News

Good product experience is more than just a collection of features

– Director of Product Design, Lawrence Chu, shares his view on the design of the airCloud Go app which won iF design award
  • May. 31, 2024
  • Residential Air Conditioning
  • China

The airCloud Go app has been awarded the iF Design Award for its exceptional User Experience (UX) design. airCloud Go aims to revolutionize how users interact with their indoor environment. Crafted meticulously through extensive research, including mood boards, trend studies, and valuable insights from users and industry experts, our goal was to create an app that transcends mere functionality and delivers an intuitive, user-friendly experience.  The awarded version of the airCloud Go app released in the People’s Republic of China, will be adopted globally soon.

In order to deep dive into the story behind the awarded design, we spoke to Lawrence Chu, Director of Product Design (UIUX & Industrial Design) at Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning, who leads the airCloud Go app design.

 

Tell us about the awarded airCloud Go app and its key features.

Our previous air conditioner app, while functional, lacked the spark of surprise and delight that can elevate a user experience. We challenged ourselves: why should controlling your home comfort feel so mundane? This ignited a mission to create a truly engaging user journey.  Our goal wasn’t just meeting basic needs (MVP), we wanted to create a memorable, playful, and intuitive experience that would make users smile and feel a connection with the app.

We understood that a good product experience is more than just a collection of features; it’s a holistic approach.  This meant streamlining the onboarding process to significantly speed up login and get users up and running in seconds.  We also embarked on a complete aesthetic overhaul, ensuring the app’s design resonated with our target customer segments.  Finally, by integrating a wider range of compatible devices, we expanded our reach to serve a broader audience.  Imagine cleaning and organizing your house – that’s what we did with the app’s information architecture.  We reorganized the interface design to align with our brand language, making it user-friendly, visually appealing, and adaptable to a wider range of devices.  To make it more fun and inviting, embedding micro-interactions, like weather widgets, because we understood the strong connection people have between weather and their desired air comfort through our research.


What was the biggest challenge to complete the design of airCloud Go, and how did you solve it?

One of the biggest challenges in developing airCloud Go was overcoming the initial mindset that a simple air conditioning app had reached its peak functionality.  Our previous app worked well, but it lacked the user engagement and emotional connection we envisioned.  This hurdle had two parts: internal resistance and understanding the user’s emotional connection with their air conditioner.

Internally, we had to challenge the assumption that an AC app couldn’t be more than utilitarian.  We questioned ourselves: is this the best possible user experience we can create?  This critical self-reflection pushed us to explore innovative design solutions and prioritize user engagement.

Externally, skepticism existed about the role of emotion in an air conditioning application.  Traditionally, these apps focus purely on functionality.  However, user research played a crucial role in overcoming this hurdle.  It revealed a strong desire for a more engaging experience. We discovered that people don’t just want to control their air conditioner; they want to feel comfortable, relaxed, and in control of their environment.  This insight  forced us to redefine success and  focus on creating a user experience that was not only functional but also delightful and catered to the user’s emotional well-being.

 

Tell us what you think is most important for UI/UX design.

In my opinion, the most important aspect of UI/UX design is empathy for the user.  This translates into a deep understanding of the user’s needs, goals, and mental models.  A successful design prioritizes the user throughout the entire design process. This means not just focusing on aesthetics or the latest trends, but on how users will interact with the product, what their pain points are, and how the design can address them effectively.

By practicing people-centered design, we can create products that are not only functional and usable but also intuitive, enjoyable, and even delightful to use.  The airCloud Go app exemplifies this principle.  Through extensive user research and testing, we were able to identify opportunities to simplify the user journey, improve discoverability of features, and create a more engaging experience that goes beyond basic control functionality.

What originally motivated you to become a product designer? 

