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Posts from the ‘Cold Chain’ Category

E360 Breakfast: Regulatory and Contractor Panel Discussion

Ed_McKiernan Ed McKiernan | President, Cold Chain, Electronics & Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Before the doors open at the AHR Expo on January 15, join us at 8:30 a.m. for our E360 Breakfast. There you’ll get a firsthand regulatory update and gain insights during the contractor panel discussion as your peers share how they’re navigating in today’s ever-changing industry.

Because the regulatory world is dynamic, it can sometimes be challenging to stay current on the latest information. Jennifer Butsch, Emerson’s regulatory affairs manager, will highlight some of the latest regulations to help ensure you’re up to speed.

Then you’ll have the opportunity to gain perspective from the contractor panel discussion, which will be moderated by Talbot Gee, CEO of HARDI. We’ll explore how others are handling today’s challenging issues, evaluate new ideas and emerging technologies, and conclude with a Q&A session where you can pose some of your most pressing questions.


Afterward, you’ll be ready to hit the AHR Expo floor. We hope your first stop is the Emerson booth (#B2219), where you can take a close look at some of our exciting technologies:

  • Copeland Scroll™ Fractional Horsepower, Low-temperature Compressor — the AHR Innovation Award winner uses new liquid-injection and cooling discharge technologies to reduce compressor stress, meet federal regulatory requirements, and help achieve energy and sustainability goals without sacrificing productivity or efficiency
  • Emerson’s Supervisory Controls — an AHR Building Automation Award finalist, this total-facility platform helps retailers large and small monitor, optimize and control their refrigeration systems, HVAC, lighting and more
  • Copeland Outdoor Refrigeration Unit (X-Line) — see how leading retailers are saving space, improving efficiencies and reducing noise, rather than using self-contained or rack refrigeration systems
  • ProAct™ Software and Services — combine smart mobile alert software with ProAct service experts for continuous monitoring, full-time support and consulting
  • Copeland Scroll K5 Compressors — learn more about this family of digital and analog compressors that apply liquid and vapor injection for superior efficiency
  • Connect+ Software — see the unveiling of our newest software suite designed to utilize IoT to provide advanced operational efficiencies across a multi-site retail network

Register now to reserve your seat at this informative, idea-filled E360 Breakfast — a great way to start your day at AHR!

 

Supermarkets Embrace IoT Revolution

ronchapek_2 Ron Chapek | Director of Product Management/Enterprise Software

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Grocery store chain owners and managers are embracing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to monitor the performance of their refrigeration equipment. I was recently interviewed by ACHRNews (the News) to discuss how IoT is transforming supermarket operations; this blog is a summary of that article.

Supermarkets Embrace IoT Revolution

When it comes to refrigeration equipment, supermarket operators are primarily concerned about reliable performance. With an aging generation of qualified contractors retiring and a growing shortage of trained technicians to replace them, ensuring reliable performance is becoming more difficult. It’s not surprising that as a result, grocery store owners and managers are embracing the potential of IoT to proactively monitor the performance of refrigeration equipment.

IoT is helping to fill the technician void by allowing store managers to take immediate action when refrigeration problems arise. Unplanned downtime can be extremely costly, and IoT gives operators the ability to head off issues before they become potential emergencies.

With IoT, supermarket managers are equipped with the knowledge to make quick repairs and prevent future errors, both of which deliver critical benefits that directly impact a store’s profitability and brand reputation:

  • Increased refrigeration system uptime
  • Reduction in revenue and inventory losses
  • Assurance of food safety and quality

Emerson’s ProAct™ Enterprise Software and Services is a leading example of robust IoT technology at work. Utilizing our Site Supervisor facility management controller and connected refrigeration equipment via sensors to cloud-enabled data analytics, ProAct provides alert and setpoint management while allowing grocers to take a more reliable, cost-effective, condition-based maintenance approach to refrigeration — and seamlessly transition to complete facility management of critical systems in individual stores and across the enterprise.

In this way, IoT uncovers deeper insights into how a facility is running, giving store managers the tools to take proactive measures to ensure reliability, maximize energy efficiencies, and consistently deliver optimum food quality and safety.

From an enterprise perspective, IoT allows store operators to compare trending and historic performance data at multiple sites to better optimize a grocery chain’s complete store network. Operators can also evaluate equipment upgrades and retrofits to determine which systems deliver the best performance and determine if there are any opportunities for cost savings.

Having access to preventive maintenance and predictive failure alerts is beneficial to store owners and contractors alike. Instead of performing preventive maintenance at pre-determined time intervals, IoT triggers maintenance activities based on actual system performance — giving contractors critical information to help them decide when to perform service before failures occur.

