Fallprotec specializes in providing engineered fall protection solutions for industrial clients and provides continuous protection for workers performing tasks at height. Their expertise lies in providing height safety solutions that meet the highest standards of quality and reliability. Fallprotec’s portfolio includes a range of products and services such as facade access systems, suspended access solutions and horizontal Securope fall arrest lifelines, all designed to ensure the safety of personnel working at height.

Interview with Remi Timmermans, Sales Director & David Callejas, Head of Engineering Department at Fallprotec.

Easy Engineering: How was 2022 for your business, a short summary?

Remi Timmermans & David Callejas: In 2022, Fallprotec witnessed significant growth and transformation. We relocated to new facilities in January and implemented several IT innovations, such as:

  • -implementing a BIM library
  • -finishing the web portal “Assitant”, a dealer area and a tracking workflow platform to assist clients worldwide with management tools for their sales and project departments 
  • -continuing our work on 360 videos of our projects’ installations that could be watched on VR sets

These changes have enhanced our ability to go further and bring new tools to our clients to improve their commercial efficiency and the understanding of our products added value while improving our operational efficiency as well.

Despite some challenges posed by inflation and its impact on our operational margins, we were able to maintain a strong distribution of our products in the European market. Additionally, our export business continued to grow, demonstrating our company’s ability to thrive in a global marketplace.

E.E: What products/services did you launch this year?

  • New GuardRails EN 14122-3, with multiple configurations for instance; vertically fixed GuardRail, Wall-mounted GuardRail and Counterbalanced GuardRail. 
  • Complete range of roof anchors for the USA market under the standard ANSI/ASSP Z359.6: 2009 and OSHA1910 Subpart D
  • New temporary Lifeline – SecuRope Tempo – EN795-C:2012
  • New range of fixing interfaces for the SecuRope cable lifeline system on a cold deck roof EN795:2012 Type C.

E.E: How did the market change, compared to previous years?

R.T & D.C: Fallprotec has been evolving in two distinct niche markets: fall protection and suspended access solutions.

While the safety supply for roofs has become a competitive market space over the years, we have chosen to adopt a differentiation strategy. Instead of focusing on offering low-cost, low-quality solutions, Fallprotec has remained committed to offering only the highest quality fall protection systems. We are expanding our range of products to include solutions that secure other areas of buildings and factories. Our product portfolio meets the stringent requirement of big industrial companies and high end construction. 

The suspended access market is divided into two main categories: rope access solutions and building maintenance units (BMU). Fallprotec has chosen to specialize in the design of lightweight solutions. This has helped us carve out a unique position in the market and has allowed us to stand out from our competitors. 

Overall, Fallprotec’s commitment to offering high-quality, differentiating solutions has helped to establish a strong foothold in both the fall protection and suspended access markets. By continuing to innovate and prioritize safety, we are sure to remain a key player in these markets for years to come.

R.T & D.C: Fallprotec is establishing a pre-study department dedicated to designing bespoke suspended access solutions, aiming at a better assistance for architects and façade consultants. This allows us to integrate façade cleaning and window replacement into building concepts, which we have seen a growing demand for.

Furthermore, we are proud to announce the completion of several major R&D projects in our standard range, which are the following:

E.E: What are the new challenges in your field of activity?

R.T & D.C: The standards are the backbone of our two markets. Since Fallprotec operates on a worldwide scale, we must comply with up to seven distinct standards for the same product.

In certain geographical areas, such as Asia, low-cost companies are gaining a momentum. The most effective way to counter it is to offer service and knowledge in addition to the product.  

As architectural projects continue to evolve, their complexity increases, leading to more intricate solutions required for their maintenance.

E.E: How did you overcome these challenges in this more competitive environment?

R.T & D.C: Fallprotec has chosen to differentiate itself by providing more than just products. We have built a dynamic and expert team. We created an environment and services to facilitate the sales of our projects, which has enabled us to stand out in the construction industry.

Through our project engineering department, we have the ability to design, manufacture, and supply bespoke solutions for architectural or industrial clients.

