Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


May 16, 2013

A model of efficiency

New Schneider Electric building to boast 'leading-edge' products


He called it an exciting project to work on.

“The stuff going into this building is leading-edge,” Reynolds said. “From a landlord perspective, we are happy to have this kind of innovation in our building.”

Volpe said the building will use “chilled beam design” for heating and cooling, a highly efficient way to regulate the temperature inside a structure. He said all the electrical management systems, LED lighting, data centers and other systems in the building will employ Schneider technology to reduce energy use.

Coflan said 40 percent of the energy of the world is consumed in commercial buildings and “we can save 20 to 30 percent in annual energy use” by taking advantage of Schneider products.

“We are in different markets, where there is a lot of new construction, like Malaysia and Indonesia,” he said. “Those economies are seeing explosive growth, the population is growing, the middle class is emerging, so our market can grow 30 to 40 percent a year. The systems we are designing are going into those markets.”

The R&D center in Andover will be home to engineers and others who have worked locally in the energy field for many years.

APC, or American Power Conversion, started in Billerica, and was bought out by Schneider. Andover Controls was founded in Brickstone, forming part of Coflan’s unit in North Andover. Modicon was also founded in Andover in Brickstone, becoming part of one of the groups that is moving back to Andover.

While the company has grown, it has kept its roots in Massachusetts, Coflan said.

“We have been here for decades,” he said. “By putting us all together in one site, we can incubate new ideas, be more efficient and the chances of growth are better.

“Making it stable in one place makes a lot more sense. We will be in a high-tech facility rather than being camped out in different buildings.”

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