“Our goal is to offer innovative and sustainable products”
Embraco is a multinational in the sector of hermetic compressors and cooling solutions for refrigeration and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of this segment. Embraco’s mission is to offer innovative solutions for a better quality of life. The compressor is the main component responsible for producing cold in the refrigeration system. With global operations and annual production capacity of 40 million units, Embraco offers solutions that are differentiated for their innovation, quality and low-energy consumption. Luis Felipe Dau, CEO, Embraco sheds light on Embraco’s journey in India, products offered by the company, innovations, expansion plans and much more in an email interaction with Cooling India...
Can you please take us through Embraco’s journey in India?
Our presence in India is aligned with Embraco’s vision to be a leader everywhere and recognized by customers as the preferred partner by 2020.
Embraco has been in the Indian market since 2009 with a focus on special applications for medical equipment. We have been learning a lot about the culture, end-users and about our customers’ needs. Aiming to expand its participation in the Indian market, Embraco is increasing its distribution network and has had, since 2016, a sales team dedicated to the business in the country.
In 2016, we also announced our entry into the household and commercial refrigeration market in the region and we are one of the first companies to provide high-efficiency compressors using natural refrigerants for the commercial refrigeration market in India. During a recent trade show, Embraco showcased the first R290 (propane) compressor for horizontal freezers in this market, highlighting the environmental and energy-efficiency benefits provided by using this natural refrigerant.
For 2017, we started at events on natural refrigerants in Japan (Atmosphere), and we have participated in ACREX, one of the top five biggest shows of the world with a customer-partnership strategy reinforcing our brand and products. Also, we have several other events planned for the year in other countries such as Indonesia, Australia and Thailand, as well as India.
Embraco’s greater presence in India aims to support our vision in this market and is in line with the country’s objectives, which is to promote increasingly energy efficiency in a demanding market for refrigeration. We want to provide a better quality of life to Indian population through innovative solutions specific for the market.
What are the trends in current refrigeration market? How would you envisage the growth with particular emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability in global refrigeration markets?
Variable speed compressors are current reality which will accelerate in the near future. We already see movements in the American, Asian and European markets with single speed compressors converting to Fullmotion, Embraco´s variable speed technology. The motivation is the growing demand for refrigeration systems with higher energy efficiency, lower noise and those that preserve food longer. In addition, the inverter electronics protect the compressor against voltage variation and power shortage. So, the reliability of these compressors is also a differential for both manufacturers and consumers. Connectivity is another relevant trend closely related to the Internet of Things. In the case of refrigerators, new features will be developed to connect the user increasingly more with the equipment, bringing advantages in food preservation, equipment maintenance, and reduction of problems by product stock-outs among others.
The use of natural refrigerants is a success case in many developed countries and it is on the agenda worldwide both for use in household refrigeration as well as for commercial. The United States, for example, is moving forward in the legal discussion of this issue and soon may require all household and light commercial refrigeration products to use natural fluids. The phase-in towards using these refrigerants already started in India, it involves investments to convert lines and equipment and we expect to see a fast conversion. Embraco´s global team is highly experienced in natural refrigerants from product conception and development to line conversion and customization to our customers´applications. We truly believe we can add a lot of value to our customers by jointly working to help them succeed in this new refrigeration market.
What kind of technological innovations would you like to incorporate in your products considering rising global temperature?
Sustainable development is a driver in the company’s strategy. We have the constant challenge of being at the forefront in developing new technologies and solutions that meet our customers’ demands and that promote energy efficiency, reduce consumption of natural resources and create solutions that offer increasingly less environmental impact.
Sustainability goes beyond developing intelligent solutions and continuous improvement. It’s part of the company’s day to day and is present throughout the value chain including employees and suppliers. For the company, relationships and processes need to be sustainable, both for products, processes and manufacturing plants.
For more than 20 years, Embraco has used natural refrigerants in its compressor portfolio for commercial and household use as an alternative to reduce the negative effects on the ozone layer, greenhouse effects and to improve the equipment’s efficiency index. Embraco believes that using natural refrigerants – especially hydrocarbons – is the ideal solution for the future of refrigeration by sustainably aligning economic and environmental needs. We are prepared to meet future legislation and best practices demanded by the market.
