Frigel Firenze SpA has quadrupled its manufacturing capacity at its Italian headquarters, pushed by strong demand for what it says is its environmentally friendly cooling technology.
Seeing 30 percent sales growth a year, the Scandicci, Italy-based firm is opening a 108,000-square-foot headquarters plant in mid-November, said Chief Executive Officer Duccio Dorin.
Frigel makes closed loop water cooling technology that essentially recycles water used in cooling processes by pumping water into heat exchangers and cooling it with ambient air flow.
The Ecodry equipment replaces traditional cooling towers and, according to Frigel, reduces power consumption by up to 30 percent, conserves energy and reduces noise. Combined with other technology the firm offers, such as its Microgel integrated chiller/temperature control unit, Frigel claims its process can shorten cycle times and increase productivity by 20 percent.
The company set up sales offices in the United States in 2006 and in China in 2005, where it also has a small manufacturing plant, in Shunde. About 10 percent of its production is in China, but Dorin said the company expects to do more local manufacturing, in Asia and North America.
``There are a lot of shipping costs involved,'' he said. ``It makes sense to make them locally.''
Europe accounts for about half of the firm's sales, while Asia is 23 percent, North America and South America are 12 percent to 14 percent each, and Africa is 2 percent.
The firm has installed its Ecodry system at more than 5,000 manufacturing plants worldwide, but the products are relatively new to North America.