Kulthorn Story

Culture and Vision

Motivated by our mission to build products that transform people’s lives, Kulthorn is renowned for groundbreaking design, quality craftsmanship, and impeccable customer service. Combining cutting-edge technology with old-fashioned work ethic, Kulthorn’s refrigeration and air conditioning components play crucial roles in safeguarding our neighbors’ health, maximizing their productivity, and contributing to their quality of life.

By sharing insights, collaborating on solutions, and developing a unity of purpose, Kulthorn assists refrigeration and air conditioning manufacturers in meeting the challenges inherent in preserving the world’s food and managing
its indoor environment.

We provide our original equipment manufacturers and distributor partners with tangible, lasting value by anticipating their needs and supplying reliable, cost effective, and environmentally friendly compressors, condensing units and electronically commutated motors. Industry engineers and technicians rely on Kulthorn to deliver resilient, economical solutions that power, operate, and control a variety of temperature-control devices in the residential and commercial refrigeration industry.

We are proud of the products we make and the successes we have achieved in improving conditions for so many of our neighbors. We are more excited, however, to consider the opportunities that lay before us. We are committed to developing tomorrow’s refrigeration technology.

Our goal is not only to make our methods more efficient and our products more valuable, but to truly make a difference in the world by transforming the way it preserves its food and
manages its living spaces.

From Humble Beginnings

In 1960 the three Simakulthorn brothers identified and set out to meet Thailand’s pressing need for compressors. Armed with little more than their considerable engineering skills, an entrepreneurial spirit, and unquenchable
drive, the brothers founded the Kulthorn Group to distribute and manufacture compressors throughout the country.

Kulthorn quickly established a relationship with a U.S. based compressor manufacturer in Southeast Asia, and by 1978 served as its exclusive distributors in Thailand.

The brothers’ ambition fueled their dream of improving the overall quality of life for people not only in their homeland, but around the world. Taking advantage of a government grant, the Simakulthorn family expanded
their manufacturing capabilities and began building reciprocating compressors in 1979. The first such manufacturer in the country, Kulthorn by 1986 had produced more than 1 million AE compressors.

“While our distributorship throughout Thailand provided an important service, ramping up compressor production really marked the beginning of our mission to bring inventive solutions to the world,” said Suraporn Simakulthorn, one of the founding brothers and Kulthorn’s chairman

It was at this time that the company began exporting Compressor Series Kits to other compressor manufacturers in North America, Kulthorn’s first step toward embracing that huge market.

Growth and Integration

Around the same time Kulthorn entered the new North American market, it also augmented its product offerings and sought greater opportunities. Continuing to concentrate on the air conditioning and refrigeration sector, the company experienced unprecedented growth in the late 1980s.

In 1987 Kulthorn broadened its production line to produce NEMA Frame motors in a joint venture with Universal MagneTek of the United States, and rotary compressors in a separate joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industry.

This rapid growth created a great internal demand for the steel Kulthorn needed to produce its cooling components. Sensing the threat of production disruption due to unpredictable supply and price fluctuations among key raw materials, Kulthorn began vertically integrating its supply chain. As the first step to control cost and create savings for its original equipment manufacturer customers, Kulthorn brought more of its logistics planning in house, building its own foundry close to its manufacturing facilities in Thailand in 1898. But Kulthorn was not content to merely capture market share by building efficient, motors and compressors and selling them at competitive prices. Company culture demanded it transform the cooling landscape. Several opportunities arose during the 1990s. The decade saw Kulthorn produce nearly 20 million compressors, a feat that brought the firm to the attention of equipment manufacturers through Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Drawn by Kulthorn’s quality, efficiency and affordability, these manufacturers contracted with Kulthorn over the next two decades, Kulthorn’s territory included more than 75 countries, with production topping 13 million compressors.

Kulthorn’s huge market share spurred the company’s next foray into design, engineering, and productivity advances in the cooling industry. Kulthorn acquired Sanyo’s compressor factory in Thailand in 2004 to boost its technological insights, consolidate industrial knowledge, and blaze a trail to the next generation of compressors, refrigeration condensing units, and motors. Kulthorn’s advances in cooling component architecture, manufacturing automation and process efficiency made over the previous decade, aided the company as it entered an agreement to manufacture electronically commutated motors engineered by Unada.

Our focus on developing technological innovations remains unabated. We established the Kulthorn Research & Development Center in 2017. It was here that more than 70 of Kulthorn’s leading technicians collaborated on engineering and designing new compressor styles and configurations that are quieter, more durable, and highly efficient.


With production exceeding 100 million, Kulthorn is making even greater strides in international markets. With new offices in California, Texas, and Baja, Mexico, Kulthorn now possesses the production capabilities and support infrastructure to deliver its innovation and ingenuity to distributors and original equipment manufacturers throughout North America.

“Kulthorn’s history is still being written by our visionary managers, passionate workers, and valued customers,” Chairman Suraporn Simakulthorn said.

“I am so proud of my family, my partners and my employees. Our company continues to expand and succeed, we are at heart still a family run business. Kulthorn may have grown into a multinational conglomerate with global reach, but never doubt for a minute that we are as committed as ever to innovation and creating new and better ways to improve our communities and the lives of our neighbors.”


Start growing with Kulthorn today!

Your business needs to perform quickly, reliably and in step with today’s fast-changing market. You need a supplier that’s as responsive as you are.

Put the power of Kulthorn to work for you. Together we can redefine what’s possible.