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10 October 2019

Thirty years of refrigeration: what’s next?

Carel released its first product for the refrigeration sector in 1990, after 17 years’ of business operating exclusively in the air conditioning market.

Luigi Rossi Luciani, Carel's founder.

The first controller was called S90 and came with many technical features, including the ability to combine the thermostat and defrost functions on the same device, simple installation, and the large backlit LCD display with resolution to a tenth of a degree.

Luigi Rossi Luciani, the company’s founder, recalled: “At the end of the 1980s, Carel had achieved good results in the production and sale of air conditioning controllers, and we started making our first plans for international expansion.

“Our main competitors were already operating in the refrigeration market, so we decided to exploit the expertise available in the company to expand into this sector. Despite tip-toeing into the market, our goal was to be innovative.

“The nineties then saw the arrival of other products for refrigeration; the ir32, which stood out for its simple installation, and the plug in, a product that helped make Carel a leader in the commercial refrigeration market, as well as being recognised as a reliable and flexible partner in an increasingly demanding and structured market.

“With the new millennium came ir33 and power compact, however the real breakthrough occurred in 2007 with the easy, the new range of controllers that replaced the plug-in and ir32 ranges.

“Over the past 10 years, Carel has started offering the distribution channel easy-to-configure controllers with pre-set parameters that minimise installation times. These are the ir33 smart, easy cool and easy freeze lines. In the same period, the ir33 range also underwent complete restyling, becoming ir33+.

“In these last 30 years, Carel has been fuelled by its attention to customer needs and the pursuit of technological innovation.”

Alessandro Greggio, group chief sales and marketing officer – refrigeration, commented: “Both technology and business models need to evolve relentlessly in order to satisfy a demanding and constantly changing market.

“The real question now is what awaits us in the next few years, in a world that is ever more connected and demanding in terms of human-machine interaction, and with the urgent need to respect the environment and ensure sustainability. How will industry leaders, like Carel, whose mission is to meet these and other rapidly accelerating needs, respond?”


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