A showroom is expected to open in May at the Daikin Texas Technology Park that will house displays of the various products that will be made at the facility, including HVAC products from Daikin, Goodman Manufacturing and Amana Heating and Cooling for homes, offices and businesses. Although a grand opening date has yet to be announced, manufacturing efforts at the park are already underway.
The facility represents a major effort from Japan-based Daikin to grow in the U.S., said Takeshi Ebisu, CEO of Goodman Global and the U.S. operations of Daikin.
"The Daikin Texas Technology Park represents the largest investment in 90 years of Daikin's history," Ebisu said. "We are going to use the most advanced technology to design products that will potentially be shipped all over the world. This represents the start of a new success story for Daikin."
The Houston area was chosen for several reasons, Ebisu said: it is one of the largest regions for HVAC business, the region is experiencing rapid population growth and it provides close access to a talented workforce.
The technology park consolidates manufacturing, engineering, logistics, marketing and sales for Goodman, Amana and Daikin in one location. Roughly 5,000 employees will be hired to work at the facility by 2018.
Ebisu said the facility will be the launching grounds for a new ductless HVAC system in the U.S. market referred to as Variable Refrigerant Volume, or VRV. VRV systems offer high levels of energy efficiency and flexibility compared to the ducted systems that are widely used in the U.S., Ebisu said. They also give users increased ability to control temperatures of individual rooms, he said.
The first VRV unit was produced at the Waller site in January. Plans call for all products produced at the DTTP to be shipped to distributors in the U.S. and Canada in 2018.
Look for an in-depth story on Daikin's new facility and the anticipated economic impact on the Greater Houston area in the May 18 edition of Community Impact Newspaper.
Here are a few key stats about the Daikin Texas Technology Park:
- $417 million investment to construct
- 4.23 million square feet of space under one roof on a 497-acre campus
- 2.3-mile perimeter around the entire facility
- Largest tilt-wall structure in the U.S.
- Second-largest manufacturing facility in the U.S.
- Roughly 5,000 employees will keep the facility running
- 22 assembly lines at completion in 2018