“Human warmth”: CEO of the company “Amperetex” talking about magical bread bin, competition with “Tesla” and personnel recruitment19.11.2020
Is there some way to do it so that your tea would never cool down? Will the problem with icicles falling from the roof be solved? Who is going to “kill” Tesla? We have talked about it with the founder of a unique startup from Kaliningrad, the general director of “Amperetex” LLC Pavel Pogrebniakov.
– The “Amperetex” company became a resident of the special economic zone in 2020 and in a few months you are going to open a plant in the industrial park “Khrabrovo”. Could you tell us what exactly do you do?
– Our specialists are involved in the production of unique heating conducting threads based on polymers and nano-additives, creating a molecular-level compound. Then we use this thread to create the thinnest fabrics and grids which can be heated up to 300-350°C, but in the usual circumstances we create fabrics with heating temperature up to 40°C. At this temperature it can be used to create comfort for a person.
– What kind of projects have you already executed?
– At this point, until our AMPERETEX plant in the industrial park “Khrabrovo” is built, we’re producing experimental samples in the European Union. I’ll tell you about some of our projects, which we currently have implemented.
First of all, it was a “warm stuffing” for furniture: using our fabrics, we can make a composite with any material for furniture coverings. Secondly, helipads, entrances and exits of multistory car parks, public transport stops have been functioning for two years now without ice build ups.
At the end of this year we’re planning to establish a system for prevention of icicles building-up on one of the houses in Saint-Petersburg. The question of roof de-icing and falling icicles is relevant for many cities in the world and we offer to make a part of the roof along its edge intellectual and temperature-active, what would allow to solve the problem without human intervention and piles of different energy-intensive cable systems.
– Does anyone abroad have an interest in your products?
– I’d say, this very interest caused our company to be formed. We received a very positive feedback about using our prototypes and growing demands let us work up the courage and initiate to form a company having a complete production cycle. One of our promising avenues is cooperation with the largest Asian manufacturer of electric automobiles, the Chinese “Tesla killer” – concern NIO. We’re establishing a temperature contour system of battery chargers for them. At a certain temperature their efficiency increases up to 30% what would allow to increase operational kilometers on one battery up to 600 km. In China they presently use graphite-based heaters, but our alternative is thinner and that would allow to make even a lighter car and thus contributing to additional operational kilometers.
We have also worked on the elements of dive suits’ internal heating which would allow to extend the comfortable working in deep waters.
– How does your technology affect a person, is it dangerous?
– Heating occurs due to the infrared radiation of the long wave which harmonizes perfectly with all living beings as they themselves radiate heat exactly at this range. There results a kind of “human warmth”. It can clearly be felt by using a household heater based on our technology. When used, it makes a person feel comfortable, the air is neither hot, nor dry, no static electricity occurs on textiles and the oxygen doesn’t deplete. That’s really comfortable and eco-friendly.
Besides it has already been proved that infrared promotes relaxation and alleviates nervous tension.
– Where have you presented your experimental samples and have you talked to potential customers?
– We took part in several major exhibitions and we continue doing it in a modern way in terms of the pandemics. We worked successfully at the JEC fair in Paris, and made regular visits to some partners at the exhibition “Chimiya” (rus. for “Chemistry”) in Moscow, our product attracted a lot of interest at the international trade fair “Textextil” in Frankfurt. We are actively cooperating with Russian and European research institutes.
– How is the use of such materials economically justified? And how much electricity is required?
– The most important feature of “Amperetex” technology is its energy-efficiency which is achieved not only due to infrared capability, but also due to a constructive feature – a minimum distance from the heating element to the surface, so that much less power is needed in order to achieve the required temperature. Here’s an example: based on our technology, we create hard composite material for using as a part of upholstery coverings in public transport, which functions not only as covering, but also as a heater. Electricity consumption of such covering reaches 100 W per square meter, which is comparable to a standard light bubble.
– What kind of equipment are you planning to use in your plant?
– The equipment will be unique and mostly European. We created some elements from scratch together with European engineering centers.
– You are collaborating with “Quantorium” of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University. What kind of projects have the teenagers proposed?
— It is a very interesting collaboration. We are really looking forward to the final development. For instance, based on our technology a group of kids decided to make a cup in which the liquid wouldn’t cool off during working hours, moreover you’ll be able to add liquid countless times. You work on your computer, there is a cup of tea in the special zone of the table and the temperature remains the same. And that all wirelessly – sounds fantastic! I can’t reveal all the secrets, but this could be an excellent business project. Just like a project of another group, which is creating a special bread bin, where the products are always warm, but not dry. The bread reaches a “tasty” temperature, but it doesn’t dry out. The kids’ projects are ambitious and I really hope they’re going to make it.
– The opening of your plant is scheduled for spring 2021 and from New Year you are starting to recruit staff. What specialists would you like to see in your factory?
– As for the list of vacancies, it is typical for every enterprise. We will need sales managers, electronic engineers, laboratory assistants, weavers and executive personnel. Although our concept of stuff recruitment is more profound.
We will invite people who, apart from their occupational skills, also have entrepreneurial capabilities. We will most welcome and support initiatives of our employees with the aim of creating products based on our technology and “pack them up” into their business project, which will be under the full control of employee’s team proposed by him.
– It looks like a counterpart to an employee’s cooperative.
– Well, something like that. In this regard, we transform our staff members into a kind of business incubator, where the employees already promote their own products on the external market. We create for our colleagues unique possibilities concerning purchase and promotion and they think about customer-oriented products. Those could be warm walls, heated window sills, functional polycarbonate for hothouses, warm soft roof – anything you like.
Through this approach, we are planning to achieve several goals. First of all, every employee will be interested in the products’ quality to the fullest extent which is the main part of her project. Besides, such a model would enhance the employees’ well-being without burdening the payroll of “Amperetex”. A considerable effect also would be the personnel stability, as after leaving the factory, an employee loses all benefits in purchasing and promoting his product.
– How does it look like? Let’s just say, I’m working for you as an engineer and I get a business idea. What’s next?
– Next we are going to provide you full support. First, the idea must be formed. Once a week we would meet in a kind of “sandbox” where we would discuss all new proposals of our employees. We will try to pack your idea as much as possible, give some advice, carry out experiments, develop a prototype or evaluate a business model. We will discuss the project architecture, ways of attracting monetary funds, we’ll help with legal arrangements, marketing, presentation of the project at exhibitions. This being said, all value added is the income of our staff which we don’t claim.
“Amperetex” is focusing on the globalized world market and we want to become a world-wide company and that’s why we are looking for people, who will create unique products based on our technology. For our employees there are no limits in implementing their ideas.
Those who’d like to work with us can submit their CV to this address: HR@amperetex.ru.
– A short time ago “Amperetex” was nominated for the annual business award “Profi”-2020. Was it a significant event for your company?
– That was indeed unexpected and really nice. We are nominated for “Discovery of the year” and for our young team it is a certain kind of advance as we are actually a technology start-up. Incredible people, teams and projects were nominated for the award and joining such interesting and diverse projects is an amazing honor.