When you have a 100-year legacy of partnership, it’s easy to predict how Trane will work with you in the future. Just as we work with you now to deliver innovative products, systems and services that meet your needs, our partnership will continue going forward to develop innovative solutions that address your growing concerns about the environment, energy efficiency and sustainability. Research in renewable energy technologies, advancements in energy management services, and best practices in energy conservation today will define the future of energy use for generations to come. At Trane, we see more than a building. We see opportunities to build life, and lead the industry for the next 100 years.
James A. Trane immigrates to La Crosse, Wisconsin from Norway with his parents.
James Trane opens his own plumbing business in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He quickly earns a reputation as one of the area’s best plumbers.
James, his daughter, Stella, and his son, Reuben, incorporate The Trane Company and produce a new type of low-pressure steam heating system that James engineered. In addition to this innovative system, the company manufactures valves and traps for radiators.
Reuben Trane develops a new approach to selling his company’s products and opens what is now called the Trane Graduate Engineer Training Program. This program, initially intended for Trane engineers and sales personnel, was the first of its kind and is still regarded as the industry’s finest. In the program, engineering graduates from prominent colleges and universities are recruited to receive an intensive post-graduate training regimen encompassing sales, engineering, HVAC systems design and application. After successfully completing the program, graduates advance to sales or management assignments within the company.
Reuben Trane invents a new type of heat transfer device known as the "convector radiator." This highly efficient, lightweight replacement for the bulky, slow responding cast iron radiator revolutionizes the heat exchanger industry and sets a new standard for the industry.
Trane patents the fin and tube heat transfer surface concept used within the convector radiator, and it becomes the most widely used heat exchanger in the HVAC industry.
While Trane began manufacturing with a partner in Canada in 1924, a dominion charter is granted to The Trane Company of Canada, Ltd. in 1928. This would be the first of many manufacturing sites outside the U.S.
Trane engineers, Reuben Trane and Reuben Anderegg find that the fin and tube coil works just as effectively in extracting heat from the air as it does in transferring heat to the air. The coil which made the convector and unit heater possible becomes the core of Trane air conditioners. The Trane cooling coil was first installed in an Indianapolis theater.
Shortly after the development of the cooling coil, Trane introduces the Trane Unit Cooler™. Air blows past coils, similar to those used in the convector, and circulates cool well water. The unit is designed for offices, restaurants, stores and factories.
During the Great Depression years, construction comes to a virtual standstill and the national economic paralysis makes selling heating products harder. As a result, a great deal of time is spent in a small company laboratory and the results have a far-reaching effect on the future activities of the organization. New products are developed during this period of adversity including the projection unit heater, the self-contained gas unit and the custom-air system for large buildings. These same basic designs, with modernization, are widely used today in many buildings.
Trane introduces the Oil Burning Climate Changer. This invention launches Trane into the residential cooling business and is the first time Climate Changer is associated with a Trane product.
Trane develops and later patents the Turbo-Vacuum Compressor™ (later known as the TurboVac™), a new type of water chiller with a centrifugal compressor that is the predecessor to today’s CenTraVac™ chiller. The invention provides a complete water-chilling unit that delivers cooling capacity for large air conditioning jobs by combining a centrifugal compressor, condenser and evaporator. In 2013, Trane celebrates 75 years of producing the most efficient, lowest emission, quietest centrifugal chillers.
In 1939, sales of the TurboVac™ are limited to five units. Reuben is pleased with the results, and tells shareholders that the "results were so gratifying that tooling preparations are underway for a broader program."
Trane achieves a major breakthrough during World War II by developing a new method of brazing aluminum, which ultimately enables planes to maintain high performance at higher altitudes. This process consists of alternating layers of thin aluminum and corrugated aluminum, compacting heat into one cubic foot of space. This invention introduces an entirely new design of heat exchange and paves the way for the aircraft intercooler.
