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When the Regulatory Push Comes to Shove

donnewlon Don Newlon | V.P./G.M., Refrigeration Marketing

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

This blog originally appeared in one of our E360 Outlook edition. Click here to read the issue in its entirety.

It’s been than more than two years since the Department of Energy (DOE) announced its final rule on energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. At the time of its 2014 announcement, many industry stakeholders expressed their objections to this standard, claiming that it was founded on insufficient premises and nearly impossible to meet.

The industry’s most substantial objection resulted in a formal petition submitted to federal court— one that consolidated the opinions of the American Heating and Refrigeration Institute, some of its member companies and the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers. In August, the Appeals Court ruled in the DOE’s favor, effectively quashing any hopes that the ruling would be amended or delayed. Any lingering questions about the implementation of the DOE’s new efficiency standard have been laid to rest.

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All stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment released after March 27, 2017, will need to achieve up to 30–50 percent reduction in energy consumption. Some OEMs have already cleared this hurdle. But, if you are an OEM who thought this deadline wouldn’t come to pass, and you have delayed research, design, development and testing of new products, you are no doubt feeling a new sense of urgency. The regulatory push has come to shove.

That’s why the “Countdown to Compliance” feature story in this issue is devoted to addressing this imminent deadline — not only what it means to OEMs, but also evaluating its larger impacts on the industry. In our Helix Highlight article, we’re also introducing a new simulation model for ice machines that can help OEMs with rapid prototyping and allow them to virtually test the efficiency impacts of system design and component changes.

It’s important to remember that the March 2017 compliance date is just the first in a series of regulatory milestones in the journey that lies ahead. We know there will soon be changes in acceptable refrigerants, and we’re well aware of the subsequent energy minimums to be enforced on other classes of commercial refrigeration equipment. The next several years will be full of challenges. Each regulation will need to be approached with specific technologies and strategies to achieve compliance.

Our commitment to helping our partners prepare for each step along the path to compliance is stronger than ever. To Emerson, it’s about more than seeking fresh approaches to system designs; it’s about helping the industry confidently embrace a new era of refrigeration. Regardless of where your company may be on its journey toward compliance, we have the resources and the willingness to help.

150 Years of Innovation at Vilter

AntonioDeLourdes Antonio De Lourdes | Research & Development Lead Engineer, Vilter

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

This year Vilter Manufacturing celebrates 150 years! The company’s rich history tells a story of perseverance and drive to cultivate continuous innovation within the industrial refrigeration and gas compression industries.

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HISTORY

  • 1867: Vilter Manufacturing starts as a general jobbing shop that Peter Weisel opened in 1867 in Milwaukee, WI
  • 1880: Ernest Vilter became a partner in the business and soon after introduced the Corliss Engine (1880) and the first Refrigeration Compressor (1882)

After surviving a devastating fire that burned the entire factory down (1892), Vilter focused on rebuilding on a larger site. Landing on their feet, Vilter quickly rose as an industry leader in providing cooling equipment to ice plants, breweries, and packing houses. Vilter even played a crucial role in supporting the United States in World War I and World War II.

 TODAY

To accommodate growing sales, Vilter moved to its current location in Cudahy, WI in 1999. Many changes took place over the next 18 years, including being acquired by Emerson in 2009. Here are several recent innovations:

  • 2005: Began manufacturing high-pressure single screw compressors.
  • 2007: Released Viltech, a more robust controller for reciprocal compressors
  • 2010: Named the official sponsor of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton teams for the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver. Also developed in 2010, were the Vission, Vantage and Vission 20/20 controllers.
  • 2012: Built a 7,000-pound Ammonia test lab
  • 2013: Developed the 401 mm line, the largest single screw compressor
  • 2015: Developed a 50 TR CO2 subcritical compressor, a high suction pressure solution that could handle 750 PSI of suction pressure
  • 2016: Released the VSMC product line

FUTURE

 While continuing to address total cost of ownership (equipment cost, maintenance costs, and energy costs), end-users are now evaluating solutions to lower the charge of ammonia systems and/or completely removing the ammonia out of the occupied spaces. Vilter is developing robust, efficient solutions that meet customer needs:

  • Systems utilizing CO2 as a volatile secondary fluid
  • Cascade systems using CO2 in the low stage
  • Booster transcritical CO2 systems

Vilter is also capturing the voice of the customer by utilizing Virtual Reality (VR). Virtual reality allows customers to visualize the end product early in the design process. This gives customers an opportunity to provide feedback to create designs to fit their requests.

Dedicated to excellence, Vilter continues to innovate and adapt to meet the needs of their industries. Vilter and Emerson look forward with confidence to the next 150 years.

[New E360 Webinar] Evaluating Natural Refrigerant Choices for Small-Format and Foodservice

AllenWicher Allen Wicher | Director, Foodservice Marketing

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Join Us for our next E360 Webinar, Opportunities for Natural Refrigerants in Small-Format Applications on Tuesday, May 16 at 2 p.m. EDT / 11 a.m. PDT.

The growing list of eco-friendly refrigerant options is presenting small-format retail and foodservice operators with difficult decisions. With so many low global warming potential (GWP) options from which to choose — including a wide range of new synthetic blends and a few natural alternatives — these small grocers, convenience stores and restaurants are challenged with selecting a new refrigerant alternative that will serve as the basis for their short- and long-term refrigeration platforms. Behind this difficult decision is an active regulatory climate — one with numerous hurdles to clear in the next five years.

First, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set a phase-out schedule for the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with high GWP. Second, the Department of Energy (DOE) has established new energy consumption guidelines for specific classes of refrigeration equipment. The net result is a sea change to refrigeration architectures in these segments — one where natural refrigerants propane (or R-290) and CO2 (or R-744) will each play an increasingly vital role.

To make this decision even more complicated, these markets not only utilize the widest variety of equipment and system architectures, they are also faced with understanding new refrigerant requirements in each equipment class. With so many moving pieces, it’s easy to see why there’s an unusually high degree of confusion and uncertainty. Even so, many owner/operators will soon be tasked with selecting a new refrigeration platform. And with numerous EPA and DOE deadlines looming, these decisions must be made quickly.

Among the seemingly ever-expanding variety of refrigeration equipment from which to choose, natural refrigerant-based equipment offer the only true “future proof” options capable of taking current regulatory compliance concerns out of the equation. But questions remain about how these emerging systems compare to their HFC predecessors or newer synthetic refrigerant counterparts.

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Our next E360 Webinar will answer many of these questions. Co-presented by me and Andre Patenaude, director of CO2 business development, this informative session will explore the many considerations operators have when moving to natural refrigerant-based systems. Attendees will learn:

  • Evolution of natural systems from large- to small-format retail
  • Market dynamics driving an increase in urban small-format retail
  • Regulatory implications of R-290 and R-744
  • Cost, performance, safety and servicing impacts of natural systems
  • Equipment and system architectures that utilize natural refrigerants

So, if you are a small-format retail or foodservice operator seeking clarification about natural refrigerants, register now to join me and Andre Patenaude for this discussion on Tuesday, May 16 at 2 p.m. EDT / 11 a.m. PDT.

Implications of the Food Safety Modernization Act

JamesMitchell2 James Mitchell | Product Manager, ProAct Enterprise Software and Services, Retail Solutions
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was the most sweeping reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years. Its goal is to ensure that the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.  I recently contributed to an article featured in Refrigerated & Frozen Foods discussing the new food safety regulations and best practices for safe food transportation. Highlights from the article are below.

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FSMA has increased the responsibility on collecting and utilizing data, especially product temperature, to ensure that food remains fresh and safe from farm to table. Record keeping is a key component for FDA compliance which means supply chain partners will need to keep accurate documentation to verify the integrity of their foods. Connected solutions are a way to store and analyze data throughout the cold chain process enabling more effective operations and food quality reporting.

Food processors can do their part to ensure food safety during the transportation phase of the cold chain. Below are five best practices to leverage with these regulations in mind:

  1. Establish pre-cooling processes when the container is connected to the cold storage unit.
  2. Ensure perishable products are loaded in a manner that allows airflow in the container.
  3. Develop and communicate proper transport temperatures
  4. Integrate temperature monitoring device and placement procedures.
  5. Check temperature data upon receipt at the distribution center.

As food processors work to comply with FSMA, integrated controls and remote monitoring can assist in addressing potential food safety issues before products leave a processing facility.

Read the full article in Refrigerated & Frozen Foods online here.

For more than 20 years, Emerson has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.

 

Five Megatrends That Will Impact Retail and Foodservice

Dean Landeche_Blog Dean Landeche | V.P. of Marketing , Retail Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

View our most recent E360 Webinar, “Retail and Foodservice 2025: The Future for Customers, Operators and Facilities.

Grocery retail and foodservice sectors are currently undergoing a significant transition in the way they conduct business. Driven by a digital revolution, rapidly changing consumer expectations and the demand for convenience at every touchpoint, operators are devising new strategies to stay competitive and keep customers engaged. While some of these changes are already in progress, others are just beginning to take shape.

To get a clearer view of the outlook for these dynamic markets, Emerson recently invited Zandi Brehmer, consulting practice manager of innovation for Euromonitor Consulting, to present insights from her research at our 22nd E360 Webinar. Brehmer’s presentation was rife with relevant information, particularly about how these developments will impact future retail store and restaurant design and infrastructure.

With that in mind, what follows are Brehmer’s top five megatrends in these markets.

  1. Digital shoppers. Today, three out of four households in the U.S. own a smartphone, accounting for 47 percent of purchases and a forecast for $1 trillion in sales by 2018. Retailers need to engage consumers through their mobile devices with options to order/pay, and potentially even mobile apps where opportunities exist to provide real value to customers.
  2. Focus on convenience. The urbanization of the U.S. population continues, with 83 percent of Americans living in urban centers, and 65 percent of global consumers are looking to simplify their lives. New business models — such as just-in-time delivery, click and collect, and basic replenishment — are emerging to provide convenience improvements and help consumers save time.
  3. New retail formats. The size of traditional U.S. grocery stores has continued to shrink over the past 10 years. With shoppers faced with ever-increasing options, new formats are challenged to be more thoughtful. At opposite ends of the spectrum are value- and premium-based outlets, while the mid-market retailers are taking a hit. Specialty small-format convenience stores will continue to emerge as “grocerants” blur the lines between retail and foodservice.
  4. Experiential retail. As product offerings become all too similar, it’s the shopping experiences that will differentiate one retailer from the next. In fact, 78 percent of U.S. millennials would rather spend money on a desirable experience than on goods, while 39 percent of global shoppers like to browse, even if they don’t need anything.
  5. Omnichannel proficiency. Retailers will need to provide a seamless way to facilitate sales anytime and anywhere for their consumers, including the methods discussed herein. Even online retailers are opening physical storefronts to round out omnichannel opportunities.

The conclusion: business as usual is no longer an option. Operators will likely need to overhaul their store layouts to meet the expectations of every type of customer via better segmentation of functional areas such as parking, checkout, order pick-up, dining area and kitchens.

To learn more, view this webinar in its entirety.

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