GO WITH THE FLOW

With facilities across all four corners of the world, Flovac is the largest designer, supplier, and operator of vacuum sewerage systems worldwide. At last count, Flovac had executed more than 350 projects across 40 countries. Their innovative and sustainable sewerage solutions have established Flovac as industry leaders.

Their expertise lies in solving difficult sewage engineering problems in unique geographic areas, including those that are environmentally sensitive. Helping them achieve that, not only here in New Zealand, but Australia too, is N2P Controls. 

Together, N2P and Flovac have established a reliable and efficient approach to designing, integrating, and commissioning vacuum sewer systems.

Fostering collaboration 

Flovac’s operations manager, Jane Hamill, explains that Flovac began work with N2P in 2019 during the tender process for a large residential development project in Clevedon. “We were in a bind. It was a design-construct tender, so we needed to provide a price,” she says. 

Jane approached N2P managing director Niki Johnstone, who was able to provide instrumental support. “With his extensive background and experience, Niki was able to help us get to a point where we could offer a budgetary price.”

Flovac and N2P have continued to work together on numerous projects. “Some have been smooth and easy, but we’ve actually thrown them a couple of really quite complicated and difficult projects,” says Jane. “But the N2P team have always been able to deliver.”

Remote control

Flovac’s engineering, operations and production facilities are located in a number of core centres around the world, including Sydney, Australia. Travel restrictions during the pandemic made it increasingly difficult to manage their projects in New Zealand. 

“We obviously couldn’t travel to New Zealand and there were a couple of Auckland projects there that needed to be commissioned,” Jane explains. 

But thanks to N2P, work was able to go ahead. Niki and his team were able to provide on-ground support in New Zealand. Their expert team worked remotely with Flovac’s commissioning engineers, while also managing electrical subcontractors in New Zealand.

Jane explains that because Flovac carries out projects across different states of Australia, they generally use electrical subcontractors for each. “But what we found is that every time you go into a new state, you have to deal with different councils, different regulations, and different electrical designers.

“Now, because we have this trusted relationship with N2P and they know what we do and what we need, they’re able to take on the role of managing not only our New Zealand subcontractors, but they can remotely manage the Australian ones also.

“Flovac is focused on functionality and process,” says Jane. “N2P has helped us streamline some of those processes. 

A flourishing partnership

N2P’s ability to scope and navigate local regulatory requirements was a big bonus for Flovac. “When we deal with larger, more rigid approval authorities, N2P are able to adapt our controls to achieve the same operation, but to do it in a way that’s acceptable to the approval authority.

“With N2P, we now essentially have an in-house expert that we bring along with us in every project that we work on.” For Flovac, that means having the peace of mind in knowing they can turn around effective and efficient design, reliably and consistently.

“One of the reasons for that is around the level of support we get from them. They don’t pull rabbits out of the hat, but they’re very upfront and honest. They let us know if they can do things faster or better or see a way that we could do it better,” says Jane. 

Solving challenges

Because Flovac is the largest vacuum sewerage specialist operating in Australia and New Zealand, the N2P team have had to adapt to work with their unique systems. 

“Add to that, a lot of our componentry is sourced from overseas, and we often don’t get all the documentation and information you’d expect with it,” Jane says. 

“Other suppliers we’ve used have told us they can’t start or do anything without that information. N2P, on the other hand, take a more solutions-oriented approach. They’ll work with whatever we can supply, ask questions, and then get on with it.

“It’s so easy to work with them because we don’t have to tell them what we do, how something works, or what we want. They just take our basic philosophy and adapt. That’s why we call them partners instead of subcontractors.

“In this industry you have to be able to work with people you can trust and rely on. And that’s what Niki’s team has brought.”

Need unique solutions and an adaptable approach? Get in touch with our team today to find out more about how N2P can work with your business.

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