Industry analysis

Indian HVAC&R trends creating global impacts


Industry experts discuss how HVAC&R market is boosting with time, and how the demands of cold-chain, IAQ or even clean rooms are being meted.

Global trends in HVACr

Global trends have been tremendously impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic, and some of them have a great impact on our business. The cold chain logistic business is growing rapidly globally. The cold chain, a system that helps maintain a desired low-temperature range during transport or storage, is essential in the food business. Deepak Pahwa, Managing Director, Bry-Air (Asia) said, “At Bry-Air, innovation is inevitable. We have always been ahead of the time, and like to be a front-runner in all new technological advancements related to our businesses.” to which Arvinder Pental, Head, Commercial Refrigeration, Voltas said, “Our turnkey solutions involve civil, mechanical and electrical equipment like DG sets, Servo Stabilizer, temperature data logging etc. We are trying to be very strategic by entering select categories that have growth potential.” With over six and a half decade of experience and leadership in Commercial Refrigeration, we look forward to contributing to the cold room supply chain for the vaccine distribution. Udayan Banerjee, Head Operation, Clairco added, “ Zero-Cap-Ex Clean Air as a Service:

Our Zero CapeX business model makes us 3-5 times more affordable than existing industry solutions. Clairco charges a fixed monthly subscription fee per sqft/month as opposed to heavy Cap-Ex being charged by conventional solutions.” Being a part of this industry for a considerably long time, we see an increased demand for quality cold chain services across various sectors. Rahul Agarwal, Director, Kool-Ex Cold Chain Solutions said, “The COVID-19 vaccines have further added to the requirement. The demand is across products be it cold rooms, reefer trucks, passive coolants and support services.” To elaborate Renato Gava, Sales Manager, Nidec Global Appliance said, “One global trend that has arised in consumer behavior in the context of the coronavirus pandemic is what is being called “cocooning”. The name refers to the habit of staying more at home, which became a necessity since March 2020 with lockdowns, and it has made people take a better look at their homes, and what their households could offer them.” In recent years, cold chain demand has also been growing in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.   S.K. Bose, Managing Director of CAREL ACR Systems India Private Limited informed, “The global cold chain market size was valued at $168 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $447.5 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 15.1 percent.”    

Temperature-controlled and multi-commodity storage requirements for the pharma, F&B and pharma sector

The importance of having a strong healthcare network was evident with the onset of the pandemic.  Pental said, “The current cold chain market presents a massive growth potential for the coming years and Voltas is geared up to supply cold rooms for Covid-19 vaccination storage in both positive (2 to 8 degree Celsius) and negative temperature ranges (-15 to -25 degree Celsius).” Even though F&B have robustness and reliability requirements, medical and pharmaceutical product criteria are much higher, demanding tighter specifications to guarantee the system does not fail and that the goods temperature does not leave the mandated refrigeration range. Gava explains, “These kinds of applications usually integrate robust cooling systems – using traditional brands that can offer the certified portfolio and years of expertise of operating in this market – with controls to guarantee the system is always on and has redundancies to prevent any failure, this way conserving the goods in the conditions they must be kept.“

Amplifying India’s cold chain industry   

Cold storage is fast becoming the most sought-after demand driver as the Indian food industry picks up the pace for being an active participant towards a self-reliant India. In recent times, the government has developed several schemes to boost the cold storage infrastructure and helped the agriculture and pharma industries solve the problems that were hindering their way of growth. Pahwa says, “Hence, it can be a game-changer for India’s food and agricultural industry.” For the food segment, opportunities involve cooling equipment for storage and transport, remote connectivity and remote supervision etc. Bose adds, “The pharmaceutical segment is a bit more complex, and will see opportunities expand in many directions, such as geolocation, big data, data analysis, tracking and tracing and above all integration. “Opportunities in packaging and continuous improvement of this in preserving the quality of all products are also opening up many opportunities. Agarwal says, “Kool-ex is a market leader in the cold-chain space. It has built a fleet of more than 350 reefer trucks in a span of just 6 years and has now entered the warehousing and passive solutions segment of cold chain.” 

The vaccine storage and transportation challenges at Tier II and Tier III cities

While speaking about Embraco  Gava said, “What we can say is that Embraco is fully prepared to support customers with co-developments and products to assist this expanding market.” And when it comes to Kool-ex Agarwal said, “Currently the distribution of vaccines is taking place from Manufacturers such as Serum Institute & Bharat Biotech to Primary Government centres across India. This is being majorly done by Kool-ex by road and combination of Road + Air.”

Challenges for HVACr

Challenges regarding the technology part of distribution are much lower than the challenges of administration in a country with such a large population.

Bose said, “Adequate processes seem to have been put in place to handle the challenge.” For Healthcare Industry – to monitor the efficacy of the product across the distribution chain and ensure temperature and hygienic storage conditions are maintained.

Agarwal mentions, “Fighting the menace of counterfeiting is equally a property and technologies such as blockchain need to be adopted.”

Market size of ventilation and air filters in India

While people are steadily getting to work with more precautions and safety measures than before, the need for intelligent HVAC products is increasing day by day.  Pahwa said, “Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), remote control access, automated control systems are transforming the HVAC&R and Dehumidification market.” Customers are looking for real-time information and effective means to improve efficiency and reduce maintenance/ production costs. 

For further details Banerjee said, “According to TechSci Research, India air purifier market stood at $ 49 million in 2018 and is projected to grow at a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 28 percent during 2019-2024 to reach over $220 million by 2024, with rising expenditure on health and wellness products along with growing awareness regarding hazardous effects of air pollution we are looking for a steep growth in indoor air purification industry.”

Measures to overcome geographical challenges

In India, higher temperatures poses a challenge for the transport of TSPs (Temperature Sensitive Products) in which sub-zero temperatures are required to preserve the goods. This challenge is specifically more evident in the pharmaceutical sector. “However, logistics companies are putting efforts into overcome this technological challenge.” Bose elaborates.

Agarwal further adds, “At Kool-ex majority of our movements are long haul at 2000 KM plus. We have developed systems for preventive maintenance of the vehicle and AC units as well as a strong team to monitor transit movements, temperature and other related functions.”  Pental says, “Being a Tata Group company, Voltas has also been taking proactive measures and initiatives to help the nation fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.” Gava says, “Considering a global view on sales and customers, during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, some projects were put on hold from February to June, due to production reduction in some customers, which are the residential and commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturers, as a result of the impact they suffered on sales.”

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