Refrigeration systems of the future are not only intelligent and flexible, they are also sustainable in energy consumption and production. Custom system solutions are increasingly in demand. Frank Jansing, CEO of KMW Kühlmöbelwerk Limburg GmbH, explains the important aspects.
Mr. Jansing, you have been the CEO of KMW GmbH in Limburg, Germany, since January 2016. What changes have there been at KMW since your arrival?
Over the past few months, we have put a lot of energy into our product development. We have invested in two new large climatic test rooms and are now able to test all climatic classes and coolants right here in our Limburg facility. This allows us to systematically develop and improve our refrigeration and freezer units. However, we are not just focusing on product optimization but also progressively more on innovations. We have considerably increased our research and development department and work closely with renowned companies that are active in the sectors of sensor technology, software, simulation, glass and new insulation materials. We combine our forces with these partners and collaborate on trendsetting products and services.
And we are reaping early benefits. Just in time for the EuroShop trade fair, we have developed a new series of deep freezer units, which is extremely energy-efficient and features a new design. These great developments are also reflected in our financial figures. We were able to record above average sales figures. We are proud of this growth because we have worked very hard for it. All KMW employees take credit for this success – the teamwork here in Limburg is truly phenomenal.
What makes your refrigeration and freezer system solutions stand out?
At KMW, meeting individual customer needs is our top priority. All of our customers have their own unique requirements and requests in terms of design, technical equipment, and spatial conditions. We aim to develop system solutions that best meet these criteria. To accomplish this, we continuously communicate with our customers and develop customized solutions, ranging from refrigeration units to network systems all the way to maintenance and reconditioning services. Since we produce locally in Limburg, we are also able to cater to very unique customer needs – and we can do so quickly and dependably.
KMW fundamentally stands for comprehensive competence: our strength lies in a comprehensive approach. Specifically when it comes to major shopfitting projects that involve the installation of refrigeration units or systems, it is essential to provide a key contact, who knows the technology, equipment, and contexts. But we take this even further. For example, we also offer full design services, especially for gas stations. We not only paint the refrigeration units to match the store interior, we also coordinate all the different trades involved in the installation process. That’s why in the end, everything looks seamless.
The products from our commercial refrigeration reconditioning service are environmentally friendly. In this case, all unit components that are susceptible to maintenance are being replaced, cleaned and updated to meet the latest technical standard. Optically, the reconditioned units are indistinguishable from brand-new systems. Special requests in terms of color or panels can also be accommodated. Our reconditioned refrigeration units are covered by new warranty. That means customers can purchase units that are as good as new with limited resources and save considerable costs compared to buying a brand-new system.
EuroShop’s motto is “New Dimensions in Retail“. What must refrigeration units of the future be able to do and how does it make our lives easier?
That’s an interesting question and at KMW, we are giving it a lot of thought. The retail industry is changing. Our entire way of life is changing. Refrigeration and freezer systems need to keep up and reflect these changes.
Refrigerated pick-up stations or lockers, for example, illustrate aspects that will be important in the future. Consumers want greater flexibility when it comes to space and time and higher levels of individualized service. The future might look something like this: people order items for their dinner on the subway via smartphone and simply pick them up from a refrigerated box in front of the supermarket. Refrigerated systems of the future are intelligent and flexible.
What’s more, the demands on devices in terms of energy efficiency will continue to increase tremendously. We are currently collaborating with innovative partners on a federally funded project. The objective is to develop a highly energy-efficient and intelligent freezer system. That’s something we would subsequently like to present at the next EuroShop.
Interview: Melanie Günther; EuroShop-tradefair.com