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Transform Commercial Kitchens with Automation

Paul_Hepperla Paul Hepperla | Vice President, Solutions Strategy – Cold Chain

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Commercial kitchens can maximize efficiency, increase food safety, and reduce labor costs by implementing internet of things (IoT) technologies into restaurant operations. So, why has the foodservice sector been relatively slow to adopt advanced, connected automation?

Transform Commercial Kitchens with Automation

That’s among the many questions discussed by a recent E360 panel of key industry stakeholders, including:

  • Chuck Guerin, vice president for controls of the Middleby Corporation, a leading manufacturer of commercial cooking equipment
  • Jim Kleva, director of equipment engineering of Wendy’s, a global quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain
  • Matt Toone, vice president, sales and solutions, cold chain, Emerson

They acknowledged that restaurants lag behind the digital transformation achieved in other industries, largely due to concerns about data security. Nevertheless, kitchen operators are in “an experimentation phase” with an eye toward how automation can enable them to optimize commercial operations.

New on the menu: Predicting what customers will order

Among the potential improvements resulting from IoT technologies are faster ordering, cooking and drive-through procedures for quick-service restaurants.

Kleva said the technologies at Wendy’s can potentially predict what customers will purchase before they order, making it possible to speed up cooking and service. In this scenario, smart devices, cameras and sensors would connect to identify individuals, access their purchase history, and provide real-time analysis of conditions at nearby stores, traffic patterns, weather and school events — all while determining the number of patrons in the store, cars in the drive-through area and consumers entering the restaurant.

How much of this is a good idea remains to be seen. Many consumers may welcome the option to speed up service by allowing businesses to identify them by reading their vehicle license plates or through the use of facial recognition technology. Other consumers will likely object, viewing application of these advanced technologies as intrusive.

“Currently, our customers don’t want us to go there,” Kleva said.

Consumers might be more comfortable with restaurants implementing technology based on the last time they ordered. In addition, this recognition technology could be used for much less-specific identification purposes, to determine whether incoming customers are children, adults or other demographic details which could help QSRs accelerate service levels.

“Even a five- to 10-second heads-up could make a huge difference in our drive-through operation,” Kleva said.

The amount of data — along with the hardware and software — to make this smart restaurant vision a reality requires investments in connected equipment. Middleby’s cooking equipment already offers data processing for menu pushes and service-related alerts.

“The next generation of technologies will assist restaurant managers not by just predicting what food is needed but also by automatically starting the cooking process,” Guerin said.

Top concerns: Data security and communications

Potential barriers to wider adoption of IoT in commercial kitchens arise due to concerns from business owners and consumers about the security of data collected, stored and shared by restaurant equipment.

Among the challenges: how to pull all of the data safely and securely into meaningful, useable information. QSRs must manage equipment from multiple providers, each often designed with communication protocols and connectivity standards that are proprietary.

“There’s not safety or a compelling critical infrastructure issue forcing the industry to adopt a standard system,” Guerin said. “As OEMs, we’re all competing and we’re all trying to figure out an approach that meets our customers’ needs.”

Standardizing commercial kitchen technology would enable the devices to communicate more easily while enhancing data security. One solution is the growing use of application programming interfaces (APIs), software that make it possible for one system to share information in precisely controlled ways with another system. It’s the path Emerson has chosen.

“Establishing a common architecture, or at least flexible APIs, will become more important as the foodservice industry becomes more connected,” Toone said.

Emerson can help automate your restaurant

Emerson is helping QSRs leverage IoT in commercial kitchens to exercise control over equipment and systems and automatically perform routine tasks. Our smart facility management and supervisory controls, food temperature probes and IoT technologies are helping QSRs monitor and control food storage and cooking temperatures to comply with food safety regulations and maximize food quality and consistency. Implementing the systems can either free up workers for other tasks or enable kitchen managers to reduce labor costs.

These efforts can provide commercial kitchen equipment that is financially viable and easily connectible across legacy systems and modern, IoT-enabled devices. Learn more by reading the final article of this series about IoT-driven kitchen automation. We welcome you to read article 1 and article 2 if you’d like to review the full series.