We have in our portfolio the Fullmotion technology, variable capacity compressors which use propane refrigerants that can save up to 40% of the energy when compared to conventional compressors. Recently, Embraco launched the Fullmotion X compressor - FMX, which combines value attributes for the end consumer, such as better food preservation, low noise, wide voltage range, easier customization to existing applications and energy efficiency. It was launched during AWE Expo, the segment’s largest trade show in Shanghai. We already showed applications in which Fullmotion X was in use. FMX also allows the use of R600a (isobutane), a natural refrigerant that is already a reality in markets such as India, Europe and China.
Fullmotion X compressor - FMX
Fullmotion technology also brings more convenience to the consumer, as it reaches the ideal temperature for food and beverage quickly as well as offering more internal space in refrigerators if compared to conventional compressors. Fullmotion X, with our patented inverter technology, is confirming the trend of the technology worldwide in different segments and refrigerator models globally.
Another important initiative that Embraco owns and operates is Nat.Genius. Inspired by nature, where all cycles are closed and all elements are reused at the end of their useful life, in 2014 we created Nat.Genius, a business unit that uses decades of reverse logistics expertise of our compressors. Currently, this operation works in Brazil in our recycling plant. We are more than willing to support our customers worldwide to be more sustainable with the expertise and services that we provide with Nat.Genius.
Wisemotion, the first linear, oil-free household compressor that allows innovation in refrigerator design, given its small height and possibility to locate the compressor in the top of the refrigerator, for example. Wisemotion is 20% more efficient than the best-selling high-efficiency compressors worldwide.
What are the products offered by the company and in particular catering to Indian markets?
Earlier, I mentioned what we have presented to the market, including India, such as natural refrigerants and Fullmotion technology. We constantly seek to develop co-development actions by combining the qualities and competencies of companies as well as promoting brands and generating business opportunities with competitive advantages.
I would like to highlight two important technologies that Embraco has in its portfolio:
With innovative products and state-of-the-art technology, Embraco launches market trends. An example is Wisemotion, the first linear, oil-free household compressor that allows innovation in refrigerator design, given its small height and possibility to locate the compressor in the top of the refrigerator, for example. Wisemotion is 20% more efficient than the best-selling high-efficiency compressors worldwide.
Embraco also created Plug n’ Cool, a simple and compact sealed unit for commercial refrigeration, which aims to optimize resources (time and operating cost) in installation and maintenance for manufacturers and contractors. The technology allows the use of R290 natural refrigerant, making it possible for customers to comply with worldwide efficiency standards and refrigerant gases.
To prove the efficiency of its compressors, Embraco constantly conducts tests with its customers. In the case of R290, we can illustrate three applications that attested to its effectiveness in replacing R404A for natural refrigerant. A test carried out in a glass-door freezer for the point of sale, the R290 achieved a 32% energy reduction, a real gain of USD 38 per year and, according to projections, would no longer emit 2,277 kg of CO2 in 10 years. When the test was performed with a vertical freezer, the savings were even higher, a 43% reduction in electric energy consumption and a savings of USD 226 per year, with proven benefits to the environment, since changing the refrigerant indicated that 12,764 kg of CO2 would no longer be released into the atmosphere in 10 years. In an ice cream freezer, there was a 16% reduction in energy costs, which means a real gain of USD 26 per year for the consumer and 1,954 kg less CO2 in the atmosphere in 10 years, also proving an environmental gain.
How would you differentiate Indian refrigeration markets from Global markets particularly, European and American markets while offering your services and products? Do you face any competition in Indian markets?
Governments and entities have been working strongly on mechanisms to reduce energy consumption. New legislation, in both Europe and the United States, is advising manufacturers to be increasingly more concerned about launching high-efficiency products, which means more attention is aimed at designing solutions that meet these new requirements.
Regardless of the current legislation in the various countries where Embraco operates and the imminent ban on the use of HFCs, the company is prepared to attend the global refrigeration market, which seeks to migrate to natural refrigerants.
