One of the leading refrigeration wholesalers in the world, Beijer Ref has reported growth of approximately 12% in the first quarter of 2018. This is part of the company’s streak that comes from its increasing focus and investment into manufacturing activities. More specifically Beijer Ref has focused on making more environmentally friendly products that have led them to launch a new CO2 condensing unit and establishing a purpose-built CO2 training facility.
Beijer Ref CEO and president Per Bertland recently remarked about this: “Building an international platform for our eco-friendly technology is of major strategic importance and something on which we will continue to focus,”.
Built at the SCM Frigo Facility, the Beijer Ref Academy near Padua, Italy, formally started operations in March and focuses only on CO2 technology. The training facility has its own fully functional CO2 transcritical rack which comes with state of the art technologies along with a CUBO2 Plus and CUBO2 Smart, making it the most modern training facility in the industry.
“This initiative is our way of showing how seriously we view environmental issues, and I hope that the centre will contribute to increased knowledge in the market in general,” said Per Bertland.
With courses in CO2 tech available in Italian, French and English, the academy is open to everyone and will also be used to train the Beijer Ref’s own after-sales staff. It is projected that almost 100 engineers will undergo training at the academy by the end of 2018.
The SCM Frigo which became a Beijer Ref company in 2011 has been involved in creating and developing the CO2 refrigeration technology. It started with its first CO2 subcritical rack system installation in Switzerland in 2005. It then installed its first-ever transcritical rack in Luxemburg in 2006. Both are still operational today.
Being pioneers of CO2 technology, SCM Frigo has a strong relationship with Danfoss. Together both have worked on creating the first ever ICMTS motor-operated high-pressure valve for a CO2 system. This collaboration led SCM Frigo to work with other major players in the industry like Dixell, Carel and RDM.
In fact, at the Academy, the rack features a number of different technologies like the electromagnetic compressor and variety of ejectors (gas and liquid) which have been provided by Danfoss and Carel.
Currently, the demand for CO2 expertise has been spiking and continues to grow. SCM Frigo which was listed on Sainsbury back in 2009 and was subsequently listed on Carrefour in 2015 and was listed by Morrisons and Aldi in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Right now work the company is working in fulfilling the largest contract of its history for a logistics facility in Italy – 2.4 MW and involving 48 compressors which will include three medium and two low-temperature chillers along with two transcritical ones, all due for June.
SCM Frigo was founded back in 1979 to produce ammonia and HFC systems but its current pioneering expertise in CO2 technology is responsible for more than 90% of its sales.
Beijer Ref acquired equity first in SCM Frigo in 2011 but completed 100% purchase by 2014. By then the SCM Frigo’s turnover was formidable 23 million euros. However last year its turnover amounted to 31 million euros which came from 87% of the exports and almost 99% of it was CO2 technology. Considering current track of sales, the company is poised to hit 35 million euros in sales this year.
Innovative AC marketing product Air-Clear has been launched by award-winning company Gel-clear Ltd
Gel-clear Ltd, a company known for its award-winning condensate drain tablets, has launched a brand new, all-in-one antibacterial surface cleanser for air conditioning units. As a multi-purpose, multi-surface, non-hazardous spray, Air-Clear looks to bring in a new breath to the AC industry.
A safe non-hazardous water-based spray, it is non-flammable, non-corrosive, solvent and alcohol-free and produces no noxious fumes. With it’s less than 1% active ingredient, it is EU BPR compliant, NSF Registered, with no COSHH compliance requirements for its carriage, storage and use.
Air-clear is a highly effective antibacterial cleaning spray that eliminates bacteria such as MRSA, Salmonella, Listeria, C-Diff, E-Coli on all surfaces, preventing odours fast, up to 300 times faster than conventional antibacterials. Air-clear prevents and controls the biofilms that allow bacteria and odours to survive on surfaces. According to the independent performance test results, Air-clear eliminates 99.999% of germs and offers long-lasting protection for weeks after use. As a multi-surface product, it can be used on all the AC units surfaces.
Air-clear’s non-hazardous, water-based, ready to use powerful formula is safe to use in live operational environments. With it’s less than 1% active ingredient, it is EU BPR compliant, NSF Registered, solvent and alcohol-free. There are no noxious fumes or corrosive acids, and no COSHH compliance requirements for the carriage, storage and use.
