Please wait, authorizing ...

Don't have an account? Register here today.


The logic of life

This Caleño, entrepreneur, inventor and merchant of technical products, is proud to continue with the passions he has cultivated since childhood and to call himself an ecologist, long before the word was mandatory in companies.

By: Diana Agudelo

Carlos Manuel Flórez from Colombia

Carlos Manuel Flórez has a particular way of seeing life, which he calls logic out of conviction. This 47-year-old Colombian began to look at life rationally from biology and curiosity, and now he is dedicated to dreaming of a better future for his collaborators, clients and his family.

His story began in Bucaramanga where he was born but was raised in Cali. Since he was a child he showed a great concern for learning and he is proud to say that at age 14 he took "one of those electronics courses that existed from American academies (with sending material by correspondence), then others similar ones even while in school, but at the time of defining myself for a career I preferred science and took biology with a focus on science, it was a search for knowledge along with a love for adventure, I lived it intensely at the Universidad del Valle and as a result of this science, I have been left with a point of view (or better point of analysis of situations) totally different for what has been all my subsequent history."

His professional life was strongly influenced by that of his father, a chemical engineer of the time and who at his birth began the manufacture of a product (developed by himself) in tube glue before plastics existed, but who also succeeded in several activities that he himself is proud to continue.

When the passion for biology ended (academically) and due to a delicate commercial situation of his father, Carlos Manuel worked to help his father raise the flag of the company and in the midst of this situation the obvious way out was the maintenance and manufacture of laboratory equipment that involved air techniques clean.

Then the equipment factory was born 25 years ago (made official 23 years ago) with the name of C4, in which he began to explore several of his trends and passions: energy and lighting, thermal and air pollution control. "I discovered that within the phenomena of pollution the least studied and mastered was that of air pollution; I found that air was an abstract factor for others and that since you can't 'see' it keeps a bit relegated the evolution of solutions to pollution when it is located in the air, and more so when it is invisible like bacterial pollution. I was very passionate to see how I could understand these phenomena and how people did not see them, even today people are afraid to eat a food when they see it unsafe, but they are not afraid to breathe air when I feel it flawed, not knowing that we ingest more air than food. "

An industry we breathe

"So I was linked to the manufacture of equipment that controlled air pollution, logically at that time the problems were only perceived, or they were given some attention in laboratories, especially the pharmaceutical, I began to work in this sector when there were no GMP (standards of good manufacturing practices), when there was only UV light as a solution to bacterial contamination and when the HVAC sector did not have much presence in pollution control."

This ambitious professional has never worked for companies other than his own, in his beginnings he was offered "serious and lucrative jobs" and despite not earning even the minimum salary with his work (for many years it was like this, says Flórez), he rejected the offers to continue with the passion of being an entrepreneur and with that of managing the air in all its forms to leave it in the conditions that are necessary, depending on the process.

In summary, this man came from science to air to the HVAC sector, and is described as a "meddler" in the HVAC industry managed by mechanical engineers, so he had to study mechanical ventilation in a self-taught way, "that's why my entry into the HVAC sector was a necessity when he had to include the variable temperature in the air treatment, thus, in this same way I should also study the synchrometry and what is related to the issue of air cooling".

To move forward and ask about the future, Carlos Manuel tells us that "in technology, the challenges are to continue investing in R&D to conquer distant markets with our special handling units, laminar flows, modules for surgery, extraction cabins, components for clean areas, biosecurity equipment, clean designs and constructions, because only with high quality and excellent cost can it be achieved."

To point out what happens with his collaborators, his vision is frankly refreshing, given the ideology of being the first "I definitely got used to not hiring the 'best', but the most willing, because we need simply willingness to learn, to do things that have not been done before; willingness to work in another way. I know that the innovation with which we identify is a generator of vertigo and uncertainty, so when I talk about challenges in this field, the biggest challenge is to create confidence in the company and in each of them, as well as the ability to work autonomously".

The future is now

Colombia like all countries faces the challenges of the sector and that the environment imposes, in this regard Flórez comments that "when we started our work within the HVAC sector, the air was seen as a merely physical entity (temperature and in some cases humidity) because of my origin the air had another image: a physical, chemical and biological entity, that was the contribution that we entered the sector, today it has become very professionalized, previously only "temperature" was delivered today there is already talk of commissioning and the client knows a little more. It is still lacking, but there is a growth in professionalism, however it continues to be a service sector rather than manufacturers and contractors are very local manufacturers.

In the case of C4 they had to become contractors in an obligatory way otherwise no local contractor would place their equipment, so in this way they manage to carry out many projects with equipment 100% manufactured by themselves. On the other hand, the real consultants are scarce, those who evaluate products to recommend them in their designs or consultations, what really exists are "commission" consultants who win by offering brands, generating an unequal struggle and that Flórez calls "cannibal" with the local industry.

"I believe that wars are won by battles, in Latin America we cannot decline production because we will be dedicated to service (assemblies and designs), a sector that generates less employment than production; while Latinos 'fell asleep' for years and the world moved towards Asia, I believe that the return will come and we must be prepared."

The important thing is to know how to look for the niches for each one, in Colombia the fact that existing markets are usurped must be corrected, what is achieved with this activity is to pulverize them, they become markets of many small producers, and none wins in the long run. "If we stop looking for our niche and dedicate ourselves to looking at the niches of others we can never really grow, my recommendation is that: look for our own niche and then unite among manufacturers of similar product groups to conquer the world," he says.

