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Our global history

Daikin: Creating a healthier and more sustainable society since 1924

A history of innovation

Ever since Daikin was founded almost a century ago, our mission has been to optimise the air that surrounds us. We’ve always used our expertise to improve lives and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable society.

Back in 1924, Akira Yamada founded Osaka Kinzoku Kogyosho Ltd, which in 1963 was renamed Daikin. By 1933, we were already researching the use of fluorine refrigerants. It was the start of a quest to develop the most comfortable, energy-efficient refrigerators and cooling equipment.

Japan’s commuters were among the first to benefit in 1936 when we launched the Mifujirator, which provided air conditioning on trains. And we've been building on those early innovations ever since.

The foundations of leadership

By the 1950s, we were focusing on innovation. In the early 1960s, we were the first Japanese manufacturer to mass-produce self-contained and packaged air conditioning equipment. Seven years later, we launched the first air conditioner based on heat pump technology, laying the foundations for our leadership in this field.

In the 1970s, Daikin began its global expansion with the first non-domestic organisation in Ostend, Belgium: Daikin Europe N.V. Its remit was to develop, manufacture and market products for European markets. In 1982, we introduced the first variable refrigerant volume (VRV) unit to Japan, providing an energy-efficient, flexible solution for any building.

Daikin Europe began to expand rapidly in the early 1990s. We established affiliates in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Our success was due to our popular, energy-efficient commercial VRV systems, rising demand for domestic air conditioning and excellent partnerships with installers.

Meeting changing needs

Then, in the mid-2000s, we began extending our range to include heating and refrigeration products. In Europe, demand for heating was still much higher than the need for air conditioning. Though the heating market was mainly served by oil, gas or wood furnaces, we used our technology to develop the Daikin Altherma air-to-water heat pump. We brought it to market in 2006, offering homeowners a simple, sustainable heating and cooling solution.

Things were changing in the world of refrigeration too. We saw the potential of total heating, cooling and refrigeration solutions and started bringing them to market with the launch of the Conveni-Pack. Our systems offered huge energy savings, especially in the colder seasons when supermarkets could use the heat generated from their refrigerators to heat their stores.

A global leader, then and now

Between 2016 and 2018, Daikin acquired four Europe-based refrigeration manufacturers: Zanotti, Tewis, Hubbard and AHT. This enabled us to deliver sustainable products for the entire cold chain, including transport refrigeration and supermarket cabinets.

Though Daikin Europe had R&D activities from the start, we formalised this part of our operations in 2011 with the EMEA Development Centre. Today, the centre is the global R&D leader for heat pump heating and refrigeration technology.

Always at the leading edge of innovation and sustainability, in 2021 Daikin announced its Fusion 2025 plan. It puts us at the forefront of the transition to a carbon-neutral society – staying true to our original mission.