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From a small office and warehouse on an Essex farm, a business was formed by brother-in-law’s Mark and Nick. With Mark’s extensive engineering knowledge and experience from heavy industry to micro beer brewing (yes!) and Nick’s technical experience of innovating content and designs for global brands (which coincidently included Budweiser) in the developing web media world, they took an opportunity to travel and meet with factories used by major pneumatic component companies to establish trading relationships.

Within 6 months, an investment to hold a full range of reliable and cost effective pneumatic fittings enabled them to not only meet the needs of the large number of industrial and commercial vehicle businesses in the local Lower Thames Estuary area, but to also take advantage of the opportunities provided by the internet to reach a wider base of customers.

In reconnecting with industry acquaintances, it became clear that there was also demand for the engineering skills and knowledge Mark had related to aviation refuelling equipment. These skills were called upon almost immediately in a very small scale way; from manufacturing items such as hydrant pit flags to carrying out small repairs to equipment.

Within 12 months, the business had moved to larger premises and building its reputation not only as the only local stockist to have full range of generic pneumatic products, but also having direct access to all the major fluid control component companies; including becoming a premier stockist for Festo.

At the same time, awareness and demand for our aviation refuelling related services continued to escalate.
A variety and scale of projects were completed for an emergency air support operation, regional airport, aviation consultant and a global fuel supplier; this culminated in the award of our first fuel farm design, installation and maintenance scheme 19 months after the business was started.

Next time, we look at the scale and success of this undertaking and introduce you to one of the founder members of Air Fuel Systems.

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