Where in Tyler can there be snow in June, or 130 degree temperatures in the middle of winter? Only at Trane, one of the nation's largest manufacturers of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVACs), located near the heart of South Tyler.

On Wednesday, June 28, Trane celebrated its first Brand Day, revealing a new media campaign and offering a behind-the-scenes look at the manufacturing operation they normally keep a closely guarded secret.

"I always like to say that we love all of our children equally, but today, we're going to love our firstborn just a little bit more," said Gary Michel, senior vice president at Ingersoll Rand, Trane's parent company.

Trane employs over 1700 workers in two shifts at its 152 acre Tyler location, in addition to factories across North America. This plant alone produces over one million units each year. The facility first opened under General Electric ownership in March of 1952, where a young Ronald Reagan spoke to the first factory crew years before beginning his political career.

Trane purchased the plant from General Electric plant in 1982 and it became a division of American Standard in 1984. In February 2007, American Standard changed its name to Trane, to reflect its biggest division. In December of that year, it was acquired by Ingersoll Rand.

Trane HVACs are widely known for their durability in the most extreme conditions.

"Our motto is ‘It's hard to stop a Trane,'" said factory employee Alfonzo Hawkins, "But we try to stop a Trane every day."

HVACs must be able to heat or cool a home in all manner of climates, so Trane uses System Extreme Environment Tests. In two weeks, they simulate conditions comparable to the colder winters and hotter summers than could ever be reasonable expected, with temperatures as low as 20 degrees below zero, with frost covering the unit and snow drifting across the floors, and as high as 140 degrees. Tech development engineer Steve Hancock says "Twenty-one of the tests we put on our units, we don't have to by regulation."

At Trane, the focus is on making HVAC units that lead the pack in terms of efficiency, durability, ease of repair and minimal bother, he said.

 

 
 

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