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AHR Expo México

Jamie Smalling, our inside sales representative at punker LLC in Hickory, NC, visited AHR Expo México in early October. At the largest trade show of the air conditioning and ventilation industry in Latin America our representative MG Asociados exhibited the fan wheels of the punker D-Series individually and as a component in their own air handling units and box fans of the brand KLIMA.

Here Jamie shares her impressions of a unique trip to Mexico City and a whole new exhibition experience:

I was wonderfully impressed with the extent of hospitality from the group at MG Asociados from the moment I arrived, until I departed back to the States.  Although  my trip started out with a 3 hr delay due to  a faulty plane in Dallas, TX,  Adolfo patiently waited on me at the airport in Mexico as he was aware of my concerns traveling there alone as an American woman arriving late at night. Coming in for the landing in Mexico City, I was overwhelmed with the sheer size of the city and can fully understand why in Mexico they say Mexico City is it’s own country within the country.  At night as the city was lit up all around as far as you could see to the mountain tops, it was a beautiful and unforgettable sight.  I could not have asked for a better group to escort me in this city, as they made sure I was taken care of traveling, as well as eating dinner in the evenings as we discussed the optimism from the potential of the show each day.

The AHR Show there is a little different from what we are used too in the US, as it does not begin until 2:00 pm and last until 8:00 pm. This could help explain how very busy both days that I attended were as it had been projected to have over 350 exhibitors, and over 10,000 attendees.  I would say this was a good estimate with the steady traffic through the show on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Throughout the entire 6 hours, the MG booth had a steady stream of people interested in punker wheels, along with MG’s new Klima Air handling units and Box fans being show cased as new products.  On Tuesday, the first day, at least 50% of the inquiries at the booth were in reference to our D-Series wheels as they not only had our wheels in their air handling unit and box fans, but also displayed over the whole booth including on their own displays.

I feel as though this trip was well worth the time, and I left there knowing there is a definite market for our wheels in Mexico and the MG group has capacity and capability to reach the market to make these sales happen for punker LLC.

I appreciate this eye opening experience, to see the market in another culture and am grateful for the partnership that MG has requested with us to reach this South American market.

Related Resources:

AHR Expo México

MG Asociados

punker LLC

punker D-Series

Facts & Figures Markets

2018 AHR Expo

In 2018, energy efficiency was again one of the topics exhibitors and visitors were concerned with at the 2018 AHR Expo, which was held from January 22 -24 in Chicago. Thus, the punker exhibition team was thrilled about the great interest with which the high-efficiency D-Series fan wheels were met once again. Presented for the first time was an extremely lightweight fan impeller in a welded execution: the Dlight – welded.

New Product: Dlight – welded

With the Dlight – welded, punker adds to the existing D-Series, a product range of energy-efficient diffusor fan wheels unhoused applications such as plug fans, plenum fans,  and air handling. The welded aluminum impeller offers a high ventilation system performance paired with low weight and pleasant acoustics. It is suited for applications that require a static pressure increase of 4 – 5.5″ WG (AMCA Class I) and compatible with various AC or EC drives.

AHR Expo – International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition

AHR Expo is the most important exhibition for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigerating on the American continents. With an estimated 70,000 visitors and 2,100 exhibiting companies, this year’s show is the largest event since it’s start in 1930. In the good company of industry giants like ebm-papst, Ziehl-Abegg, Rosenberg and Comefri, punker exhibited fan wheels “Engineered in Germany – Made in the USA” for the seventh year in a row.