Many designers might stumble into the field, but for me, it was a deliberate choice. My background in design always fascinated me with the human experience side of things. However, it was becoming a product designer that truly ignited my passion for empathy. This field has challenged me to see the world through the user’s lens and care deeply about the problems they face. It’s a constant learning process, but with each solved problem, I feel like I’m making the world a slightly better place. The interesting thing is, design doesn’t just make me a better designer; it pushes me to be a better human being for others. That’s what truly motivates me: using design to create a more meaningful world, one thoughtful solution at a time.

 

What is your future vision on UI and UX design?  Why do you have that vision?

My vision for the future of UI/UX design lies in two key areas: seamless integration with technology and a hyper-focus on personalization.

Seamless integration with technology will involve interfaces that become even more intuitive and responsive to user needs. Imagine an air conditioner app that automatically adjusts settings based on your location, preferences, and even real-time weather data.  This level of integration would create a truly effortless user experience where the technology fades into the background and simply works for you.

Hyper-personalization is the other pillar of my vision.  Imagine an app that learns your habits and anticipates your needs.  An air conditioner app that knows your preferred sleep temperature and automatically adjusts the settings before bedtime, or one that suggests energy-saving settings based on your typical usage patterns. This level of personalization would create a user experience that feels truly tailored to you, enhancing your comfort and convenience even further.

The driving force behind this vision is the belief that UI/UX design has the potential to disappear into the background, be silent as promised by our Duality philosophy, becoming an energy of harmony that empowers us to interact with the world around us in a more meaningful way. We should strive to create interfaces that are so intuitive and people that they become an extension of ourselves, allowing us to focus on what truly matters.

These are just some of my thoughts on the future of UI/UX design. It’s an exciting field constantly evolving, and I’m eager to see how it continues to shape our interactions with technology in the years to come.


Lawrence Chu: Director of Product Design (UIUX & Industrial Design), Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning

Lawrence is committed to design excellence and focuses on crafting digital and physical interactive product experiences that harmoniously blend business objectives, user needs, technological advancements, and environmental considerations.

Throughout his career as a designer and innovator, he has worked with companies small and large globally in various categories and in various roles. Lawrence Chu’s design journey has helped develop a broad portfolio of patented and proprietary design innovations that shaped the growth of companies in various B2B and B2C product categories. His design career has evolved in contributing to design from being a Principal Designer, to Design Management and a Design Educator. Since 2008, he has been imparting his knowledge and passion for design thinking and creative processes at the School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where he also holds a Master of Innovation Design Strategies degree.

Lawrence Chu’s linkedin profile

 

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning Launches air365 Max Cost Efficient HVAC Solution for Professionals, Architects, and Buildings Owners

  • Jan. 19, 2023
  • Commercial Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
  • India and Asia

 

*Image for illustration purposes only. Appearance of the actual product is different by region.

Tokyo, Japan (January 19, 2023)– Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan) announces the release of the air365 Max designed with seamless comfort, energy efficiency, and easily workable features. The air365 Max is an end-to-end solution for HVAC professionals, architects, and building owners, and some models will be available in South East Asia, Latin America and Middle East in January, and later becoming available in Australia/New Zealand, Europe, North America and other countries/regions.

Built with best-in-class efficiency up to an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 5.60*1, the air365 Max offers efficient energy consumption by Hitachi’s original SmoothDrive 2.0 technology which helps reduce running costs during part-load operation which also leads to reduced CO2 emissions. In addition, air365 Max requires 12%*2 less refrigerant compared to the conventional Hitachi VRF.

The air365 Max with wider operation temperature range provides seamless comfort for building occupants by solving problems such as unstable temperatures, cold/hot air drafts, room temperature seasonal changes, and more. Users can expect constant regulated indoor temperature through the SmoothDrive 2.0 technology allowing for precise temperature monitoring.

This outdoor unit (ODU) has a NFC touching point on the ODU surface. With Hitachi’s hardware and smart app features working together, HVAC professionals, architects, and building owners can see the air365 Max as a complete solution saving time and money at every stage from design to maintenance. The air365 Max can be easily operated with the airCloud Pro and easily installed and maintained with airCloud Tap.

