The innovative approach of UK contractors, designers and end users is helping push forward the boundaries of refrigeration globally, says Bitzer UK MD Kevin Glass.
Marking the launch of Bitzer UK’s new programme of training courses, Mr Glass paid tribute to the ingenuity and vision of the UK industry and its customers, which he believes is making an important contribution to the international effort to develop safer, more environmentally acceptable systems.
Kevin Glass said: “The UK is known to be pretty technically advanced, driven in part by the leading end users. But it is not often appreciated how big an impact this has on the wider global refrigeration scene.
“Bitzer as a group has a worldwide perspective, and Britain is known for its willingness to challenge accepted ways of doing things, which puts our industry at the forefront of many exciting new approaches, particularly in relation to environmental issues.”
End users’ focus on reducing running costs and improving environmental credentials was a key driver, he said. “Almost every day, we are involved in conversations about new ways to solve problems. With such a large product range and extensive application knowledge, we are often able to develop novel solutions to meet unusual, specific or challenging requirements.”
The training roll-out is part of increased investment by Bitzer in the UK, designed to further enhance support for customers and accelerate business growth.
In addition to the appointment of a dedicated technical and training manger, Bitzer is expanding Green Point, its compressor remanufacturing operation, which now offers an expanded service covering compressors made by Bock, Carrier, Copeland, and Trane.
On a wider front, Bitzer Germany is due to open its new global training centre at Rottenberg in the New Year. To be known as The Schaufler Academy, it will offer hands-on and theoretical training and provide UK engineers with an opportunity to complete courses in CO2 refrigeration.
On the legislative front, Mr Glass believes the implications of the revised F-Gas Regulation will be felt across the industry for years to come. He said: “There are two distinct approaches evident in the industry to the latest F-Gas changes. People are either choosing to ignore them for the present and continuing to use R404A for all applications. Or they are putting in place plans to exit R404A, and replace it with a lower GWP, natural, or HFO alternative.”
He added: “The truth is, there is no silver bullet for all applications. But one thing is certain: in the low GWP future ahead, the industry will have to learn to manage such things as flammability, toxicity and temperature glide.”
Bitzer claims it has been working for some time with the foresight of a worst-case scenario. The result is a range of proven options that cater for all eventualities, including solutions based on natural refrigerants such ammonia, CO2 and hydrocarbons, as well as low GWP alternatives using HFO and other refrigerants.
“The focus has been on ensuring not just compatibility and reliability, but - crucially - efficiency. This has been a herculean effort in terms of R&D activity, and required substantial investment. The result is that, no matter which direction the industry takes in the future, people can be confident that our ranges of alternatives are proven and available.”
The company has a number of important technical developments planned for the next 12 months.
These include additions to its screw compressor range, where it sees great potential for growth, with larger capacity models being added to the line-up. There will also be new compressor technologies for the transport field, as well as advances in intelligent control and monitoring from Lodam electronics.
“The UK is a key market for Bitzer, which is why we have put in place new distribution arrangements and continue to invest in training to support our suppliers and growing customer base. In terms of innovation, as mentioned, the UK is technically exciting and creative, with new ideas and approaches being developed that have potential for global application.
“We believe the UK will always generate new ideas and push boundaries, and – as we have done for many decades already - Bitzer UK will be here to support the pioneers helping to shape the industry’s future.”
For details of Bitzer UK courses, please contact either Marcus Levy or Tracy Francies at firstname.lastname@example.org