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Honeywell launches Genetron App for Middle East region

First-of-its-kind global initiative will strike a blow at counterfeiters of refrigerants, company says

| | Oct 2, 2019 | 5:21 pm
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DUBAI, UAE, 2 October 2019: Honeywell launched a customer-centric app to essentially enable contractors, service maintenance companies, technicians, authorised trade partners, distributors, wholesalers and retailers to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit refrigerants in the Middle East. The Genetron digital app, based on a closed digital ecosystem, features the use of a sophisticated QR code, said Amir Naqvi, regional business leader, Honeywell Fluorine Products, META.

Stating that a key challenge in the market is the presence of counterfeit products, Naqvi said that Honeywell enjoys “very good brand equity” among customers, a situation that attracts IP infringement, counterfeiting and resultant safety, toxicity and flammability issues. Counterfeiting, he added, also gives rise to the possibility of the product not meeting the right specs, which can affect the overall system.

Amir highlighted how the company works with local authorities, including Dubai Economic Department and Customs, and how time and again, they have seized counterfeits. But, he added, the issue of counterfeiting keeps coming back. “We tried to put innovations in packaging, but counterfeiters are smart, and they are at our heels,” he said. “We tried to raise awareness and informed customers informally.” Honeywell, he said, felt the need to formalise the flow of information, and this prompted it to roll the app out.

The app, Amir said, would also serve the functions of technical support and knowledge sharing. He spoke of how Honeywell gets asked a lot of questions on different products. The app, he said, would enable the company to not only answer the questions but also use the questions to inform the company in drafting contents for webinars for structured stakeholder engagement. As an example, he pointed out to a webinar the company would be conducting on October 28, 2019 on the topic, ‘Refrigerant Safety and Handling’.

The app, Amir said, would also help keep the company’s customers up-to-date on regulatory dynamics in the market. “We have seen tremendous regulations, globally,” he said. “F Gas is one such regulation for low-GWP refrigerants and phase out of HFCs. The Kigali amendment puts a timeline for HFCs. ESMA and SASO have AC standards. We would like to share that knowledge with the industry, as much as we know, on right alternatives for certain applications.”

Amir said the app is an ideal tool, given the fact that in today’s world, the mobile phone is a basic way of communication. “A technician working in a remote area sees Honeywell only through the packaging, and he needs to be sure he is seeing a genuine product,” Amir said. “By connecting through the Genetron app, which brings a phone and QR feature together, the technician will be able to identify if the refrigerant is original or a counterfeit.”

Yiannis Bessiris, general manager, Honeywell advanced materials, META, said the app will work on any phone introduced in the last eight years, and has a 2 MP camera. All the customer or technician has to do is to download the app, register on the app and scan the QR code to verify the product, Bessiris said. “When you scan the product, you have a physical proof of authentication,” he said. “The QR code is what will tell you 100% if you are dealing with an authentic product or a fake product. It is about using the power of digtalisation, the power of connectivity. Equally important, the app will provide customers an access to Honeywell. There is a fundamental lack of skills in the region, and there are so many changes happening in the refrigeration sector, and this is where we will bring the refrigerant community together. And that is going to revolutionise the market.”

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