Issue: Aug 2011


Next Generation Automotive Air Conditioning Recovery Units for Vehicles



Using New, More Environmentally Friendly R-1234yf Refrigerant

by Steve Barclay

SPX Corporation's Service Solutions business unit today announced the worldwide availability of the company's next generation Robinair AC1234 Automotive Air Conditioning Recovery machines for vehicle servicing. Additionally, the company announced that two of its new Robinair units (AC1234-7 and AC1234-8) have recently been approved by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), an organization dedicated to safety, quality and sustainability at the highest technical level.

Automobile manufacturers in Europe are required to equip new vehicle models introduced in 2011 with a new, more environmentally friendly refrigerant, such as R-1234yf, that results in a significant reduction in greenhouse gasses. All vehicles produced after 2017 will be required to utilize the new refrigerants. SPX's new Robinair AC1234 Automotive Air Conditioning Recovery machines are specifically designed to ensure compatibility with the new R-1234yf refrigerant. Plans call for SPX to manufacture the machines in Germany, the United States, and Asia, and market and distribute them globally.

"The German VDA is one of the most recognized, well-respected associations in the global automotive industry, and receiving their seal of approval on our new R-1234yf refrigerant recovery units is a significant achievement," said Tanvir Arfi, President of SPX Service Solutions. "We are confident this powerful third-party validation will resonate strongly among European automakers, where the transition to R-1234yf is already under way."

The VDA commissioned the evaluation of the Robinair AC1234 Automotive Air Conditioning Recovery machine through TUV Rheinland, a global provider of technical, safety, and certification services. The VDA's approval is an important purchase requirement for many European original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The Robinair units are designed to accurately and safely recover refrigerant emissions. The AC1234-8 model contains an embedded refrigerant identifier, while the AC1234-7 model supports the use of an external identifier.

"Over the years, SPX has contributed to advancements in alleviating the significant environmental burden caused by mobile air conditioning systems, and the anticipated widespread transition to the greener R-1234yf refrigerant has challenged us to once again demonstrate our proven capabilities," Arfi explained. "Robinair has a long history of leadership in air conditioning refrigerant recovery, and SPX is once again leading the way by working with the automobile industry to streamline the transition to the new R-1234yf refrigerant, and to standardize service procedures for all newly equipped vehicles."

The chemicals that compose air conditioning refrigerant emit greenhouse gasses, which according to studies contribute to changes in the environment. The recently developed R-1234yf refrigerant is a milestone achievement for environmentally sustainable air conditioning technology, boasting an extremely low Global Warming Potential (GWP) -- just 4 GWP, compared to the 1430 GWP of its predecessor.

In 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented SPX with an award for an earlier model of its Robinair brand refrigerant recovery and recharging unit, which at the time helped automotive service businesses meet rigorous environmental standards by reducing refrigerant emissions into the atmosphere.

SPX Service Solutions is a leading global developer and manufacturer of advanced diagnostic systems and service solutions for automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), their dealer networks, and retail and aftermarket channels.

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, SPX Corporation (NYSE: SPW) is a global Fortune 500 multi-industry manufacturing leader with nearly $5 billion in annual revenue, operations in more than 35 countries and approximately 15,500 employees. The company's highly-specialized, engineered products and technologies serve customers in three primary strategic growth markets: infrastructure, process equipment and diagnostic tools. Many of SPX's innovative solutions are playing a role in helping to meet rising global demand for electricity, processed foods and beverages and vehicle services, particularly in emerging markets. The company's products include cooling systems for power plants; power transformers for utility companies; diagnostic tools and charging equipment for the automotive industry; and food processing systems for the food and beverage industry. For more information, please visit www.spx.com.

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