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Posts tagged ‘Rajan Rajendran’

[Webinar Recap] Global Panel Explores the Essential Role of HVACR Careers

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | V.P., System Innovation Center and Sustainability

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Throughout the world, HVACR technicians play essential roles in society — providing comfort cooling and maintaining the integrity of the cold chain responsible for preserving food and life-saving medicines. While this career path offers lifelong learning opportunities and salaries often exceeding those of many college graduates, our industry is experiencing a global shortage of qualified technicians. In a recent E360 Webinar, we assembled an international panel of expert technicians, practitioners and apprentices to reflect on their personal career journeys, explore the importance of technician professions, and discuss strategies for attracting the next generation of candidates.

In the U.S., we refer to this career path as HVACR technicians. In other parts of the world, they are known as different titles, such as: engineers in the UK; workers in Asia-Pacific; and experts in the Middle East. As I moderated this engaging discussion, each of the panelists provided interesting anecdotes that spoke to different aspects of the global importance of this role and the expanding opportunities that exist. Here is a brief sample of those perspectives.

Don Gillis, technical training specialist at Emerson
As a 30-year journeyman technician and current educator, Don spoke about a typical technician career trajectory for those starting out in the industry that mirrored his own life experiences. A technician often begins their career as an installer, carrying tools, cutting, cleaning and fitting copper together for new applications. A next logical step would be to shadow a more experienced professional, helping them with preventative maintenance and seeing firsthand how rewarding this career can be. Learning more about servicing, troubleshooting and diagnosis exposed him to a variety of issues that can impact system performance, capacity and efficiency. Don shared that his son has followed in his footsteps and started his own HVACR contracting business.

Joe Healy, director of application engineering, MEA, at Emerson
Currently based in Hong Kong, Joe’s experience serving the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions provided a unique perspective regarding the variety of HVACR approaches within different countries and continents — from the cutting-edge sustainability initiatives of Australia and New Zealand to advanced HVACR technologies in Japan to the manufacturing-focused China to the challenges of underdeveloped infrastructures in India. Joe explained that this broad diversity makes HVACR-related professions both interesting and exciting endeavors in these regions. He also shared how technicians make it possible to not only live, work and thrive in extreme climates and densely populated environments, but also serve as the wheels on which these diverse cultures run.

Alonso Amor, director of engineering services, Mexico, at Emerson
Alonso explained that the ambient temperatures in the Latin American region place high demands on refrigeration and AC loads. Perhaps these conditions have led to what he observed as an eagerness and commitment to learn the technician trade in this region. He explained that HVACR-related seminars are always very well attended, indicating a high level of interest in these skilled trades throughout the region. From his experience, candidates take the initiative to receive training, achieve certifications, and make their contributions felt, despite the hot climate and difficult working conditions.

Carlos Obella, vice president of engineering services and product management, Latin America, at Emerson

Carlos shared how his distinguished career started 35 years ago as an HVAC field technician. As an engineer with a college degree, he quickly gained expertise in installing and servicing parallel rack compressor systems for large supermarkets, which has served as a foundation for understanding the proliferation of today’s refrigeration architectures. He offered an anecdote about how the most competent refrigeration technician he ever met was not a degreed engineer. This individual went on to start his own refrigeration contracting business and became the primary refrigeration consultant for one of the biggest supermarket chains in Argentina.

Trevor Matthews, HVACR training and development specialist at Emerson
As a first-generation refrigeration technician, Trevor explained how this rewarding career checked other boxes on his job criteria checklist. First, he knew he wanted a career that would be universally in demand and allow him to travel the world. Second, like many job seekers, he was interested in earning potential. Not only did his job as a refrigeration technician allow him to travel, but he was making a six-figure salary after five years. He said his passion for refrigeration is fueled by the opportunity for continuous learning. Even though it can be a demanding career, Trevor loves the fact that it proportionately rewards the level of commitment you put into it.

