The king of coolers is born in Colombia.
Read the story of Enea Green, the press cooler that reduces consumption in the company.
Keeping the press oil below 45 degrees is essential for the machine to work properly. People know this problem well in Colombia where the concept of heat is really extreme, especially in some regions. Here’s how we turned a request into a business and savings opportunity for one of the leaders of the South American country’s ceramics. The company Alfagres is the protagonist of this business story, Enea Green is its new ally in everyday job.
My first busines trip for INTER SER was to Colombia, just before being definitively hired. Piero joined to teach me the new job and let me meet what the customers that I would then manage would have been. As soon as I landed in Bogota, I remember very well how the intense green of nature, so bright and shiny as I had never seen before, struck me. It must have been a sign of fate that the first Enea Green has been sold right here?
Alfagres is the second group in the ceramic industry in Colombia with two plants, one in Bogota and one in Barranquilla. The first one is larger, made up of many production lines, while the second one is smaller, but more recently installed. The latter is located on the north coast of the country, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, where temperatures swing from 33 to 24 degrees in the most ‘cold’ periods. It’s really good, it’s a wonderful climate for people, a little less for the machines.
I often go to Colombia to visit our customers because we do not have a local representative here. The visits are mainly intended to listen, collect feedback and present the innovations and improvements from a technical point of view that are developed in the district of Sassuolo. Together with the Alfagres maintenance manager we visit all the departments, going through the production lines and we stop in front of a press starting a discussion on the importance of cooling the oil of the machine that must remain at a temperature below 45-50 degrees so that it does not lose efficiency and does not ruin the most delicate parts. The lubricant must therefore be cooled with a special machine that is coupled to the press: the oil enters hot and comes out at a lower temperature. There is a water cooling solution called Chiller, used in the hottest seasons (and regions), which has the disadvantage of having high costs of maintaining the water circuit and treating it. And there is an air cooling solution that is what we propose.
I seized the opportunity and introduce Enea Green to the group’s maintenance manager. Back to INTER SER I send a summary e-mail with the description of the machine, our catalog and an offer sized on the type of press analyzed during the visit. The Enea Green fan has no maintenance problems because the only risk is that the radiator can be clogged with dust, leaves or other material. But the system has been studied so to automatically reverse the direction of rotation of the fan by blowing away everything that has been deposited. It also has a much higher cooling power than other similar models, it is perfect at all temperature levels, up to the warmer ones, avoiding in some cases the use of the Chiller.
A few months later I received a request for a cooler from the Alfagres purchasing department, but with a code which was unknown to us. Enea Green is a machine built only by the company FIMO of Sassuolo. FIMO has worked in the past with the manufacturers of the presses with exclusive contracts, until, for various reasons, this agreement has been canceled. Since then FIMO has decided to entrust the international marketing of the cooler to INTER SER. So I decide to ask our collegues in FIMO to interpret the customer’s request and we find out that we were asked for an old-fashioned chiller model, cheaper than Enea Green but certainly less efficient. I also discover that the request is for the Barranquilla factory, the one on the Caribbean sea, where conditions are not ideal to cool something with air. To worsen the situation, we add the fact that the installation of the machines is said to be on the factory roof, exposed to sun, about 20 meters in height, in conditions of extreme heat.
The goal is not to lose the sale, but to provide the most suitable machine to the customer. It would be simpler to offer, having a lower price, the same machinery as they requested, but our aim is to propose the customer to try an innovative solution that really helps him in his working conditions. In this way, compared to an initially higher investment, it may ,over time ,consume less, maintain less and also have better performance in terms of temperature reduction, ensuring constant and optimal operation of the press which is at the heart of the production line. I therefore try to address them on the new Enea Green model, exchanging several e-mails with technical explanations up to the final negotiation. Thanks also to the flexibility and excellent relationship established with FIMO, we can find a good solution (also on price) and to convince them of the goodness of the investment … we have sold the first Enea Green outside the European borders. After a month of operation they write me from Baranquilla, they are very happy because they have gone from 47 degrees of oil temperature with the old cooler to 40 degrees guaranteed by Enea Green. In addition, the machine is more compact and is consuming less energy: 6KW / hour less on about 8,000 hours of annual work which are a nice savings. With this operation we have created added value for everyone involved. For us at INTER SER we have created a business partnership with the supplier and the customer further consolidating the relationship of trust. For Alfagres, which has now obtained savings on the cost of running the chiller and improved production performance. And for Fimo, who sold the first chiller with us outside Europe.
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