Carrier Corp.’s 500,000-square-foot plant in Tyler, Texas, manufactures such products as the Centurion rooftop units, pictured here in this cutaway show. The company predicts a strong year for rooftop replacements. (Picture courtesy of Carrier.)

TYLER, Texas - Carrier employees hosted groups of contractors, engineers, distributors, dealers, and facility managers at Carrier’s Tyler factory for four consecutive days of plant tours and product introductions. It was the company’s first “Trek to Tyler” event since 2000.

Over those four days, the company brought nearly 500 customers, and a few members of the trade press, to its facility.

On each day of the Trek, the company guided a different group of customers through its plant, where the manufacturer’s associates showcased several products and production processes at specific stations along the way, and fielded customer questions.

The 500,000-square-foot plant manufactures such products as Infinity™ Series small packaged products, Weather Series and Centurion™ rooftop products, and Gemini™ split systems.

“The Trek to Tyler allows our customers to see and experience the plant’s dedicated focus to unitary products,” said Chris Nelson, vice president and general manager, Commercial Unitary Systems. The facility has undergone significant renovations and capital improvements over the past three years.

“With these investments completed, we were ready to show the ‘new’ Tyler plant to our customers,” said Larry Oliver, plant manager.

One improvement is the U-shaped production line, referred to as the U line. The concept provides a more modular approach to the traditional straight production line, offering more efficient line retooling and improved communication.

The U line divides a straight production line into three groups. “It gets the people closer to each other,” said Oliver.


The products also demonstrated the manufacturer’s commitment to increased energy efficiency. Several products manufactured at the Tyler facility exceed the requirements for HVAC equipment developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1 as part of a system design. The Centurion, for example, is appropriate for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects.

Products like the Weathermaker® and Weathermaster® rooftops are not only well suited for the drop-in replacement market, but also offer humidity control and other factory-installed options  to reduce installation time and expense. The standard Weathermaker rooftops meet both baseline efficiency and the budget of cost-conscious customers.

According to Ron Woodcock, product business manager for Carrier’s Commercial Unitary Systems, “We’re looking at a strong replacement market; 2007 is starting out even better than 2006. Our Weather Series rooftops are ideally suited for this replacement market as often they fit directly on older units’ curbs.”

Part of the rooftop industry growth, he said, is due to the ability to provide packaged units with specific details, such as humidity control and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs). The market is responding positively to “packaged equipment that can adapt to indoor needs,” he said. “It’s a growing segment.”

The light commercial market also is grappling with the question of whether to repair or replace existing equipment. For this reason, the company offers a “Commercial Replacement Specialist” class that trains contractors on how to provide customers with a quantitative approach on which to base the decision.

Publication date:05/07/2007