Air Supply Group DIRECTAIR®

Revolutionizing the Compressed Air Industry with 30 Years of Innovation

By DIRECTAIR® Insights Team on February 28, 2024

Stay in the Know with the Latest News

Back to main Blog
DIRECTAIR® Insights Team

A lot has changed in the world since OTC Industrial Technologies built our first DIRECTAIR® customer site 30 years ago, but one thing that remains the same is our commitment to providing the highest quality, most cost-effective, and reliable compressed air service in the world. As we celebrate three decades in business, let’s take a look back at the innovations that have helped us revolutionize the compressed air industry and shaped us into the company we are today. 

A Customer Question Sparks a New Industry

In the early days, we had a customer approach us with a unique question. They expressed interest in getting the compressed air they needed without owning or maintaining the equipment themselves. In essence they wanted to purchase compressed air directly from us, instead of physical equipment. Their question was straightforward: “Can we just buy the air?”

This question, posed over three decades ago, marked the beginning of a journey that has brought us to our current position as the world's foremost supplier of compressed air through our comprehensive FOURTH UTILITYSM compressed air service.

Figuring Out the Right Compressed Air Solution

Once the decision was made to offer compressed air as a utility to our customers, we needed to determine the most effective approach.

Our team already had decades of technical experience in selling and servicing air compressors and our engineers had some knowledge with computer code, enabling us to remotely monitor and control some aspects of our systems via the now antiquated dial-up modem technology of the mid-1990s.

While incorporating propriety software technology into our equipment, we continued to explore the optimal method for effectively delivering the compressed air our customers required.

The Modular Concept is Born

Initially, the idea was to build the structure and install our compressed air equipment on-site at our customers’ facilities. However, this strategy proved to be inefficient, and extremely difficult.

After some brainstorming to address the issue, we determined the best way to manufacture our compressed air systems was to do it in our own shop. Building premanufactured, compressed air modules and delivering them to our customers’ facilities would prove to be a more successful strategy.

This approach of supplying compressed air as a utility service to manufacturers soon set us apart from other businesses in the industry. Apart from the actual compressors, our team handled everything needed to assemble a complete module. They managed all aspects of the engineering, manufacturing, software development, control systems, and other technology that operated the equipment.

How the "Off the Floor", Air Over the Fence Strategy Changed Everything

After completing the build and production of our compressed air modules in-house, our turnkey services transport, install, and hook up the compressed air systems on at our customers’ sites.

From the start, our approach has been to not occupy valuable floor space at customers' locations and instead provide the needed air “over the fence”, placing our modules adjacent to their facilities. This distinctive strategy set us apart in the industry as a true innovator, allowing our customers to keep more production space and our DIRECTAIR® service technicians to have 24/7 access to the equipment. 

A Complete Hands-Off Compressed Air Experience

We take pride in the fact that our ever-evolving business and service model has brought something truly unique to the industry. With our DIRECTAIR® system manufacturers no longer have to worry about having quality, reliable compressed air.

We take care of everything. Our customers no longer have to invest in expensive and complicated air compressors and other equipment. Our team not only provides all the necessary components but also manages every facet of the system and oversees daily operations and maintenance. Our customers have all the clean, dry, compressed air they need, and only pay for the amount of air they use each month. Saving money, time, and personnel.

This hands-off, worry-free experience has been summed up by customers as, “We never even think about it. The air is just always there!”

Today and Tomorrow

Over the last 30 years, the DIRECTAIR® complete solution has changed the game for manufacturers who rely on compressed air. With our 100% Uptime Guarantee, we have proudly supplied nearly 17 million hours of compressed air service operations to our customers across North America in the most cost-effective way possible. 

As for the future, we’ve only scratched the surface of what DIRECTAIR® can do and we can’t wait to see what the next 30 years will hold. We know one thing is certain – we will continue to innovate and provide our customers with the premier compressed air solutions on the market.