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Article about ECO-1 in the Imperiya Kholoda magazine
ECO-1 is a manufacturer, perhaps, of the latest and most popular Russian shop refrigeration equipment (SRE) today. Experts of SoE “ECO-1” studied the advanced Danish, Italian, German and Polish experience and adopted the latest technologies in its production. To expand the strategic vision of the business, the top management of the company studied the production organization at Toyota and Nissan, Japan.
Lyubov Gruzdeva, the Marketing Director told the Imperiya Kholoda magazine how the quality is born at ECO-1.
- Lyubov Vladimirovna, what helped your company to create a modern, largely innovative production in Solnechnogorsk area of Moscow oblast?
- Among other factors, we benefited from an easy loan received as part of the import substitution program from the Industry Development Fund. ECO-1 itself also invested a considerable amount of own funds into the project.
The funds were used to improve the plant, equip it with automatic, robotized production lines, and also to expand the assortment of products manufactured. Both today and in the perspective, we plan to manufacture most popular products in the market: shopwindows-counters, wall-mounted shelves, freezer chests and bonnets, and refrigeration cabinets. We can do this as we use the latest western technologies and employ specialists with a high professional level.
- How has you company finished the year 2017?
- We increased the sales volume of refrigeration and freezing equipment. According to the number of chests manufactured, the company was the first in the country in 2016. The new production allows us to continue growing.
- What features of your equipment did allow the company to occupy such a considerable niche in the Russian market?
- Among the main advantages of the assortment, especially the new one, are adaptability to manufacture, efficiency, energy saving and competitive price. The advanced technologies make it possible to ensure the SRE ability to maintain specified temperatures, distribute uniformly the cold and operate without failures and for a long period of time. Therefore, our motto “Worthy equipment at real prices” is confirmed by real results.
To improve the competitiveness of our SRE, an agreement was entered into in Italy with the best engineering bureau for the development of new equipment. We also invited a talented industrial designer that has great experience in the SRE design to participate in the project. In October 2017, our Italian partners visited Russia and proposed their conceptual solutions for the main assortment groups of shop equipment both a built-in and remote cold system. The solutions are characterized by the increased volume of placed products, up-to-date options of glass opening. In addition, they provide for a wide range of typical dimensions of equipment. The designs allow using various option of the SRE arrangement in a sales area, depending on the client’s demands: wall-mounted (straight and angular) and “island” options (a compact or wide “island”). The submitted proposals contain several exclusive solutions developed specifically for SoE “ECO-1”.
After discussing the engineering solutions, a design concept for new equipment was proposed. Decisions can be categorized as classical, but at the same time, a number of fresh ideas can be clearly seen in the classics. The principle of through design is used in the designs; it provides for keeping original proportions in the entire product line. The concept model has 3 basic structural elements, which, on the one hand, integrate all the solutions and, on the other hand, make each development unlike each other.
- You use the advanced technologies. And what components do you use?
- There are also import components, but these are mainly our domestic best ones.
- “Snezh” products are famous with its quality. How do you achieve this technologically?
- Due to flexible technologies. The company managed to expand significantly the modifications of the represented models and become almost the single universal manufacturer in this industry. Today ECO-1 proposes about 85 versions of chests under TM “Snezh”; they are different in size, color and temperature modes. Chests with tight-head and glass covers, curved and straight glasses are manufactured.
Component billets for chest housings are made for each type and size of items. This allows using maximally the material with minimum waste. When manufacturing housings, to reduce heat losses and to make them rigid, the technique of filling the internal space with polyurethane foam is used. To give clear geometric shapes and rated density of polyurethane foam, adjustable molds are used for all items.
Chest housings are made of galvanized painted steel with a polymer protection film applied. Due to the design features of the items, there is no need for additional methods for fixing parts and sealing them. The lid casing is also made of galvanized painted steel with a polymer protection film or stainless steel. A three-chamber elastic sealant is installed along the perimeter of the cover. The inner panel of the cover is made of molded, impact-resistant ABS plastic named “Snez” and has a decorative pattern. The use of a molded plastic panel allows increasing the thickness of the cover (improving thermal insulation), minimizing cold losses of cold due to “thermal bridges” and improving the consumer attractiveness of the product.
All movable shutters of items (straight and curved) are made of tempered (injury safe) glass with a special coating, which allows reducing the heat inflow into the cooled space by 610 %. The vacuum forming section, where product frames (corona) are made, allows responding flexibly to the demands of each customer. This enabled to shorten the time of chest manufacture, as well as use materials of different colors and surface textures. Heat exchangers (evaporators and condensers) are made of a steel or aluminum machined pipe to increase the contact area with panels of product housings.
Quality of materials is controlled at each production stage. The process equipment of the best European manufacturers, used to manufacture “BONVINI” and “Snezh” products, makes it possible to find a leakage of the refrigerating circuit and to fill it with a coolant with an error of up to 5 g. The available polymer protection film on the surface of housings allows keeping the marketable condition of products during production, transportation and installation.
To protect housings against mechanical impacts from food carts, protective bumpers with decorative inserts (color upon the customer's request) are installed on the SRE.
All commercial products undergo periodic functional testing at a modern testing laboratory with a full set of measuring equipment. Before launching into production, all new developments are tested here.
— What is the demand for long-released equipment and novelties?
— They are both of demand. Long-established relations and the very fact of available proposals of high-tech novelties are here.
— What regions is the equipment sold in?
— Everywhere - from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka. But we are not limited only by the territory of Russia, we also work outside it, exporting products to 13 countries. Our products have their consumers in Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Lithuania, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Romania.
The company moves further, constantly improving its processes to offer high-quality and competitive equipment both in Russia and abroad.
— How much are your products popular among trade companies?
— ECO-1 cooperated and continues cooperating with the federal and regional networks. They include Monetka, Magnit, Svetofor, Spar, X5 RetailGroup, O Kay, Polushka, Pyaterochka, Dixi, and BarsRetail. They equip their stores with “Snezh” freezer chests, refrigeration cabinets and “BONVINI” bonnets. The market players are satisfied with the quality of equipment and service, so they plan to continue working with ECO-1.
Under conditions of strong competition in the market, retailers are looking for offers of refrigeration equipment with a good price to quality ratio, inexpensive consumables, high-quality and fast warranty service, high level of safety, easy installation and operation, as well as solutions for small sales areas and large stores.
The refrigeration and freezing equipment of our company complies with all these requirements; the goods are certified and have the brand guarantee. We try to keep prices at the same level, so that our partners can correctly calculate their costs. The high capacity of the plant minimizes the time for order fulfilment. In addition, the SRE is purchased by manufacturers of beverages, ice cream, frozen products, HoReCa, etc.
— What are your plans regarding the production of freezing and refrigeration equipment in 2018?
— The large Russian networks express their desire to have equipment that operates using propane, not freon, not to damage the environment. Seeing these trends, the management of ECO-1 set a course for organizing the release of such products as well. We are sure that it is quite possible in our modern production.
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