Challenges are faced

When asked about the main problems he has had or the challenges he has faced, Carlos Manuel simply remembers anecdotes he has had during his life. "I have had very beautiful projects such as being the first in the world to build a clean room for a food industry. When we did this project I was called from the then only world magazine specialized in clean rooms to write an article about it and it was published. It was the year 1996 which was a great pride for the whole company."

He continues with the same hint of pride not devoid of humility: "we recently built a unique clean room in America (I know, because we rely on laboratory footage in the USA to learn about the process) in which it is intended to cure diabetes through cellular processing of pancreatic islets, for this, in addition to the manufacture of the clean room, it was necessary to invent a special laminar flow equipment as a cell processor with the necessary pollution control and thermal care".

They have had the satisfaction of creating equipment for specific laboratory applications, for research that could not have been carried out because of the cost of doing it with equipment ordered from Europe or the United States, and of having led small, medium and large laboratories (pharmaceuticals, veterinarians and cosmetics) to carry out their HVAC and architecture projects in an efficient way of low cost per square meter, and that they have been successful in their markets for having made the fair and technically excellent investment.

No wonder he has achieved so much for his company, in the relatively short time that is 25 years. His day proves it. "I start at about seven in the morning and finish at eight at night, but the truth is not 'working' but traveling in a time machine I have. I go to the future a good part of the time, I plan activities, I organize agendas several months in advance, I dream a lot and then I look for things that help that dream happen but I must always go down to the present, attend work committees, meet with the collaborators who always demand my presence and attention, I try to give a lot of support to the managers, who are excellent."

He continues his journey between the present and the future by adding work trips: "I dedicate myself to design and in general to the technical management of the C4 group of companies, sometimes I have to personally attend clients to develop master plans or to study their process with a view to particular developments".

Of course in the day and in their life, their family  is the most important thing "I feel like a facilitator of each other's lives, I do what I can to help them develop their plans and their personality. I have been married for 25 years and I have three children, all of whom have the company in their souls. For her part, Gloria, my wife, has been an important part of the company for a good part of its history, taking care of administrative, logistical and human aspects with great love and human sense".

C4 is a hand-created company, with very high efficiencies. Perhaps it comes from his particular way of involving a scientific, chemical, physical and biological vision to the issue of air, the other is his stubbornness in manufacturing equipment that competes with the imported and having made solutions of high added value.

Flórez's life allows us to understand the life of the company in which the world of engineering is mixed with an analysis from biology. Living systems and biological phenomena are the best example of system integration and it is from this perspective that it defines the control and automation systems used there.

No thoughts on “The logic of life”

• If you're already registered, please log in first. Your email will not be published.

Leave your comment

In reply to Some User
Free Subscription

Entrevista a Jaime Maldonado, Presidente de Air-Con Inc

En entrevista con ACR Latinoamérica, Jaime Maldonado, Presidente de Air-Con Inc, destacó los proyectos que tiene la compañía para este año 2024, sobre todo con la transición de los nuevos refrigerantes. Además, Air-Con estará como expositor en Refriaméricas Miami, y Jaime nos habló sobre sus expectativas con el evento y lo que darán a conocer para todos los visitantes.

Webinar: Armstrong y Energía de Distrito

Por: Rafael Behar, Gerente de Apoyo de Aplicación, Armstrong Fluid Technology Los sistemas de energía de distrito se caracterizan por una o más plantas centrales que producen agua caliente, vapor y/o agua fría, que luego fluye a través de una red de tuberías aisladas para proporcionar agua caliente, calefacción y/o aire acondicionado a los edificios cercanos. Los sistemas de energía de distrito sirven a una variedad de mercados de uso final, incluidos los centros de las ciudades (distritos comerciales centrales), campus universitarios, hospitales e instalaciones de atención médica, aeropuertos, bases militares y complejos industriales. Al combinar cargas para múltiples edificios, los sistemas de energía urbana crean economías de escala que ayudan a reducir los costos de energía y permiten el uso de tecnologías de alta eficiencia. En este seminario web vamos a introducir a Armstrong Fluid Tecnología y su dirección para la energía urbana con enfoques en plantas de calefacción.

Webinar: Mejores Practicas para la Optimización de Sistemas

Importancia de la correcta automatización de plantas de agua helada con el objetivo de pasar al siguiente nivel, que es la optimización de los sistemas para obtener una mayor eficiencia energética y ahorro del costo operativo y de mantenimiento. Por: Camilo Olvera Rodríguez, Gerente de Ventas - México, ARMSTRONG FLUID TECHNOLOGY

Webinar: Enfriando el futuro: Las nuevas tendencias en refrigerantes para supermercados y almacenes Únete a nosotros en este emocionante Webinar sobre las últimas tendencias en refrigerantes para supermercados y almacenes. Descubre cómo mantener tus productos frescos de manera eficiente, mientras contribuyes a la sostenibilidad y cuidado del medio ambiente. En esta sesión, exploraremos las innovaciones más recientes en refrigerantes ambientalmente preferibles, incluyendo tecnologías avanzadas de enfriamiento. Aprenderás sobre las ventajas de adoptar estas nuevas soluciones, no solo en términos de eficiencia energética, sino también en la reducción de emisiones y el cumplimiento de regulaciones ambientales. Por: Guillermo Brandenstein, Sr Account Manager - Honeywell

Webinar: ¿Es adecuada la forma de vender en las empresas HVAC/R?

En esta presentación se tratarán puntos neurálgicos sobre cómo lograr vender sin necesidad de licitar, teniendo muy presente que el cliente no nos compre porque somos los más baratos sino porque somos su mejor opción. Por: Ing. Rolando Torrado, CEO - Rolando Torrado
Load more...

Ultimo Info-Boletin