It’s gentle formula as a non-corrosive spray, does not damage coil efficiency coatings. It’s simple to use, spray and wipe, ready to use, no mixing or dilution is required. Air-clear is a very cost-effective product, enables saving on the need to use multiple cleaning products on AC cleaning.
Announcing the new product, Gel-clear director Paurick Gaughan said: “We think our innovative and user friendly product has been considerately developed, its a context-specific solution, we wanted to simplify things, our spray appeals to the AC units user, owner, manufacturer and service engineer bringing operational efficiency with a powerful, long-lasting, sustained antibacterial coating, yet water-based, so it is safe to use in all environments.”
Sainsbury's and Walmart have officially confirmed their agreement to merge their Sainsbury’s and Asda businesses to create the UK’s largest retail chain with combined revenues in excess of £51bn.
The companies, currently the second and third largest supermarkets in the UK will give the new business a 26.7% share of the UK grocery market, more than current market leader, Tesco’s 25%.
The proposed merger will retain both the Sainsbury’s and Asda brands in a network of more than 2,800 Sainsbury’s, Asda and Argos stores.
The companies state that there are no planned store closures as a result of the merger and have identified synergies in buying benefits, such as opening Argos in Asda stores as well as operational efficiencies. Increased sales through digital channels are seen as a major target.
The combined business will be chaired by the Sainsbury’s chairman David Tyler and led by the Sainsbury’s CEO and CFO. Asda will continue to be run from Leeds with its own CEO, who will join the group operating board of the combined business.
In a statement released, the companies said: “The Combined Business will create a dynamic new player in UK retail with an outstanding breadth of products, delivered through multiple channels. Enhanced scale and a strengthened balance sheet will deliver a great deal for customers, colleagues, suppliers and shareholders of both businesses.”
Walmart will hold a 42% stake in the merged business, receiving £2.975bn of cash, valuing Asda at approximately £7.3bn.
A petition on fair payment and retentions will be delivered to UK prime minister Theresa May later this month by Peter Aldous MP and a delegation of industry leaders.
BESA and ECA, who are coordinating the presentation on April 23 comes just four days before the second reading of the Aldous Bill, which proposes cash retentions owed to suppliers should be held in trust accounts.
The group of industry leaders presenting the petition includes the National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses national chair Mike Cherry, Federation of Master Builders chief executive Brian Berry, director general of the Institute of Directors Stephen Martin, ECA CEO Steve Bratt and BESA CEO David Frise.
“This represents a tremendous show of support from industry and MPs,” commented BESA’s David Frise. “At its best, the industry can deliver a first-class built environment, but cash retentions impact every one of the 330,000 SMEs and sole traders represented in this petition. We need reform now and the proposal to hold cash retentions in trust will be a start to demonstrate lessons have been learned from Carillion.”
Payment abuse has climbed up the political agenda since construction giant Carillion collapsed just six days after the first reading of the Aldous Bill, leaving many SMEs owed huge sums of money. Had retentions owed by Carillion to suppliers been held in trust, this money could have been recovered.
Did you or anyone you know study the refrigeration engineer course at Eastleigh Technical College in the late 1970s? If so, BBC Radio Four is eager to contact you.
Paula McGinley is producing a new series for BBC Radio Four which traces a group of people who studied together at some point in their lives and then went their separate ways. The series will look at the twists and turns that take people from the same starting point in different directions.
The programme's researchers are already in contact with two individuals, Nick Petford and John Russell-Sanders, who attended the Refrigeration Engineering course at Eastleigh Technical College between 1978-79. If you attended the same course at around the same time, the BBC would love to hear from you!
The next IoR Cool Talks breakfast will be hosted by Dean & Wood at it's Leeds Head Office on Thursday 26th April.
They'll be serving coffee/tea and breakfast rolls on arrival! The free events will include a variety of talks on a diverse range of industry topics. Andy Kemecsei of Martindale Electrical will open talks with a discussion on electrical safe working. They'll also be talks held from Neil Roberts of Chemours on the options for replacing R404A. Steve Taliadoros of LU-VE will end the session with a talk on unit cooers and cold rooms.
The event begins at 8.30am on Thursday 26th April, ending at around 10.30am.
Further information and joining details can be found here.
There are huge growing concerns the UK is being a hub for the sales of refrigerant in disposable cylinders, an illegal container that has been banned for use within Europe for over 10 years. With growing evidence of contractors and engineers being contacted with offers of refrigerant, including R410A and R404A in illegal disposable cylinders, a quick search on eBay reveals vendors offering R404A in disposables. Some of which are also the source of listings on other sites including Ireland & France.
