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Daikin Industries: Air Conditioners for Commercial Use

Outline

Daikin Industries manufactures diverse devices and machinery, and currently holds the world’s number one share in the air conditioner market.

With an expanding portfolio of production centers around the world and rapid business development through a comprehensive sales network, the Daikin brand is fast establishing itself overseas as the luxury option in air conditioning.

Daikin specializes in commercial use air conditioning units, for non-residential buildings, and indeed has an unrivalled position in that field. Daikin Industries is also a major chemical manufacturer, holding the world’s second largest share of the fluorochemical products market behind only DuPont in the US. (→Daikin Industries: Fluorochemical Products


World’s Leading Commercial Use Air Conditioners

In 1936, Daikin Industries produced the ‘Mifujirator’ refrigerator, a prototype air conditioning system designed specifically for use on trains and the first ever produced in Japan. This was just the first of many firsts for Daikin, which has gone on to produce countless Japan-firsts, industry-firsts, and world-firsts.

Today, Daikin Industries has no equal, holding the number one world share in commercial use air conditioners.

In 1951, Daikin began the production of commercial use air conditioners, and today these conditioners are packed with world-leading technology. This technology allows Daikin to provide customers with functionality matched to their specific needs.

Daikin’s most recent technological feats include the round optical sensor function, a sensor system that allows air flow to be directed away from persons detected in the room. This is a revolutionary air flow control system, not seen in any previous air condition models.

The function comprises two sensors, a presence sensor and a floor sensor, which allows constant detection of the temperature and condition of the room; it also boasts four-directional independent wind control. If the presence sensor detects person(s) in the room, it will direct the air flow away from those person(s), while the floor sensor will heat the room efficiently and evenly, concentrating on those areas with low floor temperature, when no-one is sensed in the room. This air flow system guarantees heightened comfort, while ensuring energy is used as efficiently as possible.

Daikin also boasts products and technology that are simply not available from any other manufacturer: the round flow function, a unique 360° air flow discharge system; and “wonder air flow ” type cassettes that can easily be installed in places previously inaccessible to conventional cassette air conditioners and that allow the user to choose flow direction and patterns.
 
Daikin boasts still more air conditioning technology of note. Daikin’s unique streamer technology features in Daikin’s entire domestic air conditioning line.

Streamer technology makes uses of ‘streamer discharge’, a type of plasma discharge, to decompose mites, pollen, and harmful proteins and harmful substances, such as viruses, from the inside out.

The streamer discharge enables the stable generation of high-speed electrons, something not previously possible. The high-speed electrons generated by streamer technology then transform into one of four types of streamer decomposition elements. These streamer decomposition elements have considerably increased decomposition capacity in comparison to the decomposition elements generated by other discharge methods; this results in high purification performance.

Viruses and substances that can be decomposed using the streamer discharge function include: influenza A virus, Norovirus, E.coli O-157, as well as 30 plant material substances (including mite carcasses and excrement) and 19 toxic chemical substances (including formaldehyde, diesel dust, NOx); this is a clear indication of the high functionality of the streamer discharge system.

Aside from its unique technology, there is another reason for Daikin’s number one share in the global market. Namely, it’s success in strategic planning. Key to this has been its success in the US market, which represents 30% of overall international demand for air conditioners. In the US, there is increasing awareness of the need to conserve energy and to preserve our natural environment. Daikin was quick to tune into these changing needs, and launched itself onto the North American market in 2005.

Until then, the duct-type air conditioner, where the external and internal units are combined, had dominated the US market, and the ductless type, where the external and internal units are separate and which was championed by Japanese manufacturers, had made little inroad. The benefits of ductless type systems—such as the ability to control the air flow for each individual room, the fact that no large-scale installation work is required, and energy-saving and ecologically friendly functionality—were soon picked up on as being suited to the US market. This allowed Daikin to begin the formation of a brand new market for its innovations.


Ever Evolving: Daikin’s Air Conditioning Products

In recent years, Daikin has launched a range of products designed to save energy.

Daikin’s newly developed ‘smart leaning’ energy saving function enables the air conditioner to ‘learn’ about the way it is operated on a day-to-day basis, and to carry out automatic peak shaving according to a projections of the maximum electricity consumption for each day based on previous operational data. Of those commercial use air conditioners in which this function will be fitted, some have achieved specifications where the standby energy has been reduced to less than 1 W. The same units have achieved a world-class annual performance factor (APF).

In domestic use air conditioners, Daikin achieved a world-first in fitting an all-aluminum micro-channel heat exchanger into the external air conditioner unit with dual heat pump for heating and cooling. This technology allows a 40% increase in thermoelectric efficiency in comparison to conventional heat exchangers, as well as a 20% reduction in size and a 30% reduction in heat while maintaining identical functionality elsewhere. The use of such an all-aluminum heat exchanger reduces the amount of material required to manufacture products, making them more ecologically friendly. Daikin is committed to making further developments in what is anticipated to be a growth field in the future.


Daikin Air Conditioners: Flowing Around the World

We have already mentioned how Daikin holds the world’s leading market share for air conditioners. Demand for air conditioners in BRICs nations becoming increasingly apparent, and Daikin has kept a close eye on these emerging market trends. The company plans to expand its business beyond developed countries and affluent individual clients to developing countries and middle class clients, with a view to further increasing its market share. 

The key to success in Daikin’s global strategy has been its decision to engage closely with the target region, collecting as much relevant regional information as possible, in order to ensure its strategic policy allows it to remain a step ahead of its competitors. This stance allows Daikin to keep abreast of regional needs, adapting quickly and efficiently to demand in both functionality and design.

Daikin has already established itself as a global leader, and the combination of tireless dedication to technological development and an uncompromising overseas strategy will doubtless ensure that this continues to be the case.

June 1, 2012

About the author
Hiromi Jitsukata is a reporter for Japanest NIPPON
http://www.daikin.com/?ID=daikintop_jpn
( Daikin Industries, Ltd. )