UK: Kooltech, one of the longest-established independent air conditioning and refrigeration distributors, celebrates its 40th anniversary on October 3.
Kooltech has grown through innovation from its origins as a manufacturer in Hillington Road, Glasgow, to become one of the UK’s largest privately-owned distributors with seven locations across the UK and 120 staff in technical, sales, support and operational functions.
Established in 1979 by Bob Mutch, John Sharp and Callum Grant, Kooltech initially operated as a Tecumseh agent with its core business in bottle cooler manufacturing and repairs.
Moving into refrigeration product distribution helped the company grow nationally, adding branches in Newcastle, London and Manchester between 1982 and 1992.
Further growth came through the introduction of air conditioning products in the 1990s and the purchase of Midlands-based Mitsubishi Electric and IMI distributor Airside in 1993.
That initial association with Mitsubishi Electric has endured, with Kooltech now dubbed as Mitsubishi Electric UK’s exclusive distributor and its longest serving sales partner.
Murray Sharp, son of founder John Sharp, took over as MD in 2003, and three years later acquired the company in an MBO.
The association with Mitsubishi Electric was extended in 2013 with the introduction of K-con, a range of bespoke solutions and products to work in conjunction with Mitsubishi equipment.
The first K-con product came about when one of Kooltech’s engineers suggested fitting isolation valves to Mitsubishi Electric’s BC Box controllers at St Georges Tower, London – one of Mitsubishi Electric’s largest ever European air conditioning projects.
This simple but highly effective modification enabled the client to isolate specific branches on the controller so service and maintenance could progress without shutting down the full system.
This project became a major spring-board for K-con products, which have since played a major part on large projects, including No 1 Blackfriars, London and Marischal Square, Aberdeen.
These products now range from refrigerant leak detection and pump down, branch control box port isolation, CO2 and temperature monitoring through to comprehensive building energy and management systems including metering and remote user control.
This increasing level of activity eventually led to a move to a new state-of-the-art HQ on on Mossland Road, Glasgow in 2016. This purpose-built, state of the art facility allows Kooltech to provide a range of standard and bespoke design solutions for both refrigeration and air conditioning applications.