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Article “Refrigeration equipment. Challenges of the modern age” in the Imperiya Kholoda magazine

The first quarter of 2018 came to an end. Summer is not far off – a “high” season for manufacturers of shop refrigeration equipment. The General Director of ECO-1 LLC, Ruslan Safononov tells the Imperiya Kholoda magazine about market trends, and the perspective directions of the company's development.

— Ruslan, in your opinion, what can be the difference between the season of 2018 and the season of 2017?

— Seasons can not differ if the market does not change. And the market started changing in 2016. The old companies are replaced with new ones; the division into prices segments become clearer; and the consumer places stricter requirements to the manufacturer.

— Could you give more details about the requirements?

— Requirements depend on the consumer. For example, large networks place stricter requirements for power consumption and ecology; an ordinary consumer, who has a shop near his/her house, places requirements for maintainability and service. And the buyer places requirements for the convenience and design of shop refrigeration equipment.

— Are you, as a manufacturer, ready to respond to these challenges?

— No doubt. All these requests are considered in our work. In the second quarter of 2018, we marketed equipment using the R290 coolant (propane), which allows users not only to reduce electric power consumption by 20 %, but also reduce emissions to the atmosphere. Moreover, this coolant is more energy efficient, i. e. it brings the refrigeration equipment temperature to set values for a shorter period of time. This means that a compressor will operate longer, without any need for replacement or repair.

— Today SRE buyers pay much attention to its servicing. How do you solve this issue?

— Service is not a product, anyway. For us, this is rather a service for clients, but our customers consider the issue of equipment purchase and maintenance in a comprehensive manner. Therefore, the available service department is not only a competitive advantage, but often the main factor in making a decision to purchase. Since the geography of our sales is the entire Russia and the near abroad, we try to build relations with dealers in the territories in such a manner that customer services are available in all major geographical centers. It is important for us to minimize the time between the application regarding a failure and the repaired item issue, and also to have high quality service. Moreover, we carefully monitor the quality of our equipment. For example, during the test acceptance, freezing chests are brought to the point of shutdown at a temperature of 25 °C at the level of the lower basket and 18 °C at the top level. We improve the quality by selecting new vendors of components and introducing new technologies. Our statistics show that during the last two years of operation, the guarantee period to return the non-repairable products 0.1 % of the volume.

— You told about the design; is it a critical requirement for a refrigerator?

— We speak not only about a refrigerator, but also about a shop refrigerator, which is the specific equipment for a sales area. Here, as in many sphere, the process design is impacted by the fashion. Fashion in color, textures, and materials. The fashion is dictated both by the best representatives of designers and consumers, for example, large sales networks. A couple of years ago, white equipment was popular; today it is replaced with modern grey and steel colors. The consumer preferred simple geometric shapes for a long period of time. Today it gravitates to more complex and smooth corners.

— Tell about your plans for the current season.

— I have alerady started doing this. We are armed at all points this season. For example, we have already released a new line of “BONVINI” freezer chests. This is a specialized technique, focused on operation in hot regions. New chests can operate without power losses at an ambient temperature of up to + 45 °C. Even if the power is off, the unit can maintain a low temperature for a long period of time and ensure the product safety. These are not all our novelties this year. We have not ceased the cooperation with our Italian partners and plan to expand the range of new modern equipment under Italian projects. As I said, we master the new coolant, expanded the color palette, and improve our old famous models. In general, we have something to offer our consumers.