The first step to becoming a Thor Duct ® Licensee, and adding EN-tested and certified ductwork to your  company’s repertoire, is as simple as making a call or filling in an online form. The motivation for any company making this move and reaching out to the experts can of course vary, but the benefits are as solid and guaranteed as well-installed, fully certified ductwork itself. 

The advantages to becoming a Thor Duct ® Licensee continue to be obvious to licensee Airtech DS Ltd, specialists in the manufacture and installation of sheet metal ductwork systems, based in Belvedere, Kent.

We caught up with Operations Director Jay Watts for a chat recently.

Established as a labour-only enterprise by Managing Director Joolz Hembrough and coming up to 25 years in business, Airtech DS Ltd carries out ductwork ventilation for all building types. No job is too large or small for Airtech DS – they work on hospitals, schools and government buildings, as well as residential buildings and office infrastructures. 

Airtech DS UK - Ductwork Manufacturers

“We carry out all types of ductwork, from galvanised rectangular to fire-rated and pre-insulated ductwork. We are licensed to do all three. Basically, if it’s got a vent or a duct, we’ll price the job!”
explains Airtech’s Jay Watts, who has been with the company for 16 years.

“Obviously, with any business connected to building and construction generally, there are going to be some ups and downs” admits Jays, “but we are enjoying a period of strong growth and are on course of turnover of £12 million this year”.

Even the briefest examination of a typical Airtech DS job reveals how Thor Duct ® has turned out to be a perfect fit for the Kent-based outfit.

“Basically, we would visit a premises to install a system, which would then go through what we call snagging, and then we would make sure all the brackets and nuts and bolts are in the right place and that all the lagging has been done correctly” explains Watts.

“This is all done very precisely, so that when it comes to  the phase known as practical completion, we have a building whose ventilation system is operational, on spec, and to standard”. 

It was around the lean times of the recession when the licensee relationship began to look like a timely and sensible option for Airtech DS.

“We had a discussion about becoming a licensee with Brian McCarthy [Thor Duct ® Managing Director] and he came over to see us to explain further how they worked and how they could help us. We knew right away that we were dealing with experts but also – and maybe even just as importantly – that Brian and his team were going to be extremely easy to work with” says Jay. 

“It became a no-brainer to become licensees, and once that decision was made, and the paperwork was all done, Michael Renaghan [Thor Duct ® Technical Lead] came over and trained our key people in the factory on all the technical details and then gave a very useful presentation to our management team. Everyone was very impressed with the level of technical knowledge and the all-round approach of the Thor Duct ® team.”

The benefits of the ongoing licensee arrangement have been “massive”, with one of the most encouraging and positive aspects being the autonomy Airtech DS feel they have in acting as licensees.  All too often, licensees feel over-monitored – almost untrusted – in carrying out their day-to-day operations. Jay has never felt this when dealing with Thor Duct ®

“At the moment, under license, we are very much our own bosses – as long as we follow the procedures that everything has been tested to standard and we’ve managed and done the QA correctly then we are good to go.  We’re free to manage as we see fit.”

Airtech DS UK are Thor Duct Licensees
Airtech DS (UK)

That said, this is not a distant, sink-or-swim relationship.

Thor Duct ® are there for anything we need” says Jay. “The certification documentation is spot on. All members of staff are hugely knowledgeable, and – very importantly for us in a busy competitive marketplace –  very discreet about the working relationships we have.”

Brian and his team can’t do enough for you. They provide a really good service. The key people I deal with know their stuff and I have no doubt that the team behind them are the ones that make things happen when it comes to the nuts and bolts, sometimes literally. I know I only need to pick up the phone and they are there to offer support and expertise on any given day on any issue we might have” concludes Jay. 

With a silver anniversary approaching for Airtech DS, things continue to look shiny, which is a credit to the resilience, hard work and flexibility of MD Joolz Hembrough, Operations Director Jay Watts and the team. The decision to reach out to Thor Duct ® has undoubtedly proved to be one that continues to reap dividends in Kent and beyond. 

If you would like to license Thor Duct ®

If you would like to have a conversation about how you can become a Thor Duct ® licensee, get in touch with us today and let’s start a conversation.