Johnson Controls opens screw compressor testing lab

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Johnson Controls recently opened a $6.7 million screw compressor testing laboratory at its Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, plant.

The new 7,000-square-foot laboratory is used to test large screw compressors that support refrigeration and gas compression applications used in the food and beverage industry; oil and gas transportation and storage; chemical and petrochemical applications; natural gas processing; industrial gases; power generation; and energy-carbon capture and sequestration.

The new testing lab has a 5,000 horsepower, variable speed electric motor rated for 1,100 pounds per square inch gage, with test conditions up to 1,000 PSIG. “We try to test under similar applications the customer would use,” explained Robert Fahey, general manager of the Waynesboro plant.

“Our main focus is to perform a functionality test and collect efficiency data,” said Dennis Harrington, manager of the test lab. “We want to see how it will work in the field. At the end of the line, we can put out a better product for our customer.”


Some of the screw compressors weigh 16,000 pounds and can take a week or months to test. Construction on the lab began in December 2015 and was just recently completed. Seven employees will work in the lab.

Johnson Controls serves a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries, with more than 130,000 employees. In addition to the screw compressor lab, the Waynesboro facility, formerly known as Frick, manufactures a full line of industrial refrigeration equipment, as well as gas compression systems under the York Process Systems brand.