PORT ALBERNI – IceStorm is poised to sweep across the globe.
Coulson Ice Blast recently announced the release of their new product, IceStorm.
This industrial cleaning solution is the first machine that allows users to blast surfaces with either ice or dry ice at the switch of a button.
The Coulson Group of Companies began in 1960 when Cliff Coulson founded Coulson Forest Products Ltd. Nearly 60 years later, the company is run by Cliff’s son, Wayne, and grandsons Britton and Foster.
Coulson Ice Blast, which is run by Fosterm is one of the newest wings of the business.
The industrial cleaning equipment business is a multi-billion dollar business. Everything needs to be cleaned. Coulson Ice Blast is the only manufacturer of industrial cleaning equipment to produce machines that blast with real ice.
“We were looking to de-paint one of our aircraft,” says Foster. “Many of the available cleaning methods were too expensive, and we had an engineer who had worked with a company that developed a mechanism that would take regular ice, crush it into small particles, and would blast out at high speeds using pressurized air.”
The company that developed this technology had gone bankrupt over a decade before, so they had this engineer build a system.
“It was very large at the time, but we knew we had something special and unique,” says Foster. “There was nothing else on the market like this.”
Foster took the helm of the newly acquired Coulson Ice Blast in 2015 and started investing in research and development the following year, creating a smaller, more affordable machine.
“We were recognized by R&D Magazine for one of the top 100 technologically significant products of the year,” he says. “From there, things have started to snowball. We have more traction, more distribution partners, which is part of our path forward for disrupting the industry.”
This new tech marks the first major wave of innovation in the cleaning industry in decades. Ice is a cost effective media with very little water waste.
“Our research has shown that the average return on investment for a customer ranges from three to six months,” says Foster.
The Ice Storm product is a compact machine that can take advantage of both ice and dry ice medias.
Ice is readily available, cost effective, and more aggressive, but dry ice is ideal for situations such as the cleaning of electrical components and fungal spore removal, where even minimal amounts of moisture are unacceptable.
“We wanted to create a tool that produced a lot of value for the customer,” says Foster. “We’re now the global leader in ice blasting technology and are going through a significant amount of growth. We have around 45 stocking distributors right now, and we deal around the world all the time.”
As the company was developing this new product, they focussed on creating something that was not only cost effective, but that was esthetically pleasing.
“We’re disrupting an industry that hasn’t seen any change in decades,” says Foster. “Until we launched our product, the industrial cleaning industry hasn’t seen much innovation. There was sand blasting in the 1800s, pressure washing in the 1900s, and few other notable innovations.
“I believe we have created a tool for the customer that will generate significant value for consumers. Being able to own just one piece of cleaning equipment that is effective in many different cleaning applications is the ideal system.”