Dehumidification an onus to maintain quality in cold storage


Deepak Pahwa, Managing Director, Bry-Air (Asia), in an interview with TCBU, talks about the significance of dehumidification in HVAC and cold chain sector. Noting the mounting humidity concerns towards cold chain and cold storages he feels Desiccant Dehumidifiers is the need of the hour. 

How are present global trends affecting Bry-air’s market? What is the need of the hour for HVAC-R market according to you?

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. 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. 

In the last one decade, HVAC&R market has witnessed a significant jump due to contributing factors like rapid industrialisation, growing investments in the infrastructure sector, unpredictable climatic conditions and inclination towards comfort and indoor air quality. The rising need for energy-efficient HVAC&R systems, surging dehumidification (moisture control) and growing replacement demand for HVAC&R systems is expected to drive the industry growth in the near future.

India HVAC&R (Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) market is expected to attain a size of $5.9 billion by 2024, progressing at a CAGR of 7.0 percent during the forecast period (2019-2024).

Under Pahwa Group, we have been effectively focusing on quality air solutions, environment control solutions, Indoor Air Quality, and Ventilation to offer green and sustainable solutions, intending to strengthen our position in the HVAC&R industry. Bry-Air has practically become the only Indian player in the HVAC&R industry whose products are equally sought after in the international markets, as they are in the Indian market.

What are your new innovations to be introduced in the market?

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. In the recent time, we have developed indigenous products with best innovation to cater the market and enhance enhance our reach across the horizons.

For instance, we are an active participant in India’s EV push. Bry-Air is also a preferred partner for battery manufacturers/assemblers as it is the only total solution provider for Dry Rooms with Environment Control Equipment (Dehumidifiers) incorporating patented technology, critical for lithium battery production. Our patented Green DryPurge® (GDP) has played a key role in Li-Ion battery manufacturing across the world and has helped the manufacturers in creating the required environmental control to make quality, safe and long-lasting batteries. Our ultra-low dew point GDP dehumidifiers have today been benchmarked for world-class moisture control. They are cost-effective as well as highly energy-efficient, making them a value proposition for any manufacturer.

With efficient energy becoming a national cause, research and development have taken a more significant role in coming out with products that are futuristic and cater to the needs of the industry. We have also developed BrySmart ® Series (BBS) Dehumidifiers for those who desire to stay ahead of the technology curve. Embedded with patented BrySmart® technology, the BBS modulates various critical components to optimize the energy consumption continuously. The BBS Dehumidifiers can be remotely monitored and controlled and has an optional Bry-Air Prognos™ feature, an advanced tool for predictive maintenance. This eco-friendly dehumidifier is a step forward in energy conservation through advanced technology.

With the government’s push towards amplifying India’s cold chain industry, what kinds of opportunities do you foresee in India to revolutionise the cold chain sector?

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. Hence, it can be a game-changer for India’s food and agricultural industry.

The cold chain is the backbone for sustaining this scale of food production and processing. In the past few years, there has been an increased demand for fresh and locally-produced food or preserved food. 

According to the research entitled ‘Indian Cold Chain Industry Outlook 2022’ by Research and Markets, the cold chain industry in India is prophesied to grow at a CAGR of 17-18 percent during the period 2017 – 2022 owing to the rising need of the infrastructure to reduce wastage. The demand for cold chain logistics from organised retail, the pharmaceutical industry has been growing day-by-day. All such factors, especially from segments like- meat, seafood, and bio-pharmaceuticals can further escalate the growth of the cold chain industry. 

Whether operating active cold stores or passive cold stores, we need to keep in mind that moisture in your cold stores can cause a series of reactions that can lead to spoilage despite installing the best cold storage. Also, to make any cold storage more productive, installing a dehumidification system is utmost important. That’s why Desiccant Dehumidifiers is the need of the hour, as it economic, energy efficient and ensures that the required humidity level is maintained, regardless of ambient conditions. Dehumidification systems help prevent the growth of mold and mildew thereby ensuring product safety and quality.

Bry-Air is the leader in dehumidifier technology and the use of our systems dramatically reduce the sanitation cycle time, prevent and removes frost and ice from cold storage/freezer areas and spiral freezers.

What are the challenges faced by you in the industry?

The business impact was very little compared to what some of the other MSMEs have faced in India. Our diversified portfolio of quality air solutions across varied industries helped us sail through smoothly. The pharmaceutical and food processing industry in particular gained traction with dehumidification solutions required for rapid test kit manufacturing and snacks and ready-to-eat food increased the demand for our product offerings.  While the manufacturing and supply part of the business was set back for some time, this crisis has helped our business in many ways than one. For instance, the awareness about the dehumidification solutions across certain industries is still limited. However, during the pandemic as everybody was advised to stay home the smooth functioning of the warehouses, cold stores, data centres, refrigeration, plastics and other similar needs became a necessity. This resulted in increased awareness amongst various Indian and International companies about the need for having a dehumidification system in place.

How has the pandemic impacted your company’s growth?

2020 will be counted as a tough year, but Bry-Air somewhat sailed through the difficult times. When the lockdown was announced, we faced challenges in logistics, the supply chain was halted but in the unlock phase, things slowly returned to normal. Demand from pharmaceutical and food processing companies kept us going and sub-segments such as Diagnostic kits and COVID test kits also helped us glide through this tough phase. Nutraceutical (health supplements) and very recently APIs along with a huge surge in demand for packaged food including snack and namkeens have escalated the demand of cold-storage facilities. Despite the pandemic, we have continued to deliver services without any break and carried on with necessary safety measures in place.

On a brighter note, the pandemic has also made India and the world realise a lot of things that were given a miss otherwise. Having multiple options with reduced dependency on a single source, and that too aimed at further localisation is an outcome of the post-COVID aftermath. It is there to stay and surely benefit the Indian economy. Having said that the business outlook is definitely positive.

The pharmaceutical and food processing industry in particular gained traction with dehumidification solutions required for rapid test kit manufacturing.

Deepak Pahwa, Managing Director, Bry-Air (Asia)

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