SIDNEY – As their name suggests, Service First Ltd. began as a service company for industrial machinery back in 1994.
Founded by Rick van Adrichem, the company has evolved into much more since then, and is now recognized for its expertise in compressed air, offering Kaeser air compressors and DV Systems piston compressors, air treatment and industrial equipment, along with maintenance and repair services.
“We specialize in everything to do with compressed air,” notes Paul van Adrichem, who bought the business from his parents in 2018. “We have a diverse customer base from a wide variety of industries, in both the public and private sectors. This includes everything from breathing systems for National Defense to laser cutting for highly specialized glass cutting equipment.”
Service First Ltd. originally focused on the window manufacturing sector, but they now serve all forms of manufacturing, from cabinetry and countertops to food production, ship building, hospitals, sawmills, and aquaculture.
They consult with clients to perform and analyze water infiltration testing for window installations, and in 2006, they entered a partnership with a firm in China and created their own line of window manufacturing equipment, Panda Machinery.
Kaeser air compressors is a premium built in Germany brand that has served customers very well. Service First became a master Kaeser distributor in 2005, offering a full line of energy-efficient rotary screw compressors, air dryers and compressed air filtration systems.
“It’s the premium brand, and they’re very reliable. Our partnership with Kaeser has been instrumental to our success in the market.”
Service First partners with BC Hydro, utilizing Kaeser energy monitoring equipment to perform energy studies on industrial air compressors, from which grants can be applied to help reduce operating costs.
“We have specialized equipment that we use to check the power consumption of the compressed air system” he says, adding it takes two weeks of monitoring then analysis to obtain results. “Once they have the study results, the clients can apply to BC Hydro for funding to upgrade to a more energy efficient system.”
“Some of the savings are significant. In some cases, our analysis shows the lease payments on new equipment are covered by the savings on power. It’s an interesting way to look at it, and it enables our customers to run their machines more efficiently.”
Like many companies, business slowed during Covid, but van Adrichem says they’re back to pre-pandemic levels.
“We are selling a good quality product, and we provide the service and support for what we sell,” he notes. “A good portion of the reliability comes from the installation, so you need to do a very good job of installation to get a reliable, high-quality system.”