The following features are also available:    

・Enhanced air365 Max heating operation. Ambient temperature of the available heating operation changed to -25℃ from -20℃ with a new type of heat exchanger. air365 Max is suggested to semi-cold regions and will be introduced to cold regions as well.    
・Mitigated local piping restriction. Simplified formula of additional refrigerant charge. Easily installable without the inconvenience of piping restrictions.    
・The Cooling Only Model will also be provided to South East Asia, the Middle East, and other countries/regions.

 

 

*1 EER5.60 is applicable for the following models:
RAS-080HNCBLW        for SEA market
RAS-080RNCCLW        for LA market(380V)
RAS-080RNCCRW       for LA market(220V)

*2  Comparison of (for a system equivalent to 16HP class (45.0kW)) Between [RAS-FSNS previous model VRF of 5years ago] VS [air365 Max RAS-HNCC**]
Simulation Condition:
16HP class ODU (45.0kW) *1unit, 3HP class IDU (8.0kW) * 5units, Total piping length; 120m, IDU connection ratio: 94%

             

 

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning Wins the Red Dot Brands and Communication Design Award for Hitachi airCloud Select and Hitachi Cooling and Heating Icon Library

  • Oct. 31, 2022
  • Other
  • Europe

Tokyo, Japan (October 31, 2022)– Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan) wins the Red Dot Brands and Communication Design Award, a German international design award for product, brand, and communication designs and concepts, for Hitachi airCloud Select and the Hitachi Cooling and Heating Icon Library.

The Red Dot Design Award continues to recognize the best creative works from brands spanning different industries, and Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning wins the Brands and Communication Design Award setting the brand apart from competitors. The winning designs are as follows:

The Hitachi airCloud Select is Johnson Control-Hitachi Air Conditioning’s select software with a user interface designed to make easy and quick equipment selection while adhering to complex design rules. The user interface helps sales and service people design systems and generate proposals with ease by accelerating workflow and through its CAD Designer Canvas which provides an interactive workspace reducing chances of error.

The Hitachi Cooling and Heating Icon Library is part of Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning global air conditioning solutions’ visual language. It standardizes the visual communication across physical, digital, residential, and commercial products from remote/central/wired controllers, web/mobile/service products, and more. The icon system eases the complexities of product functions with a simple and intuitive interface.

“In our search in creating a harmonious relationship with our customers through our control technologies, the design team wanted to create a user experience of our software touchpoints that is uniquely guided by our brand language yet effortless and intuitive for our users to use.  We are honored to be receiving these awards from Red Dot as an indicator of industry standards to design excellence. ”  –  Lawrence Chu, Global UX Design Director

  

For more information, please visit:
https://www.red-dot.org/project/hitachi-aircloud-select-60706
https://www.red-dot.org/project/hitachi-cooling-and-heating-icon-library-60705

 

About Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning:
Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning is a global air conditioning manufacturer established in October 2015 as a joint venture between Johnson Controls and Hitachi Appliances, Inc. (now Hitachi Global Life Solutions, Inc.) Approximately 15,000 employees have offered high-quality residential and commercial products, services, and solutions to our customers. We have released the most diverse HVAC products in the global market including ductless solutions, chillers and residential air conditioning solutions that exceed customer expectations at all times.

About Red Dot Design Award:
With a history spanning over 50 years, the Red Dot Design Award is a German international design award for product, brand, and communication designs and concepts. Competition for each category is conducted every year and all products, designs concepts, and communication projects are evaluated by the Red Dot Jury who are established professionals, designers, and professors of their industries.

 

For more information, please visit the official Red Dot website below:
https://www.red-dot.org/

 

Hitachi’s New Residential Air Conditioner Wins Red Dot Design Award Design and Utility Come Together in The Award-winning airHome400

  • Jun. 16, 2022
  • Residential Air Conditioning
  • Europe

Tokyo, Japan (June 16, 2022)– Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning wins the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2022. The Red Dot Design Award is a German international design award for product, brand, and communication designs and concepts. Among the winning products, airHome400 is designed to meet the air conditioning aesthetic and utility needs of a wide range of consumers and multiple markets.

