Interview with Paul Sixsmith from Skyplume Technologies
Skyplume Technologies, located in Ontario, Canada, provides high-plume dilution stack exhaust systems with unique patented technology.
Paul Sixsmith has been President and Owner of Skyplume Technologies for the past 28 years. When asked about what sets Skyplume apart from its competitors, he replies, “Skyplume’s structural geometry and designs that are leading the industry in momentum exhaust. But what really is special about Skyplume is the materials that we use. We use cutting-edge technology in our fiberglass – it’s rustproof, corrosion-proof, and made with UV stable construction.”
Sixsmith adds, “This has great value for pharmaceutical or university research facility applications, or for any industry that requires momentum exhaust. With Skyplume, facilities don’t need to worry about corrosion 5 to 10 years down the line. This material is not affected by corrosive environments, weather, or coastal applications with sea salt corrosion. It’s impervious to all that. It will not degrade.”
He emphasizes, “It is a real value to the end-user to receive our equipment in FRP construction. And any worry about a corrosion problem is basically taken off the table. They don’t need to worry about that.”
Skyplume Often Replaces Competitors
Sixsmith explains, “Wastewater treatment plants are quite demanding when it comes to what they do encounter corrosion-wise. There’s so much more value to specify FRP products, especially in high-plume dilution situations where there is a corrosive atmosphere.”
He also notes that his products are sometimes used to replace other options that didn’t last. “We’ve had a few wastewater sites call us up to replace coated steel products,” he explains. “Our products are not affected by corrosion, so we have actually replaced some of our competitors’ coated steel solutions within a year of installation.”
Momentum Exhaust Needs Across Industries
Skyplume technologies are most commonly used within pharmaceutical research facilities, university research facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, and industrial processes.
Further explaining how the products meet pharmaceutical needs, Sixsmith says, “Skyplume is currently being sold to pharma regularly. In the pharmaceutical industry, there’s a lot of research going on using critical airflow systems and a lot of processes that require the use of premium quality, rust proof components to ensure reliability for these critical exhaust systems. He adds, “So, we make full systems incorporating our AMCA certified induced flow fans with rust proof energy recovery systems, or we can offer components to other Air Handling Manufacturers to add our expertise to their systems. This can be accomplished through utilizing our Custom Induced flow attenuated stacks or fan stack systems in Mixed flow or SWSI configuration.”
How Skyplume Technologies Advanced Exhaust Solutions
Momentum exhaust technology has come a long way. “Before the 90s, you would have laboratories designed with a single fume hood, and a dedicated duct run with a single fan,” Sixsmith explains. “You’d have little fans all over the place. You might have a building with maybe 50 or 100 stacks, and all of those stacks would produce very low plume heights.”
As the industry improved these systems by designing Manifolded technology, Skyplume Technologies changed the way these manifolded systems are constructed by using light weight, high strength corrosion proof and UV stable FRP. While the change to the FRP composite adds so much benefit over coated steel construction by dramatically extending equipment life cycle, SKYPLUME has also maintained a “standard design criteria” of 125 MPH wind load at any part of the system. Designs up to 185 MPH wind load are optional and available when requested.
Skyplume and the 2001 Anthrax Attacks
In the fall of 2001, several government offices received letters containing anthrax spores. The attacks were deadly to some and infected more than a dozen people. When the anthrax attack happened in South Dakota’s Senator Thomas A. Daschle’s D.C. office, Skyplume (Plasticair) was consulted to help create an immediate containment solution. Sixsmith explains, “We were contacted by a company that specializes in chlorine dioxide. They needed a machine that would transpose liquid chlorine dioxide into gas form and pressurize the building. So, we had to make a stripper/fan system on a common trolly that could roll around all of these offices, hallways and through all doorways using wheels. Furthermore, our unit had to be connected to duck work, and have liquid ClO2 pumped into it and pressurize the building. This system had to be designed, manufactured and loaded on a truck, all within a week.”
He continues, “It was quite something. It was a real challenge for the company. But, we understood the importance of it, and we were very proud to be able to deliver on time, within a few days while under tremendous pressure.”
COVID-19 and the Growing Demand for Skyplume Technologies
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for many companies, Skyplume is adapting. “It’s been quite a growth period for us,” Sixsmith explains. “We have a new property in Paris, Ontario, that is 1.4 acres of manufacturing space. We’ve also opened up operations in Mexico.”
Continuing, he states, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen quite an explosion and in sales and demand for what we do. The need for more research space is driving a lot of our growth. It’s a great challenge, and we’re doing our best to meet the needs of this everchanging situation.”
Sixsmith added, “Our new facility in Mexico is allowing us to deliver on this latest demand. Again, growing both the Mexican and the Canadian manufacturing facilities is an exciting process for us. We are keeping up with demand and preparing for ongoing growth as well.”
Want to Learn More About Skyplume?
Coward Environmental is proud to represent Skyplume in the Philadelphia region, Central PA, Delaware, and Maryland. Contact us today to discover how Skyplume can be a part of your next project