FIMER started as a welding technology company in Italy in 1942 that started to develop inverter technology applied to industrial automation in 1983. In 2007, it entered into the solar space, developing modular technology for central inverters. The company boasts top market share in Central and Latin America in its segments. In 2019, the company acquired ABB’s solar inverter business with a bigger eye toward business in the United States. We followed up with Filippo Carzaniga, FIMER’s CEO, to learn more.
SB: What appealed to you about ABB’s solar business?
Carzaniga: To be successful today in the solar market you need to be big enough to face all the market evolutions, to have a global presence, have a large product portfolio. In addition, you must be focused in the solar market, be fast and flexible. We have the last characteristics that probably ABB didn’t have due to the huge dimension of the company. We think the combination will make FIMER one of the strongest players globally.
What are your plans in the solar sector from here?
We have a very clear and strong strategy for the future with three main drivers.
- Increase even more our investments in R&D, focusing in digital technologies, artificial intelligence, blockchain protocols and product miniaturization. To be a step forward in respect to all of our competitors is the first step and the first target.
- Strong improvements in our attention to customers post sale.
- Increase our market share in all the segments, especially in C&I where the market will be huge and, in some regions, in utility. For the residential channel, we will carry on the increasing of our global market shares with the distribution channel.
Is it correct that ABB paid your company to take on its inverter business?
The details of the transaction are not disclosed. What we agreed on during the negotiation is a coverage of the legacy warranties and liabilities for the past installed base in order to give full support for all the customers on this issue.
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So, you are honoring all warranty and service claims on units already installed?
Correct, as just explained, every customer will be covered, and we will honor all the warranties and liabilities for the entire installed base.
How big of a focus will North America be for your company now?
North America will have a huge focus for FIMER in 2020. We have a complete product portfolio already UL certified. In addition to a strong team specialized in sales, customer support and O&M, we have all the characteristics to strongly increase our market share in all segments — residential, commercial and especially utility where the prospects are wonderful.
What will be the FIMER differentiator in the inverter space?
We have three main drivers: Leading in technology, a market and customer-oriented focus, and improving and speeding up significantly the post-sales and O&M service for our customer. The challenge for the future is in particular at the customer support level. Not only at the level of competitiveness or technicalities, but being efficient and fast in support is what all customers globally are looking for. We will care in a maniacal way about the Opex efficiency.
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