Wellington’s ECR2 Motor and Connect SCS Refrigeration Controls Spur Strong Growth for New Zealand Company

New Zealand company Wellington Drive Technologies has reported record 2019 sales and profits from its innovative ECR2 refrigeration motor, Connect SCS intelligent controllers and data services. The company develops technology for the food and beverage equipment market that improves equipment energy efficiency through its EC motors and intelligent controllers, connects equipment to the cloud with its Connect IoT platform, and provides a range of software apps to give food and beverage brands access to point of sale information. 

The ECR2 product underpins its range of energy efficient EC Motors. “Our flagship ECR2 motor is a three-phase design with a four-pole, six-tooth stator and an injection-moulded anisotropic ferrite rotor. Uniquely for its market, the integrated drive uses field-oriented control and includes a high-power factor and universal voltage input stage. One SKU for multiple applications means lower operating costs for our customers,” according to David Howell, chief technical officer. 

The motor works as a drop-in replacement for shaded pole Q-frame and unit bearing motors that were traditionally used as fan motors in commercial refrigeration. With efficiency of up to 70%, it uses two-thirds less power than shaded pole motors, improving the efficiency of plug-in cases by up to 30%, and remote cases by even more, says the company. It can maintain the high efficiency over a very wide range of loads. The motor is designed as a direct substitute for the shaded pole motors commonly used to drive evaporator and condenser fans in commercial refrigeration appliances including supermarket display cases, beverage coolers, ice cream freezers and food service cabinets. 

Sales of the ECR2 motor jumped 20% last year to $22.5 million, helping Wellington increase its revenues to $61.7 million and post a maiden year-end profit as a public company. Introduced three years ago, the ECR2 has exceeded expectations, reaching more than one million units sold in its first two years on the market. Historically, Wellington was reliant on the beverage cooler market, but has shifted its strategy to also focus on new markets like supermarket display cases and food service equipment. The company’s other EC Motor product lines achieved sales of $13.4 million in 2019, with its Connect IoT and data services achieving $24m. 

“2019 was a great year for Wellington with revenue growth, margin expansion and the company’s first ever net profit,” commented Greg Allen, CEO. “ECR2 motor revenues continued to grow and further growth in the Connect IoT business demonstrated how our products are well received by our customers. Even though, alongside our customers and suppliers, we are managing through the challenges of COVID-19, we believe it is our innovative product range and strong customer relationships that will allow us to deliver the best outcomes.” 

This year, the company expects to launch several new hardware and software products, further enhancing its Connect IoT family of intelligent controllers with cooler fleet management software and proximity marketing capabilities.  

Founded in 1986 primarily as a power electronics technology company, Wellington pivoted to its ECR2 and Connect IoT product range in 2015. It is now a leading provider of IoT solutions, cloud-based fleet management platforms, energy-efficient electronic motors and connected refrigeration control solutions. It serves some of the world’s leading food and beverage brands and refrigerator manufacturers and offers proximity-based marketing solutions for food and beverage and smart cities markets. Headquartered in Auckland with a global reach, Wellington is listed on the New Zealand stock exchange under the ticker symbol NZ:WDT.

For more info see www.wdtl.com