Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Emerson TAC’

Six Arguments that Make the Case for Case Control

In the U.S., the vast majority of refrigeration cases are controlled via circuit control. Yet, implementing individual case control leads to lower energy costs for retailers. At our 2014 Technology in Action Conference, we brought together three retail end users who are currently using case control in their supermarkets for a panel discussion on this topic. We addressed the benefits and challenges of installing case control, as well as asked the panelists to share their personal experiences with actual deployments.

During this discussion, a consensus emerged among the panel of retailers – each of whom is based in the Northeast region of the U.S., where there is currently a high concentration of case control stores. Each of the panelists shared that their companies are implementing case control in some way – as they remodel stores and build new facilities. As advocates for case control, they all agreed that its benefits and savings outweigh the potential challenges.

John Wallace (second on left) of Emerson Climate Technologies moderates a panel discussion on case control with retail end users (L to R): Steve Mitchell of King Kullen, Frank Vadino of Cold Technology and Kevin St. Phillips of Price Chopper.

John Wallace (second on left) of Emerson Climate Technologies moderates a panel discussion on case control with retail end users (L to R): Steve Mitchell of King Kullen, Frank Vadino of Cold Technology and Kevin St. Phillips of Price Chopper.

Below are six arguments – and some tips for successful implementation – from actual end users that make the case for case control:

  1. Case control installation is cost-effective. Installation with case control will be less expensive than the costs seen with a conventional mechanical valve store. With case control, you are able to drive down the electrical installation costs. Stores with conventional valves may also take longer to set up. Less time is spent on the case installation and set up with case control because a lot of the work can be done ahead of time; this allows the other store teams to work in conjunction with the case installation. You can set shelves, bring in groceries and burn off cooking equipment while the installation happens, rather than waiting until a case is full to the load line and environmental conditions are set.
  2. A kickoff meeting with prospective bidders is a crucial first step for a new project. When bidding a new project, it helps to ensure all parties involved understand the plan and specifications. A kickoff meeting allows you to sit down and explain the design methodology and how it differs from conventional systems. If you expect to see lower electrical installation costs, make sure you state this to the prospective bidders. It’s also important to have quality instruction documentation to support your project expectations.
  3. Training is critical when adopting case controls. Everyone involved needs to know how to use the equipment. Set up training for the mechanics so that they not only understand how the controls work, but also explain why you’ve elected to use case control. Making sure they understand the concept and getting the mechanics on board with case control can go a long way in helping them take ownership of the startup and maintenance of the equipment.
  4. When ordering new cases, have the controls mounted in the cases by the manufacturer. With high labor costs, you’ll see savings with ordering the controls already installed in new cases. You will still need to allocate time after the cases are installed to make sure that all connections are tight and the wiring is set up correctly, but opting for manufacturer installed controls will also allow for quicker installation.
  5. Use case controls to better manage your facility and your maintenance teams. Case controls provide a better level of visibility and control of your facilities. The data collected provides valuable information to help evaluate a problem and diagnose it properly. If something isn’t working correctly, technicians are able to call the supervision team, who has access to the system remotely, to help walk them through the issue. Technicians can also access system information on a smart phone or tablet while in the field. And, you can set restrictions to allow varying levels of access to the system information – or you can override the system, when needed. Electronic expansion valves can also help reduce truck rolls and decrease the inventory needed on technician trucks.
  6. There are different strategies for successful case control conversion. As case control is adopted by more retailers in the U.S., we’re seeing different approaches to case control conversion by various organizations. Some have opted to switch their stores to case control as they remodel, retrofitting the cases in any stores going through a remodel with electronic controls at that time. And for larger remodels, they may order new cases with the controls factory installed. Another method is to go into existing stores with conventional systems for an energy conversion project and retrofit the cases with electronic controls; this may be done with a controlled conversion, switching a few racks in a store at a time, or by converting the whole store. And with new builds, many opt to simplify the electrical construction by installing case control from the start.
John Wallace (far left) of Emerson Climate Technologies with retail customers (L to R): Frank Vadino of Cold Technology, Steve Mitchell of King Kullen and Kevin St. Phillips of Price Chopper.

John Wallace (far left) of Emerson Climate Technologies with retail customers (L to R): Frank Vadino of Cold Technology, Steve Mitchell of King Kullen and Kevin St. Phillips of Price Chopper.

