Climatic Fantasies. New Brand in Air-Conditioning Market
The FantASIA company has firmly seized a leading position in the Kazakh market for air-conditioning equipment. Its ability to forecast demand precisely and to maintain the reliable quality of its services makes it possible to compete successfully against other players and constantly to increase its turnover. FantASIA started 2007 by launching a new semi-industrial series of air-conditioners produced by Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric. We have asked the head of the project management department, Stanislav Ugryumov, to tell us about this in detail.
The world market for air-conditioning systems is developing rapidly. How do you manage to preserve your leading position?
Our company’s sole aim is to help our clients find solutions that offer high productivity and low costs. We try to supply the most reliable and highly-productive equipment and quality services to our clients. As professionals we closely follow all the technical innovations and modern trends in the development of climatic equipment. Over the years it has been in operation, FantASIA has built up a reputation and acquired the status of business partner with many world-class companies. Thanks to this our specialists have quick access to the information resources of the producers, which enables us to introduce new engineering systems and to acquire the skills to operate them quickly.
What criteria do you use to choose the producers you cooperate with?
The main criterion is a pricing policy based on an appropriately high level of quality. FantASIA prefers to work with producers who pay great attention to the efficiency of equipment which has high service characteristics and is simple to maintain. Well-known companies such as Samsung and LG, Sweden’s Systemair, a producer of heating and ventilation equipment, Italy’s LIEBERT-HIROSS (equipment for precision air-conditioning), Climaveneta and Midea (refrigerating equipment) and many other firms. We have very recently started offering the multi-zone air-conditioning systems CITY MULTY by Mitsubishi Electric.
What does this equipment look like? How great is the demand for such air-conditioning systems in the Kazakh market?
Even though these systems entered the world market of climatic equipment very recently they have already secured strong market positions in Europe and Russia, creating serious competition for water-based airconditioning systems. Intelligent multi-zone systems are successfully operated to condition air in buildings regardless of their size and the number of floors. Given that these economical conditioners feature inverter-type compressors and a number of other new technical factors, it is inevitable that, they should also be in demand in Kazakhstan. In general, the prospects for multi-zone air-conditioning systems are very impressive, and an active marketing campaign by our company and our suppliers will only help them advance further.
What are the qualitative differences between multi-zone systems and other air-conditioning systems and what are the principle distinctions between Mitsubishi Electric equipment and similar solutions offered by other producers?
Traditional split systems have a number of advantages such as their small size, good service characteristics, modern design and low costs. Nevertheless they also have some disadvantages. Above all, they are limited in capacity and restricted to maintaining a short distance between the internal and external units. As a result, the external units of split systems have to be positioned directly on the facades of buildings, which does not enhance their architectural appearance. In order to solve this problem multi-split systems with one external unit and several internal units have been created. However, even in this configuration, the number cannot exceed three or four. Moreover, external and internal units still have to be located very close to one another. The next step in the development of Freon systems was the launch of multi-zone systems with variable consumption of the refrigerating medium. In particular, solutions offered by Mitsubishi Electric make it possible now to install one external unit and up to 32 internal ones. In addition, the total length of pipes has grown to 300-400 metres and the vertical distance between external and internal unit can be up to 50 metres. This makes it possible to install external units practically anywhere on the outside of a building and even inside it. This system is capable of operating in low temperatures as both a cooler and heater. Another advantage is the possibility of changing the system’s configuration when the building’s layout changes, i.e. adding new internal units to an existing system. Another important detail worth noting is the extended service period for equipment supplied by the Japanese producer. Moreover, a multi-zone system offers significant savings in running costs because it consumes power only to operate internal units that are switched on. This means that when the number of units in operation falls, power consumption also falls. That is why CITY MULTY systems are quite cost-effective despite their high price.
The technological level of the Kazakh construction industry is growing constantly so that clients increasingly prefer the most innovative engineering equipment. Do multi-zone conditioners produced by Mitsubishi meet these demands?
Indeed, the construction sector does not stand still and consequently the designers of air-conditioning systems are striving to keep abreast of new developments. We are convinced that the solutions offered by Mitsubishi Electric are capable of meeting any customer demand. In particular, one of their technological features is a centralised control system which enables the consumer to track the efficiency of any unit in the system using only a computer and a modem.
These systems also have an electricity meter program. Multi-zone systems, like central refrigerating machines and fan coils, are installed in both office buildings and private houses. In this situation, there is a need to meter the electricity used by certain offices or residences. The Japanese producer offers this capability by installing special controllers and meters and special software even makes it possible to print out bills.
Does FantASIA have the technological capabilities to install this equipment from beginning to end?
Of course, we have everything that is needed for installation and adjustment. FantASIA has been working for a long time in the sphere of air-conditioning systems. That is why we have the necessary production capacity and qualified personnel. In addition, our engineers, designers and managers have undergone relevant training courses at Mitsubishi Electric.
Consumers of foreign equipment often face shortages of spare parts. How will this issue be solved in regard to Mitsubishi Electric equipment?
Quality is our main trump card. Mitsubishi Electric equipment is one of the most reliable in the world, if not the best. Moreover, knowing the reliability of its multi-zone conditioners we do not plan to import spare parts for them in the near future. Like water cooling systems, this equipment has its own specifics. Spare parts are supplied on demand, that is why there is no sense in stocking up, given that any problem with replacing parts can be solved quickly. A storehouse in Germany has all the components of these systems and when we make a request they can immediately be sent to Kazakhstan. In addition, given that we have no doubt about the quality of the products made by Mitsubishi Electric, we are ready to discuss with our clients the terms of warranty for this equipment.
Of course, such characteristics as energy efficiency and noise level are very important but the price is also important for the consumer…
Even though the prices of Mitsubishi Electric products cannot be described as low, they are really not too high. Prices are in the range to be expected for firstclass equipment. One multi-zone system can replace 30 split systems which each have one internal and one external unit. In addition, Mitsubishi Electric products are efficient and economical, and offer a wider range of service possibilities. Another advantage is that these conditioning systems do not use water, which means consumers do not have to worry about how the equipment works.
What will be Mitsubishi Electric multi-zone systems’ share in the Kazakh market in your opinion?
Forecasts are a thankless business. However, taking into account the growth rate of construction and reconstruction of buildings in Kazakhstan and the architects’ unwillingness to deface the facades of buildings with the ugly boxes of external airconditioning units, I believe that multi-zone systems will become a realistic alternative to today’s systems in the future. That is why the likelihood of these systems accounting for 30-40% of the domestic market is quite high. At least, our company will try to aim for this.
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