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David Hlube began his life and schooling on his family farm in Escourt. During his primary school years David and his mother moved to Umlazi where he finished his education. After leaving school David found a casual gardening job with Willie Lombard. Little did David know that this job would set the course of his working life.
afcon building retire delivery vechicle
David describes Willie Lombard as a wonderful man who taught him English and soon offered him a technical assistant job at his company Lombard Refrigeration. 16 years after leaving Lombard Refrigeration to work at Dunlop tyres, David was ready to re-enter the HVAC world, and with the help of Willie Lombard, David secured a driving job with Dave Nicholls at Independent Refrigeration Services. 

David stayed on through Independent’s sale to Reco, but when Reco sold to Danfoss Dave Nicholls and David came to Afcon. David has been a valued member of the Afcon family ever since (12 years and counting). David says his favourite part of his job is chatting to the customers, and seeing new places every day. 

David is the proud father of 4 grown up children, and two grandchildren – his youngest son is our very own exceptional stores manager Mandla. David is proud of the career he has had, and that it’s allowed him to set up his children with university degrees and good jobs.

David is excited for this next chapter where he’ll be returning to his birthplace and he plans to farm the land and sell on his produce. 

We wish David well, and know he’ll be driving down regularly in his “Speed Demon” (previously our longest serving delivery vehicle). David retires at the end of this month, so please take the opportunity to say your goodbyes and bid him farewell. 


CAREL's solutions are typically concealed within larger units. Valves measuring just a few centimetres in size, probes, controllers, thermostats and supervisors that go to make up control solutions for air-conditioning, refrigeration and heating, and humidification and evaporative cooling systems. Components that primarily play a fundamental role within a broader system. Their work in monitoring and controlling such systems in fact helps improve overall performance and ensure significant energy savings.

Although they can't be seen, CAREL's solutions make the difference. 

Driven by evaporator

CAREL, the difference that counts

Understanding the system as a whole means Carel can provide innovative and efficient solutions. Their vast and varied offering has applications in many different contexts. 

From cleanrooms to datacenters, supermarkets to paper mills, hospitals, offices and museums, through the combination of electronic controllers, humidifiers, valves, probes and monitoring systems we can supply complete and integrated solutions that significantly improve energy savings.

Backed by over forty years' experience and detailed knowledge of different contexts, we bring improvements to the entire system. Our integrated solutions improve overall efficiency. Not just products, but also expertise and professionalism, all serving to boost performance.

The results can be measured in terms of the energy saved thanks to the innovations introduced and the features implemented.

DC technology

Consultants for high-efficiency solutions

Applied in two broad categories, CAREL's solutions are designed to improve the efficiency of complete environments (system solutions) or units (unit control). Numerous applications can enjoy the benefits of our innovative systems. 

Our professionals can moreover identify custom solutions and tailor-made systems following careful analysis of individual situations.

Over the years we have earned the trust of our customers, whether OEMs, licensed dealers, installers and contractors or end users, thanks to the performance of our solutions.

Taking the example of supermarkets, we have determined that over 50% of store running costs are due to the energy consumption of the refrigeration system, followed in second place by room air-conditioning. Consequently, we have designed electronic expansion valve technology that can bring estimated annual system energy savings that exceed 20%. At the same time, we ensure the compressors work in the best possible conditions (lower pressure, lower discharge temperature), consequently meaning less faults and much lower maintenance costs.



For nearly 30 years, A‑Gas has invested in its people, processes, and technology to recover and reclaim fluorinated gases for further use. The result of this effort is that today, they have successfully built the world’s foremost refrigerant lifecycle management company. At the same time, A‑Gas has captured thousands of tons of gas that may otherwise have been released into the atmosphere – and they aren’t stopping there.

A‑Gas has pledged to become a ‘Net Zero’ company by the year 2035.​​​​​​​


Towards Zero Together




Afcon Industrial Equipment stocks Gulf-O-Flex® Tube insulation an environmentally friendly CFC free, flexible elastomeric thermal insulation.

With smooth shark skin and is available in unslit form in wall Thickness of 1/4 “ , 3/8 “ , 1/2 “, 3/4 “, 1 “, 1-1/4 in sizes ranging from 1/4 “ ID to 4-3/8” Iron Pipe size. Gulf-O-Flex® Tube is non porous and resists mildew growth.

tubing insulation


  • Available in a wide range of materials and sizes
  • High tensile strength with very low insertion force
  • Only high quality plastic is used meeting recycling targets 
  • Inside serrated cable ties for a strong hold onto bundles 
  • Ergonomic bent tail offers quick and simple installation
  • Easy application either manually or with an application tool
T50I Cable Ties


Long liquid lines or high vertical lift from the liquid receivers, due to pressure drop, will develop liquid line flashing which is worsened as condensing pressures are reduced. This has a negative effect on system efficiency.

If flash gas is creeping into your liquid lines, additional stages of compressor cylinders are often required to circulate it leading to additional cost. Consider this option as a savings of both energy and money.

FHPC with DXFC MT cases 1.8




The exclusive Green Point organisation is the BITZER service network and works closely with customers.

Working in close cooperation with BITZER headquarters and coordinated by the regional Master Green Points, they represent excellence, optimum quality and expertise all over the world.

Staffed with expert employees, our Green Points offer maintenance as well as the overhaul and repair of BITZER compressors. The exclusive Green Point Quality Kit stands for unconditional replacement of all wearing and safety-relevant parts. 

BITZER ORIGINAL SPARE PARTS and refrigeration oil are available off the shelf at all Green Point locations.

The unique Green Point service cycle concept is a modular and flexible portfolio covering all life cycle needs of compressors and units.

Bitzer Greenpoint


where the refrigeration industry is going in terms of gas

What is refrigerant glide? 

