We are very optimistic about the outlook for CO2 refrigeration in Europe. We expect the growth in commercial and light commercial refrigeration to show continued growth,” said Hinkler. “We are also very optimistic about the outlook for CO2 refrigeration in North America. Recent research we commissioned shows the North American market is in the developmental phase with industrial, commercial and light commercial refrigeration applications showing the greatest promise.”
Can you tell us how the collaboration with Wieland came about, which led to the joint system guarantee for CO2 applications up to 120 bar?
Hinkler: We have been working with Wieland for a long time. As Wieland had got the request for a high pressure copper system, IBP was the first choice for the fittings. We developed the system together and we will continue in this way.
Video interview at the AHR Expo 2015, Chicago
At the AHR Expo, Hinkler explained that the K65 tubes and fittings for transcritical CO2 applications is a copper alloy which includes 2% iron for strength to withstand higher pressures, up to 1740 PSI. IBP and Wieland are expanding the line to include a 2 1/8’’ size. The K65 system is also easily brazable and does not require any special tools.
What impact will the new harmonised standards for copper and copper alloy have on IBP?
Hinkler: Fittings EN1254 Parts 1 to 5, published in 1998, are subject to the European Directive and are mandated standards. This means they are now subject to review and amendment by CEN/CENELEC 3 to convert them into HEN’s (Harmonised European Norm’s) for CE marking. The review process is well underway and it is expected that the revised standards will be published in 2015.
When published, manufacturers and suppliers will have to fully comply with the essential requirements of the standard, provide DOP’s (declaration of performance), CE mark the product and packaging, and be 3rd party assessed. This will be a legal requirement and must be done if you want to place the product on the market for sale in any member state.
What were the key lessons learned in relation to your K65 fittings in 2014, and how will this affect your strategic planning for 2015?
Hinkler: We have learned that nobody can give us a really good forecast. Our decision is to increase our production capacity and our flexibility, which means we are able to react much quicker.
IBP will be present at the following upcoming trade shows:
- Climatizacion – Madrid, Spain from 24-27 February, 2015
- ISH – Frankfurt, Germany from 10-14 March, 2015
- Interclima – Paris, France from 2-6 November, 2015
About IBP Group
With heritage dating back to 1873, the IBP Group is a globally focused business encompassing the design, manufacture and supply of plumbing fittings, valves and bathroom products. The company is headquartered in the UK with European production facilities serving commercial offices around the globe and employing 850 people.
One of the major IBP Group brands is Conex Bänninger, a leading European plumbing fittings and valves manufacturer founded in 1909. Conex Bänninger also specialises in fittings for customers in the domestic, commercial, industrial and HVAC markets worldwide.