There is growing worldwide demand for air conditioners following economic growth in emerging countries. However, the required functions and performance largely differs based on various factors such as climate, culture, and income level. Additional costs and time are necessary to develop the products localized to consumer needs. Daikin recognizes that to enhance customer satisfaction we need to supply products suited to local needs quickly and at an affordable price.
|Delhi||Heating and cooling needs due to seasonal temperature differences; compatible with frequent power outages||● ●|
|Jakarta||Smaller sized outdoor units compatible with urbanization||●|
|Singapore||Energy efficient air conditioners for buildings that can operate extended hours||●|
|Paris||Emphasis on quiet operation and interior design||● ●|
|New York||Durability for central air conditioning that is always on||● ●|
●…Demand for cooling ●…Demand for heating
With operations in over 150 countries around the world, Daikin not only establishes plants close to markets, but also hires and fosters engineers locally in each region, thereby enhancing product development capabilities.
Moreover, we created a "ase model" in Japan that encompasses the basic functions and components that comprise products. This is utilized in the "base model development method" where each region can localize approaches to suit specific needs. This reduces costs and shortens product development lead time, enabling us to deliver products at the right prices to meet consumer needs.
India is one of the markets where we have successfully developed localized products by setting up an R&D center. Daikin started selling air conditioners in India in 2000 and established the Neemrana Plant in 2009. At that time, however, the plant lacked product development capabilities as products that were developed in Japan and Thailand were manufactured and sold in India. As a result, it took time to commercialize products that met market needs and we were not able to fully reflect consumer voices in our products.
In 2016, we established an R&D center inside the plant responsible for new product and technology development. This makes it possible for Indian developers who can directly hear consumer needs to promptly create prototypes and engage in testing, greatly reducing the time needed for commercializing products. Consequently, the lead time from identifying customer needs to delivering actual products is now as short as three months.
The market for air conditioners in India differs greatly than Japan. Firstly, Daikin's R&D Center in India has identified issues unique to each region based on climate and electricity infrastructure.
Using the base model, we first tackled issues that can be addressed with minor changes. For example, malfunctions caused by damages resulting from off-road transportation were addressed by changing the product baseplate or packing materials. Also, to address pipe corrosion due to gas from domestic wastewater released into the rivers, the affected pipes were coated with special rust-proof material.
By carefully addressing local needs, our R&D Center in India has honed its product development capabilities, which mainly involves addressing high outside temperatures. As the central and coastal regions often see days of over 46ºC, which exceeds the limit of the base model, the R&D Center has developed ways to accommodate temperature up to 54ºC based on its own research studies. This technology is not only utilized in India but is also exported to the Middle East.
Daikin has established a production system headed by a global network of Mother R&D Centers where key technologies developed and consolidated in Japan are allocated to our fields of expertise in different regions. With the goal of making development even more efficient, in 2017 we established a total of five Mother R&D Centers, one each in Europe, the Americas, India, China and Japan, and with the Technology and Innovation Center (TIC) in Japan as the control tower, we strategically allocate engineers and medium- to long-term budgets for development.
Looking ahead, we will continue to supply products localized to customer needs around the world in a prompter and more cost effective manner, by sharing know-how across our development network, with an eye toward localized product development that takes into account the special needs of each market.
Daikin excels at development. In the region we cover, consumers are very happy with products that suit their needs at an affordable price. This includes models with a heating function and models that are energy efficient. I look forward to Daikin's continued efforts to develop products localized for the India market.
Mr. Sanjeev Agarwal
President A.S. Air System (Daikin Dealer)
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