Perspectives On Thermo-King, Hussmann

September 25, 2001
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The GridMaster load shifting and blackout protection system from Hussman.
Over the past four years, two major names in the refrigeration industry — ThermoKing and Hussmann — have come under the Ingersoll-Rand (IR) umbrella.

This summer, the parent company provided the media with an update on how those two companies fit into the corporate picture and directions being taken regarding climate control.

Presenters included Herb Henkel, IR chairman, president, and ceo; and Gordon Mapp, president of Climate Control.

Henkel described IR as a “diversified industrial company” with year 2000 revenues of $8.8 billion. It serves four major markets: Climate Control (where ThermoKing and Hussmann fall); Infrastructure (involving road pavers and drills); Industrial Productivity (ranging from air compressors to golf carts); and Security and Safety.

Mapp said ThermoKing, acquired in 1997, had $1.2 billion in revenues for 2000. It has 5,000 employees, 11 manufacturing facilities, and 800 dealers and subdealers.

He described the company as being in a “strong market position” given growth in container and bus air conditioning, as well as increased interest in small trucks worldwide.

Hussmann, a June 2000 acquisition, has 9,000 employees and showed $1.3 billion in revenue last year, Mapp said. He described the company’s service network as “key to leveraging stationary refrigeration.”

Like ThermoKing, Hussmann was said to have a “strong market position.” Mapp contended that Hussmann is in the “number-one position in the U.S. display case market.” For Hussmann, that comes with major supermarket chains stateside, international market expansion, and direct sales and service.

Overall, said Mapp, IR plans to focus on what he called “six key future growth opportunities”:

1. Product and services;

2. Protecting existing bases;

3. Helping to develop stores of the future;

4. Geographic expansion;

5. Expansion of services; and

6. Farm technology (which the company said was part of its commitment to provide “farm-to-fork” services and products).

U.S., World Expansion

Keys to U.S. market expansion, said Mapp, are with small trucks, convenience and drug stores, and regional grocery stores.

International market growth is expected to come from small trucks, display cases, and containers and buses.

He said IR needs to plug its services and products into the “supermarket of the future.” Services the corporation can offer include a universal monitoring system using a broadband antenna, as well as climate control products, safety and security products, air compressors, microturbines, and air conditioning.

In addition, officials said, IR must help stores with such key market issues as food safety, food preservation, and energy management. One example of a new technology offered by Hussmann to address these issues is Safe-Net temperature monitoring. This system monitors various product and case temperatures throughout a supermarket to help ensure proper refrigeration performance.

Said Mapp, “This is your lifeline to safer, fresher foods.”



Gordon Mapp

Microturbine

One aspect gaining attention from the corporation is the use of a microturbine designed to reduce the reliance on electricity from public utilities. IR’s PowerWorks microturbine, which works primarily with natural gas, is designed to serve as a reliable and cost-effective power source for such facilities as supermarkets, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, office buildings, multifamily dwellings, and industrial sites.

Another approach to the need for constant power supplies is what was called the GridMaster load shifting and blackout protection system from Hussmann. The GridMaster is said to reduce peak demand by being able to switch power between a grid and on-site generation.

The technology uses regularly updated utility rates to determine the lowest-cost source of energy.



Carrot Farm Gets Refrigeration Makeover

Carrots in the vegetable section of a supermarket are pretty much taken for granted. So is the refrigeration technology necessary to keep that product fresh for shipping.

An example of that technology is evident in California, where Carlsbad-based Onsite Energy Corp. announced that it has signed two contracts with Grimmway Farms for energy projects at the company’s facilities in the Bakersfield area.

Grimmway Farms packages fresh carrots that are stored at 33? to 36?F prior to shipping.

Onsite is working on a turnkey project at Grimmway’s Premier Packing facility that involves installation of new condensers, re-engineering of suction piping, a new control system, and hot gas defrost.

In addition, Onsite is assisting Grimmway on two projects at its packaging facility on Malaga Road. The efficiency measures at this plant will consist of new condensers, defrost controls, suction piping improvements, and a refrigeration control system to optimize operation of refrigeration compressors and condensers.

Onsite is working as project manager for the projects and administrator of all matters and equipment related to the public utility PG&E and its Standard Performance Contract program.

Savings to Grimmway Farms is expected to total almost $550,000 annually, and incentives from the Standard Performance Contract program will total almost $1.2 million to help offset the costs associated with these projects.

Information on Onsite may be accessed through its website, www.onsitesy.com.

Publication date: 10/01/2001

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