The company is well known for its mechanical and engineering and building maintenance services. Two years ago, Integral UK bought the troubled WR which helped it move into the retail and commercial refrigeration services market.
Integral UK's managing director, Bryan Glastonbury said:
“We have listened to users in the industrial refrigeration market who require a quality service. Our response has been to broaden and extend our refrigeration capabilities in this area.”
The move into industrial refrigeration appears to be a logical expansion of its business. The company has branches across the UK and Ireland, providing a local service nationally already. It has around 100 refrigeration engineers in the field helping both small, local customers and national chains.
Integral recently developed a new, predictive maintenance system, Integral Uptime, for data centre customers since moving into commercial refrigeration. Bryan sees an opportunity to use its existing skills and technology gained in commercial refrigeration and air conditioning to help it move into industrial refrigeration. The move is partly driven by customers asking them to help with maintaining and developing their regional distribution centres.
Until recently, Integral was not able to help with industrial refrigeration requests. However, Bryan Glastonbury spotted the need and has hired in talent to develop the new business.
David Bostock, who previously was the managing director of GEA Refrigeration, and is currently Chairman of ACRIB, is to lead the new division. Graham Young and Adam Bowey, both formerly with GEA Refrigeration, have joined the team too. Young is the new sales director. Bowey, the new Industrial Projects Director.
Bryan added that the new hires were just the beginning of the process of moving into the industrial refrigeration and HVAC sectors.
Having enough trained engineers is a big problem in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. Integral has a over 80 apprentices in the company each year to address the skills gap.
The new business will provide the full gamut of services including industrial refrigeration design, installation and after-sales service. Given that Integral UK already has qualified refrigeration and air conditioning engineers across the nation in its 16 offices, the business should take this expansion easily into its stride.
The company can deliver projects from £1,000 up to multi-million pound industrial refrigeration projects. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) customers will also benefit from Integral's expertise in this field.
Integral is moving beyond solely servicing and maintaining retail cabinets. Integral is helping manufacturers and retailers with their distribution centres and processing plants. Much of the work will focus on trans-critical CO2 or ammonia-based solutions.
Integral finds that its customers value their help with compliance of energy and refrigerant legislation. Most customers are not as a up to date on the rules and how to comply with them as you might expect.
For example, Integral's team might help customers identify leaking R22 systems which are becoming less efficient. They survey before and advising on what to do using their retail refrigeration experience and knowledge to help customers.
Service Director, Martin Mitchell said:
“The addition of the Industrial HVAC capabilities really does broaden our reach to include the whole industrial and manufacturing sector including critical environments such as data centre, pharmaceutical , scientific, and clean room application together with supporting the food production sector.”
David Bostock added:
“The current market is, basically, based on four big manufacturers. We see ourselves being one of the major industrial refrigeration companies in the UK with the benefit that we are not tied into one manufacturer."
This independence gives their customers the benefit of having solutions provided which suit their situation. It also taclkes a big problem, namely changing the focus from capital costs alone and onto the total cost of ownership over the lifetime of a system. David Bostock gave an example of a deal Integral recently won with a German supermarket. They won the deal based on the lifetime benefits of the system rather than the capital cost.
"Industrial refrigeration is a great way into the industrial market. It is a a core part of their process," said Brian.
"We love being local and want to be national. 16 branches helps us be local, unlike competitors who have shrunk their branch network. Our customers like us being local Being local helps with recruitment.”
The Integral announcement is likely to make waves in the industrial refrigeration market. The team is confident that it will be a big player in the market in the next few years.
In an industry renowned for being heavily based on relationships for developing new business, Integral has considered that too. Richard Biffin, a name well-known in refigeration, is specifically working on connecting with new and existing customers and organisations to take the Integral industrial refrigeration and HVAC message to them.
With a strong customer base, a large, experienced team across the country and the resources to back them, Integral looks set to provide a new type of offering to the UK industrial refrigeration market.
Back row left to right: Richard Biffin - Relationship Director, Bryan Glastonbury - Managing Director, Rob Pegg - Commercial Installations Manager
Front row left to right: Adam Bowey - Industrial Refrigeration Projects Director, Martin Mitchell - Industrial Service Director, David Bostock - Industrial Refrigeration Division Director, Graham Young - Industrial Refrigeration Sales Director, Luke Marriott - Refrigeration Design Manager