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Double the success of Bitzer in the United States

Date: 21 December 2017

Around 300 members of staff manufacture reciprocating and scroll compressors at Flowery Branch and Syracuse operations in the United States – both factories moved to larger production facilities in 2013.

There are now three factories on the 42 acre (30 acres in Flowery Branch and 12 acres in Syracuse) – BITZER built the most recent one four years ago because its production was at its limits in 2012: ‘Within seven years, our annual production volume increased tenfold and we were in urgent need of more space,’ reports Peter Narreau, President of BITZER North America. BITZER opened the new factory in June 2013 and efficient reciprocating compressors are now manufactured using the latest systems technology on an area 9,000 m² in size. ‘We have set up multiple production lines and a highly complex painting facility in the new production hall. That greatly increased our throughput rate,’ says Narreau. The original factory is now used to manufacture pressure vessels, shell and tube heat exchangers and oil separators and separators, and even as a training centre for engineers who can attend courses on refrigeration and air-conditioning technology and participate in CO2 training courses.

The largest buyer of reciprocating compressors in the United States is the food sector: ‘Your average American supermarket features large areas with 12 to 15 display cases,’ explains the president of BITZER North America. ‘We are industry leaders with regard to the CO2compressors used here.’ BITZER also has considerable market shares in the air-conditioning system and process cooling sectors. BITZER scrolls are manufactured in Syracuse, NY and have achieved significant market share growth through large North American multinational companies such as JCI and Carrier. ‘Although Flowery Branch does not manufacture screw compressors itself, we have become the main supplier of screw compressors to the US market. We also provide a conversion scheme where we replace the products of other manufacturers with new BITZER screw, scroll and piston compressors.’ The factory expanded its production in 2014: ‘The ammonia market in the United States is growing rapidly, which is why we also produce ammonia compressor packs designed for industrial refrigeration systems.’ In 2017, Flowery Branch added an additional 5,000 m²  of factory space.

 The number of employees at BITZER Scroll, Inc. in Syracuse, New York, has also increased rapidly in recent years: what started as an association of a handful of engineers is now the competence centre for scroll compressor technology within the BITZER Group which employs around 100 members of staff in production, administration and development. ‘Our late owner, Senator h. c. Schaufler, made it clear back in 2006 that BITZER had to invest in scroll technology if it wanted to be able to react to the transition from R22 to R410A in the refrigerant market. Finally, the company found engineers with the necessary expertise in Syracuse,’ reports Kai Schuppler, General Manager at BITZER Scroll. The small design and development office became an official BITZER site in 2007 and has been pushing the boundaries of scroll technology ever since. For example, the engineers who helped to build BITZER Scroll also developed the ORBIT series of compressor.

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