Many celebrated the opening of the Bitzer plant.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Bitzer is making news these days by opening a plant in Syracuse, N.Y. The compressor manufacturer, a subsidiary of Bitzer SE of Sindelfingen, Germany, has taken over part of a former General Motors Fischer Body plant, helping to meet their own needs while helping out the local workforce. It is the company’s second U.S. plant.

The 57,600-square-foot facility may not be the biggest around. However, it’s injecting a fair amount of hope into a community affected by the departure of manufacturers like GM. The facility will make commercial scroll compressors that use only R-410A. Sizes will range from 20 to 40 tons. More probably will be added in the future. Bitzer invested $28 million in the facility, and initial production started in June 2009; 2010 will be its first full year of production.

The opening ceremony was presided over by CEO Peter Schaufler, Senator h.c. “I’m not like other owners,” said Schaufler. “I still have visions.”

Richard Kobor, chief technology officer and president of Bitzer Scroll Inc., said of the event, “Our competence in research and development led us to select this site due to the wealth of product design and advanced manufacturing talent in the area.”

Mike McKee, general manager of Bitzer Scroll, said, “We’re excited to show off our state-of-the-art production facilities and the advanced scroll compressors that we are building for both domestic and international customers.”

On the line, compressors will be constructed using a bottoms up approach, so that parts can only go in at the correct orientation and no lifting is required.

Another feature ties certain quality checks into the shipping program; without these tests being accomplished satisfactorily, the units will not be able to be shipped.

The facility is designed to produce up to 45,000 units annually.

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Publication date:11/09/2009