Our experience with turn-key projects has enabled us to develop the necessary skills, technical solutions, and market and customer understanding to keep growing and differentiate our products from our competitors. Thanks to this experience, we are able to offer unique solutions that meet our clients’ specific needs. 

We invested in high quality marketing solutions to explain our range of solutions to decision makers. Our datasheets and our web marketing generate many enquiries. 

To ensure quick delivery of our products to our network of specialized installers, we have invested heavily in our supply chain and stock.

We have established subsidiaries in the Middle East and the USA to better serve these local markets. These strategic moves have helped us build a strong reputation and a loyal customer base, while continuing to grow our business.

E.E: Tell us about product innovation and how will it impact the future?

R.T & D.C: As the industry continues to evolve, we remain committed to developing innovative solutions that set us apart. Our primary objective is to help the industry become more efficient in protecting people’s lives, and we are constantly looking for ways to achieve this goal.

Our product innovation goes beyond technical specifications and pricing requirements; we also focus on making our systems user-friendly and distinct. By taking into account the needs and preferences of our users, we ensure that our solutions are intuitive and easy to use.

Our product innovation is driven by the goal of creating safer and more sustainable workplaces. We understand that our solutions have a direct impact on the lives of our users, and we are committed to ensuring that they are as safe and sustainable as possible. With our dedication to innovation and excellence, we are confident that we can continue to make a positive impact on the industry and the people who depend on our solutions.

With regards of Fallprotec, we developed a comprehensive range covering as well collective protection, fall protection and suspended access. This puts us in the unique position to engineer and deliver all the solutions required for building.

The RopeClimber for instance is a battery powered hoist working on textile rope.

This unique technology meets all the criteria of the machine directive 2006/42/CE and EN1808:2015.   

E.E: How will product innovation help the customers?

R.T & D.C: The connection between products and data has become increasingly important in the realm of safety equipment, as it has greatly facilitated the traceability and inspection aspects of these products. This has made it easier for building owners to monitor the condition of their safety equipment, which in turn increases the safety of the end-users who rely on it. 

One product that has benefited from this trend is the RopeClimber, which has resolved many important aspects for window cleaners. By working on textile rope, this hoist is significantly lighter than previous designs that relied on steel wire rope. Additionally, the RopeClimber is equipped with a battery, which enables it to operate without the cumbersome power supply cables that were once necessary.

Overall, the technological advancements in safety equipment have had a significant impact on both building owners and end-users. By creating products like the RopeClimber that are lighter and more versatile than previous designs, we can continue to improve safety standards across the industry.

E.E: What are the industry trends in the markets you are currently active?

R.T & D.C: The construction industry is on track to become furthermore digitalized and automated in the next five years.

There is a growing trend towards using intelligence modeling in the construction industry for project management and building maintenance.

There is tremendous potential for automating design tasks, and we see this trend continuing to grow. 

The market may experience important shifts as a result of progress made in metallic alloys and carbon fiber. 

E.E: What do you think the trends will be next year?

R.T & D.C: The deployment of 4G and 5G networks has also led to a surge in demand for vertical lifelines. These lifelines are essential for workers who need to access cell towers and other elevated structures. With more and more companies investing in these networks, it’s clear that demand for vertical lifelines will continue to rise in the coming years. There’s why, there’s a noticeable increase in demand for specialized applications when it comes to safety equipment. One product that has proven particularly popular with telecom players is the vertical lifeline SecuRope Quickset EN353-1:2014. This product has undergone extensive testing and validation, making it a top choice for those in the telecommunications industry.

Industrial companies in both Europe and America are investing in their production capabilities. This leads to an increased demand for products like SecuRail Pro and SafeAccess (for fall arrest) EN795:2012 Type D, which are rigid rail systems designed to provide fall protection in a variety of industrial settings.

As these trends continue, it’s clear that safety equipment manufacturers like us will need to keep innovating to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

E.E: What is the outlook for 2023?

R.T & D.C: For the time being we experience an strong demand and expect 2023 to be a record year. 
Yet the change of monetary policy starts to have an impact on major real estate investments. This may reduce the demand for the medium end construction segment. 

The construction market is going through a strong transformation, we are ready to tackle the next challenges as well as providing solutions for existing buildings that will need to be accessed to.