The Red Dot Design Award is a prestigious design industry award that continues to recognize the best brands and creative works of the years and set awarded winners apart from their competitors, and the airHome400 wins the product design award signifying Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning’s top industry quality and eye for aesthetic. airHome’s design accommodates the needs of consumers spanning over multiple global markets with its intuitive features that automatically adjusts operation for energy efficiency, its clean design that seamlessly blends into any living spaces, and its easy maintenance.

The HVAC market is increasingly seeing smart systems integrated into products, and airHome meets this lasting trend with its smart features. airCloud Home is the smartphone dedicated app helping users connect with their airHome unit even while away from home, giving them the ability to set their room’s preferred temperature by the time they return. Coupled with aesthetic intuitive design, airHome strives to be the contemporary product of the global market ideal for any user and living space.

“We are very excited to be receiving the Red Dot Award for the airHome400 this year. This product represents the first of many digitally connected products in our residential business that bridges user-centric values, and visual brand experiences. Through humanized technologies, the idea has been about creating a design that is non-intrusive to the living environment, while intuitive to use and can be effortlessly maintained. With the promise of ‘Silent Comfort,’ the concept of airHome is an air conditioner for people that can focus on living in harmony. Over the next few years, we plan to introduce various grades of the airHome series. We hope you will look forward to seeing the designs of these models as well.”
–  Lawrence Chu, Global Director of Design

For more information, please visit:
https://www.hitachiaircon.com/ranges/air-conditioning/airhome-400?utm_source=jch-website&utm_medium=organic&utm_content=simple-link&utm_term=jch-news-airhome400-red-dot-design-award-2022

 

About Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning:
Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning is a global air conditioning manufacturer established in October 2015 as a joint venture between Johnson Controls and Hitachi Appliances, Inc. (now Hitachi Global Life Solutions, Inc.) Approximately 15,000 employees have offered high-quality residential and commercial products, services, and solutions to our customers. We have released the most diverse HVAC products in the global market including ductless solutions, chillers and residential air conditioning solutions that exceed customer expectations at all times.

 
About Red Dot Design Award:
With a history spanning over 50 years, the Red Dot Design Award is a German international design award for product, brand, and communication designs and concepts. Competition for each category is conducted every year and all products, designs concepts, and communication projects are evaluated by the Red Dot Jury who are established professionals, designers, and professors of their industries.

For more information, please visit the official Red Dot website below:
https://www.red-dot.org/

 

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning Reveals: airHome, the Air Conditioner Bringing Clean Air Through Innovative Hitachi Air Purification Technologies

airHome comes equipped with FrostWash(TM), which freezes and cleans the inside of the air conditioner to improve air quality with smart and simple operation.
  • Apr. 21, 2022
  • Residential Air Conditioning
  • Europe

Tokyo, Japan (April 21, 2022)– Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning globally launches the Hitachi smart residential air conditioner series named airHome, equipped with a variety of smart and intuitive functions that will help users maintain a comfortable indoor environment while improving indoor air quality (IAQ) as well as saving energy. The first model of the airHome series will first be available throughout Europe starting with France this April and later becoming available in Asia¹.

airHome 400 series

airHome’s technology is designed to seamlessly accommodate people and their lifestyles, saving them the stress of finding the right system in an ever-growing market while sustaining performance year after year and proactively managing user’s indoor air quality. airHome is equipped with the FrostWashTM function to keep the heat exchanger in a cleaner condition, providing a more comfortable indoor environment. FrostWashTM is an automatic self-cleaning feature that freezes the heat exchanger down to -15°C to trap pollutants and dust in ice, which then melts to flush them away. This leaves the unit cleaner and dramatically reduces the possibility of pollutants being spread from the AC unit across the room. Tests have shown that systems with FrostWashTM are three times better at maintaining airflow performance than those without this technology2. With this technology, users can enjoy the benefits of airHome with easy maintenance.

