Before the doors open at the AHR Expo on February 4,join usat 8 a.m. for an interactive E360 Breakfast discussion on HVACR refrigerants and regulations. You’ll hear about several industry trends to keep your eyes on over the next few years.
Refrigerant regulations are in constant flux, making it extremely difficult to stay current on the latest changes and information. Emerson’s regulation experts, Rajan Rajendran and Jennifer Butsch will highlight some of the latest regulatory updates and refrigerant options to help get you up to speed.
In addition, Emerson’s Ken Monnier will explore several industry trends that could potentially impact you over the next decade.
During this interactive discussion, you’ll have opportunities to ask some of your most pressing questions and share thoughts on measures that attendees might leverage to address today’s challenges.
Tuesday, February 4 Orange County Convention Center
8 – 9:30 a.m. Room: W205 (West Concourse), Level II
9800 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Afterward, you’ll be ready to hit the AHR Expo floor. We hope your first stop is the Emerson booth (#2101), where you can take a close look at some of our exciting technologies:
Copeland™ AWEF compliant condensing units for walk-In coolers and freezers — take energy efficiency regulations out of the equation with condensing units certified to meet AWEF requirements.
Copeland Scroll™ Digital Outdoor Refrigeration Unit, X-Line Series — learn how precise temperature control and significant energy savings are made possible with latest innovation in variable capacity modulation technology.
Copeland™ Modular Indoor Solution — see how our AHR Innovation Award finalist provides an all-in-one micro-distributed solution for food retailers, restaurants and convenience stores with display cases and walk-in boxes.
Supervisory Controls — learn why retailers large and small rely on this total-facility platform to monitor, optimize and control their refrigeration systems, HVAC, lighting and more.
Connect+ Enterprise Management Software — get an inside look at our newest IoT-enabled software suite designed 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!
For large retailers with multi-site store networks, there are significant advantages to using alarm management services and enterprise software — from reducing operational costs and preserving food quality and safety to lowering maintenance costs and improving energy efficiency. In a recent E360 Webinar, Best Practices in Enterprise and Facility Optimization, I talked with Scott Fritz, Emerson’s director of enterprise services & IT operations, about the keys to maximizing performance in these critical areas. View the webinarin its entirety and continue reading to learn more.
The process of managing assets, food inventories, service requirements and energy efficiency at an enterprise level involves a variety of stakeholders, including store managers, service technicians, alarm technicians, facility managers, energy managers and food safety managers. Companies need both the proper tools and strategies to effectively coordinate these resources and manage their collective efforts.
The following four best practices are designed to leverage enterprise software and services to help your company achieve its critical business objectives.
1. Gain a centralized view of operations. Today, multi-site retailers are tasked with managing large asset and equipment portfolios — such as aging HVAC, lighting and refrigeration systems — and an ever-increasing number of “smart” assets connected via the internet of things (IoT). Enterprise software offers a centralized view and management of these critical assets, enabling remote support, user access controls and network-wide broadcast of changes (such as refrigeration and HVAC setpoints and lighting schedules).
By optimizing facilities management and controlling setpoint data, large enterprises — such as a supermarket with 250 sites — can achieve up to $1M annually in operational labor savings.
2. Establish effective alarm management. Keeping a network of sites and their assets performing optimally requires the abilities to mitigate costly failures, save energy, and ensure food safety. But with virtually thousands of issues to sort through at any given time, this is no small task. Alarm management services allow companies to filter out the noise of countless non-essential alarms and prioritize critical issues. These timely and pertinent notifications accelerate issue resolution and prevent their potentially negative consequences.
For example, by avoiding food loss and delaying the “shrink” of perishable items, companies can save more than $2M annually.
3. Enable remote access. Service technicians and maintenance teams are running increasingly lean, with a scarcity of available new talent to replace an aging workforce. Enterprise software enables remote field connectivity to service issues via intuitive software that can be accessed on handheld computers and mobile devices. Having access to this data helps technicians evaluate and troubleshoot issues remotely — often eliminating the need for service calls (i.e., truck rolls) — while serving as a real-time training tool for new technicians.
The reduction of unnecessary truck rolls and service calls across an enterprise can save up to $1.5M annually.
4. Automate setpoint and energy management. Facilities managers are under increasing pressure to meet myriad day-to-day commitments — all while trying to achieve their profitability targets and reduce their liabilities and risks. Enterprise software with predictive analytics capabilities can help automate the compliance of critical operating parameters — such as refrigeration and HVAC setpoints — and deliver insights that facilities managers can leverage to make informed decisions.
By deploying setpoint management tools that ensure continuous commissioning of equipment and establishing processes to maintain optimal energy levels, companies can achieve up to a $2.7M reduction in annual energy spend.
