SAN ANTONIO — Daikin is disrupting the HVACR industry.
This notion was evidenced at the global manufacturer’s biennial Daikin Group Sales Meeting 2017 (DGSM) held Oct. 13-16 in San Antonio.
The event, appropriately deemed the “Disruption Tour,” showcased Daikin’s latest technological innovations on an expo floor where product managers could provide hands-on demonstrations of the company’s latest building management innovations and share operational best practices with customers from all over the world.
“At Daikin Applied, we believe your air can be doing more for your business and your people,” said Mike Schwartz, CEO, Daikin Applied Americas. “Every day, we aim to create better outcomes for our customers, so they can breathe easier. That’s what we deliver through ‘Air Intelligence.’ We’re changing the way we think about HVAC to create smarter, more configurable solutions that empower owners and managers to optimize building environments for their people.”
STATE OF THE COMPANY
North America has a strong position in Daikin’s global portfolio.
Daikin Industries earned $17 billion in global revenue in 2016. More than 25 percent of that revenue — approximately $5 billion — is coming from the company’s efforts in North America.
Daikin continues to accelerate its North American footprint through investments in research, development, and infrastructure with state-of-the-art production, technologies, and the development of next-generation products.
Currently, more than 10,000 associates are employed in North America across 10 facilities.
“Daikin purchased O.Y.L. Industries in 2006, which owned McQuay and had significant operations in Southeast Asia, and began working on the acquisition of Goodman almost simultaneously,” said Kirk Thorne, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Daikin Applied Americas. “Daikin’s chairman is focused on North America because he believes there is an exponential growth opportunity here. We’re pursuing that through our investments.”
Daikin opened the doors to its 4.2 million-square-foot Daikin Texas Technology Park in May. The Houston facility will support the design, engineering, and assembly of a wide array of energy-efficient heating and cooling products for residential and commercial use marketed under the Daikin, Goodman®, and Amana® brands.
“We have invested more than $440 million in research and development resources into this facility,” said Schwartz during the conference’s opening session.
Additionally, the company announced its intentions to open a new facility in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley, to further its technologically driven future.
“Ultimately we’ll employ more than 200 engineers in this facility,” Schwartz said. “Silicon Valley will become the global hub for Daikin’s IoT [Internet of Things] technology development and will work in tandem with our Daikin Applied controls team.”
Additional investments include $20 million in facility and lab expansions in Minnesota; a $50 million investment in a 300,000-square-foot addition to its San Luis Potosi, Mexico, facility; and the recently opened 10-story, 500,000-square-foot Technology Innovation Center in Osaka, Japan.
“In the very near future, all Daikin equipment will be intelligent when it leaves the factory,” said Schwartz. “We’re leveraging technology and artificial intelligence to transform the way we do business. We believe disruption in HVAC will be among the most dynamic in all industries over the next 15 years, and we promise we are going to be ready.”
THE POWER OF DISRUPTION
Terry Jones is not only a proponent of the IoT, he is the IoT.
About two years ago, Jones had a paperclip-sized sensor implanted into his chest that monitors his heart’s performance and reports the data to the cloud nightly. If his heart is not performing as it should, a doctor is immediately alerted.
As the founder of Travelocity, founding chairman of Kayak.com, and co-founder and current chairman of Wayblazer, Jones knows a thing or two about the power of disruption.
Approximately 45 years ago, Jones started his professional career as a receptionist at a travel agency. Six months after he was hired, the company branched off a new agency with Jones at the helm. In less than five years, the start-up grew to become the 50th largest travel agency in the nation.
Jones then founded another company that sold mini computers to travel agencies. That business was purchased by American Airlines in less than six months. Jones stuck with American Airlines and quickly ascended the ladder there, assuming the roles of vice president and CIO.
Taking another calculated risk, Jones took control of the company’s small online travel department. Under his tutelage, that department evolved from a mere blip on the map into Travelocity.com, which was taken public at a value of $1.2 billion.
Jones has since broadened his portfolio, investing in numerous companies — some of which failed and some of which, including Kayak.com, have found astronomical success — totaling $6 billion in value.
“We can’t move forward in business without taking risk,” Jones said. “Have absolute clarity of where you want to go; know the end point and have unrelenting focus on getting there. Don’t give up. It takes courage to get to your destination.”
Steve Jobs started Apple in a garage with Steve Wozniak, and Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in a dorm room. Jones challenged those in attendance to be risky and innovate in their own ways.
“While professional leaps of faith take courage, it’s even more dangerous not to evolve,” he continued. “We have to face our fears. Established organizations view disruption as a threat. Disruption and innovation are just two sides of the same coin. Stop being disruptive and start being innovative. Don’t recreate the past in a new way, reimagine what the future can be.”