Trane helps the war effort by addressing the comfort needs in wartime facilities and providing temperature-controlled solutions used in parachute drying, engine testing and shell-loading operations. In each of these instances, exact temperature and humidity are essential to keeping people and equipment safe. In addition, the Trane dry blast system assists with the production rate of blast furnace steel by quenching oil-cooling systems, which increases the production rate of shell manufacturing.
Trane expands manufacturing operations with the development of a facility in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The post-war boom leads to rapid expansion for Trane. In 1950, the company begins manufacturing reciprocating compressors and develops the Trane CenTraVac™ as a replacement for the TurboVac™. With these additions to the product catalog, Trane has the most complete line of large central station or “applied” heating and air conditioning products for commercial, institutional and industrial applications on the market.
Trane announces its newly developed reciprocating compressor and the CenTraVac™ chiller at the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers ASHVE 10th exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Trane Research and Development (R & D) Laboratory opens in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The new lab, known as the Trane "House of Weather Magic," quickly becomes a symbol of the company consistently meeting the demands of the industry. Trane continues to grow its line of products and make new discoveries in the ever-changing science of heat transfer. Because of the advancements stemmed from the Trane Research and Development Laboratory, the company triples its research and testing facilities.
In September, Trane announces that the 3 millionth "convector" is sold.
With the opening of the research and development facility in 1954, a facility for engineers wasn’t far behind. In 1957, construction on a 65,000 square foot building is completed in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The L-shaped Trane Engineering Building is labeled a giant “idea factory.”
Trane expands operations and opens a plant in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Trane expands globally and acquires CEMAT, a corporation in Epinal, France. Trane renames the company to Societé Trane and establishes the company’s first European headquarters.
One of the first products to come out of the R & D facility is a completely hermetic single-shell absorption-type water chiller, the first of its kind in the industry. With the addition of the absorption chiller, Trane refrigeration products include all three basic types – reciprocating, centrifugal and absorption.
Looking to the future, Trane begins a new venture into unitary or self-contained units for commercial users such as shops. Success in this field broadens the equipment line into the residential central system air conditioning market. Furnaces and a wide variety of small commercial equipment are also added.
Trane expands operations and adds a branch plant for air handlers in Lexington, Kentucky. Manufacturing facilities begin production for Trane in Donbristle, Scotland, and Trane Western Hemisphere is formed to handle exports to Central and South American countries.
Trane builds a new plant in Epinal, France, advancing Societé Trane as a main supplier for European, Middle Eastern and African countries.
The company recognizes a new trend for the refinement of air conditioning products and builds a new acoustics facility for its laboratory activity in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Trane acquires the Arctic Traveler Company, of Montgomery, Alabama, which manufactures a broad line of refrigeration units for trucks and trailers.
The Consumer Products Division sets out to duplicate the successful sales from engineering graduates, this time with business graduates. Trane Comfort Corps recruits salespeople at leading business schools to become company dealers and provides them training along with guaranteed loans. While the Corps’ intent is to focus on residential products, the lure of unitary, light-commercial products transitions many of the salespeople into contracting, making them some of the company’s best customers even today.
Trane opens a location in Rushville, Indiana, and hires seven employees to fabricate and assemble prototype units for a new product line – VariTrane™ is a Variable Air Volume (VAV) terminal for heating and cooling both small and large commercial buildings. VAV units are placed above the ceiling of rooms and respond to input from thermostats to control the volume of hot or cold air and ventilation to control comfort.
The first VariTrane shipment leaves the Rushville plant on December 15 and arrives at the Liberty Coach Office Building in Goshen, IN.
The Energy Crisis of the 1970’s coincides with the release of the first energy analysis software program, TRACE® (Trane Air Conditioning Economics). Trane realizes that harnessing the power of computers optimizes system selection and decreases the energy used by the entire system.
Trane expands to Latin America by acquiring COLDEX Industry and Commerce, the largest manufacturer of air conditioning and commercial refrigeration products in Brazil. This acquisition forms COLDEX Trane in São Paulo, Brazil.
