By Claire Reilly in Melbourne

If the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Building Services Trade Exhibition can be compared to Woodstock then Fujitsu General certainly had all the headlining gravitas of Jimmy Hendrix in Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre today.

The air conditioning company certainly dominated the space at the expo, occupying a large red and white dome in the centre of the convention hall, dedicated to its domestic and commercial air conditioning appliances.

The company was taking centre stage to launch its new Airstage VR-II heat recovery system for commercial premises, with a special unveiling attended by Fujitsu General managing director, Kenji Shimizu, deputy managing director, Philip Perham, and cricketing legend, Mark Taylor.

The VR-II is ostensibly designed for large spaces requiring independent temperature control – such as hotels, schools and offices – and extends the Fujitsu’s Airstage VRF offering, which also includes the J-II and V-II series.

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While not necessarily the kind of unit a retailer would stock on the shopfloor (the VR-II certainly dwarfed all present at the unveiling) visiting industry professionals were also treated to a full display of Fujitsu’s domestic range of products, as well as demonstration videos, a history of the company and even one of Taylor’s signed cricket bats.

Speaking about Fujitsu’s involvement at ARBS, deputy MD Philip Perham said it was the perfect forum for the company to focus on its commercial offering as well as its retail range.

“Our effort is on a commercial front primarily at ARBS,” he said. “But our history has been more as a retail brand, especially with the company starting as a consumer products brand back in the ’70s.

“So our focus has shifted from being just in retail, to being in retail and commercial. So obviously ARBS goes very well for us in being in the right demographic and target market, getting the message out to consultants, architects, specifiers and trade.”

The massive Fujitsu dome at the centre of the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Building Services Trade Exhibition in Melbourne.

Fujitsu displays inside the dome.

Fujitsu was keen to show off its recent Canstar Blue award – the brand was awarded the highest mark of five stars in every category for its air conditioners.