HVAC Manufacturers confident About Economic Outlook

The record-breaking visitor count is congruent with HVAC manufacturers’ extremely positive outlook for the fiscal year of 2018. According to the latest AHR Expo and ASHRAE Journal Annual Economic Outlook Survey, 89% of responders expect excellent or good growth, up 15% from the already positive outlook in 2017. The development of sales indicates that this is not just a snapshot: 69% of respondents reported higher sales in 2017 versus 57% in 2016. The percentage of businesses with a significantly higher  sales growth (more than 10% year-on-year) increased as well, from Und  23% in 2016 to 34% in 2017.

punker meets Market Requirements of Reliability and Energy Efficiency

With such a positive outlook for the new fiscal year, many manufacturers are looking for the latest and best technologies and products. With regard to customer expectations, respondents continue to consider reliability and energy efficiency as the most influential factors in their 2018 buying decisions. With the D-Series, punker offers the right solution for these market requirements. This was also reflected in an even higher number of visitors on our booth, compared to the previous year.

Markets

ISH 2017 in Frankfurt

For more than 50 years, the ISH has been considered the leading exposition for innovative bathroom design, efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning and renewable energies. ISH is held every other year in Frankfurt am Main. From March 14 through 18 of this year, 2,482 exhibitors from 61 countries presented themselves at the Frankfurt fair ground. One of them was punker.

Innovative and efficient – just like our new product family which we presented at ISH in Frankfurt. The new D-Series was developed for customers all over the world. But not only the new D-series found its way onto our stand. With the Slight we offered a look into the future of our upcoming new product family: the S-Series, available successively starting Fall 2017, will eventually replace several existing fan wheel series for use in scroll housings, thus further optimizing and streamlining our product portfolio.

In addition to these product innovations, we invited our visitors to give our web-based fan wheel selection puncat WEB a try. A real eye-catcher was the “NEXT GENERATION” prototype of laser-welded, backward-curved fan wheels made by punker: improved energy efficiency, reduced material input, decreased noise emission.

As a trainee in the Sales and Marketing department, I was able to visit this year’s ISH and gained a lot of valuable impressions. How do we present our brand and our products?  What are the key factors when dealing with visitors on our stand? What are the trends in the HVAC market? How do our competitors present themselves? While these questions can be answered theoretically, they are answered a lot more thoroughly and ostensively in the field.

During my short visit to ISH I was able to gain a lot more insights than initially expected. This might be mainly due to our team on-site who showed me the ropes and walked the fair ground with me to give me a comprehensive overview of relevant products and the overall market situation. Seeing the exhibition stands of companies I, until then, only new in theory was very interesting and insightful. I was able to take a look at competitors’ products as well as our customers’ products in which our fan wheels are incorporated.

 

Markets

AHR Expo Las Vegas – Energy efficiency in the desert

End of January 2017, the AHR participation (largest trade show for Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration in the US) was on punker’s agenda, already for the 6th time in a row. The presentation of the new, highly efficient punker D-Series was a home run – this year’s show in Las Vegas was all about energy efficiency.

The exposition took place in the Las Vegas Convention Center (Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2017). Honestly, we had some doubts if Las Vegas was the right place for an industry trade show. But only 30 minutes after the opening these doubts proved wrong: The enormous appeal of ‘fabulous Las Vegas’ brought a visitors record already on day one. Obviously, many visitors combined a visit of Las Vegas and the trade show by arriving already the weekend before.

Our booth in the Central Hall was crowded by visitors on Monday morning: Frank Mueller (Area Sales Manager North, Central and South America), Juergen Beinke (Director Global Sales) and myself had many opportunities to spread the enthusiasm for our new energy efficient D-Series. While the interest in energy efficient solutions was still low during the 2016 AHR Expo in Orlando, it had sparked very strong interest by this year.

Energy Efficiency Everywhere

The yearly survey amongst the trade show visitors by the ASHRAE Journal (monthly journal published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) confirmed the increased awareness of energy efficient solutions: 60,5% of the 700 respondents indicated that energy efficiency is the most important aspect for their customers (ahead: 74,2% Reliability, 70,4% Cost). Only 4% indicated that customers are not willing to pay more for energy efficiency, almost 80% confirmed the increased willingness to pay more, another 80% is actively on the lookout for ‘green’ or sustainable products on the trade show. However, only 25% of the respondents notice a support or even incentives by the state to change to energy efficient products or technologies.