Trane opens a second Societé Trane factory location in Charmes, France, expanding the company’s reach further into Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
To speed entry into the controls business, Trane acquires Sentinel Electronics Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota and forms Trane Sentinel. Trane continues to engineer industry-leading controls to help building owners efficiently manage and achieve the desired temperature, humidity and ventilation for their building’s purpose. In 2013, Trane celebrates 35 years of building controls excellence.
Trane acquires Service First, Inc., of Charlotte, North Carolina. This re-manufacturer of reciprocating compressors is acquired to supplement Trane’s ability to serve the air conditioning after-market.
Trane redesigns the VariTrane product line by introducing a major innovation in VAV airflow modulation, the VariTrane Air Valve™.
Trane establishes the Trane Chemical Laboratory to test compressor oils, absorption solutions and refrigerants to help customers maintain acceptable parameters for HVAC equipment. Test results help identify and solve problems before they arise.
Trane purchases GE’s Central Air Conditioning Department. In the transaction, Trane acquires GE’s manufacturing plants in Tyler, Texas; Trenton, New Jersey; and Fort Smith, Arkansas; its national central air conditioning distribution system; and the right to use the GE name for 3 years for products and services. The Climatuff® compressor is also included in the transaction and becomes the heart of Trane air conditioning and heat pump systems. Climatuff is well known for superior durability, low noise levels and high efficiency. This purchase substantially increases the size of Trane and is an aggressive move into the growing residential air conditioning market.
The Consumer Products Division is integrated into the former Central Air Conditioning Department of General Electric, now called Trane Dealer Products, Inc., headquartered in Tyler, Texas.
Trane ships the CVHE CenTraVac™ – its newest centrifugal chiller (direct drive, semi-hermetic, low speed). The CVHE represents a major redesign to increase energy efficiency.
Trane announces the merger of Trane and Tyler Refrigeration of Miles, Michigan. Tyler has five factories and employs 1200. Tyler’s major product line is in the commercial and supermarket refrigeration business.
Trane establishes a factory in Penang, Malaysia as a minority joint venture and eventually purchases the majority share in 1987. The factory manufactures air handling units and commercial unitary products, expanding the company’s reach in Asia Pacific.
Faced with numerous hostile takeover attempts, Trane leadership seeks out another company with a complementary culture and product line. American Standard, Inc., in New York, is a successful multinational corporation that provides a good fit.
Trane operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of American Standard. Trane brings a large domestic presence to balance the risk American Standard faces from international currency exchange rates.
Trane expands its distribution model from franchise holders only, to a mix of independent franchise holders and company owned offices with the opening of a company owned sales office in Phoenix.
American Standard divests to create three core businesses: air conditioning products, building products and transportation products. This decision, combined with other cost-saving initiatives and proceeds from the sales of non-core businesses, allows American Standard to reduce its debt and repurchase common stock.
Trane launches a concept of building management and factory mounted smart controls called Integrated Comfort Systems™.
Trane opens a commercial chiller plant in Pueblo, Colorado. The location specializes in manufacturing large industrial and commercial air- and water-cooled chiller units for schools and large industrial office buildings.
Trane adds the Series R CenTraVac™ to its arsenal and manufactures the new product in the newly opened Pueblo plant.
Trane participates in the inaugural meeting of the Standard Project Committee to start the development of the BACnet (communications protocol for building automation and control networks) standard. The BACnet protocol provides mechanisms for computerized building automation devices to exchange information, regardless of the particular building service they perform.
Trane assumes ownership of an American Standard Companies facility in Macon, Georgia for production of Commercial Self-Contained units. The first products manufactured at this location ship in November of 1988.
Trane introduces Voyager™ rooftop units. Voyager is designed for light commercial customers and has better accessibility and serviceability than previous solutions. The Voyager product line includes features that give the customer increased flexibility in applications.