For more information on Emerson Climate Technologies offering of case controls for supermarkets and convenience stores, please visit the XM Series Case Control page on our website.

John Wallace
Director of Innovation, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

Five Keys to Success for Convenience Stores Using Control Systems

I’ve recently written about savings opportunities and the benefits of control systems for convenience stores. To follow up on these previous posts, I’ve included my thoughts below on three features to look for in state of the art systems and the five keys to success for convenience store controls.

In creating our new small format control system, ecoSYS Site Supervisor, we learned more about the way people interact with the product, which ultimately changed our design techniques from engineering-centered to human-centered design. We spent a lot of time talking to people who actually use the product to better understand their interaction to create a system that works for them. This insight helped me shape my views around a state of the art control system.

Five Keys to Success for Convenience Stores Using Control Systems

What does a state of the art control systems look like? The three key features you want to look for are:

  • User interface: Ideally, the user interface is web-based, allowing facility managers the ability to view the technology anywhere, including on mobile devices. Customizable user interfaces and role-based user management give the person accessing the system a better user experience.
  • Alarm flexibility: Remote alarm notifications, through SMS and email, can signal a problem when a facility manager is offsite. Smart categorization for alarms is also beneficial, allowing the user to customize the alarms with names used by the organization.
  • Enterprise management: A web-based or server-based system provides the ability to capture data from all stores, which can be analyzed for operational performance. You can also view and control the systems in all stores across an enterprise.

Once you’ve identified the need for a control system within your enterprise, and you’re ready to implement controls, successful engagement with the system is even more important. Below are my five keys to success for convenience stores using facility controls:

  1. Think through who needs to interact with the system: Who would you like to have access to the control system – store personnel, on-site technicians, or maintenance and energy managers? Think about this first before deciding if access will be available for everyone.
  2. Standardize the system configurations: Make configurations for HVAC and lighting schedules, refrigeration control settings and additional monitoring points as similar as possible throughout all stores. There will always be some differences to account for, but standardization across an enterprise is helpful for everyone to understand the system capabilities and their actions.
  3. Determine how you want to handle alarms: It’s important to plan the way alarms will be managed before startup. Determine whether you will avoid nuisance alarms. Review thresholds and critical vs. noncritical alarms. Think through alarm notifications, schedules for off hours vs. peak hours, and the differences between HVAC and refrigeration alarms.
  4. Insure all data is used appropriately: Analyze the information collected through the system to identify problem areas. Alarms and other relevant data can be used to target maintenance and equipment replacement.
  5. Place a high importance on training: Do not underestimate the need for a thorough, simple training program for all people who will interact with the system. Set up training before the systems are installed, and schedule ongoing training as needed.

What have you found to be most successful? Please share your experience in the comments below.

John Wallace
Director of Innovation, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

TAC Panels Make Sense of Refrigerants, Operational Visibility and Energy-Reduction Technologies

With our Technology in Action Conference only one week away, we’re eagerly anticipating a series of informative sessions that will allow attendees to interact with the industry’s leading retail refrigeration experts. Building on the success of last year’s format, we’ve once again designed the conference to encourage participation and foster lively debates about the most pressing topics in refrigeration today.

For this year’s theme, we’re adopting the Making Sense webinar platform, selecting topics that are closely related to refrigerants, operation visibility and energy-reduction technologies. And, we’ve once again invited a wide spectrum of experienced end users, expert practitioners and equipment manufacturers to facilitate these discussions and impart their knowledge.

Here’s a brief overview of our interactive sessions:

Discussion One: Optimizing Facility Operational Costs. Explore the landscape of available strategies, tools, services and equipment to help achieve operational cost effectiveness today. Panelists will discuss how these tools can help retailers achieve their facility’s cost reduction goals. Discussion points include:

  • Factors to consider when optimizing a facility
  • Optimizing project development and prioritization
  • Challenges to achieving facility optimization
  • Optimization strategies, tools, equipment and services

Discussion Two: The Case for Case Control. By shifting centralized control of refrigeration operation to individual cases, retailers can significantly reduce energy costs. Learn why case control has not been more widely adopted in the U.S., and explore the implications of case control installation and operation.

