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Keeping Cool in Sochi

Sindelfingen/Sochi – For more than two weeks the sports world focused its attention on the Russian city of Sochi on the coast of the Black Sea. There, the best winter athletes from all corners of the world competed for the coveted medals as millions of fans looked on. BITZER Screw Compressors proved their worth in five of the Olympic stadiums.

The Olympic Games would not have been possible without the 26 BITZER CSH and nine HSK series Screw Compressors. These compressors ensured that the refrigeration and air conditioning systems provided by Finnish manufacturer Suomen Tekojää Oy worked seamlessly. BITZER and the Finnish manufacturer have been a successful team for years, so it was only natural that the global leader in refrigeration compressors and the Finnish company based in Parkano, 185 miles north of Helsinki, should work together. "When it comes to large-scale projects such as these, trust and reliability are key to a successful partnership. Only as a team can we overcome challenges such as installing compressors in air conditioning and refrigeration systems in five stadiums," explains Ralf Gasper, BITZER's Director of Sales in Northern Europe and the Baltic States. "And thanks to Suomen Tekojää Oy, we did just that. It goes without saying that we were looking forward to working with them." 

Experience makes all the difference

When it came to awarding the contract, the two companies were selected on the basis of their extensive experience. Based in Sindelfingen, BITZER is the world's largest independent manufacturer of refrigeration and A/C compressors and can look back on 80 years in the industry, making the company the ideal partner for Suomen Tekojää Oy. Since its establishment in 1997, the Finnish company has specialised in the manufacture and construction of refrigeration and air conditioning systems. "We've built refrigeration systems for more than 100 ice rinks in Russia and around 500 worldwide," explains Timo Mansikkaviita, Managing Director and owner of Suomen Tekojää Oy, "including several arenas for the Continental Hockey League."

A successful team

With so much industry experience, the Finnish manufacturer was the natural choice for the organisers of the Olympic Winter Games. BITZER was awarded the contract for supplying the compressors primarily because the five venues had special requirements. "Our past experience with BITZER has been extremely positive – and we only wanted to use high-quality products for this prestigious project," says Timo Mansikkaviita. The project came with a lot of responsibility, as the athletes require the optimal conditions for a variety of disciplines such as ice hockey, bobsledding and curling.

At four of the five venues, the refrigeration and air conditioning systems had to be entirely disassembled and relocated. Suomen Tekojää Oy invested more than one and a half years of intensive work in the large-scale contract. "Thanks to our expertise, everything went off without a hitch," Timo Mansikkaviita added, and "We didn't have any issues with the technology or planning. It was only the stringent security regulations that sometimes made things difficult for us. Getting into the Olympic Park wasn't always easy."

Twice the reliability

To ensure that everything ran according to plan during the Olympic Winter Games, the organisers had a backup system installed for each refrigeration system. If one unit failed, the second one was to spring into action. "Double the reliability is our backup plan. The last thing we want is for hockey stars to find a rink of puddles rather than ice. That's why, for instance, four CSH screw compressors ensure the optimal ice surface and six additional CSH compressors keep the air cool in the Shayba Arena," explains BITZER's Ralf Gasper with a smile. "In Sochi, we saw the very best that sports has to offer. And Suomen Tekojää Oy and BITZER made it possible, which we're really proud of."

BITZER US, Inc. is a subsidiary of the BITZER Group of 36 companies. BITZER is the world's largest independent manufacturer of A/C and Refrigeration compressors with sales companies and production sites for reciprocating, screw, and scroll compressors as well as pressure vessels all over the globe. In 2012, 3,046 employees generated sales of 639 million euros.

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