David Donges, General Manager of the Americas at Smardt Chiller Group, recently talked with Coward Environmental Systems, Inc. (CESI) about efforts to build and fortify its presence in the U.S. “The pandemic really magnified the weaker points in our global distribution strategies,” says Donges. “Like most manufacturers, we experienced backups and long lead times that were more about national borders and logistics than our own manufacturing abilities. While our American production facility is just a few hours away, shutdowns erased the efficiencies of that proximity. Although the U.S. and Canada work so well together, those circumstances simply highlighted the need to build our presence within the States’ borders.”
Smardt Chiller Group leads the globe in manufacturing high-efficiency, oil-free chillers. While headquartered in Montreal, it also manages manufacturing facilities in Australia, China, Germany, and the United States. U.S. production is in upstate New York and while Smardt is looking to increase the production capacity of Montreal, they are also looking at plans to better leverage the factory in the USA.
New York Facility Plays Pivotal Role in U.S. Expansion
Although Smardt has operated a location in Plattsburgh, New York, since 2010, recent improvements will significantly improve the company’s ability to serve U.S. customers. “It is a training center for us,” notes Donges, “and a foundational part of our increased commitment to building a better service business in the U.S. “
Shortages and high demand during the pandemic made it difficult for many manufacturers to evaluate long-term expansion needs but Smardt predicts their high product demand will continue for years. “As we exit the pandemic era,” Donges explains, “we continue to see a high demand for our equipment. America continues to fortify its infrastructure, including active markets like healthcare and pharma manufacturing, which translates into an ongoing demand for reliable, high-efficiency chillers. By expanding facilities in Montreal and in the U.S., we can reduce lead times and make it easier to serve customers from coast to coast. The Plattsburgh, NY location is quickly becoming key to Smardt’s capabilities in North America and how we serve global customers.”
An Increased Commitment to Parts and Service
In addition to manufacturing new chillers, Smardt realizes the importance of good service support and parts availability for customers and Service Contractors and according to Donges, there is a commitment to improve and leverage partners in the market. “We’re developing a parts department for customers in America. Initially, it will be in Plattsburgh, NY, to serve the markets as quickly as possible” he notes.
Using the New York location as the initial center for parts in the U.S. means parts can be shipped directly without experiencing the slowdowns caused by sending across borders.
Compressor Refurbishing Program
The Smardt Chiller Group has a reputation for providing the benefits of a Turbocor oil-free centrifugal compressor technology and applying it to a high-performing water-cooled and air-cooled chiller platform. It reduces costs and carbon footprints to end-user building owners and operators. “Smardt has worked with oil-free compressor technology longer than any other HVAC manufacturer worldwide,” says Donges. “Because of a relationship with Danfoss Turbocor Compressors (DTC), Smardt is able to service the compressor and rebuilt compressors to Smardt Manufacture Rep partners. We’re one of the few companies that can do this. Smardt can take almost any DTC compressor from any manufacturer, and in our Montreal location, return it to like new condition.”
Rebuilding the compressor is a cost-efficient solution. “If you’ve got HVAC equipment, you have rotating equipment, you’re going to need to service it as part of the lifecycle,” Donges emphasizes. “Smardt is looking to improve our partnerships in America, Canada, and Mexico where we continue to expand. We have factory direct service technicians in locations across the U.S., and we continue to hire and train to improve our service offerings.”
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Coward Environmental Systems, Inc. proudly represents Smardt in the Philadelphia region, Central PA, Delaware, and Maryland. Contact us today to discover how Smardt Chillers can be a part of your next project.