Ian Stones – Acoustics Specialist

What’s your Role within Airmatic?

I’m the Director of Airmatic Acoustics and the lead acoustics specialist within the organisation. I work with clients to design industrial and environmental noise control solutions. I do this by helping identify issues on site and the source of their noise problems. I use noise calculations and work with Airmatic’s engineers to come up with a range of solutions.

What’s your Background?

I established Airmatic Acoustics in 2013. Prior to that I held senior appointments at several noise control companies in a career spanning 25 years. I studied for my Masters Degree in Applied Acoustics at the University of Salford and I am an active member of the Institute of Acoustics.

What are the Typical Types of Noise Problems you’re Asked to Solve?

Everything from helping companies to reduce noise levels on the factory floor and complying with the Safety at Work Act through to reducing noise levels  affecting local residents who have complained to a manufacturing company or the operator of a waste management and recycling plant, for example.

We’re a one stop bespoke acoustics solutions provider. This involves sizing up the problem and identifying the process or equipment that’s to blame for the excessive noise levels.

Once we’ve identified the problem (or problems, as it’s often the case that there are multiple ‘offenders’ on site), we then we work on a tailor made solution so that the client company isn’t in breach of legislation, its employees are working within acceptable noise levels and local residents aren’t troubled by unwanted noise in their neighbourhood.

Following the troubleshooting stage we work on the design and specification of the acoustic control solution and our colleagues work on manufacturing and installing the noise control equipment.

What Sort of Noise Control Solutions Do You Specify?

Every noise problem is different, no two jobs are quite the same – unless they are for identical or mirror image sites.

We’re frequently called upon to devise a solution to absorb  the noise output from units such as pumps, motors and compressors.

Our solutions can involve everything from acoustic panels to acoustic booths, barriers, enclosures and acoustic louvres – whatever combination, configuration and sizes are best suited to resolving the specific  noise issues in question.

Which Industry Sectors Do You Have Experience In?

I’ve worked in a wide range of sectors from waste management & recycling to aerospace, general manufacturing, building services companies and food processing plants.

Which Are The Emerging Sectors Seeking Noise Control Solutions?

We’ve been doing quite a bit of work in the waste re-cycling sites. This is in view of the fact that it’s a growing area of operation and also because of the impending legislation in this sector.

We’re earning a reputation for ourselves as problem solvers and solution providers in this sector.

In general, these sites have two key issues: unwanted noise from the machinery used in the recycling process and also the need to put an end to complaints from neighbours when the operators have exceeded the maximum noise levels allowed at the boundary of the site.

Timely action from professionals, such as ourselves, is key to resolving these issues speedily and effectively.

This sector is also important to Airmatic as its noise problems come hand in glove with odour issues too so we can look at the problems holistically and engineer and deliver solutions that relate to both of these problem areas.

Do you Devise Bespoke Solutions for our Customers or are they off the Shelf Products?

Yes, we pride ourselves on our customised acoustic solutions, tailor made to our customers’ needs.

Do you Work on New Build or Retrofit Projects?

Ideally noise control systems would be incorporated at new build stage and whilst we are often appointed for new build projects, many of the jobs we’re called in to  are retrofits on older buildings/plant installations.

How Have Companies Heard of Airmatic Acoustics?

Word certainly gets around in our sector. Companies come to us through several routes, ranging from referrals from other satisfied customers, repeat orders, Google searches and increasingly via recommendations from noise consultants who know of our expertise and professional reputation in this specialist field .

What Do You Like Most About Your Job?

I think it’s being able to solve a problem or series of problems that’s proving a headache for a company and seeing that company benefit from our experience and expertise.

I like a challenge and it’s a great sense of personal pride where we’ve been able; to come up with a solution against the odds.

Where Can We See Airmatic Acoustic’s work in everyday use?

When you are doing your weekly shop, take a look at the acoustic louvres installed outside many high street supermarkets to quieten the noise generated by their refrigeration plants and chances are that there could be an Airmatic job near you!