By presenting ‚Increasing Energy Efficiency with the new punker Diffuser Technology’ in the New Product & Technology Theater of the AHR Expo, Frank Mueller and Juergen Beinke succeeded in demonstrating to even more trade show visitors, how the punker D-Series fan wheels increase the energy efficiency of free blowing HVAC systems and reduce the operating costs at the same time.

“Made in USA” and “America first”

Apart from energy efficiency, another aspect was a hot topic in many business discussions: The question if our products are made in USA. Already in 2016, we put a strong focus on showing that we are producing in the US. The significance of ‘made in USA’, however, has even more increased, mainly due to the ‘America first’ attitude of the Trump administration and their announcement to impose punitive tariff duties on certain imports from Germany. Whatever the reason for this question was – the fact, that punker produces in the USA for the US market is key to our successful business relations in this market.

Next AHR Expo is from Jan. 22-24, 2018, in Chicago. Already looking forward to your visit on our booth No. 3337!
Markets Together

Photo Shoot at punker LLC

We were all excited to hear the news that we were going to have the opportunity to participate in a professional photo shoot. We realized immediately that this was a great chance to show the punker Hickory facility and the amazing team we have here.

From the beginning Frederike Walter (punker’s marketing manager from Eckernförde) had worked relentlessly on making the new punker-usa.com website perfect and decided that it couldn’t be perfect without showcasing the people that make it all happen and where it takes place. Frederike and I looked into finding a local photographer that specializes in manufacturing and industrial photography. I met with 3 photographers from our area and decided on Michael LoBiondo.

Preparation for the photo shoot began immediately after securing the photographers. Our first task was to decide on what type of shots we needed. We wanted to stay consistent with our punker brand and “mimic” some shots from the punker image brochure.

As an example…

The combined group shot

The combined group shot

This shot included the following employees:

  • Annette Whitmire – Cross Flow
  • Ryan Kilkelly – Managing Director
  • Adam Harrelson – Welder / Backward Curved wheels
  • Keith Franklin – Welding / Backward Curved wheels
  • Jennifer Branch – Production Supervisor / Logistics / Cross Flow
  • Keith Searcy – Maintenance

We also decided to try and re-create shots like the sales meeting, quality discussions, machine operators, hand welding along with a couple of others.  We did not want it to be exactly the same but we tried to stay with the same concept. The final plan for our total shot list ended up having 15 different staged actions/areas. From team shots, meetings, shipping, to production.

Frederike was helping by providing input on the shots and making sure that we had everything we needed to have a successful photo shoot (polos, t-shirts, sweatshirts etc.). Frederike also noted the importance of keeping this photo shoot authentic, which was greatly appreciated by our employees. – Long beards and all 🙂

ISO certification group picture

ISO certification group picture

PHL is a small group of people and since we are so small, we tried to give everyone who wanted to participate the option to do so. Some people were definitely more nervous than others and some did opt out. But we managed to capture all but one (Neil Fullwood – Quality Team – He was off that day) in our ISO Certification Group Picture. This was also Frank Mueller’s 1st day at PHL – Perfect Timing! (this was all in the plan 😉 ).
The day we had all anticipated had arrived and we were off! The photographers arrived around 8:00am and we began with the picture above as our first shot of the day. Group shots and meeting shots were done first. The photographers, their assistant and the make-up stylist made sure that we were standing or sitting perfectly, looking where we needed to look and that not a hair was out of place.

There was a lot of laughter on this day since none of us had ever had someone chasing us around with a powder puff and hairspray. I think our faces were also sore from holding a smile for so long.

After all of the meeting shots and group shots had been completed, a quick lunch was brought in and we were all back at it. It was on to the “action shots”. The action shots included:  shipping & receiving, manual welding, robotic welding, balancing and the Cross Flow operators.

