At Blue Star, the idea has always been to deliver a world-class customer experience. As an integral part of this vision, the manufacturing division of the company has to be of global calibre.
Blue Star's foray into manufacturing was a modest effort at producing ice candy machines in the 1940s, at first from a small office in Forbes Street in Colaba, Mumbai. It was only in the mid-1960s that Mohan T Advani expanded Blue Star's manufacturing base by buying a factory in Thane, at that time a distant suburb in Mumbai.
In the late 1990s with the software boom driving the economy, investments in the manufacturing sector were dwindling. Manufacturing facilities started to become an unviable proposition. As a result, many manufacturing units had to be closed down. However Blue Star’s management was convinced about the vitality of manufacturing to drive growth in the value chain and for being successful in the longer run.
A new and exciting chapter began with the inauguration of a world-class factory at Dadra in 1997. This unit was equipped with state-of-the-art technologies adhering to high quality standards and manufacturing processes in consultation with Rheem, USA.
After the success of the Dadra factory, the company was successfully able to replicate this manufacturing philosophy and attitude in other factories, namely at Himachal Pradesh, Wada and Ahmedabad.
The two fundamental transformations of Blue Star's manufacturing capabilities took place with the improvement of operational efficiencies and quality, resulting in competitiveness in terms of price and delivery. The company remained competitive in the market while prices of air conditioning products fell constantly in the late 1990s. The introduction of world-class manufacturing facilities coupled with IT, automation and an overall positive morale amongst the employees resulted in reduction of manufacturing costs.
With the addition of the first Himachal plant in 2005, which was built with in-house expertise, Blue Star was able to meet the increasing market demand of room air conditioners. This plant has the advantage of an augmented scale of operations. Thereafter, the company’s largest manufacturing unit was established in 2008 at Wada. This unit manufactures a range of screw chillers in air cooled, water cooled and flooded types, with all products being AHRI-certified. It also manufactures innovative water cooled centrifugal chillers and refrigeration units for cold rooms, along with being a contract manufacturer of sophisticated condensing units and roof top units for a few multinationals.
Recently, the Wada facility has also added new technology products such as turbo core chillers and screw chillers with falling film technology, which were initially developed in the erstwhile Thane factory and subsequently shifted to the Wada unit.
The second factory at Himachal Pradesh was inaugurated in 2011. The two facilities in HP manufacture room air conditioners as well as storage water coolers, both being signature products enjoying enviable market patronage. The second HP plant also houses one of the few, state-of-the art MCHX coil (aluminium heat exchanger) manufacturing facilities in the country.
The Company then expanded its manufacturing capacity for refrigeration products by setting up another plant in Ahmedabad in 2012, driven by the growth in the ice cream, frozen foods and dairy segments. This has made the current production capacity for these products quite robust.
Blue Star's modern manufacturing facilities along with a competent product development team, the country's most advanced AHRI-certified chiller test lab, significant support from original equipment manufacturers and a good footprint in the export market has given Blue Star an edge over its competitors in the field of manufacturing.