A Breath of Fresh Air

Written by Pauline Müller

For those in heavy industry, having sufficient, clean air in commercial and industrial spaces is imperative. Diversitech is home to all things air filtration, and its high-quality, technological solutions are ideal for aerospace and metal manufacturing giants. For many of these corporations, Diversitech’s many patented filtration systems outshine the competitors’ products in welding, painting, grinding, and finishing facilities.

The Montreal, Canada-headquartered company also has a strong presence in the world’s food industry where airborne dust from ingredients such as sugar, flour, or spices can ignite and explode, requiring heavy-duty filtration systems that perform and last.

Diversitech’s very nature is about the safety of its employees, its customers, and the end users of the spaces its technology helps to clean. Therefore, health and safety are priorities.

“Safety is critical to everything we do. Every manufacturing business… that buys a solution from us is not only getting a best-in-class solution for a specific air quality challenge. It is also going to be fully compliant with federal regulations,” says Theo Rigas, Marketing Director.

Protecting human airways from airborne contaminants through ergonomically designed, capture-at-source filtration systems saves lives and goes a long way toward keeping people healthy. To this end, it prides itself on being compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), as these are the two most prominent safety keepers of the industries the company serves.

The Diversitech story goes back to 1984 when the company was established by the late Marvin Simms to serve the air filtration market. The air filtration company operated from his house during the early years, buying and selling air filtration units to hospitality establishments during a time when smoking indoors was still legal. That evolved into Simms designing custom units based on customer needs that were unmet by the products on the market at the time. Later, he took the plunge and collaborated with others to create several innovative prototypes.

Several decades later, the company was bought by the Swedish air filtration conglomerate Absolent Air Care Group in 2019, making Diversitech a sister company to around ten companies that all specialize in complementary fields. One example is Quatro Air, which serves the medical industry with niche filtration products for hospitals, dental facilities, optometrists, and others.

“We offer a wide range of [filtration] products depending on the application. Each company has a specific niche. The Absolent mission is to have a wide range of companies under its umbrella that can provide a solution for virtually any industry and scenario,” says Rigas.

This deep knowledge spread across several operations within the parent firm gives Diversitech access to a pool of resources that are arguably unmatched by competitors, so whatever a client’s filtration requirements, Diversitech has the answer. To fulfill as many client requirements as possible, it has comprehensive dust collection and fume extraction solutions.

The company’s standard boxed filtration systems are fully supported by custom engineering. There are also downdraft tables in several sizes, complete with dust and fume extraction technology and add-ons to suit their purposes, such as grinding, deburring or welding. Its units are also entirely scalable, making them perfect for central dust collection systems.

The parent company, Absolent Air Care Group, offers mainly smart technology that is almost entirely based on the internet of things (IoT). As a result, Diversitech is increasingly working toward including IoT functions in its systems. That includes alerts for filter replacement, optimizing running time, performance, and longevity of filters and machines.

One of its proudest guarantees is its excellent field service. “In the past three to four years, we have gone through a transformation in terms of focusing on the customer experience. We realize that providing a great customer experience is critical,” Rigas says. “Therefore, we strive to provide great post-sales support.”

Ultimately, its after-sales protocol turns customers into longstanding business partners whose success becomes synonymous with its own. The team also goes out of its way to find creative and effective ways to make owning and running Diversitech products a joy.

This philosophy extended to how the company weathered the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. During this time, the group’s strength lay in its diverse range of products that each company could draw from to serve clients’ changing needs in improved ways. One example of such a product is the AF Series of HEPA Air Purifiers created by Quatro Air, which Diversitech could supply to its customers during this time.

“We identified different needs in the market. All things considered, COVID was certainly challenging for us, but I think all of us in the organization are proud of how we pulled through. We realize that a lot of the sacrifices we made, while painful at the time, helped us survive,” says Rigas. Although costs are rising, the company is doing all it can to buffer its clients from the current wave of inflation.

Diversitech is devoted to keeping up with the times. Part of this includes moving increasingly toward environmental sustainability. It is phasing out its use of printed materials including marketing brochures, owners’ manuals, and the like. These are being replaced with technologies such as QR codes and web listings with detailed outlays of product specifications. The effort makes brochures and manuals obsolete and allows for improved control over informational materials with easy updates and quick, real-time improvements. Its invoicing system will soon follow suit, and while this is a small beginning, there is much more to come.

Green Filter Cleaning machine remains a favourite. The machine cleans filter cartridges, extending their lifespan up to five or six times the length of their original use. As a result, this machine reduces the number of filters discarded in landfill and saves money.

“Environmental responsibility has always been near and dear to us at Diversitech, and we try to reflect that in the way that we operate. Our parent company Absolent is very big on the environment and being leaders in what we do. We strive to reflect that in all of our efforts,” Rigas confirms. This commitment is present in everything the team touches.

Rigas could not be more impressed by the company’s powerful team of professionals. “I say this with sincere honesty. I have never worked with a more passionate group of people in my career. We all have a passion for what we do. We have a passion for the products we sell, and we’re equally passionate about ensuring our customers are happy with the solutions we provide,” he says.

These people have created a space where sharing thoughts and ideas are commonplace and very much invited. This has brought the company shining success in a highly competitive market. “That is something you cannot necessarily teach. I have been part of organizations that were very goal-oriented, and yes, we must drive goals and profit, but without the passion and the willingness to go the extra mile, you do not get the same level of results that we have experienced,” he adds.

Having a brilliant team of engineers collaborating with the rest of its team gives the company abilities that its competitors often fail to display. It is most evident in the impressive number of projects it has completed for customers where other providers from the same industry could only throw their hands into the air for lack of executable, scalable solutions.

According to Rigas, the company’s future balances on young talent and so it promotes such talent from within. The result has made it tremendously strong as the approach allows people to develop a well-rounded, solid understanding of every department, what it does, and how it functions. It has become a valuable way of developing depth across all its operations.

The company’s concern with service delivery reaches far beyond the confines of its clientele; it also extends to the people of Quebec and beyond. One way in which the company serves communities found expression in a beautifully thoughtful way recently. Its late founder’s family chose to honour his legacy in the form of the Martin Simms Foundation for Cancer Research. Simms tragically passed away from lung cancer at age seventy-two in December last year, leaving behind many people who loved him and continue to hold his memory dear. The foundation raises funds for cancer research. And so, the team has set out to host a golf day to help fund its civic work.

The company remains agile and focuses on market trends and its customers’ air filtration needs, even the most complex. Ease of use and engagement are constant drivers of its customer experience design. Working studiously toward becoming a global leader in industrial dust and fume extraction, it aims to become and remain a household name around the world.

“It is about teamwork. At Diversitech, we realize that being a smaller company of only sixty-five or so employees, for us to compete with a lot of the larger competitors out there, we have to take stock of our people,” Rigas says. “It is our people who are going to drive the business with their ideas and dedication. They have always been our greatest resource,” he adds confidently.

Thanks to its superb quality and customer service, the company was amongst Canada’s top 500 fastest-growing firms in 2018 and 2019, and it has also expanded its presence across the United States. Nurturing and maintaining significant relationships with dealers and distributors and helping them optimize their companies are where the future lies for this dynamic team.



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