IMA Life

Castel San Pietro Terme, Bologna - Italy
Industry for the production of automatic machines
Systems Packaged, enhanced VRF, hydronic
Year 2020


IMA Life

New headquarters in Castel San Pietro Terme

Founded in 1961, IMA is a world leader in the design and manufacture of automatic machines for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, tea and coffee processing and packaging. The company is in continuous development and growth. In 2018 it decided to move the IMA Life division, which produces machines for washing and sterilizing pharmaceutical bottles, filling and closing systems for aseptic environments, microdosing machines for powders in an aseptic environment and freeze-drying sysems, to the Ca 'Bianca industrial area in the former Decathlon plant, in disuse since the end of 2018.

The renovation works necessary to adapt this shed to the new processes will be completed by the end of 2020.

The new headquarters will have 32,000 m2 of production area and a new 10,000 m2 office building, construction of which will finish in 2021.

The challenge

IMA's code of ethics pays great attention to both people and the environment.

The new headquarters had to guarantee maximum comfort and well-being for both the employees employed in production and for those employed in the offices, and to minimize its environmental impact.

The challenge for the new air conditioning system was to combine the well-being of people with a rational use of energy resources, favoring renewable sources, preventing the pollution generated by combustion emissions into the atmosphere, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The building had different areas with different intended uses and air conditioning needs.

The solution

Given the great difference in needs between the different areas of the building, the system adopted uses different technologies depending on the areas to be air-conditioned.

The office building, which have different and contemporary thermal needs depending on the exposure, are served by multifunction air-water heat pumps that allow the simultaneous production of hot and chilled water. Distribution takes place via fan coils. The air quality is entrusted to air handling units.

The offices in the production area, which have a small surface and homogeneous air conditioning needs, are served by an enhanced VRF system equipped with an outdoor MV6-i unit with vapor injection inverter technology, 11 indoor floor units and a packaged air renewal and purification system, Zephir3, with active thermodynamic recovery and electronic filters active on nanoparticles, pollen, viruses and bacteria.

The production plant is served by 11 rooftop heat pumps equipped with multiscroll compressors and CO2 probe, which adapt their operation according to the thermal and air quality needs.

The process water is produced by two chillers ELFOEnergy Magnum and ELFOEnergy Medium with multiscroll technology.

The canteen is served by a SPINchiller3 heat pump with modular scroll compressors for maximum efficiency at partial loads and by an air handling unit.

On the roof of the new office building a photovoltaic system was installed for a total of about 96 kW to cover 20% of the estimated energy needs of the building.

The results

The air conditioning system, designed by the Beltrami and Terziari Ingegneria studio, fully anwers to both the comfort and well-being needs of the employees required by the client thanks to the use of systems that not only guarantee the right temperature, but also air quality.

The goal was also achieved in terms of environmental sustainability.

The choice of the most suitable plant solution for the different areas to be air-conditioned, has made it possible to rationalize the use of energy, reducing management costs.

The heat pump technology at the basis of the solutions adopted has made it possible to eliminate combustion gas emissions on site, to exploit indirect renewable solar energy contained in the air and to use only green energy sources to power its systems, in line with company policies.


Plant design: Studio Beltrami and Terziari Ingegneria - Imola, Bologna
Owner: IMA Spa - Bologna
Clivet Agency: Tecnodelta - Bologna

Clivet units installed:

  • 2 SPINChiller3 air-water Multifunction heat pumps WSAN-XSC3 MF 200.4 - Offices
  • 11 CLIVETPack2 air-to-air rooftop heat pumps (10 CSRN -XHE2 90.4 CBK and 1 CSRN-XHE2 40.4 CBK) - Production
  • 1 SPINChiller3 air-water heat pump WSAN XSC3 120.4 - Canteen + AHU
  • 1 ELFOEnergy Medium WSAT-XEE 82 air-water heat pump - Process water for industrial processes
  • 1 ELFOEnergy Magnum WSAT-XEM air-water heat pump - Process water for industrial processing
  • 1 MV6-XMi - 280T VRF system with n. 11 indoor units DNB2-XMi – offices of production area
  • 1 Zephir3 packaged air renewal and purification unit – offices of production area

The building

42,000 m2 of which 10,000 m2 for offices and 32,000 m2 for production