Connected refrigeration equipment also helps operators and contractors identify other indicators of asset health, including: spikes in energy use, increased compressor vibration and excessive noise — all signs that equipment could soon be at risk for failure. Not only can IoT prevent costly refrigeration downtime, it can also reduce the need for expensive emergency service calls.

For the newer generation of service contractors, IoT provides a plug-and-play capability that helps overcome their knowledge gap. With the abilities to collect and store all system-related information, IoT helps replace contractor reliance on the intelligence passed down from older contractors who are approaching retirement.

Learn how IoT and ProAct Enterprise Software and Services can help transform the efficiencies of your supermarket operations

Going Green Helps C-Stores Grow Bottom Line

ronchapek_2 Ron Chapek | Director of Product Management/Enterprise Software

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Today’s c-store operators are deploying facility management control systems to meet customer demands for eco-friendly initiatives and improve energy efficiencies. This blog is based on a recent article that described how United Dairy Farmers utilizes Emerson’s Site Supervisor to achieve these goals.

Going Green Helps C-Stores Grow Bottom Line

Appealing to eco-conscious consumers is driving c-stores to implement more sustainable practices. From product offerings and water usage to lighting and energy consumption, c-stores are instituting numerous environmentally friendly initiatives, which are not only attracting customers but also reducing operating costs. United Dairy Farmers (UDF) has experienced the benefits of this strategy firsthand.

With nearly 200 locations in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, UDF’s commitment to energy efficiency has produced dividends to their bottom line. This initiative began nearly two decades ago when UDF’s engineering consulting firm, Springridge Partners, installed an Emerson control system in each store to monitor the performance of HVAC, refrigeration and lighting systems. The control systems were set up to alert UDF store managers of any operational concerns, allowing them to take fast preventative maintenance actions and avoid full system failures — thereby saving on product loss, energy and labor costs.

By creating refrigeration setpoints and alarms, store managers receive alerts when a refrigeration system is not operating properly. For example, if case temperatures exceed setpoints, the control system sends an alert to the store manager and maintenance staff, who can then dispatch the appropriate personnel to fix the issue. If compressor temperatures rise or the amperage increases over a short period of time, the system sends alerts of potential compressor failure, giving managers the opportunity to proactively replace it before a downtime incident occurs.

The control system allows UDF and Springridge Partners to determine how much energy the chain is using and make necessary adjustments. One of the first efficiency initiatives they implemented was upgrading the stores’ lighting fixtures to all-LED lighting. Each upgrade of an older UDF store from T-12 florescent lighting to LED delivers nearly 75 percent savings on lighting costs. LED lighting upgrades also reduce associated maintenance and labor costs because lights don’t have to be changed nearly as often.

Recently, UDF upgraded to Emerson’s new Site Supervisor facility control platform in its newest store location in Sharonville, Ohio. This upgrade allows UDF to remotely view the store’s energy usage and investigate consumption variances in real time. Technicians can simply log in to see what’s happening at the store, and then talk to the store manager to decide whether they need a service call. This process also allows employees to make the best use of their time instead of responding to a false alarm.

“The new Emerson Site Supervisor is a continuation of our strategy to integrate technology into our operations. This particular technology will allow our team to be more proactive in addressing issues before they become emergencies, and it allows us to maintain the quality of our products at a very high level,” said Brad Lindner, UDF’s CEO.

What’s more, the system is expected to assist UDF in its plans to implement further reductions in energy usage across its operations.

“By allowing our team to analyze the trend data, we are able to make intelligent decisions regarding setpoints, equipment selections and food quality. We will continue to look for new ways to leverage technology in other areas of our business to increase both awareness and engagement of our staff as a whole,” Lindner said.

Learn more about Site Supervisor and its capabilities to see how it can drive energy efficiency in your operations.

Incorporating Freshness Into the Discount Retail Mix

AndrePatenaude_Blog_Image Andre Patenaude | Director, Food Retail Marketing & Growth Strategy, Cold Chain

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Our work with a leading discount retailer helped them boost energy savings, facility efficiency and more. Read the full article here.

Incorporating Freshness into the discount retail mix

As is the case throughout most of our industry, discount-oriented retailers are adapting to rapidly evolving and dynamic consumer preferences. To become more competitive, some operators are introducing fresh food options and produce. But adding food to the retail mix also potentially creates a new set of challenges for retailers related to food quality, safety and preservation.

