Robertshaw Industrial Products

About Us

Robertshaw Industrial Products History

Maryville, Tennessee – Robertshaw Industrial Products, manufactures industrial process controls including self-actuated regulators, diaphragm control valves, capacitance level instrumentation, vibration monitors and switches, pneumatic controls for engine safety shutdown, and our newest product family, Schneider-Electric (Centeron), wireless tank monitoring devices, and data center.

The Fulton Company

Inventor, Weston Fulton, founded the company in 1904. Holder of numerous patents, Fulton was also the chief of the U.S. Weather Observatory in Knoxville, TN. The invention upon which he based his company was the seamless metal bellows. This discovery led eventually to the first thermostats for homes and automobiles, as well as process controls.

Fulton continued to expand the use of his patented seamless bellows until 1927. Some examples for his early applications are damper controls for HVAC and temperature controls on the early automobiles. These were basically shutter controls and water jacket or engine controls, expansion joints for steam pipes, and radiator valves; all based on the bellows. In the 1920s, the first process control developed was the self-actuated temperature regulator, which expanded to development of control valves. These valves were used for both steam and pressure controls. This same type of innovation evolved into the field thermostat and industrial controls.

RobertShaw's Beginning

In the same year that Fulton developed seamless metal bellows, Frederick W. Robertshaw invented the first water heater thermostat in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This device revolutionized gas-fired water heating. Robertshaw Manufacturing Company became a leading supplier of temperature controls and plumbing devices. By 1922, Robertshaw changed the company name to the Robertshaw Thermostat Company and concentrated on thermostats for gas water heaters and ranges.

In 1928, U.S. Foil, a leading manufacturer of temperature controls and plumbing devices, purchased the Fulton Company to form the Reynolds Metals Company. Nineteen years later, Reynolds Metals (Fulton) and Robertshaw merged to form Robertshaw Controls Co.

Supporting The Cause

During World Wars I and II, and the Korean Conflict, Robertshaw employees worked tirelessly to produce war materials, including bellows for B-17 and B-29 bombers. They also made shell casings, depth charge sensors, and brass and steel cartridge cases. Robertshaw temperature regulators were used aboard ships to control steam heating. Robertshaw also made some of the first nuclear valves for the Manhattan Project. The first nuclear submarine had a Robertshaw self-actuated temperature regulator. These mil-spec valves are still used on today’s submarines and aircraft carriers.

From 1947 until 1966, Robertshaw, owned by Reynolds Metals, was producing 10,000 different products. These products were used in homes, commercial buildings, process industries, and trucks and automobiles. During the 1960s and 1970s the Industrial Instrumentation Division in Anaheim, California spawned what is now our RF Capacitance Level, and Vibration Instrumentation product lines.

Becoming Invensys

In 1986, Siebe, a leading international engineering corporation, purchased Robertshaw. For the following thirteen years Robertshaw Tennessee (Fulton) produced industrial process controls, metal bellows and bellows assemblies, and automotive engine thermostats, EGR valves, and related products. Siebe divided up other divisions of Robertshaw and renamed or moved product lines to combine with other companies like Barber Colman, Foxboro, and Siebe Environmental.

In 1999, Siebe merged with BTR to become Invensys, PLC. Invensys was a global technology and controls group focusing upon industrial automation, rail transportation and controls. Invensys had over 20,000 employees operating in over 50 countries.

RobertShaw Today

Enter Centeron™. Centeron Distribution Management System features wireless tank level monitoring through the use of various measurement technologies and advanced communications capabilities. This product family emerged from the industrial controls group at Robertshaw. Invensys was so impressed with this product and its great potential that it created a new division, Robertshaw Industrial Products, and divested the bellows and automotive product groups.

In July 2000, Robertshaw Industrial Products relocated and moved out of the 100 year old facility in Knoxville to a newer, 45,000 sq ft plant in Maryville, Tennessee, where it remains today.

Information Per

Philip Scheuneman
Sr. Products Manager - Robertshaw
Schneider Electric Systems USA, Inc
1602 Mustang Drive
Maryville, TN 37801