– A global family business
2019 was a landmark year for Frese A/S in Slagelse, Denmark, in more than one way. The company celebrated its 75th anniversary since it was established as a small foundry in a local basement. Frese still owns and operates a modern metal and steel foundry. Still, worldwide, it is perhaps better known as a leading manufacturer of high-quality valves for several markets, including HVAC, plumbing, marine, and industry.
Another key market for Frese is the global district energy sector. Since 1991, Frese has collaborated closely with several Danish district heating providers. In 2019, this close dialogue led to the launch of a new venture for Frese: IoT-based solutions, which enable intelligent monitoring and analysis of district energy networks.
The most recent product to come out of Frese’s R&D department is the Frese BYPASS, which allows district energy providers to optimize the efficiency of their network by lowering temperatures and reducing pressure.
Proof of value: Viborg Fjernvarme
Viborg Fjernvarme has been a central partner in the development process for Frese BYPASS. The district heating operator has agreed to participate in a large-scale prototype test and has retrofitted around 25 devices into its existing bypass units.
Since installing the devices in the summer of 2019, Viborg Fjernvarme has systematically analyzed all the data received, and this has caused the company to make a few changes in its network. So far, these minor changes have shown significant potential in terms of energy efficiency and cost savings.
Viborg Fjernvarme discovered that it was operating with a higher differential pressure than necessary and calculated that reducing it by a mere 0.2 mWs could save 26,3 MWh per year of pump energy – resulting in annual savings of DKK 18,400.
Valves are still the core product.
While developing new markets with IoT products, Frese remains one of the world’s leading innovative fluid control and component solutions providers. The key element in the company’s success has been introducing and further developing dynamic balancing valves, for which Frese holds several global patents.
Frese’s dynamic balancing valves play into two of the most important needs of the market: Cost-effectiveness, due in part to simplified system designs and operation, and energy efficiency due to maximized Delta T and elimination of overflows in the system. Typical applications include fan coil units, chilled beams, plate heat exchangers, and air handling units.
Still local – still a family
With sales offices worldwide and a production facility in China, Frese is, by all definitions, a global company. However, its attachment and connection to the town where it was founded remains as strong as ever, and Frese’s administration and primary production facility are still in Slagelse.
It is still a fully family-owned company, with the founder’s three grandchildren, Kim, Claus, and Tina, all holding leading operational positions within the business. The fourth generation has recently joined the company in the R&D and HR departments.