Becky Hoelscher, director, aftermarket sales at Emerson

Becky discussed the growing urgency for our industry to replace a retiring generation of baby boomer technicians with the next generation of technicians. She explained that there will be an estimated 15% deficit of qualified technicians by 2026, and the industry needs to start recruitment efforts in high school and entice students to consider this career. Becky reiterated the importance of apprenticeships and discussed federal, state and local efforts to support these initiatives. She believes that a combination of classwork learning and on-the-job training can ultimately lead to certification — where students can even start getting paid while working toward a certification.

Nicholas Didier, mechanical technician (HVACR student)

As a high school senior enrolled in an HVACR program, Nicholas shared his experience participating in a pre-apprenticeship opportunity at Emerson’s The Helix Innovation Center. His goals were to understand the basics of refrigeration and get hands-on HVACR field experience. But in the process, he gained insights into the technician profession and uncovered a desire to further explore system design. Nicholas’ passion and accomplishments earned him a $1,000 scholarship from the Today’s Opportunities Offering Lifetime Skills (TOOLS) program and a new Ford Ranger truck. He plans on using the money to purchase tools for the HVACR technician trade and further his education.

All these anecdotes and individual perspectives speak to the opportunities that await those who enter this rewarding career path. To learn more about the importance of HVACR technician careers and how to attract the next generation of candidates, view this webinar.

 

 

Become a “Cooling Champion” for World Refrigeration Day 2021

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | V.P., System Innovation Center and Sustainability

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Emerson is pleased to announce our sponsorship of the third annual World Refrigeration Day (WRD), which is celebrated globally today, June 26. The theme of this year’s WRD event, Cooling Champions: Cool Careers for a Better World, coincides with Emerson’s commitment to raise awareness of the expanding career opportunities throughout the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. For our part, we will commemorate WRD by promoting the importance of education and recruitment of HVACR technicians via an E360 Webinar, as well as on our social channels and website.

As the world’s only international event designed to increase visibility and raise awareness of the significant roles that refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACP) technologies play in modern life and society, WRD has become a special day here at Emerson. This year’s focus on career opportunities aligns with a key initiative that we have been championing for more than a decade: the growing shortage of skilled, qualified and certified HVACR technicians.

According to recent industry statistics, 80,000 HVACR technician jobs are currently unfilled — representing 39% of the total industry workforce of 260,000 professionals. At the same time, the industry is losing an estimated 20,000 technician jobs per year due to the retirement of an aging workforce or basic career attrition rates. If we continue along this pace, our industry could potentially face a deficit of 100,000 technicians within the next five years.

Solving this problem is an industry-wide obligation that will require the participation of all stakeholders — from contracting companies, manufacturers, end users, wholesalers and trade associations to educators, adjacent industries and government agencies. Addressing this challenge and proposing potential solutions will be the collective focus of our WRD-themed E360 Webinar on Wednesday, July 7 at 9 a.m. EDT (6 a.m. PDT) titled, Exploring Cool Careers and Emerging Opportunities in HVACR. This webinar will assemble a global panel of experts to discuss recruitment strategies and highlight the many positive aspects of an HVACR technician career, including:

  • Leveraging advanced technologies and modern tools
  • Equipping technicians with skills that enable a high earning potential
  • Co-op and apprenticeship opportunities to learn the trade while also earning a paycheck
  • Learning skills that support our infrastructure and make the world a better place
  • Inspiring passion in HVACR professions

Today, Emerson’s social media channels will feature a series of videos and related content from many of our global regions. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to see information highlighting:

  • The importance of recruiting the next generation of HVACR technicians
  • Key individuals and success stories in the field
  • The value of this evergreen, in-demand career path

For Emerson, becoming a “cooling champion” for World Refrigeration Day is all part of our commitment to helping the industry address the growing HVACR technician shortage and ensure a more sustainable future for our planet. To learn more about these efforts, please register for our upcoming E360 Webinar and read our latest E360 Article.

For more information on World Refrigeration Day, visit www.worldrefrigerationday.org.

