Vilter’s $2m technology and innovation centre at its Cudahy, Wisconsin facility

USA: Emerson has marked the 150th anniversary of its industrial refrigeration business Vilter.

Founded in Milwaukee in 1867 for general jobbing and the manufacture of slide-valve steam engines, Vilter was responsible for one of Milwaukee’s first air conditioning installations and one of its first unit cooler installs.

In 1917, Vilter provided a 500 ton ice plant to store 5,000 tons of beef for the troops in Europe. During World War II, the company built pack ice machines for use in steam ships moving food stuffs to troops in both Europe and the Pacific.

It provided air conditioning equipment to the sports palace used in the 1960 Rome Olympic Games and was the official sponsor of US Bobsled and Skeleton teams for the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver, BC.

Vilter’s VMC 440 reciprocating compressor, developed in 1945, is still considered the refrigeration industry standard. In 1990, the company introduced the VSS 601 single-screw compressor followed by seven additional models in various sizes.

Vilter has continued to contribute to some of the industry’s most significant advancements following its acquisition by Emerson in 2009. These include building a 7,000-pound ammonia test lab in 2012; developing the largest single-screw compressor – the 401 mm line – in 2013; and the development of a high-suction pressure solution that can handle suction pressures up to 750psi.

“Vilter has kept equipment, maintenance and energy costs at the foundation of development and innovation throughout our history,” said Tom Hoopes, business development director, Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions platform.

“With increasing regulations prompting a shift toward sustainable alternative refrigerants such as CO2, our business is focused on maintaining that lower total cost of ownership while addressing the needs of our customers to lower the charge of ammonia systems and in some cases, even remove ammonia out of occupied spaces.”