DISRUPTION THROUGH INNOVATION
Daikin welcomed approximately 1,300 sales reps to the DGSM, offering those in attendance intimate availability to the company’s equipment managers and latest equipment.
Among the innovations showcased were Daikin’s new PreciseLine™ Large Capacity Blower Coil. This large capacity horizontal blower coil conditions air to precise levels up to 5,000 cfm and is designed to match a building’s air-handling demand at an affordable cost.
“The PreciseLine offers 600- to 5,000-cfm air-handler performance at a blower coil price point,” said Jay Ramkumar, product manager, fan coils/blower coils at Daikin Applied Americas. “The panel design is patent pending, so it is thermally broke with no sweating, and it features an 80 percent ECM [electronically commutated motor] all the way up to 2,000 cfm. From a maintenance perspective, the fan deck and motor slide out, including the valve package and coils, which makes maintenance easy and accessible.”
Daikin also highlighted its data acquisition and analytics abilities. The manufacturer’s Intelligent Equipment monitors energy consumption at the equipment level for deep, accurate performance measurement. Daikin’s rooftop product line is also Intelligent Equipment-enabled and provides exceptional temperature and humidity control, which enhances the quality of the occupied space.
“Intelligent Equipment offers small- to medium-sized companies and buildings an in-depth look at their HVAC unit’s performance by examining more than 150 data points on rooftop units and more than 300 data points on air-cooled chillers,” said Mike Hoppe, senior product manager, Intelligent Equipment, Daikin Applied Americas. “Daikin provides energy efficiency and comfort, and, now, with Intelligent Equipment, these building and company owners can see that performance in dollars saved — dollars that could be spent elsewhere on other elements of the building. It’s a secure, cloud-based platform that is nonintrusive and preprogrammed specifically for the equipment.”
Daikin also previewed its latest enhancement of Rebel: The Commercial Packaged 20-ton Heat Pump Rooftop unit with inverter scroll compression. The modulation of the variable-speed compressor equates to 30 percent energy savings relative to ASHRAE 90.1-2016 part-load minimums.
“The efficiency the Rebel achieves with the inverter compressor is astounding,” said Steve VanPeursem, director of marketing and sales, package systems, Daikin Applied Americas. “Not only is full-load performance 10-15 percent better with an inverter compressor, part-load efficiency can increase by as much as 80 percent. This translates to an IEER of 18-20, which for an end user, equates to a 42 percent energy savings on energy consumption.”
Daikin’s Pathfinder (screw) and Trailblazer (scroll) air-cooled chillers are also available with Intelligent Equipment to help building owners and facility managers transform how they manage their HVAC equipment.
Trailblazer chillers are designed for low install costs and high performance. Pathfinder AWV features Daikin’s variable volume ratio (VVR) technology, which allows a chiller’s compressor to optimize performance for every condition and at every hour of the day, which significantly improves efficiency levels.
“VVR allows us to make the compressor more flexible to maximize the efficiency as conditions change,” said Rob Landes, product manager, positive displacement chillers, Daikin Applied Americas. “As customers are looking for more flexible solutions and more efficient performance, you can do it one of two ways — throw money at it by putting on bigger heat exchangers, or you can try to innovate.
“Daikin took the latter approach,” he continued. “We gave the compressor the ability to change its volume ratio. Instead of being hard-machined into the compressor, we gave it a slide mechanism that allows the volume ratio to change. In doing so, we allow the compressor to match its volume ratio to the system’s pressure differential.”
Daikin’s Magnitude centrifugal chillers feature magnetic bearing technology that eliminates the need for oil, mechanical seals, and gears, which enables longer machine life as well as better efficiency and reliability that can save end users up to $4 million in energy costs over the lifetime of the chiller. Daikin’s unique RideThrough and RapidRestore technologies allow chillers to maintain stable operation during short power outages and drastically improve restart times, if needed.
“Oil-based chillers are largely a thing of the past,” said Art Rizoli, director of centrifugal products, Daikin Applied Americas. “If you compare magnetic-bearing to oil-based chillers, the magnetic-bearing chiller will keep its performance throughout its life while the oil-based chiller will start to lose its performance the minute after it’s started. The oil will contaminate the system, and performance will diminish. From a reliability and life cycle performance standpoint, magnetic-bearing chillers are here to stay.”
When asked to summarize Daikin Applied in one word, Thorne chose the word, “Driven.”
“Daikin is a very unique company that embraces a driven culture,” Thorne said. “While some companies are very much focused on the short term, Daikin is continually investing in the industry’s future as well as its own future. That’s what’s guided the last five years and will push this company forward for the next five, 10, and 50 years.”
For more information on the DGSM, visit www.daikinapplied.com.
Publication date: 11/13/2017