Thirty-Four Years, 128 Patents

Over the past 34 years, engineers at Trane, a global provider of indoor comfort systems and services, have earned 128 patents for items used in building and HVAC controls systems. To honor these achievements—many of which were customer driven innovations—the company recently unveiled a wall display, “Inspiring Progress Through Innovation,” at its office in White Bear Lake, MN.

The patents featured on this display range from the oldest received on February 21, 1978, for a temperature and failure indicating probe for a bearing, to the most recent patent received on January 17, 2012, for a building automation system facilitating user customization.

The wall highlights four Trane milestones, including the 1993 introduction of Intellipak™ rooftop controls which provide precise control for Trane rooftop air conditioning units and the 1995 debut of the Tracer Summit™ building automation system which provides building control through a single integrated system and was the first industry solution to support communication via BACnet.

Many of the engineers holding the patents attended the patent wall unveiling. Shown here are (L to R): (front row): Susan Mairs, software engineer; Lee Sibik, control strategy engineer (and first recipient of the Technical Excellence award from Trane controls engineering); Shane Gydesen, building system controls platform leader; Sean McCoy, system engineer (who holds the most patents); Dwight Watercott, embedded software engineer; and Eugene Shedivy, controls product leader.

Back row: Alan Rein, system engineering leader; Phil Lilja product manager; Ben Eiynk, applied systems application engineer; John Hartman, embedded software engineer (who holds the first controls patent listed on the wall); Brady Moroney, engineering manager; John Olson, hardware design engineer. Not shown, Chad Bjorklund, applied systems application engineer.