For pure gas refrigerants (like R134a) the bubble point temperature is equal to dew point temperature. However, for some refrigerant mixtures (like R407C or R407F) the bubble point temperature is not the same as dew point temperature. For these refrigerants the difference between the saturated vapour temperature (dew point temperature) and saturated liquid temperature (bubble point temperature) at constant pressure is referred to as the “temperature glide” of the refrigerant mixture.
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Afcon profiles our own Mike Ladell

This year Mike Ladell has been a part of the HVAC&R industry for 60 years. Beginning with a 4-year apprenticeship at JH Stranack. Mike then went on to work at both Marshall’s and Brown’s Refrigeration before starting his own business, Ladell’s Services, which he ran for 16-years. Mikes next ran Yucon Coils’ Natal branch, before leaving to launch a new company Afcon.

Afcon’s initial focus was on selling Yucon shell and tube condensers, that were at the time manufactured in South Africa, as well as split units. Mike’s specialty soon presented itself when he designed, manufactured and sold Industrial Units to Telkom, Richard Bay Minerals and Richard Bay Coal Terminal. In the 90s, Mike was also one of the first in the industry to develop, in conjunction with Recoil, V shaped coils for a client.

Mike has thoroughly enjoyed his time in the industry, stating that he particularly enjoys the new and ever different challenges each job poses, and we are sure he’ll be around for some time to come. As someone once said “If you don’t know Mike Ladell, you aren’t in refrigeration”.

Mike advocates for a refocus on training in the HVAC&R industry and the introduction of a levels system through which standardisation across the industry can be ensured.

Mike Ladell




Cubimax Units

cubimax plugplay unit
How simple is it to install refrigeration equipment for a cold room?

Remember installing Window wall units? Basically make a hole, slide in unit and connect to power!

We now offer the same convenience with our Cubimax units. It’s even simpler as the hole can easily be cut into the Cold Room Panelling. Your installation time is reduced and you have the knowledge that the unit is pre-charged and factory tested. Note the Cubimax units are suitable for Freezer rooms and Cold Rooms. 

Click on the following link to download more information.
bt download pdf

 Look no further than ONDA Heat Exchangers

Gasketed Heat Exchanger
Afcon is well known in the industry for stocking ONDA Braised Plate Heat Exchangers for all your immediate needs.
We have now introduced a range of ONDA Gasketed Plate Heat Exchangers. Manufactured in Italy, ONDA Plate Heat Exchangers are designed for small to large applications. Materials available 304 s/s, 316 s/s and Titanium. Our advantage is our highly competitive pricing and fast delivery times. Units can leave the factory in 2 weeks prior to airfreight or sea-freight depending on your requirements.

We select and price enquiries within 1 hour and ensure you have quick turnaround in all aspects, from ordering to supply.
bt download pdf

How the Bitzer IQ Module works in refrigeration systems with Bitzer reciprocating compressors

This video explains how the Bitzer IQ Module in refrigeration systems works with Bitzer reciprocating compressors.
The new, intelligent operating concept with Bitzer IQ Modules was developed to take full advantage of the potential of new technologies in terms of energy efficiency and straightforward integration into refrigeration systems, whilst ensuring simple service.
where the refrigeration industry is going in terms of gas

Afcon addresses where the industry in going in terms of gas use? 

Currently in Europe there are many discussions regarding the phasing out of the staple refrigerants previously used in Refrigeration applications namely R404a and R507a. Both these refrigerants have a high Global Warming Potential of over 4000. The current guidelines recommend using refrigerants with a GWP of 2500 or below. So the options being advocated in Europe are divided into following groups.
a. HFO/HFCs these being R448a, R449A, R452A - these are non-flammable synthetic refrigerants
b. Hydrocarbon’s these being Natural gas refrigerants – R290 Propane ( flammable refrigerants)
c. Ammonia
d. CO2
Several case studies have shown that the use of Hydrocarbon’s provide efficiencies with less refrigerant required and low power consumption on the plant. Also certain Refrigerant companies are manufacturing Hydrocarbon blends to be a direct replacement for R22 systems. However stringent guidelines must be observed because of the flammability.
Ammonia and CO2 are still only used by contractors who are specialists in these Natural gases so it is clearly not a solution to all requirements.
Since South Africa generally follows Europe – I think the large importers of refrigerants in South Africa will eventually govern the changeover via price and availability, indirectly influencing which refrigerants become the industry standard in the future. Watch out for the increasing prices on R404a/R507a eventually pushing contractors and suppliers to look at alternatives.
Bitzer recently advised in their Distributor’s meeting in Leipzig that new plants must be capable of longevity, so they must be designed with the long term ability of working on several refrigerants without the main components requiring change. This seems the best advice for the present.
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Afcon Supplier Profile

Afcon profiles Carel's Stuart Williams

Over the last 20 years Stuart has cultivated his knowledge at Cool Power, Barlows, Samsung, SANBS, and now at Carel. Currently Stuart’s focus is on expanding Carel’s brand name and sales in the KZN and Eastern Region.

Much like our last Customer Profile feature, Craig Scott, (click to view this article), Stuart enjoys the challenges that the industry and his job offers, namely providing high efficiency controls for each unique customer's need and project, at a competitive rate. Once this has been achieved Stuart enjoys site visits, where he can view the controls in action, and ultimately the successful job.

Carel Control’s products have been successfully used across many industries, including pharmaceutical, diary and retail. Over the last three years Stuart has been involved in many successful projects. One of these being the new Dairy Day dairy in Howick, as well as another with Cipla. Stuart was also involved in the installation of Carel’s first HEOS, water loop refrigeration system, in Durban.

Stuart’s impact at Carel can be seen by the considerable increase in Carel sales that have been achieved over the last three years, with Afcon being one of the its most successful wholesalers.


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