Executive Profile: Tim Clarke, Director/Owner, PMAX Filters
Tim Clarke, Director/Owner, PMAX Filters
Fueled by frustration with the poor performance of engines at sea, Tim Clarke looked for an answer. Using his years of experience and knowledge as an engineer, he found a solution. Today Clarke is the Director and Owner of PMAX Filters, which manufactures air filters for engine air inlets to keep out dirt that can cause poor engine performance and increased emissions. His filters can be found on ships around the world as more and more engineers find the benefits that these filters offer to onboard engines.
Recently MarEx caught up with Mr. Clarke and had the chance to learn more about him and PMAX Filters:
MarEx: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
Tim Clarke (TC): I am a Chief Engineer with 25 years of sea going experience. I got my start as an apprentice with the Royal Australian Navy. The greatest thing I have to offer is my 15 years of experience with commercial vessels, Ro-Ros, container ships, offshore supply vessels and LPG carriers.
MarEx: What positions have you held on ship?
TC: I’ve worked as an apprentice on ship all the way up to 4th Engineer Officer and Chief Engineer Officer.
MarEx: You hold a Class 1 Motor Unrestricted Certificate of Competency. What does this certificate mean to customers?
TC: The Class 1 Motor license is the highest international certificate of competency for motor ships that a Chief Engineer can obtain. I have held this certificate since 1990. This licensing shows customers our experience and level of quality and commitment to our product.
MarEx: Is there anyone you look up to or that has inspired you in your professional career? TC: I’ve had the opportunity to look up to several other professional marine engineers and engineering superintendents throughout my career.
MarEx: What does PMAX Filters do?
TC: PMAX Filters manufactures air filters for ships and power station turbocharger air inlets where no specific air filter exists.
MarEx: What sparked the idea for the PMAX Filters? TC: Years of seagoing experience and frustration with the poor performance of large marine diesel engines led me looking for a solution. After finding some copper gauze air filters on the main engine’s turbochargers of an AHTS Offshore Supply Vessel almost totally blocked- choking the life out the engines- I realized the benefit that installing filters could have. It was this find that sparked the idea to install well designed air filters on the ships engine air inlets.
MarEx: Where did you begin? Did you spend a lot of time researching and developing?
TC: PMAX Filters began in 2000 by adapting industrial air filters to fit the engine turbo inlets of harbor tugs. Research and development has been successfully achieved by using our own observations and implementing the feedback we receive from chief engineers using PMAX Filters.
MarEx: What has starting this business taught you?
TC: I’ve learned that business is tough and the best businesses look after each other.
MarEx: What are your goals for the company?
TC: I hope to have the worlds maritime organizations recognize that having correctly designed and manufactured air filters fitted to marine engines is necessary and compulsory. These filters make engines safer and reduce visible air pollution.
MarEx: Who are your customers?TC: We have customers the world over, with ships operating from the Arctic to the Antarctic and all oceans in between, also power stations in the Outback of Australia, the Pacific islands and even the power station on the island of Guernsey, near France.
MarEx: How many facilities do you have?
TC: We have 2 facilities in Australia, a manufacturing facility and a warehouse and distribution facility.
MarEx: What benefits do your filters offer to ship owners and operators? What sets your product apart from the competitors?
TC: PMAX Filters reduce maintenance costs by eliminating the need to remove air coolers for cleaning. As a result of the filters, engines run with more power, lower exhaust temperatures and less fuel consumption. PMAX Filters differ from the OEM filters by having a pleated element for air flow and dirt loading rather than an open copper gauze or cheap throw away wrap. Our filters are washable for thousands of hours of engine operation.
MarEx: What is the most satisfying part of your job?TC: I find satisfaction and motivation when I’m contacted by a Chief Engineer at sea who recognizes how well the PMAX Filters perform to expectations.