The airHome series is the air conditioner for people who do not want to think about air conditioners but just want to live in harmony with all possible features and advantages. The following features will be available depending on the series:

  • airHome’s Smart Eco function, which detects the human presence and absence and adjusts the operation to decrease energy waste.
  • FrostWashTM, which cleans the heat exchanger to prevent a reduction in air flow for better performance and the indoor air quality.
  • Customers can comfortably set their room to a cooler temperature while sleeping knowing that SleepSense will detect their sleep and automatically adjust the temperature to prevent the room from getting too cold which contributes to sleep quality.
  • Customers can also rely on the airCloud Home smartphone app to set up location awareness and temperature profiles to detect when users are on their way home to automatically adjust the temperature before their arrival.
  • airHome is equipped with up to four different air purification technologies against pollutants, viruses, allergens, bacteria, and odors depending on the model. Users can rely on airHome’s purification technologies in its 99.9% control of SARS-CoV-23, up to 99.0% control on bacteria4, up to 86.0% control on odors5, and up to 97.1% control on allergens6. While switched off, airHome’s mold guard function automatically blows air through internal components to prevent the build-up of odor-causing molds.
  • Safeguard system preventing extreme weather conditions and unreliable power source, contributing to longer product life.
  • Installer’s will also benefit from the new airHome series’ improved features for installation. All new service menus for each servicing are provided through the remote control.

“At Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning, we want our products to conveniently fit the lifestyles of our customers, so we launched the airHome series, a smart yet easy and low maintenance air conditioner that is much needed in an increasing market of smart electronics. airHome is our first step into our growth as a lifestyle brand, and we are excited to continue creating smart products that can meet the demands of today’s market and more.”
Nick Reynolds, vice president and chief marketing officer

For more information, please visit: https://www.hitachiaircon.com/range/airhome?utm_source=news-jch-website&utm_medium=organic&utm_content=simple-link

 

1Product features will vary depending on the country, region, and model.

2Two identical units were tested for comparison; with and without FrostWashTM. Test chamber simulated approx. 2 years of dust and oil build up which may be experienced in a typical home environment. Airflow performance was tested before and after being in the chamber. Unit without FrostWashTM experienced an 18% drop in airflow performance. Unit with FrostWashTM experienced only a 6% performance drop. Tested at Johnson Controls-Hitachi Tochigi factory, Japan. In actual use, these benefits will vary depending on room size, room usage, outdoor temperature and humidity, and other usage conditions. Test results cannot be applied to all actual use environments.

3An air conditioner is not a replacement for any COVID control measure recommended by governments or medical professionals. Claim refers to the effect of AQtiv-Ion (optional on some models) which showed 99.9% reduction in COVID virus particles under lab conditions tested at Nara Medical University, Japan. ViroSense Z1 filter shows 99.9% of effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 NIID isolated variant: JPN/TY/WK-521 and 99.0% effectiveness against Influenza A Virus (H3N2) tested at Japan Textile Product Quality and Technology Center using ISO18184:2019 method. FrostWashTM technology also showed 99.0% reduction of virus particles on the heat exchanger tested at Kitasato Research Center of Environmental Science. The results are measured in a test environment and are not guaranteed to be inhibitory in a real environment. Inhibition of all viruses, bacteria, odors, and allergens is not guaranteed.

4Claim refers to the effect of ViroSense (optional on some models) which showed 99.0% reduction of Staphylococcus aureus NBRC12732 and Escherichia coli NBRC3301 bacteria particles under lab conditions tested at Nissenken Quality Evaluation Center Japan, and also FrostWashTM technology which showed 99% reduction of bacteria on the heat exchanger tested at Kitasato Research Center of Environmental Science Japan, and AQtiv-Ion (optional on some models) which showed 99.0% reduction in E.Coli particles tested at Boken Quality Evaluation Institute Japan following JIS Z 2801 standard. The results are measured in a test environment and are not guaranteed to be inhibitory in a real environment. Inhibition of all viruses, bacteria, odors, and allergens is not guaranteed.

