Winners Visit LU-VE in Italy

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Published: 19 October 2016


ACR Trainee of the Year Awards 2015 winners
L to R: Chris Lake, Josh Lincoln and Pete Coupe
​The winners of the 2015 ACR Trainee of the Year Awards visited the LU-VE heat exchanger factory in Milan in September. ACR Journal editor, Will Hawkins, went with the group to see how LU-VE, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, operates.
​The ever-popular awards to find and celebrate the best talent coming up through the air conditioning and refrigeration industry's training centres came to a climax in mid-September. The three winners and their employers flew out to Milan to spend two days with LU-VE as part of their prize in mid-September. 
​Steve and Christina Taliadoros from LU-VE UK organised and sponsored the prize visit to this innovative manufacturer's heart on the outskirts of Milan, northern Italy. The group included winner, Joshua Lincoln from Adcock, and highly commended winners Peter Coupe from DD Cooling and Christopher Lake from JD Cooling Systems. Also, their employers came out, namely Stuart Dougal, Adcock and Dave Dobson, DD Cooling. Jacinta Caden from TECNAIR joined us too.

​Data Centre Cooling

Steve Taliadoros - LU-VE
Steve Taliadoros sports the latest in Italian hat fashion.
​The group landed in the heat of Italy's late summer to be whisked off to LU-VE Group headquarters and factory a few miles north-west of Milan. There we enjoyed a delicious, traditional Italian lunch in the staff restaurant (including wine - Who were we to turn it down?) and met some of the leading members of the team. 

After lunch and a quick presentation, the group visited the data centre cooling solutions factory known under the brand name TECNAIR. LU-VE bought the company some years ago. The family that started the business is still heavily involved in the firm. TECNAIR is a small but growing brand in the UK market, as well as the niche sector for specialist ventilation for hospital theatres. 

Nevertheless, LU-VE has their production line packed with units ready for customers around the world, and their expert team is passionate about creating its high-quality products in a growing market.
Next stop was the centre of Milan for dinner where we ate in a local jazz café, and Steve Taliadoros showed us the latest in Milanese, minimalist hat fashion. A few more beers later, we headed back for an early night (well, for some of us that was the case).

​Heat exchangers in the making

Winners with LU-VE
The winners and their employers with LU-VE and the ACR Journal editor
​The next day, we returned to the factory to learn about the extensive heat exchanger business. LU-VE's production line is impressive. Any decent manufacturer makes its products using 'Lean' methods, which ensure quality while being as efficient as possible. LU-VE is no exception. But, it's the detail which impresses most. For instance, they still braze by hand. When asked why Steve said it was because robots can't compete with humans when it comes to precise brazing. 

Steve showed almost every inch of the LU-VE factory, and we must have walked several miles watching raw materials become finished products. Their speed of production is impressive, but the range of goods which they produce for their customers around the world is remarkable too. 

But, the aspect of LU-VE which is the most notable, yet least tangible, is the sense of teamwork and belonging which each employee that spoke to us showed. It means that LU-VE makes great products because their team cares. When you care, people like working with you. No wonder LU-VE is celebrating 30 years of success this year. 

The ACR Trainee of the Year Award winners all said they had learnt a lot about LU-VE and how they make their heat exchangers. Another wise investment from the company in bringing people into their family.
Lu-ve worker building copper component
Inside the LU-VE factory