One leading discount retailer with thousands of stores across the U.S. is helping drive the fresh food trend by facing these challenges head-on. Building upon a period of strong growth, this operator has plans for further expansion into the food retail space that includes:

  • Annual remodels in nearly 10 percent of its stores to improve shopping environments
  • Increasing the number of stores with fresh food and perishable offerings
  • Remodeling and updating refrigeration capabilities of nearly 30 percent of its stores
  • Offering more produce in food-equipped stores
  • Increasing the number of stores featuring more groceries than dry goods

With a national network of store sizes ranging from 6,000 to 16,000 square feet, the operator’s next step was to put a plan in place that addressed new refrigeration requirements and ways to optimize operations across their enterprise. This approach would call not only for a more proactive approach to help ensure food freshness, quality and safety, but also automate the management of HVAC, refrigeration and lighting systems for maximum reliability and energy efficiency.

Emerson, in conjunction with partner OEMs, proposed a plan that introduced a combination of reliable compression technologies, advanced facility controls and remote monitoring capabilities through ProAct™ software, Alarm Management and Resolution services.

The results? Through significant upgrades to their existing refrigeration system and the addition of robust facility management capabilities, the retailer exceeded its desired goals:

  • Setting temperatures back during non-shopping hours delivered 30 percent savings over manual (or non-controlled) methods
  • Monitoring of refrigerated case temperatures kept perishables within optimal ranges and preserved food safety
  • Facility management controls and ProAct software helped prioritize critical issues and allowed the limited staff (typically around eight to 10 employees per day) to focus more on customer service matters and improve the shopping experience

This is just a glimpse into what Emerson products and solutions can do for your operations. As the industry incorporates more fresh food offerings, we’ll continue to develop ways in which our customers can optimize their facilities and ensure food quality and safety. For more information, read the full article here.

Highlighting Smart Systems for National Food Safety Education Month

Ed_McKiernan Ed McKiernan | President, Cold Chain, Electronics & Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

September is National Food Safety Education Month. With food safety emerging as a top priority for retailers and store operators, we’re looking at how evolving technology and solutions are giving industry leaders opportunities to streamline their operations and ensure safety. To read the full article, which was featured in Convenience Store News, click here.

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Health-conscious lifestyles and food safety are top priorities for a growing number of consumers, forcing food retailers and producers to focus on implementing solutions and strategies that help ensure food is safe throughout its supply chain journey. Smart technology has evolved to help them automate critical tasks and meet increasingly stringent regulatory requirements.

Automated temperature monitoring and management capabilities are some of the best ways to maintain food safety from harvest and processing to transportation, post-processing, distribution and receiving. Since it’s Food Safety Education Month, we feel it’s an especially good time to highlight a few examples of food safety modernization.

Small trackers, big results

Rather than manually recording temperatures at load and unload or using analog sensors to detect out-of-range temperatures, leading growers are transitioning to using real-time trackers at the transportation level to determine optimal conditions for food freshness. These trackers are about the size of a deck of cards and monitor freshness throughout the entire food journey.

Maximize refrigerated shipping container lifespans

Because refrigerated shipping containers have both a high value and long-life expectations, maximizing their lifespans is crucial. By implementing remote monitoring systems for intermodal containers, shipping companies can detect problems with the compressor, system runtimes, interior temperature or lighting conditions and route the container for repair whenever needed. This same data can also be used to monitor perishable food conditions within the container.

Continuous temperature tracking

Food safety can be compromised, even after relatively short periods of temperature deviations. Now, temperature conditions can be recorded and monitored throughout the entire journey to a retail destination and, upon arrival, can connect automatically to Wi-Fi based systems for instant validation of safety.

Incorporating IoT

IoT and cloud-based solutions have emerged as necessary tools to maintaining food safety. These technologies enable data storage in the cloud and provide operators throughout the food supply chain with information to help maximize efficiency and ensure that perishable food is always kept safe.

Given the transparency that consumers are demanding about the food they’re eating, supply chain stakeholders are almost certain to make better use of automated and shared data by applying temperature management, data gathering and other IoT/cloud-based solutions across the entire food supply chain. Large retailers are also likely to embrace an interconnected approach to capturing data at every step to help drive consumer confidence.

This is an extremely dynamic period in cold chain history. As the industry moves to a more data-driven paradigm, we will undoubtedly discover improved methods of operation and new ways to engage and protect consumers. In recent years, Emerson has focused on expanding our capabilities across every domain within the cold chain to support this shift because we know the importance of providing data and information insights as food travels along its journey from farm to fork.

National Food Safety Education Month is a reminder of the importance of recognizing the efforts required to maintain food safety throughout the cold chain. Emerson focuses on these challenges every day: developing new technologies, strategies, solutions and products that not only help to optimize your operations, but also deliver the safest and freshest product possible.

 

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