Some of my favorite shots of the day are the robot welding, balancing and the Cross Flow shot. It was very interesting for us to see how many times the lights needed to be moved to get it “just perfect”, I think we thought it was a little ridiculous until we saw all of the different proofs and realized what a big difference the “perfect lighting” makes.

The photo shoot ended around 4:45pm. For all involved it was a very interesting day. I was very tired but very pleased with all of the support I received from the team. The Management, Quality and Sales group picture has already come to great use as we printed it and sent it to our customers in their Christmas cards.

I am very pleased with the web site. I think having the local team on the site will greatly benefit punker LLC while letting our customers and potential customers see the faces of their suppliers as well as offering a sneak-peak into our facility.

It was a great job done by all!

 

Some additional comments from the team include:

“The photo shoot was a great experience. I think it went very well and was pleased with the website. I am looking forward to seeing more pictures on future publications.”

John Barefoot, Shipping (fork lift shot)

“I was nervous about the photo shoot at the beginning, I didn’t know that I would be in it as much as I was. The photographers were very nice and gave me clear direction so I just kept on working as if they weren’t there. I think everyone was amused with the hair and make-up, it’s not often that you experience that at work. Over all it was a nice experience and I am happy with the way it turned out.”

Annette Whitmire, Cross Flow

“I think the photo shoot went really good” Jessica asked, “Were you nervous?” Keith replied, “Yes, I was really nervous at first about the makeup and my beard. She tried to trim it but I got a little fidgety and she stopped, then it was all good.”

Keith Franklin, Welding / Balancing (balancing shot, quality with Michael Greene shot)

Markets Together

From the Idea to the Booth – 2016 AHR Show Orlando

When exhibiting at trade shows, companies always present their best side. Exhibition stands are supposed to appear effortlessly inviting, professional and innovative. In the months leading up to AHR Expo in Orlando, Florida, I came to find out just how much strategic thought and hard work goes into actualizing a successful presentation.

Coming up with a concept

The 2016 AHR Show in Orlando had the target to relaunch our HVAC wheel series to the market. The decision was made early on that there was a need for a new marketing concept, especially for the American market.

In the end of November 2015, the punker LLC team had the first brain storm meeting to discuss new ideas for the show. Members of the team included Ryan Kilkelly (Managing Director), Michael Greene (Quality Management), Jessica Owens (Inside Sales) and myself, Frank Mueller.

An abundance of ideas were laid out on the table but only two made it out of the meeting. It was decided that we need one display stand to proudly announce that Hickory manufactures in the USA and another to showcase the R63D-HVAC wheel and include technical information.

The display stands we had used in the past weren’t useful for this goal. It was decided to redesign the booth and purchase new display stands.

The different ideas of the “Made in the USA” campaign ranged from an American flag made using backward curved and cross flow wheels to powder coated wheels in the traditional US colors; red, white and blue. Ultimately, it was decided that three R63D-HVAC wheels were to be coated in these colors, which also happen to be punker’s standard corporate colors.

The concept for the HVAC display was simple, the R63D-HVAC and the new D light wheel were positioned in the center of the display while side panels included technical information from our brochure.

The Sales team at punker LLC then began the search for a company to create our vision. We found a local company nearby and began the process.

In previous years, punker has rented all equipment for the booth. This year, the decision was made to purchase all of the items. This move is sure to save punker from costly rental fees in the future.

In addition to support from the entire punker LLC team, we also received a tremendous amount of support and assistance from Frederike Walter from the Marketing Department in Eckernforde. Ms. Walter assisted in everything from the space rental, booth design, literature, wheels – you name it and she helped with it.

Planning the idea to the booth consumed a minimum of three months. A lot of planning went into turning our vision into reality and finally seeing our material waiting at our booth. There were plenty of days leading up to the show that “show planning” turned into a full time job for Jessica.

The AHR Expo 2016

The Expo took place from January 25th – January 27th. It is the largest show for the HVAC industry in the US. Exhibitors included many of our competitors and also many customers, too. This was truly a great opportunity to meet with our customers and especially for me to be able to introduce myself as the “New Area Sales Manager” of the Americas.

