"Our company was born nine years ago from the idea of some people who wanted to improve their professional technical skills differently, combining it with service. The basic concept is that we design tailor-made refrigeration systems, and, in the meanwhile, we are also the technical department of our customers. Thus says Massimiliano Castagna, sales manager of Cold Energy, a company from Verona specialising in the ripening process of bananas and exotic fruit and whose market spans many countries around the world.
Andrea Caputi and Massimiliano Castagna of Cold Energy.
"We made the right choice: our customers appreciate our approach, our design, how we implement our project and deal with the after-sales. Indeed, in our company, we have young technicians who find solutions to make the dreams of our customers become true. A capable and enthusiastic team that tries to translate the idea of our customers into something concrete; in this way we gain their trust, especially abroad".
According to the manager, in Italy there are plenty of companies and technicians specialized in refrigeration. "Abroad, this specialized expertize does not exist and there are big companies that make standard products. Cold Energy, on the other hand, is a working group that provides tailor-made solutions for the customer".
Part of the young team of Cold Energy at work.
A more aware customer
"Our customers are demanding us to respect the environment. Partly, this is because they are being pressed by European regulations, which are much stricter than those of other countries in the rest of the world. And partly, it is due to the awareness of the environment-friendly and green, which is gaining ground. Accordingly, a virtuous chain is connecting consumers, users and manufacturers. We respect the environment and consume little electricity, this is a very important factor in our structures. Therefore, our customers' demands are very concrete: they demand a well-working system that respects the product, quality of conservation with low weight loss, and good-looking fruits even after one year (apples can be stored up to 12 months). At the same time, they want the realization of their requests to respect the environment and to have low energy consumption.
Cold Energy also provides after-sales services, to ensure that its machinery lasts over time while maintaining efficiency, anywhere in the world such as Argentina, Russia, Vietnam.
"This also implies that we can not think of going to Argentina or Vietnam if there is a defective light bulb. Almost always we identify and manage to use service centres properly trained over time. For example, in Argentina, we maintain large machinery four times a year and we are working alongside local staff so that, in the future, it will be competent and prepared. This would contain costs and allow us to make more timely interventions". In neighbouring countries such as France, Spain, North Africa or Northern Europe, the company guarantees the intervention within 24 hours, directly with its own staff or employees on site.
Massimiliano: "In our company there are people who have previous work experience in North European multinationals, specializing in the cold chain. Northern Europe is light-years ahead of southern Europe in terms of environmental protection. We are a bit late because the regulations have come to us more slowly, but I believe that it is our duty to leave a better environment for future generations".
Respect for the production and work of the customer
"In addition to respect for the environment, our mission includes the respect for the production and work of our customers. Working for 12 months in the countryside and then seeing big quantities of grapes, peaches or berries damaged in the refrigerators is definitely not part of our idea of supporting our customers!".
From the idea to the final product
Massimiliano: "Let us imagine a person who, with little experience, buys a house and then decides to change it because the needs of the family have changed. This person remembers all the mistakes made in the first house and tries not to repeat them. We apply the same principle: we start from the defects to plan a project that erases the mistakes of the past, looking to the future".
Low-energy refrigeration unit made by Cold Energy
There is no standard. Andrea Caputi, from the Cold Energy sales department: "We have no limits in terms of location and product, we always try to meet customer needs. But above all, we create a tailor-made product that is reviewed continuously, until the appropriate solutions are found".
"About half of the revenue comes from exports, and it is continuously growing, whereas in Italy we collaborate with leading companies. Our business ranges from the ripening of bananas, exotic fruits, apples and other more traditional fruits to the production of machinery for frozen mango puree that we are currently building in the Ivory Coast for a French company.
Andrea: "About the subject of respect for the environment, the scenarios and themes change considerably from year to year. In two years, for example, some refrigerant gases will be banned because of a European regulation and there will be others that will be authorized. As our concern is for the respect for the environment, we always try to find solutions that involve gases such as ammonia and to limit as much as possible the use of gases with a high environmental impact. Return on investment time: maximum 4 years".
Massimiliano: "We noticed that, particularly in developing countries, it is common to demand technology without being able to use it. Accordingly, sometimes, we must also be careful when we propose technologies too difficult to manage to certain countries".
"We are designers, we install all our ideas, we build our ammonia machines (our energy-efficient refrigeration units). But we need partners for the rest of the equipment. With regard to the ripening of exotic fruits, the Dutch company BG Door provides us with very special doors or equipment that allow us to have the best of the technology available at the moment, worldwide.
Group photo of Cold Energy-BG Door at the shared stand at Fruit Attraction 2018.
Massimiliano: "In a nutshell, Cold Energy is able to design and build very reliable refrigeration systems that guarantee perfect preservation or maturation of the product of its customers, with great attention to energy consumption and the environment.