Airmaster Aerator is a manufacturer and distributer of unique, high capacity water aeration equipment used to clean surface water, all while using less energy and reducing maintenance costs. A recipient of Louisiana Economic Development’s lantern award, Airmaster can create high capacity water movement using its aeration equipment, with exports going to destinations as far away is Bolivia, Columbia and Uruguay. Airmaster was founded in 1999 by Dean Caldwell, who holds three U.S. patents on improvements to water treatment systems and equipment:
[Q] What inspired you to develop Airmaster Aerator?
[A] For years we have owned a private water and sewer company that provides service to over 500 homes. Through work with this company, we saw the need to improve the quality of the water being discharged. I wanted to design an energy-efficient aerator to biodegrade the wastewater before it is discharged into the receiving stream. I designed and built the Airmaster Aerator and have since received three United States patents in aeration and wastewater treatment.
[Q] What advantages did Airmaster Aerator benefit from that could only be found in Louisiana?
[A] Well, the quality and work ethic of the people in Louisiana is a definite plus. Also, taxes are not excessive and there are not the unnecessary and often-burdensome restrictions to business that some states have. Infrastructure in the state is good, so we have no problems with shipping, and there is a wealth of technical support people to help with any problems with computers and/or machinery.
The State of Louisiana is friendly to small business. The people of Louisiana are passionate about their work and their state. Louisiana is famous for great food, great music and great outdoor activities (The Sportsman's Paradise) and all of that is true – but what may not be as well-known is the hard work and the spirit of entrepreneurship that exists here.
[Q] What is Airmaster Aerator doing that no other company is doing?
[A] Our new Airmaster Aerator “Turbo X-Treme” aerator is truly one of the most advanced and efficient floating/surface aerators available. With its unique design, we can provide high capacity water movement with aeration. Due to this efficient design and operation, our “Turbo X-Treme” aerator has proven to replace other aerators with up to three times the horsepower. This efficient operation equates to substantial electrical energy savings as well as maintenance cost savings.
[Q] What challenges did you face in the development phase of Airmaster Aerator, and how did you overcome them?
[A] The biggest challenge we faced was (and is) in marketing. We have a product that is completely different from any of the competitors’ products, so the challenge was to educate potential customers on the savings and benefits of using our products. We have to sell a process, as well as a product, to municipal and industrial clients. Once people understand the benefits, the product makes sense for them and the sale is much easier, but getting the message out to everyone is the greatest challenge.
[Q] When did you realize that Airmaster Aerator would be a success?
[A] In business, you are constantly working to try to be successful. But when you have an idea, and after much thinking, planning, designing and working, you make it a reality – it is pretty special. After we sold our first aerator, I felt we would be successful. Plus, our aerator is not a “me, too” product – it legitimately offers better performance – so I was confident that it would be a success.