MONDAY - January 29, 2001: Tecumseh Introduces The Vector, Its ‘Evolutionary’ Compressor

January 29, 2001
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Jim Hammond (left), director of Marketing, discusses The Vector, with Mike DiFlora, senior vice president of Product and Manufacturing Engineering.

ATLANTA, GA – Tecumseh introduced its new compressor, The Vector, at an 8 a.m. press conference Monday, held at The Omni Hotel.

According to Tecumseh ceo Todd Herrick, the new compressor was designed to fit most existing scroll applications. Herrick said its new compressor may look like a scroll, sound like a scroll, and perform like a scroll, but it’s different.

“Years ago our customers began asking us for a way to get the same kind of performance, sound, and dependability as a scroll – for less money,” said Herrick. “That was a tough question. Because scroll technology is inherently expensive, we knew we had only one option: to design a new kind of compressor that would compete with the scroll or anything else on the market in terms of sound, size, efficiency, dependability, and quality, at a price that would lower our customers’ applied cost. We turned the problem over to our engineers.”

Michael DiFlora, senior vice president of Product and Manufacturing Engineering, called the making of The Vector “undoubtedly the toughest assignment we’d ever had, hands down.

“Over the next few months we developed a number of unique approaches, but weren’t totally satisfied with any of them,” he said. “Then one day in a brainstorming session, a question came up that changed our whole attitude. Someone said instead of trying to re-invent the wheel – since we already have the most trusted and proven technology in the industry with the reciprocating compressor - why don’t we just try to take that technology to another level? Which is what we did.”

Jim Hammond, director of Marketing, recalls the initial breakthrough.

“Since the scroll was our main target, we made the decision to work our recip technology to fit into a scroll-type housing, and do whatever it took to make the specs – as long as we could produce it as a price that would lower our customers’ applied unit cost,” said Hammond. “Of course, it wasn’t as simple as dropping a recip into a steel barrel. But that was the first step. We had to design special innovative mufflers to lower the sound level and improve the sound overall. Vibration was an enemy, of course. Significant structural changes had to be made to accommodate the round shape. Prototypes were designed, built tested, and re-designed.”

The result was The Vector, which Tecumseh said is “quiet, efficient, reliable, and designed to meet the industry’s need now and in the future.” Compared to a scroll, Tecumseh said there’s really nothing unusual about its size, shape, or appearance. And compared to a scroll, there’s nothing earthshaking about its size, shape, or appearance. However, it said that’s the earthshaking thing about it.

“With a sound level of 73 dB and an efficiency rating of 11+/18+ EER, it does just about anything a scroll will do,” said Herrick. “The beauty is, of course, it’s reciprocating technology.”

Why the name The Vector?

“We called it The Vector because we saw it as a path to accomplish our customers’ need to lower their applied cost and still maintain excellence in quality, performance, sound, and dependability – coupled with Tecumseh’s need to help them do that – by building the highest quality compressor at a highly competitive price.”

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