"Our fitters are the flagship of the company!"

Interview with Ing. Jan-Philipp Birgels, authorized signatory, team leader project management at Birgels Prima Kälte Klima GmbH & Co. KG

Birgel - Fitter in action

The fitters of Birgels Prima Kälte Klima GmbH & Co. KG are very close to the customers and therefore have a very important function for Jan-Philipp Birgels. They represent the family business from Meerbusch in the Rhineland, whose competencies include refrigeration and air conditioning technology as well as modern air-to-water heat pumps and all service and maintenance tasks.

"Our claim is to always win over every customer and serve them excellently," describes Ing. Jan-Phillip Birgels, authorized officer and team leader of project management at Birgels Prima Kälte Klima GmbH & Co. KG, the standard of the family business. "In this, our technicians are the flag bearers of the company. The customer is king, and we all commit ourselves to that!"

Boost for Heat Pumps

In air conditioning, Birgels Prima Kälte Klima plans and realizes air conditioning systems as well as individual installation solutions. "When it comes to an air conditioning system, we serve private individuals as well as commercial enterprises," Jan-Phillip Birgels clarifies. "In larger office units, for example, we have an external air conditioning unit that then supplies up to 40 to 50 internal units."

Ing. Jan-Philipp Birgels, Authorized Signatory, Team Leader Project Management of Birgels Prima Kälte Klima GmbH & Co. KG
Ing. Jan-Philipp Birgels, Authorized Signatory, Team Leader Project Management of Birgels Prima Kälte Klima GmbH & Co. KG

In the field of refrigeration technology, the three departments of construction, service, and maintenance take care of the planning and realization of large-scale refrigeration systems, the delivery and installation of cooling cells, as well as cooling systems with glass retrieval doors for gas stations and supermarkets. Counter construction and dispensing systems are additional competencies. “In recent years, air-water heat pumps have gained more and more importance,” observes Jan-Philipp Birgels. “We have been building such systems for decades, but political decisions have given the demand an extra boost. This applies to private households as well as companies.”

Birgels - Refrigeration Mechanic
Interesting profession: Exciting tasks await the refrigeration mechanic
Birgels - Service Cart
Unmistakable: Logo with penguin on a service vehicle

Started in a barn

The history of Birgels Prima Kälte Klima GmbH & Co. KG began on December 1, 1997, when managing director Friedrich Birgels – the father of Jan-Philipp – founded the company. His first employee was Carsten Clever, who has been representing the company as authorized signatory and customer service manager for years. It started in a small barn in Meerbusch-Nierst, which soon became too small and necessitated a move to Düsseldorf-Heerdt.

In 2012, the company, which had grown to 30 employees by then, moved again to Meerbusch. Here, a hall with an office building was constructed right next to Friedrich Birgels' parents' house. Another milestone was the opening of a second location for the Rhine-Main area in Griesheim in 2017, led by operations manager and authorized signatory Benedikt Maas, who has also been with the company for 20 years. Today, Birgels employs 61 people.

Qualified advice

In addition to private clients, Birgels serves a variety of commercial customers. Here, the range extends from system catering – for example, Five Guys and KFC – to food, dairy and slaughter businesses, pharmacies and gas stations, as well as to breweries like Schumacher and Schlüssel. "For our private clients, our catchment areas are the Rhineland, the Ruhr area, and the Lower Rhine," explains the authorized signatory. "For our commercial clients, we also operate nationwide." What is particularly important to the junior manager is the individual and professionally qualified advice for clients: "We work independently of manufacturers and always look for what is energetically best. However, we always take into account the customer's budget and his ideas." In addition to new and remodeling of systems, Birgels naturally also offers comprehensive service and maintenance services as well as a 24/7 emergency service.

Birgels - Air-Water Heat Pump
Also of interest for private households: Air-Water Heat Pump / © STIEBEL ELTRON

Cars with the Penguin

One of the most noticeable marketing activities of Birgels is the penguin with dreadlocks depicted on the service vehicles – blue for refrigeration/air conditioning, green for heat pumps. In addition, Birgels has a detailed and modern website and is also present on social media networks like Instagram and Facebook. At Birgels, not only are the company's internal structures organized digitally. The company is connected with various customers through electronic temperature monitoring systems and automatically receives a notification if the temperatures deviate from the target values.

Essential Work

Long tenures of up to 26 years speak for the good atmosphere at Birgels. Indispensable also are the respect and mutual appreciation of the diverse workforce with people from eight different nations. "What keeps the team together at our company are passion and enthusiasm for the profession," observes Alina Bergmann, responsible for office management and personnel. "We are responsible for operating essential systems. And that makes our employees proud."

Jan-Philipp Birgels also champions the interesting niche profession of refrigeration mechatronics technician: "I am passionate about the profession and would like to make it more popular. The diversity also lies in the different areas of application." The well-being of the employees in the family business is always a concern for him and his father Friedrich: "Digitalization is also a priority. In addition to the digital office, our employees are equipped with a tablet and smartphone. This facilitates the organization and communication among the employees. Another concern for the future is the complete conversion of systems to CO2-neutral refrigerants.