Our Q&A with Allan Dziwoki, Division VP & General Manager, HVAC, Panasonic Appliances Air-Conditioning North America. An edited version of this interview appears in the March print edition of HPAC Engineering.
What is the primary product message you wanted to convey this year at AHR Expo?
Panasonic is a technology leader and innovator, having been in business for 100 years: 60 years in air conditioning globally and 35 years in air conditioning in the US. Panasonic offers a better way to heat and cool than conventional options, including more comfort, more control, reduced energy cost and space savings.
What exciting initiatives are in motion at your company?
Panasonic has embraced its brand value as “technology that moves us” which is consistent in our air conditioning solutions. Moreover, we are placing increased intensity in training contractors, not only on the technology, but how ductless and VRF solutions can make them more profitable.
What do you think will be a major industry trend in 2018?
We are already seeing the rapid growth of multi-zone ductless systems in this market. User adoption of ductless and VRF as a whole-house or whole-building solution will continue to increase and define this technology beyond single-room problem solvers. Controls is another trend in which we will see rapid evolution, both in terms of ease-of-use and connectivity.
Is there a particular challenge contractors need help with more than others? How are you helping?
How do ductless and VRF solutions fit in a contractors existing portfolio of products? This is the biggest challenge we see and our mission is to educate the contractor on how and why to focus more on these technologies to improve their profitability.
Which technological advancement are you most excited about?
Our ECONAVI intelligent sensors – There’s nothing like this kind of hands-off control which is driven purely by the comfort zone’s particular needs at a moment in time.
Our sophisticated controls capability together with our partner Schneider Electric.
In what ways do you believe your customers can best capitalize on 2018 market opportunities?
Take a hard look a ductless and VRF solutions as your lead offer. They carry so many advantages for the end user and the contractor that you can build your entire business around this technology. This is how you as a contractor can add tremendous value and benefit yourselves along the way.
How is your organization reaching out to contractors, who are often in need of help in incorporating new products or services?
Training, training, training – but in a way that ties the technology advantages to the contractor’s greater overall business success.
What do you believe is the best way to improve training throughout the industry?
Make training easier for the contractor to access, not easier for the manufacturer to deliver. There’s a big difference!