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Manufacturer Takes “Combined Design Cycle” Approach to Regulatory Compliance

AllenWicher Allen Wicher | Director, Foodservice Marketing

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

This blog summarizes a success story in our most recent E360 Outlook, entitled Going With the Grain.” Click here to read it in its entirety.

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The Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2014 ruling mandated 30–50 percent reductions in energy consumption on stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment by March 27, 2017. For OEMs of stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment, this placed them among the first to meet the task of compliance. But when you’re an OEM whose core principles are based on environmental sustainability — e.g., JSI Store Fixtures of Bangor, Maine — clearing these regulatory hurdles is just the cost of doing business. In fact, leadership at JSI seized this as an opportunity to revamp its refrigeration platform.

Eager to get out in front of the regulatory deadline, the OEM began working with its component suppliers in 2014 to begin the design, testing and DOE certification processes. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the phase-out of commonly used hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment — a ruling that would become final in the summer of 2015 with a compliance date of 2019. Like OEMs, this presented a design dilemma for JSI: comply with each regulation separately or combine compliance efforts into a single design cycle.

By tapping Emerson’s regulatory stewardship and its expertise in compressor and electronic controls technology, JSI decided to tackle both DOE and EPA compliance requirements in the same design cycle. First, they worked with Emerson’s Refrigeration and Integrated Products group to develop an optimized, high-efficiency condensing unit that would serve as the basis of its wooden refrigeration fixture platforms.

The condensing unit features Emerson components, including: compressor, flow control and unit controller to facilitate tighter refrigeration control and an efficient assembly process into JSI’s refrigeration equipment. To make sure the new units met required energy objectives, JSI also utilized the DOE test validation and certification services of Emerson’s Design Services Network (DSN).

Completion of design, testing and certification

By the end of Q4 2016, JSI had completed the DOE certification process on 46 of its standard products, well ahead of the 2017 deadline. The effort required the commitment and dedication of the OEM’s strategic suppliers and partners, including an electronically commutated evaporator fan motor manufacturer, a third-party testing provider and Emerson’s DSN resources. In addition, JSI invested in an in-house testing facility where its units were ultimately rated for final certification.

To get out in front of the EPA’s HFC refrigerant ban in 2019, JSI opted to design its new stand-alone units to be “R-448A ready” — as the industry waits for the EPA to list new refrigerants R-448A/449A as acceptable for use through its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. JSI leadership made this decision based on a desire to align with the general direction the industry was heading and not impose difficult operating and servicing requirements on their customers.

This blog summarizes a success story in our most recent E360 Outlook, entitled Going With the Grain.” Click here to read it in its entirety.

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