SIDNEY — While meeting the challenges of serving essential industries in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Emerson has continued to move forward with a $100 million renovation project at its Sidney facility that is focused on advancing the company’s global leadership position in air conditioning and refrigeration technologies.
Brent Schroeder, group president, Heating and Air Conditioning, Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions, has submitted the following report:
In 2020, Emerson wrapped up the second major phase of its renovation and expansion project that launched in 2017. This included completion of 110,000 square feet of engineering labs that will focus on product research, development and testing of the next generation of compressors, electronics, controls and other critical technologies for the global heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry.
Much of the renovation planning has been inspired by employee committees, and the construction is being supported by local contractors and businesses. The new space expands Emerson’s capability to create efficient and long-lasting products, featuring 76 test rooms to evaluate compressor performance and overall efficiency, and extensive facilities for creating extreme conditions that rapidly simulate years of operation to ensure endurance. With the construction of these labs complete, the space was fully operational at the end of last year.
Emerson is recognized globally as a leader in the design and application of more environmentally responsible technologies. Much of the work in the new labs will focus on testing designs and products that are capable of reaching the higher efficiencies required by government regulations, ensuring that these products perform effectively and safely with more sustainable, alternative refrigerants. More environmentally responsible options are increasingly being requested by home or business owners and operators addressing global decarbonization trends and goals.
The work Emerson does in Sidney will help bring environmentally responsible refrigerants into new HVACR systems, including residential air conditioners and the air conditioners and refrigeration systems found in stores, restaurants and other commercial buildings.
In 2021, Emerson plans to undergo renovations of additional office space and workspace areas for its engineering and other key business teams, as well as resurfacing its east parking lot facing Fourth Avenue.
Supporting the next generation
The renovated facility is also intended to create an environment to attract tomorrow’s engineers, scientists and other industry leaders. Support of local education and training in the HVACR industry is a priority for Emerson. Company representatives serve on the advisory board of the HVACR program at Upper Valley Career Center, and Emerson also provides equipment for student training.
Additionally, the Sidney facility hosts Emerson’s largest co-op program, creating career growth opportunities for students pursuing their bachelor’s degrees. Every year, more than 200 co-op participants gain real-world experience in engineering, technology and business; collaborate with peers across the globe; and attend career and professional growth events throughout their tenure.
Community giving and diversity and inclusion
Emerson’s Sidney operations have more than 25 employees serving as nonprofit board members in local communities, and its people have a passion for giving back to the community.
When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States in the spring of 2020, Emerson employees mobilized to donate crucial personal protection equipment (PPE) supplies for local hospitals and medical centers who were desperately in need. Here in Sidney, Emerson employees secured masks and other equipment for Upper Valley Medical Center, Wilson Health and other locations throughout Shelby County and its surrounding areas. Emerson also shifted funds to organizations in greater need due to the pandemic, including the Agape Distribution food pantry in Sidney, the First Place Food Pantry in Troy, and several local soup kitchens.
The company has also been a supporter of improvement projects to benefit the Sidney community. Most recently, in 2020, Emerson donated funds to the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA to ensure the safety of its playground for its preschoolers and neighborhood children. Emerson’s contributions provided a new walkway to ensure the children have safe access to the playground. Emerson also gave out more than 20 classroom grants for local teachers, providing critical classroom supplies.
In addition to its support of the local community, Emerson is committed to growing and supporting its employee community and creating a positive work environment. Emerson’s vision for diversity is to foster a culture where every employee is valued and respected for their experiences and perspective, knowing that a diverse and inclusive work environment contributes to the rich exchange of ideas that inspires innovation and brings the best solutions to its customers. Emerson’s employee resource groups such as Women in STEM, Veterans Resource Group and LGBTQ + Allies all have strong local chapters at the company’s Sidney operations.
Over the summer, the Women in STEM group produced an at-home “We Love STEM” event for elementary and intermediate-level children of employees to develop an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). While this annual event typically takes place on the Emerson campus, 2020 brought a unique set of safety concerns with social distancing and social gathering guidelines. Understanding the challenges families are facing combining STEM education with remote learning, the Women in STEM group pivoted to an at-home event, distributing backpack kits filled with STEM activity materials, instructions and fun surprises to 635 students.
Serving essential industries
During the global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, Emerson teams worked hard to provide essential technology and support to industries in this crucial time, accelerating rush orders of its world-renowned Copeland™ brand compressors for air conditioning and refrigeration, and condensing units to support a key manufacturer of temperature-sensitive kits for COVID-19. Emerson’s advanced compressors and control technologies provided comfort and air filtration in life-sustaining businesses such as hospitals, surgical suites, laboratories and senior care centers throughout the country. These same technologies were used in “pop-up” emergency medical facilities and testing sites to help maintain precise temperature, humidity and filtration requirements for environmental control and storing of critical medications. And Emerson’s heating and air conditioning systems, components and services that are essential to personal comfort were even more critical in a time when more people than ever were sheltering at home.
Leading into the future
Emerson is proud to create innovations in Shelby County that drive improvements in the air conditioning and refrigeration industries, and bring environmentally sustainable technologies to the homes and businesses across the country and around the world.
To learn more about Emerson’s products and services, vision and values, visit Emerson.com.