Glancing Back: It’s a Small World


Think globally, Act Locally

George F. Taubeneck often wrote about what was happening in the industry overseas. In a July 7, 1958 article, he looked at the market in Belgium.

According to Taubeneck, the Belgians at one time had chosen American refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. But, by 1958, the American hold on the Belgian market was falling. The reason was due to neglect and poor service.

One importer complained that when he ran into service problems with American equipment, he sometimes had to wait for 10 days or longer to hear from the U.S. manufacturer. In contrast, when there was a service difficulty with equipment by German or Danish companies, they sent out a technician the next day to take care of the problem for him.

Another problem in dealing with American companies at that time was that they rarely translated service information.

Taubneneck summed up the Belgian market this way: “In Belgium, he sells best who services quickest. And as of this moment, the Germans are on the ball fastest with the mostest.”


Reclaim and Recycle Refrigerants

As reported by Thomas A. Mahoney in the July 4, 1988 News, a plan to reclaim and recycle refrigerants to help cope with the soon-to-come cutbacks of fully halogenated chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was unveiled at the summer meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). It was drawn up from an all-industry roundtable that included representatives of equipment manufacturers, contractors, wholesalers, refrigerant manufacturers, and other refrigerant users.

Measures recommended by the roundtable included:

  • Put together a task force to gather information on replacing refrigerants and on developing technical data by equipment manufacturers.
  • Relabel R-22 as HCFC-22 to call attention to the difference between fully halogenated CFCs and hydrogenated CFCs.
  • License auto service stations and dealers to recycle R-12 used in automobile air conditioners, and reduce service use of that refrigerant by half within 5 years.
  • Whenever possible in new and retrofit applications, install systems that don’t use CFCs.
  • If substitute refrigerants R-124 and -134a aren’t forthcoming, then try to figure out the percentage of CFCs that can be replaced with R-22 and R-502.
  • Prevent leaks in automotive replacement hoses and seals through better designs.
  • Speed up the field tests of substitute refrigerants now under development.
  • Use R-502 as the preferred refrigerant in new, nonmobile tranportation applications.
  • “Because these chemicals are so important to our lifestyle and quality of life, we must take care that our first steps do not unnecessarily disrupt the economy or lifestyles of consumers,” stated H.E. Burroughs, then president of ASHRAE.

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