  • Installation cost savings and contractor considerations
  • Potential for energy savings
  • Maintenance and commissioning
  • Refrigerant usage

Discussion Three: The Impact of New Air Conditioning Efficiency Standards. Changes to regulations in 2015–2016 will increase the minimum efficiency levels of air conditioning equipment. Learn more about these regulations, review the available technologies, and discuss the implications for both air conditioning equipment and facility design.

  • Changes to the ASHRAE 90.1 standard (and the timing)
  • Importance of full-load and part-load efficiencies
  • Understanding the impacts of voluntary standards (ENERGY STAR™, Consortium for Energy Efficiencies, and others)
  • Equipment design implications (circuit design, variable capacity compressors, expansion valves, etc.)

Discussion Four: Refrigerants — An Asset or Liability? Changes in regulations that mandate refrigerant use are impacting refrigeration architecture in new and existing stores. Learn which refrigerants to use for retrofits and new system designs, in addition to these important discussion points:

  • Best practices in refrigerant management for existing stores
  • A new way of thinking about refrigerants (no longer just an expense item)
  • Establishing a plan to reduce global warming emissions (including R-22 and R404A retrofits)
  • Regulatory and political forces that will impact existing store refrigerant decisions

This event takes place April 14–16 in Point Clear, Ala. Visit www.emersontac.org to learn more. While at the event, we will be tweeting live discussion updates using the hashtag #EmersonTAC. We hope you will be able to join the conversations!

Mitch Knapke
Refrigeration Market Manager, Supermarkets
Emerson Climate Technologies

Technology in Action Conference: Looking forward to 2014

This is the sixth and final in a series of posts on key presentations from Emerson’s 2013 Technology in Action Conference.

Our annual Technology in Action Conference (TAC) is a customer event for retailers to learn from industry leaders and Emerson experts on best practices to measure, manage, optimize and sustain operational improvements.

Mark Dunson, President of Retail Solutions, kicks off the 2013 Technology in Action Conference in Savannah, Georgia

Mark Dunson, President of Retail Solutions, kicks off the 2013 Technology in Action Conference in Savannah, Georgia

At this year’s conference, we introduced a more interactive format. The use of panel discussions encouraged more engagement with attendees in the sessions. Mark Dunson, president of Retail Solutions, moderated the first of our three panel discussions, focusing on Big Data in Operations, which added value not only to this particular discussion, but also to conversations around the “big data” theme throughout the conference.

“This year’s conference not only focused on new technologies to directly address the issues our customers are facing, but it also highlighted how to leverage the significant amount of operational data available to drive insights to action,” Mark said.

Emerson customer, Eric Johnson, director of construction for Brookshire Brothers, has attended TAC for the past five years. Eric values the knowledge he has gained throughout the years from the TAC sessions, as well as the network of connections he has gained from being a part of this event.

See Eric and Mark’s reactions to the conference in this video.

We were pleased with the feedback received from TAC attendees about this year’s conference, and we will continue to explore ways to improve the content for our customers.  We are already looking forward to the 2014 Technology in Action Conference. For more information on TAC, visit www.emersontac.org.

What topics would you like to see at the 2014 Technology in Action Conference?

Reggie O’Donoghue
Director of Marketing, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

Technology in Action: The Evolution of Facility Management Technology

This is the fifth in a series of posts on key presentations from Emerson’s 2013 Technology in Action Conference.

Facility management technology has changed dramatically over the past couple decades. In a general session at our 2013 Technology in Action Conference (TAC), John Wallace, director of product management at Retail Solutions, discussed this evolution of technology and provided a glimpse into the future of where controller technology is heading.

130702_TAC Post 5

Speaker Steve Mitchell of King Kullen shares his experience with case controls in a TAC general session

In addition to discussing the history of facility management systems and the various control strategies employed by retailers globally, TAC attendees also heard from a supermarket end user, Steve Mitchell, director of mechanical engineering at King Kullen, on his experience with these technologies over the last 30 years.

Headquartered in New York, King Kullen is known as “America’s first supermarket” and currently operates 46 stores. Steve shared his experience with the progression of case controls over the years, showing attendees the value in changing your control architecture to reduce costs and achieve energy savings.

See John talk about the session in this video and view the full presentation shared by John and Steve on the TAC website.

What technologies does your business use today to manage your facilities?

Reggie O’Donoghue
Director of Marketing, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

%d bloggers like this: