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Loving every challenge

Having a wide variety of experience in the HVAC&R industries, Tony Moodley has always found these sectors quite fascinating.

Image credit: Tony Moodley

Image credit: Tony Moodley

May 2022 personality profile sponsored by:

https://www.fourwaysaircon.co.za/

According to Moodley, a technician working in these fields must have a broad knowledge base that includes electrical, plumbing, sheet metal, piping, and so on. His career path began by first working in the refrigeration space on cold/freezer rooms, counter fridges, and blast fridges before joining a company that specialised in computer room air conditioning. The controls used to maintain close-control temperature and humidity were intriguing, and so he slowly moved away from refrigeration towards comfort cooling.

What Moodley likes most about his work is that each project has a ‘personality’ and further he enjoys understanding the needs of the project and ensuring its success. “I love the challenges presented daily; no two days are the same and starting up a system and commissioning it without any major issues is a very rewarding experience.”

Considering his most significant achievement to date, Moodley points out that during the hard lock down that started in March 2020, and while almost the entire country was locked inside their homes, his company, Airetronic Maintenance, was fortunate to be part of three different construction projects that had to complete Covid-isolation facilities in a very short period of time. “I enjoyed having to think out the box and utilising my 30-odd years of experience in the industry to find unique solutions here. We worked 24/7 to complete the various hospitals and we met all of our deadlines.”

Another achievement that Moodely is very proud of is being the current chairman of SARACCA KZN and contributing to the upliftment of the HVAC&R industries.

Outside of work, Moodley is a huge fan of audio books and enjoys a good documentary. When permitting, he spends quality time with his sons fishing at the beach. He also enjoys travelling across the beautiful country. “There are so many places that I still need to visit. Sitting in a dark nature reserve and watching the stars is priceless”, he says.

Considering ways the industry can better itself, his thought process is simple and direct. “Training, training, and more training”, he expresses. This is owing to the fact that for years the industry has lacked proper training. Companies have moved away from offering apprenticeships and rely on poaching staff from the few companies that do still invest in training. “I would like to see more companies joining official bodies such as SARACCA and making use of the training rebate offered by the organisation. We all have a part to play in improving the quality of artisans in these industries”, he adds.

Moodley believes that well-trained staff will result in improved performance, better quality installations and better profits. Training is a win-win situation and is vital for this industry to sustain itself.

Mulling over the quality, cost and time triangle (as illustrated) one sees more projects focussing on time and cost which results in poor quality. “We need to see quality brought back and although this will have an effect on time and cost, the clients will benefit from getting good value for the money spent instead of paying later for premature and expensive repairs that could have been avoided – this brings the entire industry down. We all have a part to play in improving our industries. Change happens by the smallest things. Participating in bodies like SARACCA offers opportunities to make our voices heard.”

In a view of the future, Moodley’s concerns include the rising cost of electricity that is going to have a significant impact. It is well documented that air conditioning contributes up to 80% of a building’s energy consumption and so embracing change and incorporating more efficient technology to reduce energy consumption is critical.

“Climate changes and higher seasonal temperatures will also mean that air conditioning will become a necessity, and so looking ahead, there will be a continual growing market in my view with a focus on quality”, Moodley concludes.