When it comes to commercial refrigeration, Heatcraft turns up the heat. A world leader in its market, Heatcraft consolidated its presence on all continents. Its 1999 entrance into Brazil raised the temperature, thanks to pioneering technology and complete solutions. How did this company become one of its industry’s hottest names? Reuben Ford provides the answer.
Getting to the top is one thing. Staying there – well that’s another. Heatcraft understands the challenge. A world leader in refrigeration solutions, this US monolith manages to remain a step ahead – thanks to an enlarging product portfolio, a growing global footprint, and customer service.
As Eduardo Navarro (managing director of Heatcraft do Brasil) relates, this refrigeration company is the only one that provides clients complete solutions. Designing and manufacturing compression, condensing and evaporation equipment, or optimizing individual parts to benefit a whole system – well, that’s the company’s mission, and that’s what it does so well on a regular basis.
No other company in the sector produces all elements in the system. Indeed, because of their shortcomings, competitors find themselves hampered in their inability to fine-tune technology. Not so for Heatcraft. Thanks to its significant differentiator – the capability to completely manage production – the company has gained a 35-percent average market share in Brazil and South America.
INNOVATION AT THE TOP
Heatcraft can boast about more than just a fully integrated manufacturing system. Its track record includes a long list of innovations – long enough for the company to be considered an industry pioneer.
“Many of our products were industry ‘firsts,’” reveals Navarro. He underscores his point by referring to solutions such as Heatcraft’s reversible airflow condensing unit.
Another example: the recently launched micro-channel heat exchanger-equipped condensing unit – this product offers a very significant reduction in refrigerant charge and improved performance. As Navarro is quick to emphasize, the company designs and produces the equipment with productivity, performance and environmental issues in mind. “We not only optimize performance of the components,” he says, “we also consider our product’s functionality and, in turn, the overall impact.”
Environmental concerns have driven the development and introduction of new technology. Heatcraft focuses on new and emerging technologies that will not only commercialize, but enhance, refrigeration solutions. This entails LCCP – or Life Cycle Climate Performance – which further bolsters its customer’s competitiveness. Most industry experts consider LCCP as the most effective method to assess the total life cycle of greenhouse gas emissions.
A global player, Heatcraft draws on its own resources, experience and developments abroad to benefit the Brazilian market. This ability – which Navarro calls “cut and paste” – has proved more than effective for Heatcraft do Brasil. “It allows for the launch of technologically advanced solutions that would be out of reach for a stand-alone company of our size,” he says.
Today, the product portfolio is extensive. Heatcraft produces condensing units, evaporators, heat exchangers, remote condensers and integrated refrigeration systems.
INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE
Financial investment in products and facilities is a major element in the company’s business strategy. One target of heavy investment is Heatcraft’s 20,000-square-meter factory in São José dos Campos.
At the international level, Heatcraft offers a complete structure to its Brazilian branch. The US parent company provides technical and financial support in the sale of products for commercial and industrial refrigeration. Two global research and development laboratories – located in Stone Mountain, Ga. And in China – provide complete and worldwide technical support and product development assistance. “Heatcraft has invested millions of dollars in laboratories, and that complements our processes here in Brazil,” says Navarro.
GROWING MARKET SHARE
Management model and innovative infrastructure translates into success and, in turn, growing revenue. Annual growth averages between 15 and 20 percent a year. Navarro predicts between 17 and 18 percent by the end of 2011 (which would equate to $63 million in revenue). The figures are impressive, and results from the company’s leveraging of its resources. And it takes the company into new territory, if not literally then figuratively. “Being a leader allows us to develop where others cannot,” affirms Navarro.
The company’s strength provides resistance to the twists and turns of world economics. Navarro explains that “hedging regional risks was important in reducing the impact of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.”
Offsetting regional cycles guided the global company through difficulty. Indeed, Heatcraft do Brasil emerged unscathed. Envisioning the long term, Navarro says “Brazil is an extremely attractive market in terms of refrigeration. The workforce is growing, and more and more families live above the poverty line.”
Number-one in commercial and industrial refrigeration – and unrivaled in skills and technology – Heatcraft has brandished its mark on its targeted industry. Short- and long-term prospects provide promise – and the company has established a firm reputation for innovation and unbeatable all-round technology. As growth and sales both in Brazil and beyond continue to rise, one thing is certain: Heatcraft’s success shows no signs of cooling off.