Since pressure from the industry, eBay has deleted some of the items insisting that any listings that don’t comply with its policies will be removed.
All the suspect listings are using images of disposable cylinders and others clearly state in the product descriptions that the refrigerant will be provided within these illegal disposables. It is still not known whether the product is being imported from outside of the quota system, however, it is clearly avoiding UK customs inspections and policing by the Environmental Agency.
With the huge increases in the price of high GWP refrigerants in the UK and Europe, the market has seen some individuals seeking alternative sources for the gas, and with the lack of policing of the F-gas regulations is presenting them with the opportunity to make large profits.
Established refrigerant suppliers are raising concerns about the purity of some of this refrigerant and its effects on both system efficiencies and reliability. Of much greater concern is that the current high refrigerant prices might encourage a reappearance of dangerous counterfeits with caused a number of deaths in 2011. Some of the illegal refrigerants now removed from eBays UK marketplace also included the CFC’s R12 and R502 from a source in the USA.
HRP has officially announced it's new branch opening in Gateshead. The branch is now open for business and welcoming new and existing customers to its new location. More details on personnel and official statement to come.
Address: 322H Mayoral Way, Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead NE11 0RT
Phone: 01913 896 482!
“The UK and Ireland markets are important to us and we continuously look at different ways of growing our market share with key partners,” commented Beijer Ref CEO Per Bertland. “The technical expertise of MHI, and the distribution expertise of Beijer Ref, will be integrated to have a broader and more complete offering to the customers through this joint venture.”
The 3D Plus name recalls the former MHI distributor 3D Air Conditioning, which became part of the HRP group in 2004. In 2017 MHI spilt from it's UK distributor AMP following the purchase by Panasonic, a rival air conditioning manufacturer, which left Beijer Ref company HRP as the sole UK distributor for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
“Partnering with MHI on an exclusive basis will strengthen HRP’s position whilst 3D Plus will complement it by opening new doors,” commented Beijer Ref UK and Ireland MD John Billson.
Billson confirmed that 3D Plus will be run as a separate company from the South of England. Personnel have yet to be confirmed, but B Ref is currently in the process of appointing a general manager.
“MHIAE and Beijer Ref have had a successful relationship collaborating in the Scandinavian market for many years,” revealed MHIAE managing director Masayuki Fujinami. “Through the formation of this joint venture, we are happy to be moving beyond a traditional manufacturer and distributor relationship and to joining our two companies together in a way that will allow us to harness our respective expertise and experience jointly.”
“It is our intention that 3D Plus will quickly become a similar size business to other Beijer Ref distribution channels in the UK,” added Per Bertrand. The MHI brand already has a strong market position which is a great platform for future growth. This joint venture further strengthens our partnership and we look forward to seeing the progress of 3D Plus.”
Bitzer has announced details of a new high-efficiency scroll compressor for air conditioning and HVAC applications.
At last month's Mostra Convego exhibition, Bitzer showcase the new Orbit+ models based on Bitzer’s currently available Orbit 6 and 8 series. These new units are equipped with a line start permanent magnet motor and improve the seasonal performance (SEER/IPLV) by up to 8% while also increasing cooling capacity by up to 5%.
The Orbit+ compressors can replace or be combined with standard Orbit models without redesigning the system significantly. The tandem and trio combinations are easily tailored towards system capacity and efficiency targets according to annual load characteristics and the customers’ specific needs. For even better capacity modulation, customers can add a frequency inverter like the Bitzer Varipack.
The Bitzer Orbit models recently introduced low-GWP A2L refrigerants, such as R454B and R452B and are designed to work with R410A. Similar to the Orbit 6 and 8 series that have already been introduced, the new Orbit+ models are able to operate with a frequency inverter at 35 to 75Hz while performing with a low sound level and low oil carry-over rate.
The compressors are interchangeable, which Bitzer says allows systems designers and manufacturers to simplify development work by using existing frameworks, footprints, piping layouts and manufacturing processes.
Bitzer has said they are easy to install, offer high energy efficiency when fully or partially loaded and have the lowest noise emissions in their capacity class. Energy consumption is extremely low, especially at low condensing temperatures, says Bitzer, where the Orbit Boreal series can be applied.