FORT SMITH, Ark. - Rheem Manufacturing Co., Air Conditioning Division recently announced a historic product development achievement - the company's "Innovation Team" developed and introduced 24 new products in an 18-month period. The company recently celebrated this record-setting milestone with independent distributors gathering at company headquarters.

More than 200 key independent Rheem and Ruud distributors were on hand to hear Air Conditioning Division president J.R. Jones thank them and hundreds of contractors for their genuine partnership spirit and collaborative involvement in the development process. Jones said that many of the products now available fill previous product line gaps or extend product family scope well beyond many competitive lines.

He remarked that all of this was accomplished as a team to further ensure contractors that the Rheem and Ruud product portfolios meet virtually any selling need they may have. Each product was developed with contractor input, keeping in mind ease of installation, ease of service, and best-in-class features that make a real-world selling difference to contractors.

Among the products introduced were: a 90-plus two-stage upflow gas furnace; the award-winning Super Quiet 80 gas furnace; 16- and 18-SEER condensing units; a zero-clearance dedicated horizontal package unit; an entire new value line series of residential cooling products; and a variety of heat pumps, advanced thermostats, and Energy Star-compliant commercial package units.

"This is a remarkable achievement and a testament to our culture of listening and responding to the needs of our customers with simple, common sense business solutions and flexibility that deliver real-world value differences that contractors can easily and proudly sell," said Jones.

Jones, a graduate engineer who has spent his entire career in the HVAC industry, is the architect of the largest single product development era in the company's history that began soon after he assumed leadership of the division.

"Our winning partnerships are being forged with our customers because we have kept our promises. What's more, we have the right leadership team, a realistic planning process, and knowledgeable people who sincerely care about their company, our customers, and our industry. And, most importantly, we have a burning passion to succeed."

Publication date: 08/08/2005