In my opinion, out of 42,396 visitors and 17,978 exhibitors, it was clear that the following three topics stood out amongst the rest:

  1. Energy Efficiency
  2. American Made Products “Made in the USA”
  3. Plastic Wheels

To our surprise, many of our competitors presented plastic wheels and expect to see a great market for them in the future. However, this is not our opinion. We will watch this closely as only time will tell.

In general, the show was well attended from potential customers around the world. Not only did we have visits from many US customers, but other countries as well, such as: Israel, Egypt, Saudi-Arabia, India, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and China were also represented.

Many visitors to our booth were interested in our HVAC product line, focused on the potential for energy efficiency. Energy efficiency will begin to make a strong impact on the sale decision following the continued efforts of the DOE’s bill for efficiency.

 

To see more pictures from 2016 AHR Expo in Orlando, visit the SmugMug gallery.

Markets

Climate World Moscow

Click  the white arrows on each side of the picture to see more images.

Every year in March, the exhibition center in Moscow hosts the Mir Klimata trade show, also known as Climate World Moscow. From March 1-4 2016, 249 companies were represented on this international trade show for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Due to the ongoing economic crisis, this year only 3 exhibition halls were booked, whereas in 2015 a total number of 348 exhibitors were represented in 6 halls.

Being the regional manager for North East Europe, this trade show is a must see for me – and this year I was accompanied by our Director of Global Jürgen Beinke. The impact of the economic crisis became very obvious in our meetings and conversations – the construction and air conditioning industry is heavily affected. Although current construction projects will be finished, no new major projects are initiated. To counteract this trend, many smaller manufacturers in the HVAC industry are looking for alternative business opportunities like swimming pools or air conditioning or they concentrate their activities on the retrofit business.

However, key players of this industry like IZTT, Teplomash, Normalvent, VEZA or Korf  were represented on the Mir Klimata as ever. Apart from the Russian manufacturers, several important European companies like Systemair, Swegon, Nicotra-Gebhardt and ebm-papst participated as exhibitors at the show, some of them by their Russian representatives.

Due to the economic crisis, the show organizers put a lot of emphasis on international cooperation this year: for the first time, Turkey was the official partner country of the Mir Klimata and with EUROVENT another official partner was represented on the show. The Chinese exhibitors, however, usually having one full exhibition hall all for themselves, cancelled their attendance due to the negative economic situation, so that the remaining Chinese exhibitors, for example Sanmu Motors, were placed amongst the other exhibitors.

We were happy to meet our big Russian customers again this year on the show, moreover we managed to establish new, promising contacts, so that we remain confident on the future prospects for our business in North East Europe, despite the uncertain economic situation.

Facts & Figures Markets

New Energy Efficiency Standards in the USA

In my blog post “ENERGY EFFICIENCY- THE HVAC-INDUSTRY IS ENTERING NEW TERRITORY” from October 2015, I talked about developments regarding energy efficiency in the USA.
In December 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) finalized new energy conservation standards for commercial air conditioners, heat pumps and commercial warm-air furnaces.

According to Ernest Moniz, U.S. Energy Secretary, this “marks the largest energy saving standard in history and demonstrates that America is leading the effort to reduce energy costs and cut carbon emissions.”
The DOE estimates the new program will save businesses up to $167 billion in energy costs over the lifetime of the equipment. Additionally, carbon monoxide discharge will be reduced by as much as 885 million metric tons over a period of thirty years.

The new directive was finalized with cooperation between the DOE and 17 stakeholder groups including industry organization, manufacturers, efficiency organizations and institutes. The new standard will be implemented in two phases:

  1. Beginning January 1, 2018 commercial air conditioners and commercial warm air furnaces must achieve thirteen percent improvement in efficiency.
  2. In 2023, an additional fifteen percent increase will be required.

How can punker help manufacturers of commercial air conditioning systems?