By following these four best practices, companies can transform the productivity, energy efficiency and overall optimization of their enterprise operations. Emerson has the enterprise software, alarm management services and domain expertise to help large supermarket and restaurant chains optimize their multi-site store networks. View this webinar in its entirely to learn more.
Amy Childress | Vice President of Marketing & Planning, Cargo Solutions
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions
The cold chain in perishable food distribution is a complex and delicate thing. Just one hour out of optimum temperature range can have significant impact on a product’s shelf life. More serious cold chain lapses can pose waste, food safety and environmental issues, causing businesses and entire industries financial and reputational harm. At the E360 Forum in Houston last fall, I shared common cold chain pitfalls, real-world case studies and best practices for successfully navigating this complicated process. Read more below, then view the full E360 Forum presentation.
Those blueberries on your cereal? They’re from Chili. That orange? South Africa. Today’s food travels incredible distances to get to you. And behind your grilled salmon supper, there’s a dizzying array of complex cold chain management and monitoring that needs to happen to get it to your table — safe and tasty.
Industry experts say that from farm (or ocean) to your fork, there can be as many as 15–20 transfer points (hand-offs) in the cold chain process, encompassing trucks, containers and even planes. Each stop increases the risk of food safety incidences, spoilage and lost profits.
What’s at stake when the cold chain breaks?
Food and resource waste
One of the more frustrating things to me is the amount of time, money and resources spent producing food and getting it to where it needs to go — only to have it spoil by the time it gets to the point of sale. Think of all the work, expenses, fuel and greenhouse gas emissions it requires to get product from California to the East Coast. When there’s a break in the cold chain, all of that time, effort and money could potentially be lost.
According to Food Foolish by John Mandyck and Eric Schultz, the amount of food waste in the supply and distribution of food is staggering. They estimate that:
1 billion metric tons of food is lost or wasted each year
One-third of food produced each year is never eaten
800 million people in the world are chronically hungry
In addition, food waste has a devastating impact on the environment in terms of water waste and the creation of greenhouse gases. Mandyck and Schultz go on to say: “If food waste were a country by itself, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China and the U.S.”
I don’t need to tell you there’s big money in each trailer transporting food commodities across the country and around the world. If there’s a break in the cold chain, the financial impacts can be painful. Check out the food value estimate per truckload:
Beef — $150,000 to $250,000
Poultry — $60,000 to $225,000
Pork — $80,000
Strawberries — $20,000
Bananas — $16,000
Food safety and public health
According to the CDC, about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. Not all issues are directly attributable to compromised cold chain processes. But with elevated temperatures, a very small situation can grow exponentially in a very short time. By properly managing temperature, you can mitigate and isolate a potential food incident before it can spread.
Conquering the cold chain
We know what can go wrong when temperatures aren’t right. But how can broken links in the cold chain be prevented? To answer that, here are a few best practices for facilitating good temperatures in transit.
Start with appropriate pre-cooling processes. Remove field heat from product as soon as possible, pre-cool containers, and “pulp” or take product temperature to ensure it’s at the correct setpoint.
Follow proper loading practices for optimal air circulation.
Establish and communicate proper transport temperatures; pay attention to mixed loads.
Employ independent temperature-monitoring devices and proper placement procedures.
Check temperature history and place immediately into cold storage at the distribution center.
Transport from the distribution center to the retailer needs to be closely monitored as well. In fact, this is one of the areas where we see the most breakdowns: the transfer at the final point of sale. Deliveries typically come in very late and perishables are not put into cold storage quick enough.
Baked bananas and blockchain
One of our customers recently shared a story about a load of bananas they received. The retailer was using one of our real-time monitoring devices and knew before the containers were unloaded that bananas had basically cooked in transit. Armed with real-time temperature data, they declined the shipment, saving $28,000 on two loads — loads they may have previously accepted.
Digital time and temperature loggers, real-time trackers with proactive alerts have been a part of perishable loads in transit for years. As illustrated by the story above, they have been instrumental in identifying temperature flux and allow retailers and suppliers to be more preventive and proactive.
Emerson is leading exciting developments in analytics based on aggregated data from these devices. Vast amounts of in-transit time, location and temperature intelligence are now stored in the cloud — and can be tapped for deeper cold chain insights on best routes, carriers, shipping lanes and suppliers.
Another technology getting a lot of industry buzz is blockchain. (It’s not just for cryptocurrency.) Blockchain offers an incredibly secure platform to share deep and detailed data across all the supply chain players. It lets disparate, previously siloed, entities share common, unalterable data on a common framework. We’re currently working with IBM to create food freshness applications and shelf-life predictors that could be shared across the blockchain platform. And that’s only the beginning.
To hear more best practices, cold chain success stories and even a few cautionary tales, be sure to view the full E360 Forum presentation here.
