Aqua Coolers origins go back as far as 1946. The enterprise has evolved during the last 70 years and continues to be a proudly Australian-based and owned drinking water coolers and industrial process water chiller supplier. Originally based in Sydney these days the company has moved to Brisbane Australia where it continues to innovate its products and services in response to the markets changing demands.
Aqua Coolers range offering these days has dramatically changed from the original water handling and chilling solutions upon which the enterprise was founded. These days a diverse range of water coolers and water fountain products suited for use in private, public, commercial and industrial market applications is available.
While aqua Coolers beginnings were rooted in supplying the market with conventional water coolers the business has over time further diversified to become a market leader in the design and manufacturing of industrial water chiller systems which are used in an ever increasing range of industries including medical, chemical, food, petro chemical, pharmaceutical and a plethora of applications where reliable chilled water supply plays a role.
The Aqua Cooler Trading name was first registered in 1994 as an amalgamation of three like-minded companies with histories dating back to the 1946.
The first company, Blackmore and Singleman, was founded in the 1946 by Jim Blackmore and focused on producing air conditioning and water chilling solutions for the train industry. The second, Sam Hort, was a small water cooler company purchased by Barry Blackmore in 1979. Sam Hort operated under this name for several years until Blackmore and Singleman relocated under the same roof and Aqua Cooler was formed.
Sam Hort started out producing just 10-20 water coolers a day and he maintained steady growth throughout the early 1980’s. This growth improved significantly throughout the 1990’s when Sam Hort was approached by Neverfail to produce water coolers for their start-up company. At the peak of production Hort was producing as many as 25,000 water coolers per year.
On the chiller front, business continued to grow by shifting focus from the train industry to the newly developed CT and MRI industries. At this time, the primary player in this market was a company called Medical Applications who were selling both Siemens and Philips equipment. As the market for CT and MRI grew in Australia, Siemens and Philips eventually entered the market directly under their own brands and Aqua Cooler became a key partner supplier to both parties. Today as the market has grown Aqua Cooler has expanded its foot print in the medical market to also supply other medical Market OEMS and core players including GE & Cannon.
In the early 2000’s, globalisation hit the local drinking water market hard with both Korean and Chinese companies entering the market in full force. This business segment at its peak made up 80% of Aqua Cooler’s business and with the market cannibalised by imported products, Aqua Cooler was forced to change focus to commercial water chillers where it thrives to this day.
In 2004, Aqua Cooler formed a partnership with a company who was, at the time, the largest data centre retailer in Australia. This came at a fortunate time as the data centre industry was about to explode. Data centres required a level of sophistication that the Aqua Cooler chillers did not previously possess. So, this partnership pushed the development of the products to another level. The data centre client was so large that at any time you could see one of their chillers being made. When this large source of business finally came to an end, through the client acquiring a chiller company in Europe, Aqua Cooler once again adapted to expand the business into new areas and explore other sources of revenue.
Over the life time of the company, Aqua Cooler repeatedly reinvented itself, keeping up with changes in the market and continually innovating and expanding into new areas of business. The core values and skill set remain mostly unchanged, but the end product and use-case continue to change and evolve alongside the world.
Today, Aqua Cooler boasts an impressive install base with extensive reach into the international market, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. A critical component of the company’s success is its embedded technical knowledge and advanced engineering competencies by its passionate and experienced team. Aqua Cooler is Australia’s largest and leading water cooler and industrial process water chiller manufacturer. It is proudly Australian owned and looks to the future with great anticipation for the challenges and the endless opportunities to expand and grow its world class expertise and capabilities.