To commemorate 200 issues of Climate Control News (CCN), we take a look at the biggest headlines in the first edition of the magazine and compare them to the stories dominating the news today.

While a lot has changed in the past 17 years, there are some surprising similarities.

2002 was an ARBS year so there was plenty of activity with CAREL announcing plans to acquire Eurotec and the Australian Greenhouse Office finalising a HCFC extension.

Yes it’s true there was actually an Australian Greenhouse Office.

Even back then there were changes being made to the Building Code of Australia to improve energy efficiency and cooling tower owners had to register with the Victorian government.

Is it just me or do these stories sound very familiar?

Another big story in 2002 was Southcorp’s sale of its Solahart water heater business to Japanese company, Paloma Industries and its New York subsidiary, Rheem Manufacturing for a cool $540 million.

Southcorp also sold Clean Air Systems to US manufacturer Tyco International for $60 million.

Meanwhile Actrol Parts announced the appointment of Jim Allan as its new general manager and the Arup Group finalised the merging of its three partner companies in Australia and began to trade simply as Arup.

China will become the world’s largest market for the production and consumption of air conditioning by 2005, according to a 2002 report in CCN.

The Building Services Research and Information Association’s (BSRIA) study said China is already the world’s number one market for windows and minisplits.

In the same issue of the magazine Polyaire finalised its acquisition of the Variflow metal air diffusion business. Polyaire had acquired the Adelaide company two years earlier with a view to entering the commercial air conditioning market, the article said.

Many of the major advertisers featured in the magazine 17 years ago are still around today including Daikin, Fujitsu General and LG.

Of course no issue of CCN would be complete without a preview of ARBS 2002 with organisers declaring they hope to attract 200 exhibitors and 10,000 visitors. The theme of the exhibition that year was “The Key Elements of the Living Environment”.

A big drawcard for the event was the BACnet Village, which was Australia’s largest demonstration of interoperability between building automation systems.

In one of the more unique special features in the ARBS 2002 preview, McQuay Australia said it would display a life-size, cut-away model of its new Frame IV Stargate screw compressor. The model will allow visitors to inspect the inner workings of the no-vibration compressor, the article said.

McQuay had plans to exhibit its new range of domestic inverters and R407c condensers at ARBS.

While Fujitsu said it will be exhibiting its ART90 ducted split system, ART9 bulkhead split system and small inverter split, Danfoss had plans to launch its new AKC 55 Controller to the Australian market.

At the same time Copeland was planning to launch its new digital scroll compressor at ARBS while Grundfos was spruiking its new digital chemical dosing pump with remote operation.

York Refrigeration had plans to extend its chiller range with a variety of HFC (R410a) chillers with Fantech expanding its exhaust fan range.

Interestingly, ARBS 2002 was held during the month of March from 25-27 in Sydney. Finally, AIRAH’s national president at the time was Phil Carruthers.

VRV assault

Daikin plans a “major assault on the commercial air conditioning market” was the lead news story of the day in the April, 2002 edition of CCN magazine.
The page 5 article featured interviews with three senior Daikin executives at the official launch of the company’s new R407c VRV Plus System.

One of the executives quoted in the 2002 news story was Daikin’s former business development manager, Gary Knox. Today, Knox is still with Daikin as the company’s engineering manager.

He has fond memories of the VRV launch 17 years ago.

“I joined Daikin when VRV started and it has been an amazing journey over the years,” Knox said.

“I recall the first issue of CCN and the Daikin News Roadshow story – great memories.

“The launch of VRV Plus was just the beginning of the strong growth that continues today.”

At the product launch, Daikin spruiked a long list of features which helped VRV take market share from conventional systems.

It had intelligent controls, heat recovery and a capacity of up to 82kw. VRV Plus made its official Australian debut at ARBS 2002.



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