With the world’s second largest population, India’s electricity cost is high and about 40% of food produced is wasted due to poor preservation. To address this issue, since 2013, the Indian Government has encouraged refrigeration development in the country, through fiscal reform, as well as product cost and tax reductions.
India has been on a growing path and consumers are increasingly demanding high quality, great service at value-based solutions. Embraco is truly a global company, a multi-national focused on innovation and one of the largest world-wide manufacturers of hermetic compressors for refrigeration. Embraco’s experience in tailoring solutions to our customers, our global know-how, our complete portfolio of products and cooling solutions and especially the trust developed in different cultures in our 46 years of history make us more competitive and a differentiated player to win the trust of indian consumers.
What are the growth drivers of your products in India?
There has been an ongoing trend for the Indian commercial refrigeration sector to migrate to R290-equipped compressors.
Since 2016 Embraco has invested considerable efforts in India’s market to promote R290 to become the mainstream refrigerant for light-commercial applications. These solutions are reaching manufacturers such as Western Equipment (part of Hoshizaki international group), which has become one of the country’s largest in commercial refrigeration equipment.
In the household segment, as mentioned before, the trends toward energy-efficiency and food preservation will significally support the massive usage of our Fullmotion applications bringing quality of life to Indian customers through a lower cost of energy bill, food better preserved, lower noise compared to a standard compressor, all of this with increased reliability.
Embraco invests annually in its technology DNA to propose new solutions to customers. For this region, Embraco is prepared to meet future legislation and best practices demanded by the market.
Embraco’s portfolio is complete and the company is ready to offer products to India according to all government programs. For example, the BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) regulations and the new trend of ‘Make India Green’, using HCs (R290 and R600).
How competitive and technologically superior are your products as compared to your peers?
One in five hermetic compressors in the world has the Embraco brand. As a multinational in the refrigeration segment, Embraco invests annually in its technology DNA to propose new solutions to customers and to keep this position as leader in technology. The level of quality and reliability that Embraco products are known in the markets is a huge asset we provide to give peace of mind to our customers and to the end-users.
Additionally, one of the our existing work stream is the Business Innovation team, when opportunities are mapped beyond manufacturing compressors. The company invests annually 3% to 4% of net revenue in research and development. About 600 professionals are dedicated exclusively to this department – with approximately 120 university partners. Additionally, Embraco has 47 research laboratories on four continents.
Embraco’s pioneering research has led to the development of new technologies and solutions, such as variable speed solutions and products that use natural refrigerants. We are always transforming ourselves to meet market demand. It will not be different in India. More will come in the following years.
What are your expansion plans in India? What potential do you foresee for your company with the Indian Government’s focus on development of infrastructure like smart cities, urban transportation projects?
Guided by the 2020 vision to be a leader everywhere and recognized by customers as a preferred partner, Embraco is always evaluating new opportunities for partnerships, both in the commercial as well as the household segments.
As our mission states, we exist to provide innovative solutions for a better quality of life. So, in any potential opportunity which requires developing cooling solutions being it in infrastructure, smart appliances, etc, Embraco has the capability to make indian population life better.
At the end, our goal is to offer innovative and sustainable products and solutions to make Embraco a benchmark not only in India but in other countries such as Japan, Thailand, Korea, among others.
How is Embraco preparing for the transformations the world will pass through in the upcoming years?
Technology and innovation are in our DNA and will remain being essential for our future, coupled with a very strong ability to quickly adapt to changes that the current market demands. The local and global socio-economic scenario guides our directives and makes us think daily about how we should act given a constantly changing market. We strongly believe in our mission to provide innovative solutions for a better quality of life!
We will grow in partnership with our customers and in high-growth potential markets. Besides the current business, we’re seeking to grow through our new businesses area, always looking at the emerging drivers for the end-users and jobs our customers need to be solved jointly.
Nothing is better than to look outwards and examine how we can apply new concepts and propose new solutions to customers in a simple and innovative way. Embraco´s employees and partners understand the need for us to stay at least one step ahead of new market trends, both in household refrigeration and in commercial refrigeration, in order to drive our strategy, and therefore add value to our customers and shareholders.
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