The cancellation of the AHR Expo in 2021 not only prevented HVAC industry professionals from reuniting, but also left many innovative products in the dark. This was the case for Yellow Jacket, a manufacturer of HVACR supplies and division of Ritchie Engineering Co. Inc. The pandemic forced Yellow Jacket, a player in the industry for 70 years, into the world of virtual product announcements. But sometimes, virtual just doesn’t cut it.
“When you miss a year, there's a lot of new product and technology that you're missing. We missed the opportunity to show the marketplace what we've been doing,” explained Gary Lampasona, vice president of sales and marketing at Yellow Jacket
In addition to the launch of some new products at this year’s AHR Expo, Yellow Jacket is relaunching some products that did not have the opportunity to feature in person. Lampasona said the company’s approach revolves around its legacy — they remind customers of the core products that helped build the brand’s reliability and name, while still placing an emphasis on new products and innovations.
One of the main products found at the Yellow Jacket booth was the company’s TurboRecover Recovery Machine. The lightweight refrigerant recovery machine has a twin-cylinder, oil-less compressor along with a dual-gauge design that allows for the simultaneous monitoring of the system and tank pressures. The machine is also designed for A2L refrigerants, which is a big conversation and category today.
“This is a kind of a technological step for us in this market place,” said Lampasona. “It puts us in the conversation because of the technology that we have used to develop it.”
PRODUCT EVOLUTION: What started off as different manifolds with analogue gauges ended up turning into the modern YJACK (pictured), which can be used along with an app. (Staff photo)
RECOVERY MACHINE: The TurboRecover has all the features for fast and effective refrigerant recovery with a powerful twin-cylinder, oil-less compressor and 1.25 hp brushless DC (BLDC) motor. (Staff photo)
Another popular item is Yellow Jacket’s series of YJACK probes. The YJACKS are considered to be a development of the company’s original legacy products. What started off as different manifolds with analogue gauges ended up turning into the modern YJACK, which can be accessible through the use of an app. The YJACK MANO Wireless Dual Port Manometer is one of these products, and it can take accurate static pressure measurements of up to +/- 80 inches of water column.
“We've updated our app to be so much more powerful than it was before, including service reports, which allows a contractor to basically write the report right there and generate it,” added Lampasona.
Booth visitors also flocked around Yellow Jacket’s Bullet DC Vacuum Pump, which flaunts high torque and efficiency and is able to function in extreme low voltage conditions. Available in 7 cfm, the Bullet DC is built to handle most residential and commercial applications.
Growing the Legacy
If Yellow Jacket were to summarize its booth in one word, it would be innovation, said Lampasona. Through selling products in many different categories, the company’s yearly goal will always be to build up on previous innovations and develop new products. According to Lampasona, newer and younger contractors want more wireless products that can be accessed through a smartphone.
UNDER THE RADAR: Small service tools, such as tube cutters and mini wrenches, often go overlooked but were higlighted at the booth. (Staff photo)
While Yellow Jacket might receive attention for its more high-tech equipment, Lampasona said it’s important to remind customers of the little things the company offers, like tube cutters and mini wrenches. Another product that is often overlooked by consumers is the Accuprobe IR Leak Detector, which was announced in 2020.
“People don't look to us for leak detectors. There's only three companies in America that have this technology, and we're one of the three,” said Lampasona.
New innovations bring in new clients, but maintaining the legacy of the company is key. This legacy is tied to older clients, who trust the brand for the products they know and have used for decades. Although Yellow Jacket is committed to transitioning into the digital era, the company still intends on making its products accessible for everyone.