 

[New E360 Webinar] Attract the Next Generation of HVACR Technicians

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | V.P., System Innovation Center and Sustainability

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Every year on June 26, Emerson pauses to recognize World Refrigeration Day (WRD) and celebrate the people and technologies responsible for creating and maintaining temperature-controlled environments. To commemorate this year’s WRD, we will be hosting an E360 Webinar on Wednesday, July 7 at 9 a.m. EDT/6 a.m. PDT that will focus on the importance of attracting and recruiting the next generation of HVACR service technicians. Our E360 Webinar will build off the theme of WRD 2021, Cooling Champions: Cool Careers for a Better World, by exploring the emerging career opportunities available in the HVACR technician profession.

For more than a decade, the commercial refrigeration industry has faced a growing challenge finding qualified service technicians to service and maintain an increasingly complex variety of refrigeration architectures. As the previous generation of technicians retire and fewer candidates enter the field, our industry faces an urgent need for a new generation of skilled technicians. Emerson has long been a champion of bridging this career gap by highlighting the abundance of opportunities for young people seeking a viable long-term career path outside of a four-year college education.

This E360 Webinar is part of our continued commitment to solving this industry-wide dilemma. We will begin by discussing related industry trends and highlight the many positive aspects of an HVACR technician career, including:

  • Leveraging advanced technologies and modern tools
  • Equipping technicians with skills that allow them to immediately earn a competitive wage
  • Providing co-op opportunities that allow technicians to earn a paycheck while learning their trade
  • Earning more money than people with higher levels of education
  • Learning skills that contribute to making the world a better place
  • Inspiring passion in HVACR professions
  • Educating, recruiting and retaining technicians

After exploring current trends and opportunities, the webinar will feature a roundtable discussion with global Emerson stakeholders about strategies for recruiting the next generation of HVACR technicians. Panelists will include:

  • Joe Healy, director, application engineering (technical support) — Asia and MEA
  • Trevor Matthews, HVACR training & development specialist (marketing/business dev) — Canada
  • Alonso Amor, director of engineering services (technical support); Carlos Obella, VP, engineering services and product management (technical support) — Latin America
  • Don Gillis, technical training specialist (education/training); Becky Hoelscher, director, aftermarket sales (outside sales); Jennifer Butsch, director, regulatory affairs (marketing/business dev); Nicholas Didier, mechanical technician (R&D/engineering) — U.S.

As a recent vocational school graduate and participant in Emerson’s pre-apprenticeship program at The Helix Innovation Center, Nicholas Didier will close out the webinar by discussing his unique vocational and career path, including his recent distinction as a “20 under 20” award winner.

To celebrate WRD with Emerson and learn about how we’re helping to recruit the next generation of HVACR technicians, register for this important webinar.

 

 

 

European Retailer Selects A2L as the Basis of Its Refrigerant Transition

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | V.P., System Innovation Center and Sustainability

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

As the transition from hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP) continues in the U.S., commercial refrigeration stakeholders are actively pursuing emerging low-GWP alternatives. Among these include a variety of synthetic and natural options, from A1s with a familiar footprint to mildly flammable A2Ls to the naturals A3 (R-290) and CO2 — all of which can meet very-low GWP thresholds but have varying characteristics which dictate system design architectures. In our most recent E360 Webinar, a leading European retailer provided details about how they chose an A2L refrigerant as the basis for their organization’s refrigerant transition.

Although A2L safety standards have yet to be finalized in the U.S., the case study presented by Brian Churchyard, senior manager of engineering and energy of UK-based ASDA stores, provided a useful framework for how U.S. retailers could follow a similar path to regulatory compliance and sustainable refrigeration. He detailed ASDA’s journey toward lower-GWP refrigeration, which ultimately concluded in the selection of A2L refrigerant R-454A with a GWP of 238.

Creating a new refrigeration design standard

Churchyard explained how ASDA formed a collective working group comprised of numerous agencies, private businesses and industry experts to conduct a detailed assessment of A2Ls. The group developed a design standard for the safe application of their chosen refrigerant, which was based on existing data from the use of R-290 (even though A2L flammability levels were well below those of R-290).

