A company that makes rather nice industrial air conditioners. They are frequently used to cool large computer rooms where the building's normal air conditioning doesn't cut the mustard. There are many models, including those that mount in the roof, those who sit on a raised floor and pump the air conditioning through the floor plenum, and chillers that cool water used in large mainframes.

There is a room where I work which has three Lieberts in it. I always wondered why that room needed so much air conditioning; I eventually found out from my boss that it once had several large VAX machines in it. Big suckers that used 220V power and put out more heat than the average star. Now the room just gets ridiculously cold if you turn them on, so we just leave them off.
I got a job at Liebert Feb. 14 of 2000 in Worthington Oh. starting out as a low tonnage hydraulic press break operator...I bend metal. One of the first steps in making a Liebert system. I receive a piece of metal that has been cut, punched and notched in accordance with a blue print. My job is to fold that metal into a desired shape also in accordance with a blue print. From there the metal can go to heli-arc, spot-weld, assembly, paint or any combination of steps where it would then be attached to the system in another department.

update May 18, 2001

Liebert is not doin' too well... My first year, everything was going wonderfully. Mostly due to good timing I became rather respected real quick. I learned things at a faster rate than I ever have, and they were looking for people to cross-train. I learned 14 different machines or operations making me the utility man of third shift... anything they needed done I could do myself or fill in for someone who could. I saved several managerial asses more times than I can count. In February 2001 we hit record sales for a week, and the next week it was cut in half. With bankruptcies and damaged business there were several cancellations, followed by a flood of slightly used technical equipment on the market at one-tenth the cost. I'm still there after three layoffs and one involuntary department change to weld shop, and now third shift is being almost entirely wiped out... I will be moved to second shift and maybe another department in the very near future. I have, fortunately, learned enough about the business that if I get laid off, I can likely find another job when this recession breaks... if or until that happens I will stay and continue to worry myself sick.

I'm sitting ten feet away from a large metal box-shaped object the size of a small car. This imposing object has a large, heavy switch on one side, and bears the logo and name of the Liebert Corporation. Inside are noxious acids and heavy metals even you would hesitate a moment to feed to your siblings. The Liebert, as it is called, is a giant lead-acid battery. It hums (it doesn't know the words). It rumbles. It shakes. If the power goes out, it thunders.

And the lights stay on.
More importantly, the computers stay on.

Personally, I think that having two hundred and eighty eight cubic feet of lead-acid battery looming a few feet away from me is somewhat neat.

Per dmd Liebert, a division of Emerson Electric, also makes small to large UPS equipment. They also make a neat product called the Glass House, which integrates an air conditioner into a standard 19 inch machine rack. Useful when it's convenient to cool the machines but not the whole room.

My boss at my last job worked for Emerson, so he had always pushed Liebert and belittled my faith in APC. This came up when I proposed a five server project that was powered by two APC UPS's. He'd always email me articles from the Liebert site that stated how APC sucked, and were second rate.

I don't know much about Liebert, but I know what I've seen. At the time I had several years of computing/network experience, and had worked with hundreds of APC's. Of all those I recall seeing a total of 5 died or otherwise malfunctioned.

In the same several years, I saw a whole two Liebert UPS's. They were both broken. Analytical commentary aside, simple math states that per my experience a 5% failure rate for APC's and a 100% failure rate for Lieberts should be expected.

I almost presented this to my boss, but wussed out and instead noted that replacing the APC's with a Liebert equivelent would raise the cost of the project by a third. At that he said "let's go with the cost-efficient APC!".

We also had a problem with heat in the machine room. It typically ran about ninety degrees F back there. My health aside, all the little LCD's on my Hewlett Packards were complaining of temperature problems. I proposed an air conditioner, and my boss brought me up to speed on the aforementioned Glass House concept.

I nearly told him to go to hell, as his idea would cool down the machines, but probably RAISE the high temp of my workplace. This wasn't an option, it was an insult. But I calmly pointed out that the price of one Glass House was three times that of the air conditioner I proposed. And it would require four GH's to enclose all production machines.

I got my air conditioner. And I learned that stock ownership leads to funny management decisions.

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