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150 Years of Innovation at Vilter

AntonioDeLourdes Antonio De Lourdes | Research & Development Lead Engineer, Vilter

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

This year Vilter Manufacturing celebrates 150 years! The company’s rich history tells a story of perseverance and drive to cultivate continuous innovation within the industrial refrigeration and gas compression industries.

2016 Facebook post_1200x717_Vilter150


  • 1867: Vilter Manufacturing starts as a general jobbing shop that Peter Weisel opened in 1867 in Milwaukee, WI
  • 1880: Ernest Vilter became a partner in the business and soon after introduced the Corliss Engine (1880) and the first Refrigeration Compressor (1882)

After surviving a devastating fire that burned the entire factory down (1892), Vilter focused on rebuilding on a larger site. Landing on their feet, Vilter quickly rose as an industry leader in providing cooling equipment to ice plants, breweries, and packing houses. Vilter even played a crucial role in supporting the United States in World War I and World War II.


To accommodate growing sales, Vilter moved to its current location in Cudahy, WI in 1999. Many changes took place over the next 18 years, including being acquired by Emerson in 2009. Here are several recent innovations:

  • 2005: Began manufacturing high-pressure single screw compressors.
  • 2007: Released Viltech, a more robust controller for reciprocal compressors
  • 2010: Named the official sponsor of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton teams for the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver. Also developed in 2010, were the Vission, Vantage and Vission 20/20 controllers.
  • 2012: Built a 7,000-pound Ammonia test lab
  • 2013: Developed the 401 mm line, the largest single screw compressor
  • 2015: Developed a 50 TR CO2 subcritical compressor, a high suction pressure solution that could handle 750 PSI of suction pressure
  • 2016: Released the VSMC product line


 While continuing to address total cost of ownership (equipment cost, maintenance costs, and energy costs), end-users are now evaluating solutions to lower the charge of ammonia systems and/or completely removing the ammonia out of the occupied spaces. Vilter is developing robust, efficient solutions that meet customer needs:

  • Systems utilizing CO2 as a volatile secondary fluid
  • Cascade systems using CO2 in the low stage
  • Booster transcritical CO2 systems

Vilter is also capturing the voice of the customer by utilizing Virtual Reality (VR). Virtual reality allows customers to visualize the end product early in the design process. This gives customers an opportunity to provide feedback to create designs to fit their requests.

Dedicated to excellence, Vilter continues to innovate and adapt to meet the needs of their industries. Vilter and Emerson look forward with confidence to the next 150 years.

Team Traveling to ATMOsphere America 2013

ATMOsphere America 2013ATMOsphere America is the meeting place for industry experts to discuss natural refrigerant trends, latest technologies and regulatory issues in the United States and Canada. This year’s event will be held June 18-19 in Washington DC, and I will be participating on the Supply Chain Panel to talk about a component supplier’s perspective to these issues.

Throughout the event, I will be available to meet and discuss Emerson’s focus on energy efficiency and helping companies reclaim waste heat from industrial refrigeration processes over a wide spectrum of markets and applications, including utilizing natural refrigerants such as ammonia. Additionally, several others from the Emerson team will be joining me to discuss the migration to low GWP refrigerants. Andre Patenaude, Director of Marketing at Emerson Climate Canada, will be available to meet and discuss a variety of topics associated with refrigerant options currently available as well as those still in development. Autumn Nicholson, Application Engineering Systems Analyst for Emerson Climate Refrigeration, and Paul Farrant, Application Specialist for Vilter, will also be available to meet and discuss technical questions regarding natural refrigerants trends.

More information about the ATMOsphere America 2013 event can be found here.

Sam Gladis
Business Director, Heat Pumps
Emerson Climate Technologies

Chocolate Facility Cuts Costs with Waste Heat Recovery

Using heat pumps to capture waste heat from industrial processes has emerged as an increasingly popular way to increase energy efficiency. At the same time, this process reduces the environmental impact of refrigeration systems.

Emerson Climate Technologies recently worked with a chocolate production facility to reduce its total energy demand using a new heat pump system featuring Vilter single screw compressors. By implementing the new system, the chocolate factory cut costs by $394,000 per year. Additionally, the facility achieved waste heat recovery of 1130 kW contributing to a 15% higher efficiency than comparable technologies.

Single Screw Compressor Unit

Click here to learn more about this energy saving story. More information on similar stories can be found on our Industrial Quantifiable Business Results page.

Sam Gladis
Business Director, Heat Pumps
Emerson Climate Technologies

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