5Claim refers to the effect of AQtiv-Ion (optional on some models) on various odors including 86.0% reduction in formaldehyde, tested at Kinki Bunseki Center Japan. The results are measured in a test environment and are not guaranteed to be inhibitory in a real environment. Inhibition of all viruses, bacteria, odors, and allergens is not guaranteed.

6Claim refers to the effect of AQtiv-Ion (optional on some models) on various allergens including Cedar allergens (97.1% reduction) tested at the Institute of Tokyo Environmental Allergy Japan. The results are measured in a test environment and are not guaranteed to be inhibitory in a real environment. Inhibition of all viruses, bacteria, odors, and allergens is not guaranteed.

 

 

About Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning:

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning is a global air conditioning manufacturer established in October 2015 as a joint venture between Johnson Controls International and Hitachi Appliances, Inc. (now Hitachi Global Life Solutions, Inc.) Approximately 15,000 employees have offered high-quality residential and commercial products, services, and solutions to our customers. We have released the most diverse HVAC products in the global market including ductless solutions, chillers and residential air conditioning solutions that exceed customer expectations at all times.

 

The “Flex Multi-mini Module”, which is called ” Side Smart (TM)” outside of Japan market, a small-type side flow outdoor air conditioning unit received the “Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award” in the 2021 Energy Conservation Awards

  • Dec. 22, 2021
  • Commercial Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
  • Japan

December xxx, 2021 | Written by Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning Communication Staff

 

The “Flex Multi-mini Module”, which is called ” Side Smart TM” outside of Japan market, a side flow highly-efficient / high-volume multi air conditioner for buildings developed by the Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning, Inc. that has a compact chassis which is easy to install even in the many medium-to-small-scale buildings located in countries like Japan, received the “Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award” in the Product / Business Model Category at the “2021 Energy Conservation Awards” to be hosted by the Energy Conservation Center, Japan.

The Energy Conservation Awards recognizes products and business models that excel in energy conservation, and excellent energy conservation initiatives. It aims to contribute to the construction of an energy efficient society by spreading energy saving products and expanding awareness of energy conservation throughout Japan.

 

                                             Picture of the product that received the “ Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award “

The “Flex Multi-mini Module” which received the ” Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award ” is a compact multi air conditioner for buildings that is easy-to-install even in limited spaces, and it is a side-flow outdoor unit that can provide a maximum of 54 horse power by connecting combinations of multiple units into a single system, an industry first in Japan (*1).
It also displays the same functionality as our top flow multi air conditioner (*2).

We will continue to contribute to the environmental preservation of the world through pro-active development of sustainable products and the development and production of high performance and highly reliable air conditioners.

 

(*1) At the time of products available in February 2021. In multi air conditioner side flow outdoor units for buildings in Japan. Investigated by Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning.
(*2) Top flow high efficiency SS series. In comparison with APF2015.

 

 

 

 

Continuous contribution in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction

  • Nov. 30, 2020
  • Commercial Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
  • India and Asia

Written by Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning Communications Staff

To appropriately evaluate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction contributions from Japan, Japan has established and implemented the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) in collaboration with developing countries. Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOEJ) has been leading the initiative by implementing JCM Model Projects*1, and the preliminary selection result for Financing Programme for JCM Model Projects in fiscal year 2020 was announced in July, 2020 by the Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC) which has been serving as an implementing organization for the financing programme. 

Among the first selection of 10 projects, Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning was selected as the representative participant for the project “Introduction of High Efficiency Air-conditioning System to Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City” in Viet Nam. The expected annual amount of GHG to be reduced in this project is 184 ton of CO2. This project is implementing under the cooperation between the Government of Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and Japan.

