Window air conditioners, once holding sway over the Indian market, have seen their share shrink over the past five years. With almost no further innovation possible in window units, marginal price difference between the two categories, increasing popularity of high-rise apartments, leading brands have exited from this segment and are backing the aesthetically pleasing split ACs.
Split air conditioners offer various advantages over window-type, such as minimal maintenance, much quieter operation, and easier installation without having to open up walls to install ductwork or install and remove multiple window units, precise temperature control, and energy savings.
Within the split air conditioner segment, fixed speed AC unit sub-segment dominates the market, whereas, variable speed AC unit sub-segment are gaining popularity. The variable speed ACs, typically inverter models are estimated to contribute just about 10-12 per cent to the overall AC market. However, with BEE’s new rating system, Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio becoming mandatory from January 2018, inverters ACs are expected to get a big push. Globally, inverters ACs contribute about 65 per cent to the overall AC sales.
Currently, residential sector has the major share and this trend is expected to continue over the next couple of years. Need for cooling solution in retail stores, multi-complexes, malls, commercial offices, and upcoming airports and metro rails, would provide crucial growth to this segment in the commercial, retail, government and transportation sectors.
Most AC manufacturers in India follow the Outsource and Assembly model with low spending on R&D. Compressors are mostly sourced from China and Thailand and condensers from local vendors, with the complete AC being assembled at the AC manufacturer’s factory. Typical, R&D spends are in the range of 0.2 percent-2 percent of sales. Daikin has been among the front-runners in terms of R&D spending and has built its first R&D facility in Rajasthan. The center has been fully operational since July 2016 and facilitates customization of ACs for climatic conditions in India and other SAARC countries.
In fact, in November 2017, Daikin India commissioned its second factory at Neemrana, Rajasthan. The plant, which is strategically located on NH-8, in a sprawling area of 160,000 square meters, entailed a total investment of more than Rs. 2000 crore. The manufacturing facility follows Daikin’s global philosophy of being an organization committed to environmental sustainability and recycles the water used for its operations. This facility incorporates Daikin’s global environmental management system. This program is in line with the environment standards set by various international agencies including EU standards.
By setting up the second facility in India, the company has reduced the supply lead-time and become more competitive in meeting market needs in terms of product availability and specifications. The new facility further complements the existing factory, an air conditioning training and development center, and a world class R&D Centre. The entire 40 acre manufacturing facility is not only dedicated to production of air conditioners but also houses an air conditioning training and development center, designed to train sales and service personnel and to conduct trainings for dealer partners from across the country with the purpose of enhancing workmanship, service quality, installation, commissioning and after sales service. This is done to ensure seamless flow of Daikin air-conditioning experience to customers across India.
Daikin India offers an innovative range of split air conditioners which are optimally designed and focused to provide utmost comfort with various smart and energy efficient features for Indian consumers, such as 3-D airflow circulating a cloud of cool air right to the corner of even large spaces; power chill operation which quickly maximizes the cooling effect in any operation mode; and Coanda Airflow Technology provides draftless, pleasant air conditioning in the entire room. Stabilizer free operation protects the air conditioner from power fluctuations. PAM control allows the unit to be conveniently started manually, in case the wireless remote controller is misplaced or the wireless remote controller batteries are not charged. Indoor and outdoor units’ quiet operation decreases sound levels from the low setting fan speed and the rated operation using the wireless remote controller. Good sleep-off timer offers automatic temperature increase to avoid excessive cooling. In program dry function, the computer chip works to get rid of the room humidity while maintaining the most consistent temperature possible. It automatically controls the temperature and airflow rate. The air conditioner memorizes the settings for mode, airflow, temperature, and automatically returns to them when power is restored after a power failure. Dual comfort offers comfortable cooling in summers and effective heating in winters. From hot summers to cold winters, it ensures perfect temperature in the home all year long. Dual comfort series can perform heating operation down to ambient temperature of 4°C.
The company has also introduced split models, which offer in-built air purification technology, such as PM2.5 filter to trap fine particles for cleaner airflow. The patented streamer discharge technology eliminates harmful substances like virus, bacteria, and allergens. Anti microbial filter inhibits microorganisms growth and creates healthy environment. Smell proof operation allows the fan to remain off momentarily (within 45~105 seconds), while the source of the odor inside air conditioner is suppressed. This lets go off unpleasant odor from IDU. Titanium apatite photo catalytic air purifying filter contains the advanced photo catalytic material titanium apatite. While the filter’s micron-level fibers trap dust, this photo catalyst adsorbs and decomposes bacteria. The filter can be used for up to three years with proper maintenance.
The new air conditioners feature India’s highest 5.8 ISEER-rated inverter and non-inverter models powered by HFC32 – the next generation green refrigerant that further underline the existing envious product range. This reflects Daikin’s commitment to developing environmentally conscious products that aim for both environmental contribution and business expansion.
Daikin’s air conditioners offer an enriching air conditioning experience for homeowners, making them environment-friendly as well as people-centric and turning homes into an oasis away from the humdrum of the world.