Nationwide compressor maintenance for Royal Mail

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Royal Mail handles 26 million items passing through their mail centres each day. With 40,000 items sorted per hour by flat sorting machines, it is critical to their operations.

There are 27 flat sorting machines across the country for A4 sized letters, and with only one in each operation this is a single point of failure. Powered by compressors which run 24/7, there should always be a standby compressor. If both compressors breakdown, no mail can be fed, and this process must then be completed manually, which is costly and inefficient.


Compressed air plays a vital role in the day-to-day success of operations. So, when Royal Mail needed a reliable and cost-effective supplier, they went to market for competitive tendering.

Manoj Vadher, Head of Engineering Reliability and People Development explained: ‘I’m in charge of all 3rd party contracts, but at times I spend more time managing the contractors than my own engineers.’

‘We experienced recurring issues including failure to attend site following the initial call, expensive repair bills and multiple compressors stopping on single sites. This ultimately halted our production.’

‘I visited Direct Air’s stand at Maintec and discussed their compressor maintenance packages. We then invited them to tender.’

Manoj and Royal Mail expected an informed SLA which considered their geographical reach. With 30 compressed air systems ranging from Glasgow to Exeter, the response times had to be accountable for all sites.


Since the start of the contract in 2015, Royal Mail have only lost production once which was within the first 24 hours, and that was due to failure of a component fitted previously.

Manoj Vadher concluded: 'Direct Air are one of the best supplier contracts I have ever signed. They have taken away all the previous worries, hassles and problems.'

Want to find out more about our servicing package for Royal Mail? Read the full case study on our website:

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