The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

July 12, 2013

Reznor rolls out P125

New product from new plant

MERCER — P125 isn’t exactly a product name that rolls off the tongue, acknowledged William “Rocco’’ Sandrella, plant manager for Thomas & Betts’ Reznor operation in Mercer.

Then again, neither do product names Formula 409 and WD-40, yet they proved to be very successful, he noted.

The company, which locals simply call “Reznor,” unveiled its $5.5 million renovation on Thursday and its new product, which is ready to hit the production line.

How did this latest heating and cooling unit get its name? The “P’’ stands for product and the 125 is for Reznor’s 125th anniversary.

Among Mercer County’s oldest manufacturers, Reznor has been a pioneer in producing heating and cooling units for industrial and commercial customers.

As part of a major overhaul over the past 18 months, the company knocked down its century-old 117,000-square-foot production plant, which traced its roots to horse and buggy days. Dating to 1911, the four-story plant had a wooden roof and floors, which made production cumbersome.

By improving the plant, production time for the P125 was slashed in half to 40 manhours.

Among the upgrades, Reznor added a testing laboratory, which simulates outdoor temperatures ranging from a bone-chilling, minus-20 degrees to a toasty 130 degrees.

“It simulates the equipment sitting on a roof anywhere in North America,’’ said Rich Blasko, Reznor’s North American engineering manager. “We can see how the product is reacting in real time.’’

Previously, Reznor had to contract out for that service, which was expensive.

The P125 has passed all the laboratory tests with flying colors.

“We’re production-ready right now,’’ Sandrella said. “And we’ve already taken our first orders.’’

Other upgrades at Reznor include a new truck docking area, a new parts department, a new 10,000-square-foot warehouse and a 17,000-square-foot canopy area, which covers inventory from the harsh outdoor elements.

Wesex Corp. of West Middlesex was the main contractor for the project.   

A controversial piece of all this was that part of the production line was shipped to Thomas & Betts’ Mexican operations. The state kicked in $2.5 million for the local project to entice the company to keep at least part of the production line here.

Initially estimated to cost the plant about 70 production jobs, that number was whittled down to 40, Sandrella said.  

What saved a lot of those jobs was that Reznor kept much of the parts department in Mercer.

“We needed to keep the parts close to where they were needed – in the colder climate,’’ Sandrella said.

Further, the older product lines were moved to Mexico, while the modern, more sophisticated products remain in Mercer, he added.

Reznor employs about 130 with that number rising to 160 during peak demand times in the winter.

The company continues to honor its tradition by creating a custom product for every customer, Sandrella said.  

“Everything we build is unique unless you want two of the same thing,’’ Sandrella said. “We can literally create millions of different options to meet your needs.’’

Text Only
Local News
  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014

  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014

  • One suspect in home shooting is jailed

    The first of three suspects police say were involved in an attempted robbery that ended in a shooting is in jail.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dancing kids K.I.D.S. day

    Hoping to reach children at just the right age, when they are old enough to understand but not past the point where it may be too late, Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission counselors held an “alternative activities” day at the courthouse Thursday, complete with music and dancing, hot dogs and treats, games and T-shirts.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo