The company chose the name V because the machine is a ‘v’ shape, and the word ‘change’ in Dutch is ‘verandering’. It originally launched the product to its own sales organization but wants to drive more publicity around it.
Danny Heuvelmans, director product management, sales and marketing support, GEA Grasso, told FoodProductionDaily it has been focusing onthe V Series for the last three to four years to get ready for the future.
He said it sold its first V Series compressor to two factories in the Netherlands in 2010; HIWA Rotterdam Port Cold Stores and a slaughterhouse in Nijmegen.
“We doubled our product portfolio last year and now with our factory in Berlin we have developed standard chillers, also based on the piston compressor,” he said.
10 highlights of V Series piston compressors
- Energy efficient in the design of the compressor and the components it is using with less pressure loss and optimized temperature separation
- Low maintenance costs
- Low oil consumption which means it can operate without an oil separator
- 4-bolt instead of 12-bolt head cover gives direct access to valves and cylinder liner for faster cleaning
- Simple range of seven different models
- The design uses a variable speed drive
- Lightweight composite material suction and discharge valve rings
- The sound level is lower than conventional compressors. Up to 10 dB lower sound power level
- Grasso Maintenance Monitor displays the next maintenance
interval; measures operation conditions
- Oversized suction gas entry, and optimized filtering and distribution for more resistance against liquid hammer
“Now we have the basis for this compressor we can develop all kinds of other products for the refrigeration industry. We have 14 different models in the portfolio at the moment produced in Den Bosch.”
Heuvelmans added it was important for the company to make the announcement now because it could not ‘change overnight’ from its conventional compressor series to the V Series.
“We had to do it very gradually. It was a high bus risk to develop all our compressors and had we done it overnight it would have cost millions,” he said.
“It was a huge amount of money that was not possible. We wanted to continue the business without damaging the relations we already had from the other side.
“It took us four to five years to change our old product portfolio to our new one. I think it was wise we did it like this. On one hand, from an investment point of view and, on the other, to change the mindset of our customers.
“Refrigeration is a very conventional market, the technology is 100 years old, it’s not like producing a mobile phone which changes every two years, when you buy a compressor it will last for 20 years, we don’t want to take big risks so that’s why we took a certain amount of time to change our product portfolio in small batches.”
Heuvelmansadded the first prototype was exhibited at Chillventa in Nuremberg, Germany, and it will be attending this year from October 14-16. The tradeshow for refrigeration, ventilation and heat pumps is held every two years.
“We are beyond an introduction. The V story continues, when we were thinking about creating a new piston compressor we decided that this type of product is technology for the future,” he said.
10 years ago
“When we asked people 10 years ago about where technology was going more than half would have said screw compressors, but today the amount of energy efficiency saved in a piston compressor is the future because the product will last.
“We got feedback from the market that showed we took the right decision. That was the first step to developing the V Series - that was in 2007.
“We had to understand what was the most important thing for the customer – the contractor and the end user so we looked at total cost of ownership and energy efficiency.”
Heuvelmanssaid GEA Grasso hastwo other projects on the go to coincide with the introduction of the V Series; these were changing its manufacturing to Lean processing and the renovation of its 100-year-old factory.
“Those three projects fitted together fantastically,” he said.
“Now that we have improved our factory we are ready for a higher volume of production of V Series which was very successful in 2013. Now we can produce it more efficiently and 100% utilize this factory to the maximum.”