Exclusive Interview with Mark Kristensen, HB Products

By Clémence Girard-Reydet, Apr 05, 2012, 00:00 5 minute reading

A new agreement with Parker, ammonia systems in US supermarkets and the future market China were just some of the topics covered when ammonia21.com talked with Mark Kristensen, sales and marketing director at HB Products. The Danish-based company is one of the pioneers in the development of sensors, and controls for industrial refrigeration systems and new Gold Partner on ammonia21.com.

ammonia21.com: You just announced a new distribution agreement with Parker R/S here at the IIAR conference. From now on Parker will sell HB’s ammonia products including liquid and oil level control sensors and switches in the United States, Canada, Central and South America. How has this partnership been developed and what exactly will Parker do for you?

Mark Kristensen: The initial contact goes more than a year back. We met with Parker R/S at the Chillventa trade show in Germany 2010. The mutual interest in a cooperation was clear already then, but HB being based in Denmark and Parker in Chicago as well as them being a huge international company it is obvious it took time to put this partnership in place.
The enthusiasm at Parker about our products has been undoubted and today I’m proud and happy to announce this cooperation.

Parker is our exclusive distributor in the Americas, covering the US, Canada, Central and South America. Through their sales team and sales channels in these regions they will be able to supply, serve and support customers locally which would have been difficult to do out of Europe. They will be stocking our range of liquid level sensors and controls in the US, and offering these to all contractors and OEMs in the refrigeration industry.

HB has been supplying the ammonia industry since 23 years, starting with custom design position sensors for capacity control on screw compressors. In this niche industry we have become worldwide leader. The cooperation with Parker is therefore a milestone in HB history, it brings focus to our range of liquid level sensors and controls and I’m sure we will bring new customers to Parker as well as the branding of our products by Parker will bring HB increased sales in other regions.

ammonia21.com: So the demand is increasing in other world’s regions apart from Europe?

Mark Kristensen: Absolutely. Our home market has been Europe. As a small Danish company our overseas effort and contacts has been limited, we had primary focus on the Scandinavia and northern Europe markets.
With the increased focus on natural refrigerants and our sensors being suitable for both ammonia and CO2 systems this has resulted in numerous new customers worldwide, especially during the last year.
The products we are showcasing here at the IIAR are among the most advanced sensors for liquid level management for ammonia applications.
Especially on one of the new intelligent sensors we received many inquiries from customers worldwide. We are working on cases stories highlighting on the benefits and key advantages compared to what traditionally is being used.

ammonia21.com: What are these advantages then?

Mark Kristensen: As for the new Liquid Level Control Sensor, HBLC. This is an intelligent microprocessor controlled sensor suitable for stand-alone operation and an ideal electronic alternative to high- and low-pressure float switches. It gives you a more precise level regulation, it connects directly to a motorised modulating valves. It is easier to install as is requires less piping and this makes the installation cheaper.
And when it comes to our products in general they are all designed in a way that makes it easy to detach the electronics without depressurising the system, this means once our sensors are installed, no matter what kind of installation you have, you can always detach the electronics from the mechanical part for service, calibration or reprogramming and this without interrupting the operation.

ammonia21.com: One of the main trends for ammonia in North America discussed here at the IIAR is the use of ammonia in commercial refrigeration and mainly in supermarkets. Do you see development opportunities for HB products there?

Mark Kristensen: 80 % of our business is related to natural refrigerants. In Europe, we supply a significant amount of products for transcritical CO2 systems whereas the discussions as you say at this IIAR focuses on low charge ammonia systems.
With our current range of products we will benefit from either trend. The majority of our products are compatible with both ammonia and CO2.

Our commercial relationships does not only include contractors or OEMs but also end users who give us insights on what the market needs and in what way we can design sensors increasing systems efficiency. The dialogue with end users, like Nestlé in the US, is very valuable for us in the further product development.

We have actually field tests running on a patented product, designed with the aim to reduce refrigerant charge on ammonia systems. The initial tests shows fantastic results and we are already certain that this product will be a key component in commercialising ammonia systems.
Based on a few more month research I’m sure we will get together for a new interview.

ammonia21.com: In which other regions (outside of Europe and the US) do you see more interest for ammonia products in general and your ammonia products specifically? Do you have any other projects or partnerships in the pipeline?

Mark Kristensen: Yes, our products will be on display on the China Refrigeration Show.
Today we have only little business in the Far East, we have a few customers in Australia, Taiwan and Vietnam. The Asian market is more or less unexplored.
Despite the cooperation with Parker is yet very new we are already planning on extending our partnership so that they will represent us in China and other Asian countries as well. Therefore we will be sending products to be on display at the China Refrigeration Show.

Contact information

If you would like to contact HB Products for any enquiries, you may send a request to Mark Kristensen directly.


By Clémence Girard-Reydet

Apr 05, 2012, 00:00

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