Belgian factory gears up to meet growing demand for sustainable heating solutions
- Daikin Europe NV invests in a new sheet metal line and a fully automated die warehouse for its factory in Ostend, Belgium.
- The new sheet metal line allows to increase production capacity at the plant while improving safety on the factory floor.
- The investment is part of Daikin’s Fusion 2025 plan to strengthen the company’s manufacturing abilities in the EMEA region and fulfil the growing demand for sustainable heating solutions such as heat pumps.
Increasing capacity and productivity in the factory in Ostend
On February 3rd 2022, Daikin Europe’s Ostend plant commissioned a new line of sheet metal presses. The new presses are used to manufacture the outside metal casing of Daikin’s heat pumps.
“Until now we relied on external suppliers for a significant part of our sheet metal work,” explains Steven Van Impe, Deputy General Manager Manufacturing. “With the new presses we will be able to manufacture more of our metal casings within the walls of our factory, which increases our production capacity and quality control. They also support our environmental efforts, because with them, we significantly lower the transport volume of semi-finished sheet metal to our factory.”
Along with the new presses, a number of new technologies are introduced to enhance safety on the factory floor.
“Throughout the years, the sheet metal plates we use have been getting bigger in size, making it increasingly difficult for our workers to handle them manually,” says Andy De Wilde, Department Manager Production Engineering. “That is why the new presses are now fed by robots. We have also fully automated the warehouse for the dies that are used to press the plates. The dies – which can weigh up to 5 tons – are now automatically removed from storage and loaded onto the presses.”
The increased capacity not only requires investments in new technology, it will also have a positive effect on employment at the factory. Daikin Europe will be rolling out a massive recruitment campaign in spring to fill more than 200 new vacancies at the Ostend plant.
Gearing up to meet increased demand in Europe
The investment is part of the Fusion 2025 plan that was announced by Daikin Europe in October 2021. The plan encompasses a total investment of 840 million euro over the next five years.
“Demand for sustainable heating solutions is growing rapidly,” says Hiromitsu Iwasaki, Vice President of Daikin Europe. “Annual sales of heat pumps are expected to increase in Europe from 1 million units in 2021 to over 4 million in 2030. The Fusion 2025 plan will put our company at the forefront of this major transition to a carbon-free society.”
Daikin Europe N.V.
Daikin Europe N.V. is a subsidiary of Daikin Industries Ltd. and the headquarters for air conditioning, air purification, ventilation, heating and refrigeration (HVAC-R) equipment sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
With a large network of subsidiaries and a strong professional partner network, it is the leading provider of energy-efficient residential, commercial and industrial HVAC-R in the region. Daikin Europe designs and manufactures air conditioners, heat pumps and refrigeration equipment in the region.
To date Daikin Europe has over 11 000 employees across 24 EMEA affiliates. It has 14 major manufacturing facilities based in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Austria and the UK.
The headquarters of the Daikin Europe Group are in Belgium, with offices in Ostend, Ghent and Brussels. The company was established in 1972, production in Europe started in 1973. Daikin employs over 2 200 employees on Belgian territory.
Market leader for heat pump technology in Europe
With over 90 years of experience in the heating and air conditioning industry, Daikin is the market leader in heat pump technology. The company is well known for the Daikin Altherma hydronic heat pumps for private heating applications. Over 85% of the devices for the European market are produced in Europe.
Total Solution provider for Heating, Cooling, Ventilation and Refrigeration
Daikin’s broad product portfolio provides solutions in all domains of heating, cooling, ventilation, air purification and refrigeration. Daikin has greatly expanded its market presence in Europe in heat pump technology, but also built out a strong business pillar in commercial and industrial refrigeration. In 2016, Daikin Europe N.V. acquired Zanotti S.p.A., the Italian manufacturer of industrial and transport refrigeration. In February 2018, Tewis Smart Systems S.L. joined the group. Tewis manufactures off the shelf and tailor-made refrigeration solutions with CO2 as refrigerant. At the beginning of 2019, Daikin Europe N.V. acquired the Austrian-based global refrigeration group AHT Cooling Systems GmbH.
About Daikin Industries Ltd.
Daikin Industries Ltd. based in Osaka, Japan, employs around 85,000 people worldwide and achieved sales of around € 18.5 billion in financial year 2020 (April 20 – March 21). The company is the global market leader for heat pump and air conditioning systems, as well as air filtration. Daikin Industries Ltd. is the only air conditioning manufacturer in the world that develops and produces all important components such as refrigerants, compressors and electronics in-house.