The DOE’s final ruling delivers a clear regulatory roadmap to manufacturers of commercial air conditioning systems. This will force manufacturers to rise to the challenge of optimizing their products accordingly.
As a leading developer and manufacturer of radial fan wheels, punker has been focusing its product development on energy efficiency since the European Union’s Eco-design Directive “ErP” (Energy related Products) extended its scope to air conditioning and ventilation systems in a 2009 revision.

The ErP defines minimum efficiency requirements for fans with an output range of 0.125 kw to 500 kw and took effect in two phases in 2013 and 2015. The assessment takes into account the efficiency of the entire systems, consisting of the motor, the transmission (belt drive, for example) and the fan wheel.

The fan wheel has a large impact on the overall efficiency of the fan system. This is where manufacturers of unhoused fan applications can rely on punker’s extensive knowledge and expertise. Our product portfolio offers suitable fan wheels for plug fans and plenum fans to meet the DOE’s new efficiency requirements. Our fan wheel series R63D HVAC and D light, are constructed to achieve the highest static efficiencies at optimal working points worldwide.

Here at punker, we look forward to assisting manufacturers in turning these challenges into opportunities.

 

 

 

 

Markets Partners

New Website for North America

Mission accomplished. Our new website www.punker-usa.com for (prospect) customers from North America has been released!

With large economies like the USA and Canada as well as up-and-coming markets like Mexico, North America is a growth market with a whole lot of potential for the punker Group. In 2012, punker LLC was founded to make sure our customers get ideal close-by service. To further optimize the service and support for this market, we now released a separate website for this significant group of customers. It takes in account this target group’s specific information needs and technical demands regarding our fan wheels.

The new website is aimed mainly towards the HVAC-industry (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning). Accordingly, it spotlights the fan wheel series R63D-HVAC and D light. Regarding the imagery, we opted for more personality and character. Our colleagues at punker LLC organized a photo shoot just to make sure they’ll be seen from there best side. And it looks like that was a lot of fun. To make the visit to our website more fun, we included animated graphics, 360°-views and exploded views that explain the benefits of our diffusor design over conventional wheel designs.

We’re excited to find out how our customers and prospects in the USA, Canada and Mexico like our new website. We on our part are very pleased with the outcome of yet another great project realized by our trusted web agency wquadrat Medien GmbH.

Markets R&D

Energy Efficiency – The HVAC-Industry is entering New Territory

As punker’s new Area Sales Manager North, Central and South America, I travel to punker LLC on a regular basis to support my colleagues in further establishing the North American market. On my last stay at punker LLC in October, punker LLC’s Managing Director, Ryan Kilkelly, and I visited the Annual AMCA Meeting in California.

The Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) is an international, not-for-profit association of the world’s manufacturers of fans, louvers, dampers, air curtains, air flow measurement devices, ducts, acoustic attenuators and other air system components. AMCA invites its members regularly to discuss innovations and developments concerning the HVAC industry. This year’s Annual Meeting focused on the topic of energy conservation and energy efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing a new program for energy efficiency in commercial air conditioners, heat pumps and commercial warm-air furnaces which is expected to be finalized within the next couple of month. For most of the manufacturers within the HVAC sector, this programm will mean venturing into uncharted terrain.

Even though Washington has not defined any standards or regulations yet, AMCA expects that by 2019, energy effiency in the HVAC sector will have to be increased by 20%. The U.S. administration has, however, already enacted a subsidy program of 9 billion US$ for energy conserving industry applications. Manufacutrers seeking to submit products for funding will first have to get these products certified by the DOE. Standards have not been finalized for this programm, however. AMCA will represent the industry’s interests during the process of finalizing these standards.

Energy efficiency has defined product development at punker since the European Union’s Ecodesign Directive extended its scope to air conditioning and ventilation systems in a 2009 revision. With our extensive know-how and energy-efficient fan wheel series like R63D-HVAC, the DOE’s future program poses an excellent opportunity for establishing the punker brand in the US.