Blue Star’s foray into manufacturing began with a modest effort at producing ice candy machines in the 1940s, from a small office in Forbes Street in Colaba, Mumbai. It was only in the mid-1960s that Mohan T Advani expanded the Company’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. 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 and was set up in consultation with Rheem, USA.
After the success of the Dadra factory, Blue Star was successfully able to replicate this manufacturing philosophy and attitude in its later factories, namely at Himachal Pradesh (HP), 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 HP 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, which manufactures a range of screw chillers in air cooled, water cooled and flooded types, with all products being AHRI-certified, along with innovative water cooled centrifugal chillers and refrigeration units for cold rooms. It is also a contract manufacturer of sophisticated condensing units and roof top units for a few multinationals.
The Wada facility added new technology products such as Turbocor chillers and screw chillers with falling film technology, which were initially developed in the erstwhile Thane factory.
The second HP factory was inaugurated in 2011. The two HP facilities together manufacture room ACs as well as storage water coolers, both being signature products that enjoy enviable market patronage. The second HP plant also houses one of the few, state-of-the-art MCHX coil (aluminium heat exchanger) manufacturing capabilities 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.
Today, Blue Star manufactures the country’s widest range of air conditioning and refrigeration products from its five ISO 9001-2008 certified plants. The Company is also planning for two more production facilities, one each at Samba in Jammu as well as Sri City in Andhra Pradesh.
Blue Star’s manufacturing facilities have set very high standards for AC&R plants in India. Apart from ensuring manufacturing excellence and maintaining a ‘customer first’ philosophy in all its planning and execution, the plants also undergo constant upgradation and redesigning to keep pace with the changing technology and global practices, thus keeping them always a step ahead of the industry. Every plant is also constantly evolving its practices to continue to be environmentally responsible and ecologically sustainable.