ThermaSys offers new technologies in a variety of heat-transfer applications. As Lorie Russo discovers, this is the reason the company enjoys a reputation as a leader in innovative heat-exchanger technology.
“We are a growing company, and the introduction of new products in new market segments is key to maintaining this growth,” says Phil Halt, vice president of sales and marketing for ThermaSys Heat Transfer, the leading heat-exchange systems manufacturer. “We make a broad range of heat exchangers and heat-exchanger components for a wide range of heat-transfer applications.”
In addition to heat exchangers, ThermaSys also manufactures aluminum and copper/brass tubing, a major component in radiators for vehicle-related industries. “The type of heat exchanger required is dependent on the specific application of the vehicle. Applications range from the aluminum radiators and condensers typically used in the automotive-related markets to the heavy-duty copper/brass radiators used in large off-road vehicles. We are seeing increased interest in the aluminum heat exchangers due to the benefits of reduced weight and size. Copper/brass heat exchangers are still applied in extreme applications requiring more robust designs. ThermaSys has the capability of serving either of these needs. In addition, we can supply base tubing to customers that make their own heat exchangers.” Halt says.
ThermaSys Heat Transfer is a dynamic company that prides itself on finding the best and most timely solutions for a customer’s needs. The company changed its name from Thermal Components about a year ago, to indicate its move to meet the marketplace’s need for systems approaches. ThermaSys designs and manufacturers its top-quality systems and components in six state-of-the-art, fully equipped facilities: one each located in Milwaukee, Detroit, Racine, Wis., and Dortmund, Germany; and two in Montgomery, Ala. The U.S. plants serve customers primarily in North America and Latin America, while the German facility supplies tubing to Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa.
Ahead with New Technology
ThermaSys is a major player in brazed aluminum heat-exchanger technology, and is currently offering a slate of new products that reflect this leadership. Its Headered Tube Oil Cooler and Headered Tube Radiator, which are being manufactured in the Montgomery facility, were introduced during the summer. Also new are the T-Bar heat-exchanger designs, which are being manufactured under the company’s General ThermoDynamics brand name in the Milwaukee facility. This versatile heat-exchanger surface can be used as a charge air cooler, an oil cooler and, potentially, in other heat-transfer applications.
Also in the Montgomery plant, ThermaSys produces aluminum and copper/brass seam-welded tubing and aluminum heat-transfer products for the automotive, HVAC and commercial markets. This broad product line includes aluminum radiator and condenser designs. The manufacturing process employs such high-speed machinery as a Livernois continuous core stacker and the Nocolok® controlled atmospheric brazing furnace technology. Its continuous furnace and indexing furnace have the capacity to produce approximately 300,000 coils per year, depending on the product mix. The facility also produces more than 18 million pounds of aluminum tube on eight mills and an additional 6 million pounds of copper/brass tubing on three mills.
In the Milwaukee facility, ThermaSys designs and manufactures General ThermoDynamics large heat exchangers, which are used in heavy-duty applications in a variety of commercial markets. The product line also includes bolted and soldered radiators, oil coolers, charge air coolers, mechanically bonded radiators, GEN set radiators and sand grids. The plant’s CAD/CAM and Pro-E capabilities ensure maximum precision and rapid design development to meet the most rigorous specifications.
The Detroit facility, selling under the Great Lake brand, produces copper/brass radiators for specialty industrial markets and the automotive after-market. Racine-based Thermal Transfer is a major manufacturer of specialty heat exchangers and oil coolers for several automotive and industrial market segments, such as mobile hydraulics, process applications, industrial hydraulics and industrial compressed air systems. Thermalex, Inc., is ThermaSys’ Montgomery-based, 50-50 joint venture with Mitsubishi Aluminum. This entity is a major manufacturer of extruded aluminum multiport microtubing and shapes for automotive, HVAC and other industrial market segments.
Passing the Test
ThermaSys’ fully developed TechCenter in Montgomery supports the individual manufacturing facilities. Its full-time staff comprises specialized design and test engineers and metallurgists. In addition to the technical staff, the TechCenter is equipped with a full complement of sophisticated laboratory test and analysis equipment, including a scanning electron microscope.
ThermaSys can develop and manufacture products from the customer’s drawings and design specifications, and can test the proposed heat exchanger in its modern calorimeter. The TechCenter then presents a technical report with the actual test results to the customer. After that, market opportunities can be developed using the new heat-exchanger technology.
As ThermaSys continues to build upon its highly developed engineering expertise, it plans to take its heat-transfer know-how into other developing markets, such as thermal-electric cooling. Halt says, “We hope to utilize our core heat-exchanger designs as well as develop new applications for brazed technology in areas that are somewhat different from the traditional radiator or heat-exchanger uses. There is an ever-increasing need for heat-exchanger products in a multitude of different market segments. We believe thermal-electric cooling is one of these segments.
“ThermaSys has the unique capability of supplying heat exchangers from the very small to the very large. This allows us to market our products in a wide variety of heat-transfer markets. We are positioned to be a major player in these markets both now and on into the future.”