I recently conducted an E360 Webinar about the Department of Energy’s (DOE) new energy-efficiency standards on walk-in coolers and freezers (WICF). The webinar was presented to help industry stakeholders prepare for compliance by reviewing the ruling’s scope, definitions and potential industry impacts. View an archive of the webinar here and/or read a summary of its key takeaways below.
On June 3, 2014, the DOE published its final rule on prescribed performance-based standards for WICFs, which specifically apply to the condensing units and unit coolers used in these systems. Then, on July 10, 2017, the DOE issued an update to the ruling and released its minimum efficiency test procedures, which they termed the annual walk-in efficiency factor (AWEF).
AWEF is a metric created by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) designed to help manufacturers validate compliance. As defined by the AHRI 1250-2009 standard, AWEF minimum efficiency requirements for dedicated condensing units vary per capacity and application (e.g., indoor, outdoor).
Although the compliance date for medium-temperature, dedicated condensing system applications has been in place since 2017, the DOE has established the following enforcement dates for 2020:
1: for medium-temperature WICF applications
July 10: for low-temperature WICF applications
Scope and definitions
The scope of the ruling pertains to enclosed WICFs that can be walked into and have a total chilled storage area of less than 3,000 square feet. In addition, the ruling applies only to those condensing units and unit coolers designed to provide one refrigerated load. Products designed and marketed exclusively for medical, scientific or research purposes are excluded from this ruling.
According to the DOE ruling, 32 °F is the point of differentiation between walk-in coolers and freezers. A walk-in cooler is defined as an enclosed storage space refrigerated to temperatures above 32 °F. A walk-in freezer is defined as an enclosed storage space refrigerated to temperatures at or below 32 °F.
The DOE WICF ruling applies to both new and retrofit refrigeration systems, including:
Condensing units that are assembled to construct a new WICF
Condensing units that are used to replace an existing, previously installed WICF component (retrofit)
Condensing units used within packaged systems
Important note: While this does mean that condensing units manufactured after the ruling’s enforcement dates must comply, it does not exclude wholesalers and contractors from using and stocking condensing units that were manufactured before the DOE enforcement dates.
With the DOE enforcement dates quickly approaching, stakeholders throughout the commercial refrigeration industry need to understand the ruling’s potential impacts on their businesses. Of course, this starts with equipment manufacturers that must not only manufacture compliant products, but also demonstrate certification and compliance through the following: registration with the DOE’s Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS) database; proper disclosure in marketing materials; and permanent nameplate marking.
Impacts to other key stakeholders include:
Wholesalers — must be prepared for changing inventories and begin carrying only AWEF-compliant products if they are manufactured after the 2020 enforcement date
Contractors — must understand that if they replace a condensing unit with one manufactured after the DOE enforcement date, it must be an AWEF-compliant unit
Design consultants — must be well-versed in the regulatory impacts to advise end users in the selection of energy-compliant, sustainable systems
End users — need to consider selecting future-proof equipment that aligns with their long-term refrigeration strategies
Regardless of your specific role, Emerson offers additional training, resources and expertise to help you prepare for compliance and understand the impacts of the DOE’s WICF ruling. For more information, please view the webinar archive or download our DOE WICF ruling FAQ document.
In today’s competitive food retail and foodservice markets, empowering your service teams to provide fast, effective issue resolution can be a true differentiator. In our next E360 Webinar, which will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT, we will explain how new enterprise management and collaboration tools can help operators optimize their service teams and implement efficient processes across the enterprise.
Supermarket, convenience store and restaurant operators are faced with a perfect storm of facility management and servicing challenges. As the pool of qualified technicians continues to shrink, those entering the service profession have limited systems knowledge and must quickly learn to navigate an increasingly complex landscape of new technologies and architectures. Simply put, operators need new tools to help their service teams:
Process and prioritize alarms per specific geographic regions, areas of responsibility and importance to business success (HVAC, refrigeration, ice machines, beer coolers, etc.)
Access the information needed to resolve issues quickly and fix equipment failures on the first attempt
In our next E360 Webinar, I’ll be joined by Pranay Shah, senior technical product owner at Emerson, to discuss how new enterprise software and collaborative community platforms can be combined to prioritize, triage and accelerate issue resolution for both internal service teams and supporting contractor networks. As we explore how to leverage these powerful and intuitive tools to streamline facility management and servicing processes, attendees will learn:
How enterprise management software can be tailored to end user roles and responsibilities
How these tools can be mapped to specific processes per unique business objectives
How alerts are filtered and prioritized to address next most important tasks
How service networks and communities enable team collaboration, live chat, video and technical knowledge base access
So if you’re ready to learn how to put these tools to work in your organization — and better optimize the service teams and processes with which you manage them — then register now for this informative webinar and make plans to join us on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT.
Commercial & Residential Solutions is a global innovator of energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions for residential, industrial and commercial applications. www.climate.emerson.com