Trane bracing-up Indian business

Trane, a business of Ingersoll Rand is one of the leaders in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and energy efficient environments. The company is setting up a manufacturing facility in Chennai to meet increasing demand in the Indian market. In an interview with Subhajit Roy; Rajesh Sikka, business leader at Trane India speaks about the company’s energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives in India
Trane is one of the leading global providers of indoor comfort systems and comprehensive facility solutions. Can you brief us about contribution that Trane has made to the Indian industry?
Trane, which is now part of Ingersoll Rand, has been established in India for almost 17 years. Ingersoll Rand acquired Trane globally in March 2008.
Trane provides solutions that create and sustain safe, comfortable and energy efficient environments through heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and other systems. We also offer controls solutions for buildings. Trane controls are the keystone to make a building work better for life. They are engineered to be user friendly and help building owners efficiently achieve their desired temperature, humidity and ventilation whatever a building’s purpose.
Trane primarily serves major vertical markets like healthcare and hospitality. In the healthcare segment we have a strong presence within hospital and pharmaceutical plants; whereas in the hospitality front, we are working with most of the leading players in the hotel industry. We are also working on the other commercial buildings such as office spaces and information technology buildings.
Trane is strongly committed to the HVAC industry and to its presence in India.
Ingersoll Rand has two manufacturing plants in India, one in Sahibabad, UP another in Naroda, Ahmedabad. We are currently setting up a third manufacturing plant in Chennai which will be operational beginning in first quarter 2012.
Will the Chennai facility centre be a component manufacturing plant or a complete manufacturing plant?
The Chennai facility centre will be a complete manufacturing facility and to support it, we already have two engineering centres – one in Chennai and the other one in Bangalore.
In Chennai facility, which are the product categories you are looking at?
In Chennai, we have just started construction of a manufacturing plant which will be completed by year-end 2011 or first quarter 2012. During the next two to three months, final decisions will be made about the specific solutions that will be offered at the plant.
Which are the other countries you are looking at for exporting from the Chennai facility?
Currently, we are only looking at the domestic markets in India. Since Trane and Ingersoll Rand are global companies, over the long-term, we will evaluate export opportunities.
Are you going to enhance your human resource for the upcoming facility?
Of course, our target is to recruit more than 200 people in the first year to fill jobs to support manufacturing needs and to support the additional solutions in the pipeline.
Trane has recently introduced a new Voyager in the market, what are the unique features of this new product?
We have recently introduced a new line of 15-165 kW Voyager I, II and III rooftop systems in the Indian market. This system offers a choice of technologies to meet specific customer cooling and heating needs, as well as their demand for energy savings.
The new Voyager systems bring increased energy and operation cost savings to retail outlets, supermarkets, warehouses, factories and other commercial and industrial environments in India. Continuing with the Trane tradition of driving energy efficiency and sustainability, these new systems will use R410A as refrigerant.
The new Voyager systems have the same footprint and airflow range as their predecessors, allowing for easy replacement of units using refrigerants that will be phased out.
The rooftop units in the 35 to 160 kW range are available with an upgraded heat recovery option. This technology generates a reduction of fresh air/exhaust heat loss and a lower compressor electrical consumption while benefiting from the unit’s standard free cooling capability.
A dual fuel option turns the 35 to 160 kW Voyager into a hybrid unit, combining a reversible refrigeration system with a gas burner for auxiliary heat. To optimize energy use, the unit automatically switches from thermodynamic heating to gas heating depending on the outdoor temperature, offering an optimized energy source choice between electric power and natural gas.
The 70 to 160 kW Voyager also optionally offers a condensing gas burner with a heating capacity that modulates from 30 per cent to 100 per cent based on building needs.
This technology delivers up to 105 per cent efficiency and a soft operation with reduced on/off cycling for improved gas consumption.
Because it is so energy efficient, the 70 to 160 kW Voyager is very popular in other parts of the world and now is increasingly popular in India.
What is your contribution towards eco-sustainability?
Commercial buildings are responsible for at least 40 per cent of energy used in most countries including India. In the next three to four years, more than 200 million sq foot of commercial space and 45 million of retail space is expected to be constructed across the major cities of India. This represents a tremendous opportunity to build responsibly while at the same time improve the levels of comfort.
All our solutions are highly energy efficient and third-party certified, such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), Eurovent, etc.
When businesses use less energy, we have greater reliability across more diverse sources of energy, minimize pollution and other environmental impacts, and free up capital for investment in business growth. By focusing on energy efficiency, businesses can improve their bottom line.
Do you think people in India still lack awareness about energy efficiency? 
Today, people are well educated in terms of energy efficiency. The government’s initiatives in promoting energy efficiency are increasing this awareness. Moving forward, the industry will further change as more companies select and even require green building solutions that offer greater efficiency.
In the United States and Europe, one cannot market any solution which does not meet specific energy efficiency standards. In India, however BEE has implemented energy efficiency ratings for home appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators. We should understand that energy saved is energy generated.
As a manufacturer, it is our responsibility to offer solutions and technology that are energy efficient, environmentally responsible and affordable. It’s all about the right technology at the right time available at a competitive price.
How did Trane India perform during the last financial year?
While we cannot disclose our own financial numbers, our industry is growing in India. The commercial segment is growing at an annual rate of 15 to 20 percent and the residential segment is growing at a rate of 20 to 25 percent.
Recently Trane has introduced a whole range of products in 5-Star. Could you brief us on this?
Realising the increasing demand for energy efficient products, this year we have launched seven new residential air conditioning solutions in the Five-Star category.  Our comprehensive line of split air conditioners, from 0.95 to 2.2 tons, conforms to the BEE norms for providing effective, clean and comfortable cooling standards at the lowest power consumption levels. The entire range of products denotes energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 3.4 and above.
Innovation, excellence, reliability, superior technology and energy efficiency finds full expression in this new range of 5-star rated split air conditioners that we currently offer in the Indian market. The Trane range of residential and light commercial air conditioners is sold exclusively through its appointed distributors and an extensive network of dealers spread across the country.
Any other achievement you wish to highlight?
We are focused on offering highly efficiency star-rating solutions as well as optimised controls technology and solutions with more environmentally aware refrigerants. We are also committed to educating our customers on the benefits they can gain from increased energy efficiency and optimized maintenance and services.

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