Tailored “made in Italy” solutions for refrigeration

ARCI Srl has operated in the Italian refrigeration sector for three generations, representing brands of international renown and the company itself being manufacturer with the trademark Iniziativa Unità Condensatrice Leone. Dialoguing with Lapo Munzone, trademark founder and Arci Srl managing director.

Let us trace back your roots: how was Arci Srl born?

In 1954 Umberto Drocchi, my grandfather, establishes in Florence Drocchi Umberto Rappresentanze, pioneer in the sale of refrigeration components. In 1975 the first generational turnover occurs and induces the two sons – my mother Rosa and her brother Carlo – to establish together Arci Snc, which afterwards will become Arci Srl. This new company operates in continuity with the original company and goes on dealing with important brands such as Dorin, Unitè Ermetique-Tecumseh and Rivoira, increasingly becoming an important company for the wholesale supply of refrigeration material. In 2001, inspired by the passion cultivated since when I was a child in the frequent visits to the company with my mother, I started assembling my first condensing unit. What was born from passion became then a job and in 2003 I created and registered the trademark “Iniziativa Unità Condensatrice Leone”, for the production of special hermetic condensing units for customers that needed a machine promptly. The creation of the trademark – which is the “manufacturing arm” of Arci Srl – is based on the idea of understanding customers’ requirements, finding the right compromise to be able to supply, as artisan, the refrigeration engineer and, as manufacturer, companies that can boast big numbers. In my workshop I assemble condensing units, included in Leone catalogue, with refrigeration components, to be able to assure complete supplies to both the refrigeration engineer and manufacturing companies.


Lapo Munzone, trademark founder and Arci Srl managing director

What about Arci Srl today?

We are a family-owned company that, year by year, tries consolidating both the existing relationships with its customers and establishing new ones. Today Arci srl has grown and relies on three branches and a workshop, distributed among Florence province (at Vallina), Arezzo province (in the city of Arezzo) and Perugia province (at Ponte San Giovanni). Our turnover has grown even in the most critical crisis times. Moreover, precisely in these years we have enlarged the company, both the representation division and the workshop.


What is your strong point?

Our major highlight is a well-stocked up warehouse to satisfy every demand even in 48 hours. We have a company that, due to the historical relationships with sector brand leaders, can offer excellent-quality accessories in assembly. We are referring, for instance, to Tecumseh, Dorin compressors – the latter almost at “zero Km” as we are “neighbours” – Frascold or to spare parts by Castel, Ebmpapst, Roen est, Bitzer, Refco, Wigam, Evocell, Mastercool and many other brands. Concerning instead Iniziativa LEONE, initially set up as production of special units, along the years it has maintained a production line exclusively dedicated to daily urgencies. This issue should not be underestimated because one of our customers’ main demands is just the prompt delivery. We are proud of being one of the few national enterprises that delivers a SPECIAL semi-hermetic, enclosed, silenced water- or mixed-condensation unit in the lapse of 48 hours or that can deliver a finished and tested standard unit even in 1 hour.


What is your market and what your customers?

Our characteristics allow us to supply both the refrigeration engineer and companies featuring big numbers. Concerning our range of action, currently Arci is a company that prevailingly markets on a domestic scale, even if in recent years we have started supplying also EU and non-EU customers, and this expansion meets the commercial targets we have pursued.


As Leone, you manufacture tailored solutions. How do you succeed in meeting customers’ different requirements?

In 2015 we published on the new website www.arcisrl.it, upgraded in design and usability, CUC Special Units Configurator, a tool to ask for online quotes regarding suitable solutions for single requirements. It is useful to Customers and to us, too, because it lets us understand requests at best, without leaving interpretation freedom. Providing the Configurator with information about operation parameters and the desired machine typology, according to the input specifications, it chooses and configures the specific moto-condensing unit suiting the kind of operation the customer needs. It is possible to select any type of available optional. In the lapse of few seconds since the input of the required information, the Customer receives the quote by mail at any time and any day. A simple registration allows you to receive the quote instantaneously, also on the mobile phone. In this way, we satisfy with precision customization needs. Finally, we had set the target of creating a h24 line dedicated to urgencies. Now that line exists and, in the lapse of 24 hours since the order, our customers can come and collect the machine they have ordered. Obviously, we have also an after-sales service, to satisfy all customer demands, for both standard and, especially, special machines.


What targets do you fix for 2021?

In 2021 we are going to present the new catalogue that aims at upgrading all of our ranges. In this enhancement process, we have paid special attention to the silence of cased units that are more and more installed close to inhabited places or residential areas, where then silence is an irremissible feature.

Besides, our customers have understood that the enclosed machine, especially if silenced, is the right compromise among design, safety, efficiency and lower labour demand by the installer on the construction site. Concerning this, in the 2021 catalogue, we are presenting all versions of silenced enclosed units, widening the range and going beyond 3 châssis for each product family – as most manufacturers – but about one châssis for each size, to be complete and competitive.


What is the thread wire of your activity along the years?

We are convinced that, to manufacture the best silenced enclosed machine, we should not put a casing to an open unit but instead assemble the material inside the housing of a conditioner with style and design.


What role does sustainability play in your implementations?

Sustainability is a must. It means for us, for instance, improving the energy coefficient of machines, on which we will go on focusing by using optimized advanced components for a lower energy impact, like for instance the electronic fans that are produced with eco-sustainable recyclable materials and, with the same cubic metres, absorb 50% less of energy.