in Frankfurt last week, around 100 manufacturers from the young and booming industry showed their innovations. Ulmair was present with an impressive stand and X80s floating in space. Besides these effective, particularly quiet and mobile air cleaners, the ideas of the competitors were shown. They showed decentralised ventilation units with heat recovery in the classroom or new ceiling units and purifiers specially developed only for schools as well as UV-C units. After all, according to Tagesschau, there are about 50 suppliers of air filtration units throughout Germany. UlmAIR is one of the largest and, like Trox or Daikin, supplies "technically high-quality units for over 1,000 euros".
The UlmAIR units have five filters, including the HEPA H-14 high-performance filters. The Institute for Hygiene and Public Health at the University of Bonn has scientifically confirmed that the X80 has a virus removal efficiency of over 99.999999 per cent. The H-14 HEPA high-efficiency filters installed in all X-series units have a stated separation efficiency of 99.997 per cent.
Rebekka Deck is then quoted again: "The federal government ignored mobile air purification devices for a long time". Only Bavaria was quick to jump the gun and accepted these devices on a large scale last winter and introduced them in schools. Now the third round of support programmes is already underway there. The other federal states of Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony had followed suit, but had to wait in line due to the late publication of guidelines.
Another manager complains about a "patchwork of funding programmes". In principle, there is money, but hardly anyone knows how to access it. Other manufacturers hope for a standard from the VDI (Association of German Engineers) to overcome the uncertainty among school headmasters. They are afraid of the technically complicated devices and the question of maintenance. UlmAIR Managing Director Daniel Ehrhardt not only wants to deliver clean and safe air with his devices, but also perfect service and guarantees for it.
Photo: UlmAIR Managing Director Daniel Ehrhardt