Trane officially opens a business branch in Mexico City, Mexico. The launch of Trane in Mexico proves to be a success, as over the first two years of operations, Trane is noted as the most important air conditioning brand in the local market. Over time, more offices are established around the country and the success of Trane in Mexico continues to grow.
Trane opens a factory in Thailand, as a joint venture with Jardines. The factory produces a wide range of airside, commercial and residential unitary products.
Trane markets a BACnet-compatible product four years before completion of the final version of the standard. This gamble helps generate market interest and convinces other manufacturers that any further delays in developing a standard might give a major advantage to Trane.
Trane acquires Texas-based Command-Aire, a leader in residential ground-source heat pumps and enters the ground-source market.
Trane wins an EPA Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award for the groundbreaking energy efficiency of the CenTraVac™ large tonnage air conditioning chiller and its superior performance in minimizing refrigerant emissions.
Trane launches Trane Rental Services to provide temporary HVAC, power and compressed air solutions for emergency, seasonal, planned maintenance and special event applications.
Trane launches IntelliPak™ Rooftops to meet demanding requirements of commercial applications. IntelliPak features an innovative modular microprocessor design that revolutionizes the industry.
Trane implements its first Performance Agreement for Comfort from Trane (PACT). This performance contracting agreement works with customers to save money and energy by turning wasted energy into funds available for use in the present.
American Standard emerges as a public company by issuing an initial public offering for 14.5 million shares. The IPO is one of the largest sales completed by a company that was taken over in the 1980s.
Trane opens a factory in Taicang, China as a joint venture with Jiang Nan Air Conditioning to provide a wide range of chiller, airside and applied products to the region. Trane also completes a joint venture with Shuang Liang Co.
Trane acquires Aire Systems, a Fort Smith, Arkansas, producer of custom air handlers.
Trane introduces Adaptive Frequency™ Drives. These drives can detect surge conditions and actively avoid them to provide solid chiller protection and energy savings. Most importantly for Trane customers, these variable frequency drives are designed for easy retrofit to allow existing chillers to have variable-speed compressor operation.
Trane begins to offer a temporary cooling service called ChillerSource™, which allows businesses to maintain operations if their regular air conditioning fails or if they need additional cooling for industrial processes.
ASHRAE inducts Reuben Trane into the Hall of Fame to recognize his many achievements in HVAC technology.
Trane purchases Rockingham, North Carolina’s Industrial Sheet Metal and Mechanical Corp. (ISM), which makes customized industrial HVAC systems.
Trane breaks ground of a new facility in Curitiba, Brazil. The facility handles production for Air Handling Units, Air Cooled Chillers, Water Cooled Chillers and Unitary products.
Trane launches Precedent™ rooftop units. The line offers a flexible line of packaged units that cover a wide variety of applications. Precedent™ comes equipped with the option of electromechanical controls or microprocessor controls. In addition, the line offers customers the ultimate flexibility as the units are built to order and delivered in the shortest in the industry ship cycle time.
A Research and Development Center opens in Shanghai, China. In addition to developing products for customers in China, the center qualifies Chinese manufacturers as suppliers of materials and component parts for use within the production process at American Standard manufacturing facilities around the world.
Trane opens a manufacturing facility in Zhongshan, China, producing a broad range of products including airside and commercial unitary systems. The facility serves the needs of Trane customers in southern regions of China as well as supports the external needs of Asia.
Trane introduces the Series R™ R’newal Service Program to restore water cooled chillers to the manufacture’s original specifications for reliability and performance.
Trane joins the Clinton Climate initiative, a team of business and government partners assembled by former U.S. President Bill Clinton to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 40 of the world’s largest cities. Trane provides innovative “self-funded” energy upgrades that deliver significant energy and operating cost reductions.
American Standard Companies announces it will break up its three divisions. The company sells off its namesake kitchen and bath division and spins off WABCO, American Standard's vehicle controls division, while retaining The Trane Company. American Standard renames itself Trane Inc.
