Whether it’s a case of massive industrial policy sub­sidies under the Inflation Reduction Act in the USA, systematic difficulties in accessing Asian markets, or special regulations for importing products into the UK as a result of Brexit, examples of regulatory measures are both diverse and ubiquitous. The European Union’s tightening of measures for protecting the climate and the environment also has far-reaching consequences for industry. Existing regulations for products are being reviewed with a much more critical eye.


In the last year, for example, a review of the regulations governing the use of certain substances in refrigerants has been initiated. Specifically, the substances under scrutiny are fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) and “forever chemicals” – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These substances are also used in cooling units and recoolers. In both cases, restrictions will be introduced in the coming years, although it has already been agreed that contractual transition periods will apply in respect of the F-gas regulation. However, one thing is absolutely clear – manufacturers such as Rittal will need to come up with alternatives.


The situation is becoming more complex, especially for companies that develop and manufacture global products. The more national and regional regulations companies engaged in worldwide sales and service face, the more time-consuming and costly the underlying processes become. What’s more, in the majority of cases, it’s not just about the product itself. Worldwide, customers benefit from system solutions and standardisation – in other words, a comprehensive portfolio that combines consistent functionality with top quality. However, when new regulations in different markets are constantly being introduced, managing day-to-day business becomes more and more complicated.

What then? “Changes in conditions always present an opportunity, too,” says Philipp Guth, CTO of Rittal. “SMEs, in particular, have really adopted this mindset. It’s a case of acting in customers’ interests and offering solutions,” he continues. Read on and find out more in the interview that follows.