Ongoing product improvement and the utilisation of the latest technology have enabled IV Produkt – a Swedish manufacturer of cutting-edge air handling units – to grow its market share in 2018
IV Produkt is a company that is enjoying life at the moment. The Swedish manufacturer of air handling units entered the year of its 50th anniversary in high spirits following a strong 2018 that saw the business achieve double-digit growth in turnover. “Last year, we surpassed the £70 million mark, generating turnover of about £78 million, which, in Swedish krona amounts to just under 900 million,” reports IV Produkt’s SVP Sales & Marketing Europe, Magnus Lind.
Instrumental to the company’s growth has been the release of the ThermoCooler HP a year and a half ago. The integrated reversible heat pump can be used with IV Produkt’s Envistar units and represents a total solution for heating, ventilation, air, and comfort cooling delivered through one device, due to all its parts being incorporated in a module section located in the air handling unit itself.
“This is an obvious trend in the industry that is driving us towards developing one-stop shop thinking. We are now capable of providing a unit, which is, more or less, plug-and-play and enables the regulation of the temperature to the right degree in both summertime and wintertime,” Magnus points out.
Further proof of the technological transformation air handling units have undergone in recent years, is the significant development of control panels, which are now customarily being installed within the units themselves. “The controls technology has changed the products entirely. A few years ago, air handling units used to be a simple box of fans, filters, and some sort of recovery device, whereas today, they are a far more sophisticated piece of equipment. Previously, controls had to be supplied by third-party providers, but now they are equipped with Europethis built-in technology that offers extra features and possibilities to the user.
“Exploring the functionality of controls further and continuously improving the cooling and heat pump technology, are certainly two of the fields where we are investing heavily, taking on new people, and maintaining a customer support line to help our clients get their kit running,” Magnus explains, also highlighting the increased interconnectedness of air handling units as another notable industry advancement that has changed the ways in which the products operate.
Aside from expanding its product portfolio, IV Produkt is also committed to constantly tweaking the existing items in its catalogue, with a view to streamline their performance. Magnus provides us with an example: “We are gradually changing the wiring of our units to minimise faults and to simplify their separation into different sections, so that they can be moved around and brought into buildings where there is scarcity of space.”
It now sits as an established fact that recent years have brought the whole of Scandinavia to the fore of sustainable development. Companies from the region vie to display environmentally-friendly practices, each more distinguished and astonishing than its predecessor, with the ultimate purpose being the establishment of an operational process that leads to minimal or no waste and encourages as much energy recovery as possible. Understandably, IV Produkt is no exception.
“The vast majority of our products come with a modern heat recovery technology that saves between 80 and 85 per cent of the energy generated, allowing it to go back into the building. It is by far the biggest contribution we have made to reducing our carbon footprint, but Scandinavian companies are renowned for their willingness to always look for even better solutions, and so, as a Swedish business, we continuously monitor our processes and introduce measures to minimise waste. For instance, we recycle all metal sheets, so that the material can be used over and over again,” Magnus discusses.
A year ago, when IV Produkt first graced the pages of Manufacturing Today Europe, Magnus unambiguously expressed his desire to see the company expand its geographical footprint in the future. Twelve months later, he delivers an update to IV Produkt’s progress in this department: “We saw a solid 33 per cent growth in our markets outside of Sweden and we are focusing our efforts predominantly in the countries north of the Alps, because they are the ones that have reached the level of technological development that matches the advanced capabilities of our air handling units.”
Together with projected continuous growth in Europe, the company also expects the market for air handling units as a whole to grow by more than four per cent per annum until 2025. Responding to this forecast, IV Produkt has just put in place a long-term investment plan to gear its capacity for the anticipated uptake in demand. “Even though 2018 was the last year of our five-year upgrade plan laid out by our owners in 2013, in reality, investment never ceases. One of the most significant transactions we performed in the last 12 months, on top of our investment in a second Salvagnini sheet metal processing machine, was the acquisition of two plots of land adjacent to our factory, in order to accommodate future growth and guarantee that we will not be left short of space in the coming years.
“Looking forward, our plan is simply to continue along the path we are on. Last year was extremely successful and we are hoping that 2019 will be just as good. We believe that we have found the right formula that will help us increase our market share and grow in the geographical areas we have decided to develop,” Magnus concludes.
Products: Air handling units