Thermo King Corp. held a special dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday for its newly renovated research and development facility at its Minneapolis headquarters. The Frederick McKinley Jones Research and Development Center is named
after an instrumental figure in the founding of Thermo King.
A self-taught, African-American engineer who was born in 1893, Jones overcame prejudices and diversity his entire life to design and build electronic innovations that forever impacted the world. His commitment to making ideas reality helped create the transport refrigeration industry. Jones developed the first transport refrigeration unit in 1938, the same year Thermo King was founded. Thermo King's $7.1 million dollar investment in the company's quality and reliability testing capabilities, which includes facility updates and new equipment, is a tribute to Jones' dedication to creating innovative, reliable products.
"Fred Jones exemplified the values of Thermo King. He was a man with integrity, courage and was respectful of others. He was a team player who focused on being innovative," said Ted Fick, president, Transport Solutions Americas.
By having state-of-the-art processes and tools for product quality, reliability, life verification and validation, the Frederick McKinley Jones Research and Development Center can provide customers with tangible value through testing and engineering services.
"Like Frederick McKinley Jones, Ingersoll Rand Climate Control Technologies focuses on innovation via processes that support a reliability-centered culture that delivers solutions to our customers," said Dr. Julio Pulido, director of global reliability and test engineering. More than $5 million was put into new testing equipment and capabilities over the past two years, including an electro dynamic shaker, calorimeter and environmentally controlled chambers for compressor life testing, a unit endurance testing cells and environmental chambers.
• Electro Dynamic Shaker
The new multi-axial shaker table increases the ability to perform vibration testing for larger systems. It is capable of shaking independently in three directions and providing constant, oscillating and random shock loading from 10 to 2,000 Hz frequency. The new shaker adds to Thermo King's capabilities in areas such as Structural Dynamic Analysis.
• Compressor Life Testing
The investment in calorimeters and environmentally controlled chambers gives Thermo King the ability to understand the environmental effects in the compressor while under different operational modes, and improves testing capabilities at several compressor capacity levels. "Compressors are the heart of our operational systems," said Dr. Pulido. "Accurate and controlled compressor performance testing is of paramount importance."
• Unit Endurance Testing
The unit endurance environmental test cells offer the ability to test systems or components different environmental conditions in order to simulate actual field conditions. The cells offer the ability to test larger samples in order to achieve statistical significance of the results, and are capable of ambient temperatures ranging from -20 degrees F to 130 degrees F. Fully automated data acquisition systems can be operated 24/7 for accurate data measurement and recording.
• Environmental Chambers
To support Accelerated Life Tests, specially designed environmental chambers test components such as valves, electronic boards, sensors, motors and other mechanical components. These chambers have the ability to perform thermal and humidity stresses at steady state, ramped cycling or thermal shock conditions. Temperature ranges are from -94 degrees F to 356 degrees F with relative humidity ranges from 10 to 98 percent.
"Our products operate in some of the harshest and most unpredictable environments on the planet," explained Dr. Pulido. "A wide range of testing, including ultraviolet stability, corrosion resistance, temperature, humidity and vibration, plus a host of electrical and operational hazards, must be comprehensive to ensure the quality and reliability our customers have come to expect from Thermo King."
Thermo King, a business unit of Ingersoll-Rand Co. Ltd., was founded in 1938 and manufactures transport temperature control systems for a variety of mobile applications, including trailers, truck bodies, buses, shipboard containers and railway cars. For more information, visit