FrostBoss® provides innovative frost protection solutions to growers around the world, with its range of frost fans used to protect horticultural crops and wine grapes. From its base in Hastings, New Zealand the business specialises in frost fan design and manufacture, as well as the subsequent field placements, installation and servicing. 

Interview with Chris Kay, Chief Marketing Officer at FrostBoss®.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Chris Kay: FrostBoss® has its own companies in New Zealand and Australia supplying and installing frost fans directly to growers. Their fans are also supplied and installed through a distributor network in Argentina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, France, Italy, Portugal and Turkey.

Their activities are focused solely on frost fans including supply, installation, monitoring, servicing and upgrades.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

C.K: FrostBoss® has a significant research and development programme focused on improving the efficiency and reliability of their frost fans. The result of this research has been the development of the FrostBoss® C49 (4-blade) frost fan incorporating the proprietary FrostBoss® clutch, controller and C49 composite blades. 

The FrostBoss® C49 was developed with help from former Team New Zealand aerodynamics research engineer, Richard Karn, to optimize noise reduction by using a greater blade working area and slower rotational speed than a 2-blade fan. In addition, the much higher blade passage frequency of the 4-blade fan means the noise signature no longer has a low frequency beating sound, similar to an Iroquois helicopter. Along with the FrostBoss® C49, the FrostBoss® C59 (5-blade) is the quietest machine on the market.

FrostBoss® has just launched a Lay-Down tower model, which is in demand in areas with visual amenity regulations including UNESCO heritage areas, such as Saint-Emilion in France. 

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

C.K: The FrostBoss® range includes C49 (4-blade) and C59 (5-blade) frost fans with the option of Fixed-Tower or Lay-Down Tower options. 

FrostBoss® frost fans are equipped with the hardware for remote monitoring. The majority of customers opt to subscribe to the FrostSmart® monitoring service. This web app enables growers to access real-time monitoring of fans around the world, together with text alarms and historical data and graphs on temperature, run-hours and machine performance.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

C.K: FrostBoss® is the market leader in New Zealand and Australia. Over the last few years, it has firmly established itself in Chile and Europe.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

C.K: Currently, growers around the world are facing a range of challenges including inflation, rising input costs and more frequent extreme weather events. Proactive frost protection methods do vary by country … frost fans are commonplace in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, France and the US. However, other countries are realizing there are environmental benefits to using frost fans rather than spraying large amounts of water or lighting fires.  

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

C.K: Our blades set us apart. The design means they make the least possible noise with low-fuel consumption whilst covering a similar or greater area than competing machines which don’t have the same blade technology. When comparing our machines to others, at the equivalent fan speed (rpm), we believe we have the best performing machine on the market based on these 3 parameters – noise, fuel-efficiency and coverage.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2023?

C.K: As part of a managed growth strategy, the FrostBoss® team are constantly assessing new markets.

The business has grown rapidly over the last 10 years.

The company has just commissioned a new $12m composite blade factory which uses robotics for a variety of operations including trimming, sanding and paint spraying. This new facility significantly increases the production capacity and should deliver greater manufacturing consistency together with health and safety benefits.

FrostBoss® is well positioned for the next stage of growth.