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Japanese Rotary Compressor Dominates Production

Rotary compressor is the future of Air Conditioning

Rotary compressors (sometimes abbreviated to rotaries) make up the majority of production and sales of air conditioning compressors especially for the small RAC market along with dehumidifiers. The estimated overall world production in 2005 is around 80 million units. As for refrigerating applications, production is confined to around the 2 million units level. Japanese companies (Matsushita, Hitachi, Toshiba Carrier, Melco, Sanyo, Daikin and MHI) succeeded in the mass production of rotary compressors in the early 80s after extensive R&D projects in Japan and the U.S. In 1992 and 96, their production in Japan peaked at 16 million units. Since the early 90s, Japanese makers have steadily shifted production to China and Southeast Asia, causing domestic production in 2005 to drop to about 6 million units. From 94, rotary compressor production in China using Japanese technology began firstly by Shanghai-Hitachi and Matsushita-Wanbao, then Meizhi (Toshiba), Sanyo, and Melco. At present, the local Chinese producers Qingan and Landa (Gree), Korean makers LG, Samsung and Daewoo, Fedders from the USA and Rechi from Taiwan are engaged in mass production. Production in 2005 is said to have increased to some 50 million units. This accounts for more than 60% of world production, and as explained in the previous section, it is clear that China is the largest market and production base. In Korea, too, LG, Samsung and Carrier have been mass producing rotaries since the early 90s based on Japanese and American technologies, with production capacities that have increased since the latter half of the 90s. Production capacities are estimated to have reached 9 to 10 million units/year at present. Other major countries are Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. In Thailand, there are 4 major rotary compressor manufacturers: SCI - Siam Compressor Industries Co. Ltd. (Melco), THACOM (MHI), Daikin and LG. In Taiwan, while Teco and Rechi are aggressively engaged in production and sales, Toshiba moved its production facility to China. As discussed, PCOM (formerly Matsushita Compressor and Motor Sdn. Bhd. In Malaysia achieved a cumulative production total of 50 million units in 2004. PCOM is the only manufacturer in the world so far, to have made this great achievement. Also in Malaysia, Hitachi is producing rotary and scroll compressors. In Indonesia, Sanyo produces rotary for air conditioners and reciprocating compressors for refrigerators. Although R22 has been the primary refrigerant, there has been a rapid shift to HFC refrigerants over the last 2 ~ 3 years. Especially in Japan, HFC 410A has become the primary refrigerant.

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