In 2021 DhE changes its look, with a brand enhancement, a new visual identity, the transfer to a new production plant and plenty of growth opportunities also beyond its main sectors (Ho.Re.Ca. and coffee machines).
We met recently Stefano Frate, DhE General Manager since 2013, to discover more about these changes.
Mr Frate, what does the name change from DhE to Thermowatt Professional mean?
Thermowatt is a historical company, recognized worldwide as leading producer of thermostats and heating elements for water heaters and household appliances. In 2013, through the takeover of DhE, Thermowatt extended its horizons to professional and industrial applications, which soon became one of its growth pillars.
Over the years, DhE has been increasingly integrated into Thermowatt Group, for instance adopting the most advanced manufacturing and quality control standards, meanwhile preserving its distinguishing features-
technical competences, promptness and customization of solutions to customers’ requirements.
The name change represents the complete integration of DhE and Thermowatt, not only from an organizational point of view – already achieved several years ago – but also from an identity point of view and company modus operandi.
Do you fear the removal of DhE brand will have repercussions on the market?
Actually, we have not removed the DhE brand from our products yet, as it is very well acknowledged on the market as synonym of quality, reliability and technology. Currently, we are placing DhE alongside Thermowatt Professional brand, to let our customers perceive a gradual transition.
I have to admit we have not found any resistance from our customers, rather we have received positive feedbacks as clients realized we are a flexible and fast-moving company while at the same time we offer the reliability and the soundness of the big industrial Group.
We could also notice a change of image on your website…
Yes, precisely. We have taken advantage of the Covid period to refresh and update our digital presence. The new Thermowatt website, consistently with the brand change, includes both divisions, the Domestic and the Professional/Industrial one.
This activity has been also useful to highlight better the applications beyond our native segments. Consider that DhE was born in the refrigeration world (the name DhE symbolizes “Defrosting Heating Elements”) and in the ‘90s it specialized in the Ho.Re.Ca. sector, in particular in coffee machines, which is still our core business. However, since the 2000s we have extended our competences towards new professional (for instance medical) and industrial sectors (for instance railway and energy generation). The new website has allowed us to promote better this extension of business perimeter.
Are there particular competences or “assets” needed to supply these new sectors?
Serving industrial sectors is an important challenge under multiple aspects.
From an organizational point of view, it requires highly structured technical functions to face long design times and complex tenders.
To overcome this complexity, Thermowatt Professional is more and more investing in the R&D and technical-commercial team, and it intends to pursue this direction. From a manufacturing point of view, industrial applications require specific certifications (such as AtEx certification) and very large production space.
To satisfy this requirement, we have invested in a new production plant.
Therefore, are you also planning also some production changes?
Not exactly. Our manufacturing footprint remains unchanged, with the Follina plant (Veneto) dedicated to the most complex industrial and professional products, whereas the Svilajnac plant (Serbia) focused on manufacturing large batches of professional products.
The factory in Svilajnac, inaugurated in November 2019, is proving us results of which to be proud: today it counts more than 100 employees and we have succeeded in setting up trainings for new workers even during the Covid period.
The Follina site confirms to be a crucial pillar of our growth, for this reason we have decided to further invest in it. We have bought a new plant of 10,000 m², right next to the current one, where we are going to move soon. This strategic choice confirms our will to remain close to the market, invest in our core business and at the same time open up towards new growth opportunities.