Trane introduces the Tracer™ R’newal Controls Upgrade Program to help maximize building performance, improve occupant comfort, and increase operational productivity. Tracer R’newal brings Tracer legacy units up to date in building automation management, technology and performance.
Trane opens the Trane Intelligent Services™ center in Columbus, Ohio. The services center is the hub for Trane Technical Specialists to monitor and analyze building system data. Technical Specialists also recommend performance improvements to help customers make data-driven decisions and improve maintenance procedures to control costs and avoid downtime.
Ingersoll Rand acquires Trane, which furthers their transformation into a multi-brand commercial manufacturer serving customers in diverse global markets, away from the capital-intense, heavy-machinery profile of the past. With Trane now part of the family, as a result of the acquisition, Ingersoll Rand is better able to provide products, services and solutions to enhance the quality and comfort in homes and buildings and enable companies and their customers to create progress.
Trane opens a new plant in Taicang, China, as the production capacity of the former plant was no longer able to meet the rapid increase in market demand. This plant marks the first time Trane products appear in China as a brand of Ingersoll Rand.
Trane launches the helical rotary chiller Model Series RTM RTWD. The screw chiller provides chilled water for comfort cooling or process applications and minimizes the expense of operating a chilled water system.
Trane introduces Tracer AdaptiView chiller control. With AdaptiView, building operating staff is able to control the chiller plant and address demands for occupant comfort, energy efficiency, environmental responsibility and regulatory compliance.
Trane ships the new energy efficient air-cooled scroll chiller. CGAM is one of the industry’s most efficient designs and considers acoustics, making it particularly well suited for educational facilities.
Trane introduces Tracer™ SC, an intelligent field panel that communicates with controllers that provide standalone control of HVAC equipment. The Tracer SC scans all unit controllers to update information and coordinate building controls so building operators can manage multiple components as one system.
Trane launches the Performance Climate Changer™, which incorporates high-efficiency air handlers and water chillers with low-flow rates and low temperatures on both the waterside and airside. The benefits include reduced emissions, lower operating cost, improved performance and better comfort with lower space humidity.
Trane introduces its High Performance Buildings offer at a showcase event in New York City. The Trane High Performance Buildings offer supports mission-critical objectives and seeks to deliver an outcome that impacts the entire building.
Trane introduces Tracer™ XT for data centers. Through the Tracer XT dashboard, data center managers have a more comprehensive view of facility operations. Tracer XT integrates data from HVAC, power, lighting and security sources so facility managers can optimize building performance and enhance business results.
Trane introduces the Adaptive Frequency Drive R’Newal™ service program, which allows users to renew their liquid cooled AFDs main wear components to restore their reliability and longevity to the equivalent of a new drive.
Trane launches Trane Intelligent Services™ and enters a new era of building system management that allows customers to make data-driven decisions and improve maintenance procedures to control cost and avoid downtime.
Trane introduces the CLCF Climate Changer™ air handling unit. The CLCF Climate Changer is specifically designed to provide maximum occupant comfort and low operational costs for commercial buildings in Asian and European markets.
Trane launches the industry’s first horizontal variable-speed water-source heat pump for commercial applications. The new units provide maximum design flexibility and cost savings through efficient operation.
Trane celebrates 100 years of customer-focused innovation in products, systems and services. Our legacy will carry on into the future to lead the industry for the next 100 years. We continue working with customers to develop innovative solutions to address growing concerns about the environment, energy efficiency and sustainability. Our research in renewable energy technologies, advancements in energy management services and best practices in energy conservation today defines the future of energy use for generations to come.
2013 also marks important milestones for CenTraVac™ and Trane Controls. Trane celebrates the 75th anniversary of the release of the CenTraVac chiller recognized as the world’s most efficient and reliable chiller. Trane's TRACE® software celebrates 40 years of comparing the energy and economic impact of various energy conservation measures. Trane Controls celebrates 35 years of innovation and engineering excellence that helps building owners effectively and efficiently manage building temperature, humidity and pressure to achieve desired results.