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Industry Committed to Innovation

Originally published: 08.01.17 by Pete Grasso

To be competitive, you cannot become complacent. To truly find success as a business owner, you must always keep an eye looking forward, constantly reinventing yourself and your business.

In this industry, especially, it’s not enough to simply “do what you’ve always done.” Your customers expect the best, and the best is always changing. Whether it’s a higher SEER level, safer refrigerants or the newest controller, customers always want something better.

Thankfully, you’re a part of an industry that is committed to innovation. I’m reminded of this every year when I see all the latest products at the AHR Expo. And, most recently, I was reminded of this commitment from several of your trusted industry partners.


I had the pleasure of traveling to Tallahassee, Fla. at the end of June for the grand opening of a new, state-of-the-art laboratory.

Danfoss’ customer Application Development Center features three fully-automated test facilities capable of accommodating residential and commercial air-conditioning and heat pump equipment, including rooftop units, from 1.2 to 50 tons and air-cooled chillers up to 150 tons.

As I toured the facility and spoke with many of the engineers who helped design it, I was impressed with the details — all aimed at helping

customers improve performance through system-level testing.

“This lab enables engineering teams to validate new concepts and develop products and solutions that solve key challenges in today’s market,” said Gregory Handzel, manager of the Application Development Center.

The need for such a facility is evidenced by just how high the demand is from customers who want to use it. John Galyen, president of Danfoss North America, told me it was already booked for the next six months.


At the same time I was in Tallahassee witnessing Danfoss’ commitment to innovation, our publisher, Terry Tanker, was in Tyler, Texas for a major announcement from another innovative manufacturer.

Trane unveiled a new brand campaign that signifies its growth and transformation over the last century. The new campaign, titled “Tested to Run,” highlights the rigorous testing methodologies and hard-working engineering teams.

“This new campaign speaks to who we are as a company and is a direct reflection of our people working to create long-lasting and reliable products that are tested to the limit in our labs every day,” said Brian Welborn, Trane director of brand and marketing communications at Ingersoll Rand.

The “Tested to Run” campaign provides consumers and residential dealers an inside and never-before-seen look at how Trane uses its labs and facilities to push the boundaries of performance and reliability when manufacturing and testing its equipment.

The creative assets give a glimpse into how the brand puts each unit through extreme testing prior to launch, including its Seasonal Extreme Environmental Testing (SEET) lab, where products endure 16 weeks of bone-chilling cold and blistering hot weather.


Finally, just a couple of weeks ago, we traveled a few hours south to Sidney, Ohio for the groundbreaking of Emerson’s first phase of construction on a major renovation and expansion of the labs and offices at its existing one-million-square-foot facility.

The project is expected to require $100 million in investments over the next four years, which will include building a two-story office addition onto the current facility and converting existing space to new and expanded engineering laboratories.

With a focus on creating an environment to attract tomorrow’s engineers, scientists and industry leaders, the renovated facility will facilitate cross-functional collaboration and provide an efficient, modern workplace.

A highlight of the project is an upgraded, cutting-edge lab space to conduct advanced performance and refrigerant testing with its compressors and related products. Keep in mind, this new construction project in Sidney comes just a year after I attended the grand opening of its Helix Innovation Center on the University of Dayton campus, aimed to spur research, collaboration and education across the industry.

As you take a look at your business and the products and services you offer, remember that you’re not alone when it comes to achieving excellence. Innovation abounds throughout the industry, thanks to the commitment of dedicated companies like Danfoss, Trane, Emerson — and so many others.

When it comes to providing your customers with high efficiency, low environmental impact, easy to operate and intuitive new products, your manufacturer partners are there to help you rise to the challenge.



About Pete Grasso

Pete is the editor of HVACR Business magazine and the Ahead of the Curve enewsletter, as well as web content editor for www.hvacrbusiness.com and author of the blog Keeping it Simple. He has spent his career working in and with trade media, both as a public relations practitioner and as an editor. He gained a great deal of expertise in the B2B arena, within large and medium sized advertising agencies. Be sure to follow Pete on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn!


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