After comparing the performance of A2L refrigerants to other alternatives through numerous trials, the ASDA team concluded that their new design standard achieved their objectives of lowering capital investment, energy consumption, lifecycle costs and carbon emissions. It’s important to note that while R-454A does not have the lowest GWP of the available A2L alternatives, it offered performance improvements that helped to meet these sustainability goals while adhering to the EU’s F-Gas regulatory requirements.

Moving to an A2L also required a reduction in refrigerant charge, which dictated that ASDA would also need to transition from large, centralized rack systems to smaller distributed remote systems. Churchyard said that other benefits of a decentralized approach included limiting the potential for leaks while eliminating risk by having a single point of failure.

Focus on safety and leak mitigation

Of course, safety is a primary concern when using a flammable or mildly flammable refrigerant, and minimizing leaks was an essential part of ASDA’s design strategy. Churchyard stressed that leak prevention was a top priority in all their refrigeration system trials — whether it was an A1 HFC, CO2, hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) or A3 refrigerant. Preventing leaks not only minimizes the potential for emissions, but also ensures that the system is operating at full capacity and efficiency.

Churchyard said that in the event of a leak, display cases are equipped with a modular alarm system integrated into the case controller. If leakage is detected within a case, the system will activate an alarm that effectively triggers a shut-off valve that stops refrigerant flow to a particular display case. In addition, leakage thresholds are set at such a low level as to prevent the potential for A2L ignition. Quality inherent among system joints, connections and proper installation was a major collective focus of the new design standard, which included remote distributed refrigeration plants and their associated display cases.

Churchyard said case upgrades were often the first part of their refrigerant transition strategy. When store operators identified existing HFC cases that needed to be replaced, the first step was to upgrade to cases that were compatible for A2L use — even though they were still using an A1. Then, when the distributed A2L refrigeration plants were installed, these stores could safely transition over to the use of the R-454A A2L refrigerant.

ASDA has been leveraging this strategy since 2019, when it was recognized as the first retailer to adopt an all-A2L refrigerant strategy. To learn more details about ASDA’s successful refrigerant transition, please view this webinar.

The Helix: Bold Collaboration & Disruptive Innovation

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | V.P., System Innovation Center and Sustainability

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

When Emerson first opened The Helix Innovation Center, we envisioned it as a catalyst to advance research and drive innovation for the global heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry.

In only a few short years, it has surpassed our best expectations, quickly becoming a place where industry experts can come together and work collaboratively to confront and solve some of the biggest challenges facing not just our industry, but our communities and the entire planet.

A perfect example of this is the work we’ve done at The Helix in regard to sustainable supermarket refrigeration. We recently introduced a new distributed scroll booster refrigeration architecture for retail operators that will help them meet their sustainability goals without introducing unnecessary serviceability complexities.

The Copeland™ scroll booster architecture helps reduce emissions from refrigeration systems by utilizing reduced charges of lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and system design strategies that maximize energy efficiencies. It is designed for maximum application flexibility and optimized for use with a low-pressure refrigerant, R-513A.

This flexible architecture fills an urgent need within the food retail market, which is looking for commercially viable technology and equipment that not only delivers efficiency and simplicity, but also provides a positive impact on the environment. Until now, there has not been a single system architecture that addressed the wide range of sustainability objectives, as well as system cost and long-term serviceability considerations.

The combination of high performance, sustainability and serviceability made the distributed scroll booster an ideal choice for the Gem City Market, a new small-format supermarket that opened this April in a food desert in Dayton, Ohio.

The work being done at The Helix became a focal point for the project as Dayton community members, city officials and commercial refrigeration industry leaders came together to identify a solution that met the market’s configuration of the distributed scroll booster system that met the store’s unique footprint, floorplan and refrigeration requirements.

Special thanks to business partners Chemours and Hussmann, and my own company, Emerson, for donating expertise, resources and equipment for this important installation

This is a great example of why we built The Helix. There is no shortage of great ideas, innovative technology and dedicated commitment in the industry. Our innovation center provides an ideal place where are these elements can come together to achieve great things for our industry and our communities.

 

 

 

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