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It’s a Wrap: Technology in Action Conference Was a Rousing Success

It’s been only a few weeks since Emerson Climate Technologies hosted our Technology in Action Conference, but the buzz surrounding the event is still palpable. After talking with participants, distinguished panelists and facilitators, the general sentiment is unanimous: this year’s conference was a huge success. The interactive format of the panel discussions served as a foundation for lively conversations and active debates, as intended. The confluence of supermarket industry thought leaders and emerging technology pioneers helped to keep the discussions going throughout the event, many of which will likely resonate for quite some time. For those who participated and attended, I want to sincerely thank you for your contributions in making the 2013 Technology in Action Conference our best event yet.

For those who couldn’t attend, here’s a quick wrap-up of the conversations that we engaged in this year. The panel discussions were definitely a highlight, and it’s worth reiterating their intent and takeaways.

The Challenges of Big Data in Facility Management — Attendees learned how the panelists handle ever-increasing amounts of operational data, what key performance indicators they monitor, and what insights they’ve gained to improve their facilities. We all benefited from the experiences of the distinguished panelists, including representatives of QuikTrip Corporation, Dollar General and Delhaize America Shared Services Group. This knowledgeable combination of retailers and data analytics professionals addressed trends, opportunities and challenges for businesses, as ever-present data collection leads to increasingly larger data sets.

Synthetic and Natural Refrigerant Options for Supermarkets — Participants debated the merits of the latest refrigerant options to learn how supermarkets can better improve their bottom line in this ever-changing regulatory environment. Representatives of DuPont, Honeywell, Star Refrigeration and the University of Maryland comprised an expert panel that discussed current global refrigerant trends and regulatory updates impacting supermarkets. The resulting discussion centered on the following topics: the emerging lower GWP refrigerant options to replace R404A; the R&D status for HFO replacement blends and CO2 solutions; and the benefits of having a refrigeration management plan in place as you transition away from R22.

Panel Discussion at TAC 2013

Panel Discussion at TAC 2013

Advanced Supermarket Refrigeration Systems — Panelists from Hillphoenix, Hussmann, Heatcraft, Zero Zone and VaCom Technologies invited attendees to join the debate on how refrigeration systems help supermarkets achieve their merchandising, operations and sustainability goals. Discussion points included: best practices for optimizing new and existing refrigeration systems; how refrigeration system options are being driven by increasingly complex and diverse retailer objectives; and the importance of system commissioning and training for installers and maintenance personnel.

As a moderator for the Advanced Supermarket Refrigeration Systems panel discussion, I was particularly encouraged by the tenor of debates and breadth of substance that was addressed. I think this is directly attributable to the open floor format, which allowed attendees to provide valuable input that may have otherwise been missing. I’m encouraged that this year’s format was a success, and I’m looking forward to the possibilities for TAC 2014!

Don Newlon
VP, Marketing and GM Integrated Products
Emerson Climate Technologies

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