MERAK: KNORR-BREMSE LAUNCHES UNIFIED GLOBAL BRAND FOR HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS FOR RAIL VEHICLES
Knorr-Bremse, the global market leader for braking and other systems for rail and commercial vehicles, has unified its global activities in the area of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) for rail under the new umbrella brand MERAK.
The transition comes at a crucial time, as MERAK is assisting rail operators around the world in providing cleaner and safer in-train air as well as restoring normality in rail travel in times of COVID-19. This makes close cooperation with customers more important than ever – and the unified MERAK now offers half a century of experience, over 1,600 highly skilled professionals and more than 120,000 units in operation worldwide.
“Having one single brand for intelligent rail climate control is the next logical step in anchoring this family of systems in our overall portfolio,” confirms Dr. Peter Radina, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse and also responsible for the HVAC business of Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems. “The new brand combines the values, financial strength and advanced technology of the Knorr-Bremse Group with the proximity, passion and expertise in air quality and climate control of all its HVAC sites”.
“MERAK stands for sustainable health onboard of trains and comfort all round – that means worldwide, across all modes of rail transport, and over the entire life-cycle”, adds Fernando Hazeu, Managing Director of MERAK.
Throughout the last decade, Knorr-Bremse has aligned the activities of all its HVAC companies, integrating its MERAK global headquarters in Getafe, Spain, Merak North America in Westminster, USA, the joint venture Merak-Jinxin in Wuxi, China, all Rail HVAC activities of Sigma in Granville, Australia, Kiepe Electric in Vienna, Austria, and Knorr-Bremse India in Palwal, along with all its Rail Services locations. The new brand offers unique and worldwide coverage of sales, engineering, production, supply chain and rail services, united by a common network of tools and processes to drive consistent, first-rate and constantly improving performance for all customers.
Initially, Knorr-Bremse included climate control technology in its portfolio through the acquisition of Stone Ibérica, which has been dedicated to the design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of HVAC systems for railway vehicles ever since its foundation in 1963. With the same goal in mind, Kiepe Bahn und Kran Electric Gesellschaft m.b.H. went into business in Vienna in 1959 and Sigma Coachair was founded in Australia in 1985.
In the year 2000, Stone Ibérica became Merak Sistemas Integrados de Climatización and was integrated into the Knorr-Bremse Group in 2005, along with its subsidiaries in the USA and joint venture in China. With the acquisition of Sigma Coachair in 2010, and Kiepe Electric in 2017, Knorr-Bremse consolidated its position as a leading developer for climate control systems for railway vehicles worldwide.