At the international trade fair "PROPAK ASIA 2022" held in Bangkok, Thailand, our company got a chance to exhibit a booth overseas for the first time. The booth was a success and we were able to introduce our heaters to many visitors.
After returning to Japan, I sent a message to the person in charge of the company I met at the exhibition, showing appreciation for their visit. Then, we received the following request from two factories in Thailand.
"I am interested in your heater. Would you like to come to our factory?"
With an unexpected business opportunity from overseas, I went to Thailand again in early August.
A snack factory requested a new heater to prevent chocolate from solidifying.
The first place I visited was the confectionery factory. Here, they make biscuits from flour and produce snacks that combine cream and chocolate.
At the front gate of the candy factory.
Mrs. Bee, who helped us as an interpreter at PROPAK ASIA 2022, also accompanied us this time (right of the photo).
According to employees, preventing the chocolate from solidifying is essential for the snack production line. The chocolate is liquefied and piped to be placed on or dipped into the biscuit. At that time, it is necessary to warm the pipes in order to prevent the chocolate from solidifying and clogging the pipes.
This factory introduced a system to heat the pipes with hot water to prevent chocolate from solidifying. Using a double pipe made of metal, liquid chocolate is poured into the central cavity, and warm water is poured into the cavity surrounding it to heat it. However, when hot water flows through a double pipe, the metal where the hot water flows corrode over time, and when it reaches the central cavity, there is a risk that the hot water will mix into the chocolate. Because of this concern, they decided to replace the hot water system with an electric heater.
To meet this demand, we proposed a cable-type electric heater. This is a special product that can self-regulate the amount of heat generated according to the ambient temperature without using a temperature controller or temperature sensor. Since it can be wrapped around, it is ideal for heaters for warming pipes.
An example of winding a cable heater (orange) on a pipe.
The piping system is different from the one in the factory this time.
By introducing this heater, it seems that we can play an essential role in rebuilding the chocolate solidification prevention system used in the factory.
Requested replacement of heaters to prevent solidification of salad oil and sauces at a tuna can factory
Next, we visited a factory that manufactures canned tuna.
On the way to the tuna can factory. Unfortunately, the weather was rainy.
This cannery uses tuna and edible oil (salad oil) as well as a sauce for seasoning. Salad oil and sauce are in individual containers and are injected into the can through a pipe. Since both salad oil and sauce are oils and fats, it is necessary to warm them with heaters so that they do not solidify inside the piping while the production line is in operation.
Electric heaters were used in this factory to prevent solidification. However, they have a problem with the electric heater they are using. The heater they are currently using is a cheap product made in China, and although it is wrapped around the outside of the pipe, it is said that the heating was uneven. As a result, solidified oil accumulated in unheated spots in the pipework, requiring periodic dismantling and cleaning of the pipework. To solve this problem, they learned about our heaters at PROPAK ASIA 2022 and became very interested in them.
Therefore, we proposed the same cable-shaped heater as the confectionery factory mentioned above. Since the purpose is to warm the pipes, a cable heater is best.
At PROPAK ASIA 2022, we vigorously appealed the quality of Japanese products. The results are already bearing fruit.
I want to sell more heaters by setting up an office and representatives in Thailand.
Thailand is a country with high temperatures throughout the year. At the factory I visited, the temperature was 40 degrees indoors and nearly 70 degrees inside the pipes. At first, I thought that in such a hot environment, the production line would not be affected even without a heater. However, in reality, I felt that heating and keeping warm with a heater were indispensable.
In addition, the market for electric heaters is still underdeveloped in Thailand. Since the places we visited this time have adopted hot water circulation heating and heat retention systems, it seems that there are many factories that have introduced similar systems. I also learned that even in places where electric heaters have already been introduced, frequent maintenance is required due to the introduction of inexpensive products. In either case, we are confident that our heater products will meet your needs. For this reason, we would like to focus on selling heaters in Thailand.
We also visited a company that maintains food machinery and explained our heaters.
During my revisit to Thailand this time, I got a big response to the local business development. We have set up an office in Thailand, stationed representatives there, and have the ambition to sell more products.