Panasonic Corporation Air Quality Air Conditioning Company will accelerate the growth strategy of the heat pump hot water heater (Air to Water, hereafter referred to as A2W) business in Europe. In May 2023, we will be the first Japanese manufacturer (*1) to launch three new models (by heating capacity) for residential use that use eco-friendly natural refrigerants in Europe. more than doubled. In addition, in order to respond to strong demand, we will increase the production capacity of both the Czech and Malaysian plants, improve our technological development capabilities by establishing a new R&D center, and expand our cloud-based maintenance solution business. Invest 100 million yen.
A2W is a heating system that collects heat from the atmosphere, creates hot water, and circulates it around the house. Demand is growing in Europe because CO2 emissions can be reduced compared to heating equipment that uses fossil fuels, and there is less impact on the environment.
In 2008, we launched sales of the A2W “Aquarea” in Europe, which was developed based on the energy-saving technology cultivated for Eco Cute and air conditioners. The main features are that the heating function does not deteriorate even in cold regions, and that it can be used as an air conditioner in warm regions.We also provide a cloud-based remote monitoring service. The growth strategy for the A2W business is as follows.
1. [Environmental technology] In 2011, we became the first Japanese manufacturer (*1) to launch a product that uses natural refrigerants, and we will more than double our lineup in FY2013.
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) (*2) , which are used as refrigerants in air conditioners, A2W, and other air conditioning equipment, have become a problem due to their impact on global warming . The gradual reduction of production and consumption was adopted (Kigali Amendment) and entered into force in January 2019. Under these circumstances, air conditioner manufacturers are urgently required to switch to refrigerants with low greenhouse effect.
In May 2023, we will be the first Japanese manufacturer (*1) to launch three new residential A2W products (by heating capacity) that use the natural refrigerant R290, which has an extremely low greenhouse effect, in Europe. plans to more than double the product lineup.
2. [Operational Reform] Invest approximately 50 billion yen to increase production and strengthen technology development and marketing
In order to meet the strong demand for A2W in Europe, we will invest approximately 50 billion yen by fiscal 2025 to increase production and strengthen technology development and marketing. Currently, A2W is produced at the Czech and Malaysian plants, but in the medium term, we aim to significantly expand production capacity and build a production system of one million units. In addition, we will increase the number of training centers and showrooms for construction contractors to acquire construction know-how such as products that use natural refrigerant R290 by more than 1.5 times the current number by FY2025, and enhance the system.
Furthermore, in 2023, we will establish a new R&D center in Europe for A2W and other air quality air conditioning businesses, and strengthen our technological development capabilities to quickly respond to local needs.
3. [Strengthen continuous contact with customers] Expand the maintenance solution business and increase the number of engineers by utilizing the A2W cloud
Currently, in Europe, it is possible to constantly monitor the operation status of A2W and immediately detect anomalies through remote monitoring using the cloud. In Denmark, we have also established a service system for prompt on-site inspection and repair depending on the condition of the equipment. We will expand this kind of maintenance solution business to other European countries and realize safer, more secure and comfortable use of our products for a long period of time, as well as increase the number of engineers and sales and service personnel with specialized knowledge.
Furthermore, in the future, in addition to installing functions such as failure prediction in the cloud, AI will be used to reduce heat loss with heat exchange units and total control of air quality air conditioning equipment according to air quality sensing. We will continue to propose optimal solutions that meet the needs of our customers.
We will continue to make use of the technical capabilities, manufacturing capabilities, and living know-how that we have cultivated so far to create comfortable and environmentally friendly spaces.