FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A plant in Fort Smith that makes residential heating and cooling equipment is set to shut down this year, leaving 250 employees out of work.
Trane announced Monday that it is shifting production of its residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning manufacturing from Fort Smith to plants in Tyler, Lynn Haven, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina; and Vidalia, Georgia. Trane is owned by Ingersoll Rand.
“The decision to transfer the Trane residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) manufacturing facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas to four other U.S. facilities was made after a strategic review of the business operations,” said Ingersoll Rand spokesperson Paige Muhlenkamp. “By moving operations to other U.S. facilities, Trane is optimizing its manufacturing footprint, which is required to remain competitive in today’s environment. Facilities in Lynn Haven, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina; Vidalia, Georgia; and Tyler, will assume manufacturing of the residential and light commercial air conditioning products currently produced in Fort Smith. Manufacturing operations at the Trane Commercial HVAC plant, also located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, will continue.”
The company will still operate its plant in Fort Smith that makes HVAC equipment for commercial use.
“The Ingersoll Rand manufacturing site in Tyler will take on the manufacturing and assembly of Trane’s Over/Under Packaged Units (a model of residential packaged unit) by the end of April,” Ms. Muhlenkamp said. “We are confident that the Tyler site has the capacity and capability to deliver the same availability and quality that contractors and homeowners have come to expect from Ingersoll Rand. Over the coming weeks, the Tyler team will evaluate their needs to bring this product into the facility.”
The transition should be complete by this summer.