We will continue to contribute in help bringing about a sustainable society through our company’s technologies and highly efficient air conditioning systems.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
*1 Ministry of the Environment, Japan has been implementing the “JCM Model Projects,” which provides financial supports covering up to half of the initial investment costs. The purpose of this model projects is to financially support the implementation of projects which reduce GHG emissions by utilizing leading low carbon or decarbonizing technologies in developing countries, and in return, to acquire JCM credits for achievement of Japan’s GHG emission reduction and the partner countries emission reduction target.

Design panel “Silent-Iconic” and Hitachi room air conditioner “Shirokumakun” W Series awarded 2020 Good Design Award

  • Oct. 01, 2020
  • Commercial Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
  • Japan

October 1, 2020 | Written by Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning Communication Staff

 

On October 1, The Japan Institute of Design Promotion revealed the winners of the 2020 Good Design Award winners. Our design panel “Silent-Iconic” and Hitachi room air conditioner “Shirokumakun” W Series for the Japan market won the award.  Our engineers jointly designed and developed these products with Hitachi, Inc.

Our award-winning design panel “Silent-Iconic” is an optional panel for the commercial air conditioner indoor unit 4-way Cassette type. This unobtrusive design of panel naturally blends into architecture. For Silent-Iconic, we pursued a noiseless design approaching a duct type while ensuring the cost advantage of the cassette type, ease of installation work, and good performance. Each of four-way vents is shown as a square slit so that they less disturb the harmony with the space visually. In addition, the central air drawing port is covered with a slit-like port. The Silent-Iconic realizes architectural design that matches the ceiling.

The goal of designing the award-winning Hitachi room air conditioner “Shirokumakun” W series was implementation of the cleaning function and compact look and feel to better respond to installation environment under many restrictions. For realizing the form with less feeling of pressure even if it is installed in a small living room space, we reviewed the internal structure layout. The W series provides more installation possibilities to smaller residential room spaces. It also comes with the outstanding cleaning features including heat exchanger auto cleaning feature called “Frost Wash“ and auto fan cleaning feature called “Fan Robo.”

About Good Design Award: https://www.g-mark.org/about/

 

Donation to Support Relief Efforts for the July 2020 Japan floods

  • Jul. 31, 2020
  • Other
  • Japan

July 31, 2020
Johnson Controls, K.K.
Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning, Inc.

 

Johnson Controls K.K. and Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning, Inc. will donate a total of two million yen, one million yen each, through the Central Community Chest of Japan to support flood relief efforts in the areas of northern Kyushu in Japan.

We would like to express our deepest sympathy to those in disaster areas and those who continue to suffer in the wake of the tragedy. We wish for an early recovery from the event.

Design panel for 4-way cassette indoor unit “Silent-Iconic” awarded iF DESIGN AWARD 2020

  • Feb. 26, 2020
  • Commercial Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
  • Japan

February 26, 2020 | Written by Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning Communications Staff

Design panel “Silent-Iconic” designed by Hitachi, Ltd. and manufactured by Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning was awarded the iF DESIGN AWARD 2020 organized by iF International Forum Design GmbH.

The iF DESIGN AWARD is one of the world’s most prestigious design prizes over more than half a century since 1953, and is consisted of 7 disciplines: Product, Packaging, Communication, Interior Architecture, Service Design, Professional Concept and Architecture. In this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD, 7,298 entries were submitted from 56 nations. The evaluation was comprehensively conducted based on the design features of uniqueness, innovation, functionality such as usability, and environmental friendliness as well as quality. This time, Hitachi and Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning’s Silent-Iconic was awarded in the discipline of Product.

The awarded Silent-Iconic panel is an option panel designed to be inconspicuous in architectural spaces. While architects prefers ducted indoor units which is invisible from architectural spaces, compromise tends to be made due to cost reasons, resulting in the often use of cassette-indoor units. Survey conducted to architects by Hitachi and Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning revealed that there is a hidden needs for visually silent cassette-type air conditioner design that harmonize with interiors.

Maintaining cost advantage, ease of installation and performance of cassette-type air conditioners, the Silent-Iconic panel offers unobtrusive design drawing near ducted indoor unit. By expressing the four louvers into one square slit-shaped panel, we reduced visual impact to secure harmonious design in interior space. Also, the central inlet is louvered to blend with architectural ceiling design.    


