Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
Endeavor Business Media
Contracting Business/Kelly FAloon
Kelly L. Falloon

Johnson Controls: Active on Many HVAC Fronts

March 11, 2015
Johnson Controls' joint venture with Hitachi gives JCI a 60% ownership stake in Hitachi Appliances. The York YMC2 chiller continues to gain market share. New Unitary Products introductions are coming soon, JCI reports.
Bill Jackson: expanding the reach of JCI controls, chillers, and airside products.
Hitachi SmartFlex

CHICAGO, IL — On the eve of the 2015 AHR Expo, Bill Jackson, president of Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency business, was eager for the show to start, and for good reason. At this global event in which HVACR innovation reigns for three great days, JCI was about to show it came to play hard on many fields.

“You’ll see many cool innovations here. We’re continuing to build out the breadth and depth of Johnson Controls’ many products. You’ll see innovations with our Metasys system, our VRF system, and many products on the airside, whether it be from Titus or Ruskin, which follows our acqusition of Air Distribution Technologies,” Jackson promised.

Jackson assumed the Building Efficiency leadership position in September, as part of a reorganization of JCI’s Building Efficiency business. For three years prior, he was JCI’s executive vice president of corporate development.

Following that appointment, there wasn’t much of a settling in period, as Jackson was immediately pressed into service to oversee the development of new JCI products in the categories of chillers, controls, ducted DX systems, ductless DX systems, air delivery, and applied chillers for marine use.

“You know us as a chiller business, through our acqusition of York (in 2005), but now, our Hitachi joint venture brings more to that party,” Jackson said. The Hitachi joint venture, which became a definitive agreement on Jan. 15, gives JCI a 60% ownership stake in Hitachi Appliances. The joint venture will bring customers a full range of air conditioning products, including world-class variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology, leading-edge, inverter technology-based room air conditioners and absorption chillers — in adition to existing Johnson Controls products that meet global customer demands in other categories.

We’re on the leading edge in health care, with some of our Metasys links in air quality, occupancy, and health care environment optimization. Metasys now communicates with clinical scheduling software.” — Bill Jackson
York YMC2 chiller

“Our York YMC2 chiller continues to gain market share. It currently is at 17%, and we’re hoping to get 20% to 25% of that segment. It’s more efficient, and you win when you can provide a more efficient chiller that reaches a broader audience,” Jackson said.

JCI’s new VRF product, SmartFlex — the first fruit of the Hitachi joint venture — is a ductless and modular HVAC solution that heats and cools multiple building zones to increase energy savings, improve occupant comfort, and lower construction costs. “We’ve developed new digital selection and configuration tools to help owners, operators and consultants compare heating and cooling solutions,” Jackson said.

In the controls arena, JCI brought AHR Expo attendees news of a new user interface for its Metasys building automation system, which connects HVAC, lighting, security and fire protection systems on a single platform.

“It’s a much easier interface for our customers to use. We’ve beta tested it, and have received unbelieveably positive reviews,” Jackson reported. “We’re on the leading edge in health care, with some of our Metasys links in air quality, occupancy, and health care environment optimization, where Metasys now communicates with clinical scheduling software.

"We can optimize airflows based on actual patient use of the operating room. We’re saving energy but also mitigating risk for health care,” he explained.

Coming soon will be new Unitary Products Group direct-fit commercial rooftop units and a soon-to-be-released residential HVAC product line that includes a new residential packaged air  unit, air handling unit, and outdoor

“We want to be the number one HVACR business for industrial refrigeration in the world, through great products and great channels,” Jackson said.