18th January 2017 saw an exciting entry in Aico’s diary, when a VIP Launch Event was held at their Centre of Excellence in Oswestry, where 150 guests - including representatives from 70 RSLs - were introduced to exciting new product developments, and to Aico’s innovative training facilities.
Aico Director Neal Hooper opened the proceedings, and was followed by a series of workshops which took groups of delegates through the company’s products and training offering.
Aico's free, CPD accredited Expert Installer training can now be delivered to groups at their own premises in the new Mobile Training and Demo Units; an engaging way to take head-office know-how around the UK! Stephen Paskell, National Sales Manager, demonstrated this innovative air-conditioned classroom that has space for up to 20 attendees, who get to learn the latest Standards and Regulations and where to site alarms. Alarms and technologies can be tried out with help on hand to discuss everything from house coding to data extraction, and the unit even offers a virtual tour of their manufacturing process.
James Cavan, National Sales Manager, then lead the group to ‘Ember Place.’ A timeline wall takes visitors along the Aico story, following its commercial history as well as design highlights.
The retail area then demonstrated Aico’s commitment to suppliers, with attractive point-of-sale materials and stands available for display of the Aico range in retail outlets for attracting new customers as well as existing installers.
Ember Place itself is a walk-through demonstration suit comprising rooms in a typical home with a variety of smoke and CO detectors showing optimum placements and coverage for maximum safety.
Back in the presentation suite, Michael Wright, Marketing Manager, introduced their most technologically advanced Fire and CO alarms, and new products, including a Cloud-based system and a Multi-Sensor range, were previewed.
The new Multi-Sensor alarms, available later this year, incorporate many innovative features; a combination of a sensor chamber sealed with insect resistant mesh and intelligent software reduces the risk of nuisance alarms and maintenance costs. Compatability with existing easi-fit bases means an easy upgrade from existing installations; they are also supplied with improved easi-fit base featuring larger wiring terminals and trunking pull-out.
Built-in AudioLINK allows easy data extraction to a smartphone providing a detailed colour coded report that can be emailed direct from the app. Using RadioLINK+ enables wireless interconnection and whole system data extraction.
Martyn Walley, National Technical Manager, then explained a new Cloud-based technology, which when launched later this year will simplify how installers register each alarm system, whilst ensuring that the property’s status and any events can be logged and responded to appropriately.
Finally, we got to fire testing! IT Manager Andrew Speake demonstrated the ‘smart’ applications of Aico’s fire and CO alarms when, in a controlled environment, different materials were set alight to demonstrate the flexibility of the alarms - how the heat and CO monitors adjust in relation to each other to avoid false alarms, and how this works to ensure early warning when necessary.
Neal Hooper thought the day was a great success.
“Aico has always been renowned in the industry for being an innovator,” he said. “Over our 26 year history we have been first to market with nearly all the features and functions that are now considered standard in domestic smoke alarms, from a Silence button through to wireless alarm interconnection.
“This year we have a number of new firsts, including a Multi-Sensor range and a cloud based system enabling real time notification from smoke and co alarms developed specifically for social housing. The VIP event was to showcase these technologies to some of our most important and loyal customers, including RSLs and their contractors who play such an important role in the success of a smoke alarm system. We are extremely grateful to them for taking the time to attend the event and to engage so fully with us.
“We received some excellent feedback on the day and there was also considerable interest in the new mobile demonstration vehicles which will enable us to take our technologies to customers and conduct our Expert Installer training on site.”