Silent-Iconic design panel
Dimensions: 950mm(width) x 950mm(depth) x 92mm(height)
Height from ceiling surface: 52mm

 

Contributing to reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

  • Jan. 17, 2020
  • Other
  • Japan

January 17, 2020 | Written by Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning Communications Staff

Recently, global interest about climate change has heightened and various initiatives are underway. In Japan, the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) is actively being implemented as a countermeasure to climate change by the government leadership.

In 2019, as a measure to contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions, the Ministry of the Environment, Japan and the Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC), the executive body, called for proposals from the public concerning the “the Financing Programme for JCM Model Projects1” which aims to utilize excellent low-carbon technologies and lower GHG as well as to acquire JCM credit based on Japan’s contributions and five projects were selected in November. This project is implementing under the cooperation between the Government of Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and Japan.

Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning was selected as the representative company for the project to introduce highly efficient air conditioners and air-cooled chillers in hotels and offices in Viet Nam. The expected annual amount of GHG to be reduced in this project is 2,661 ton of CO2.

We will continue to contribute in help bringing about a sustainable society through our company’s technologies and highly efficient air conditioning systems.
 


1 Ministry of the Environment, Japan has been implementing the “JCM Model Projects,” which provides financial supports covering up to half of the initial investment costs. The purpose of this model projects is to financially support the implementation of projects which reduce GHG emissions by utilizing leading low carbon technologies in developing countries, and in return, to acquire JCM credits for achievement of Japan’s GHG emission reduction and the partner countries emission reduction target.

Hitachi room air conditioner “Shirokuma-kun” awarded “FY2019 Energy Conservation Grand Prize” of Japan

  • Dec. 23, 2019
  • Residential Air Conditioning
  • Japan

December 23, 2019 | Written by Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning Communications Staff

The Energy Conservation Center, Japan today revealed the winners of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Energy Conservation Grand Prize of Japan. We are honored to announce that our room air conditioner “Shirokuma-kun” Premium X Series, launched in the Japan market this autumn, received the FY2019 Energy Conservation Grand Prize, Product & Business Model Category, ECCJ Chairman’s Award (The Energy Conservation Center, Japan Chairman’s Award). 

The “Shirokuma-kun” Premium X Series room air conditioner comes with the following outstanding features: “Frost Wash” and “Fan Robo” features for the indoor unit, and the industry’s first “outdoor unit heat exchanger auto cleaning” feature.

Our world class engineers have consistently been focusing on how to maintain cleanliness in the interior of our air conditioner units. This has led them to develop unique features within the industry, including the indoor unit heat exchanger auto clean “Frost Wash” which rapidly removing dirt and grease from the indoor unit heat exchanger by automatically freezing the exchanger and then rapidly melting the frozen layer which is formed, and the fan auto clean “Fan Robo.” The “outdoor unit heat exchanger auto cleaning feature” blows dust out and away from the unit’s interior by reversing fan rotation and follows with a “Frost Wash” clean. These cleaning feature innovations contribute to the suppression of airflow reduction and reduction of wasted electricity. In addition, the indoor unit comes in a compact size, less than 800 millimeters in total width, while achieving greater energy-saving performance. It was these innovations that led the “Shirokuma-kun” Primium X Series to be awarded the prize.

Hitachi-Johnson Controls Air Conditioning continues to pursue energy efficiency for the further advancement of air conditioning technology.

We are looking forward to The Energy Conservation Award ceremony to be held at Tokyo Big Sight on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.

The award winning room air conditioner “Shirokuma-kun” Premium X Series will be displayed on panels at the award corner of the ENEX2020 energy and environment exhibition in Tokyo. In addition, we will exhibit the award-winning product at the Hitachi booth during the HVAC&R Japan 2020 heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigerating expo, to be held from March 3, 2020 in Japan.