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'We're anticipating continued growth'

18 July 2011

Jo Collins, marketing manager of Puresep Technologies talks to FP Express about the recent, significant company changes

Could you define what Puresep does in your words?
In simple terms, Puresep provides filtration and watertreatment technologies and 24/7 expert service capabilities. We work acrossmany markets but we're strong in food and beverage and like others are ridingthe cider wave. If you take someone such as Universal Beverages, we providetechnology or plant for every part of their production process - from theborehole ready for bottling or packaging.

What type of technology have you installed onsite?
Technology installed onsite includes demineralisation plant, softeners, deaeration kit, PureChlor chlorine dioxide, activated carbonbeds, PureFlow CrossFlow, sheet filters and cartridge housings along with anongoing supply of filtration consumables and chemicals and a 24/7 bespoke service contract. That example shows the scope of our offering. We do have smaller customers, however, where we purely provide a regular supply of consumables, or smaller plant.

Describe the founding of the company, and the origin of its name
The company was founded in October 2002. Today three directors still preside and through their drive, determination and knowledge ofthe marketplace and our customers have got us to where we are today and we look forward to future continued growth, particularly in light of the latest companychanges. As for the name - whether it's filtration or water treatment - bothprocesses involve purification and separation - hence Puresep.

There have been significant company changes recently. Can you elaborate?
The Amplio Group was brought in to purchase shares in Puresep Holdings after the retirement of a director. Owners of The AmplioGroup, Andrea Davi and Riccardo Segat have worked with our MD Vince Payne formany years and so the partnership was a natural decision. The Amplio Group specialises in investments within the filtration, water and sustainable energymarkets and so it's a beneficial and positive fit for us. With Amplio now owning part of Puresep Holdings, along with the three existing directors, there was a name change to Amplio Filtration Holdings, which is purely a holdings company, but within that group sits Puresep Technologies, and the recently acquired Environmental Water Systems (UK). EWS is a water treatment specialist predominantly across the healthcare and industrial sectors.

What do these changes mean for the end-user?
We now operate as a group and with that come many benefits for our customers. We can further invest in and expand our product andservices model and can accelerate the development of innovative products and services that help our customers face the challenges these times are presenting; ever-tightening budgets and stringent environmental regulationsbeing just two. Our wider product range will include wastewater capabilities and we'll be looking to expand the service team with expert engineers who'll work closely with our customers on the ground. We'll soon have the ability to sell consumables and off-the-shelf items online giving our customers anotherroute to purchase.

Can you elaborate on the purchase by Amplio Filtration Technologies (formerly Puresep Holdings) of Environmental Water Systems (UK) in Cheddar?
Environmental Water Systems UK is a successful, growing business. It offers complimentary technologies to Puresep but predominantly within the healthcare sector where it's a strong force. It has more than 200 installations within hospitals and 350 service contracts in place. It's very service driven and market-orientated. It's answered calls from the healthcare industry to develop specific products and has met these with state-of-the-art, cost-effective solutions. What is great about Puresep and EWS is the capability to meet customer and market demands quickly and cost effectively. We have shortlines of communication and employees are given the autonomy to make decisionsto ensure we're at the forefront of the industry.

What is your involvement with the US-based company Envirogen?
Envirogen is owned by The Amplio Group so it's a sister company to us. It's a wastewater treatment company with a strong focus on lifecycle performance - so can tell you how quickly you'll make back your money on installed plant. It's US-based and we plan to work closely with the company to bring its products and services to the UK and Europe. Another benefit of being part of a group is customers are looking at reducing their supplier lists to achieve better economies, being part of a group means we've an extended product and service offering which we offer our customers.

What sets you apart from your competitors?
Expertise, knowledge, flexibility and a great culture. We don't think we're the best, we're not arrogant. We strive to be the best and do the best for our customers. It's about the customer and what they want. It'sthem and their products that need to be the best which is cheesy but true. We have an extensive product range, with internal knowledge and flexibility ensuring our solutions and technology can be entirely bespoke to meet customers,application and market needs, particularly now with Puresep, Ews and Envirogenworking together.

What are Puresep's views on investment in China?
It's a hugely growing market. It's said demand for water treatment products in China will soar 15.5% annually in 2012. Filters andmembranes will be the fastest growing segments, although all types will see double-digit gains. The pace of development in China is rapidly gaining momentum. It's something into which we're seriously looking.

How important are skills and training to Puresep?
Very. We can't expect to stay ahead of our competitors if our personnel aren't kept updated with the latest technologies etc. We have tight stipulations when it comes to employing engineers and sales people. These are the people on the ground, the people in touch with our customers andprospects every day. They represent our brand and culture. We can't afford to, and don't want to get it wrong. Therefore skills and training are crucial tous. Our engineers need to have the expertise and the knowledge to answercustomer questions, deal with onsite issues and make recommendations. Our engineers are trained in an engineering discipline. Ongoing process training for each is given on our process technologies and control systems as per our training matrix.

What challenges, in your opinion, does the food and beverage sector face with respect to water management?
The main challenges include increased regulation andrapidly rising costs, with the three main drivers for producers being to loweroperating costs, adhere to regulatory requirements and operate in anenvironmentally friendly manner. Lowering operating costs and improving efficiencies is crucial for all organisations to remain competitive. But, lowering these costs must never compromise the quality or safety of a product. Adhering to regulatory requirements can be more challenging as requirements arecontinually changing and becoming more stringent and specific. Operating in an environmentally friendly manner is the responsibility of the industry as a whole. Solutions can be expensive and so total cost must be factored into operating budgets. Understanding current and future regulations, wastewater technologies which are available and selecting the right partner will ensure the most cost-effective, safe operation. We work hard to help our customers tick all these boxes.

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