Raising the Bar on Innovation for Distributed Architectures

DiegoMarafon Diego Marafon | Refrigeration Scroll Product Manager

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

The food retail industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation. To stay competitive, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and store operators need solutions that promote integration, provide flexibility, but most importantly, produce relevant data insights. With the Copeland™ Indoor Modular Solution, Emerson has created the first end-to-end solution to the industry’s most pressing refrigeration challenges. Read more about this groundbreaking innovation in our recent E360 Product Spotlight.

Raising the Bar on Innovation for Distributed Architectures

Consumer preferences are prompting the creation of new — and often smaller — store formats. Corporate sustainability goals and environmental regulations are driving the expansion of new refrigeration technologies. And retailers need meaningful operational and energy performance data now — rather than after equipment fails, food safety is put at risk or higher-than-expected utility bills come rolling in.

OEMs and store operators require a smarter and more adaptable foundation on which to build for the future. In response, Emerson has introduced the Copeland Indoor Modular Solution. A 2020 AHR Innovation Award finalist, it seamlessly integrates refrigeration equipment with Emerson facility controls. It is the industry’s first all-in-one offering that includes hardware, software and services.

More capabilities in a low-profile package

Emerson’s Copeland™ Scroll variable speed compressors are trusted by OEMs for their superior reliability, efficiency, variable capacity and quiet operation. Likewise, Emerson’s ProAct™ Connect+ enterprise management software and lifecycle services help operators across the spectrum to unlock the full potential of their data.

The Copeland Indoor Modular Solution combines both to deliver:

  • High-caliber performance: The low-profile, quiet system enhances in-store customer experiences while the highly efficient modules perform well above the Department of Energy consumption targets for commercial refrigeration equipment.
  • Real-time access to data: Advanced electronics that easily integrate with facility controls help operators’ to monitor, triage and respond to issues.
  • Enterprise-level visibility: Remote monitoring of refrigeration, HVAC, lighting and other assets helps operators achieve their food quality, safety and energy performance goals.
  • Project certainty: Emerson-authorized technicians facilitate on-time, on-budget store launches.
  • Exceptional support: Emerson supports operators throughout the life of their stores with systems integration, commissioning, maintenance and aftermarket services.

Demonstrated value across the supply chain

The Copeland Indoor Modular Solution is designed for stores seeking to deploy distributed architectures. As a low-cost, small-footprint and low-maintenance alternative to traditional  large centralized systems and remote systems, it offers the adaptability that OEMs and operators require in today’s marketplace. But don’t let its slim profile deceive you. The Copeland Indoor Modular Solution is a workhorse that delivers advantages across the entire supply chain:

  • OEMs benefit from the configurability of Copeland products and a plug-in approach that accelerates time to market.
  • Store owners and operators benefit from Emerson technologies that can lower operating costs, provide precise refrigeration loads, help to prevent food loss, maximize merchandising space and ensure optimal in-store experiences.
  • Enterprise managers benefit from easy-to-deploy, standard refrigeration modules that minimize startup complexities and enable scalability for new stores; they also gain key insights into store performance, historic trends and outliers.

The industry-wide changes that are pushing OEMs and operators to be more flexible and adaptable are made more complicated by their interconnected nature. The innovative pairing of our comprehensive refrigeration portfolios with our proven solutions expertise equips stakeholders with the best toolset to overcome these challenges. In this respect, the Copeland Indoor Modular Solution is more than a data-driven solution.

Learn more about how the Copeland Indoor Modular Solution is setting a new standard for cold chain integration and automation by reading the full E360 article.

Three Trends Shaping the Commercial Refrigeration Sector

DaveBersaglini Dave Bersaglini | Vice President & General Manager, Refrigeration

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

HVACR Business recently invited me to participate in an executive roundtable on the evolution of the commercial refrigeration sector. You can read the full article here and more on our perspective below.

Three Trends Shaping the Commercial Refrigeration Sector

Three Trends Shaping the Commercial Refrigeration Sector

The commercial refrigeration sector is experiencing a period of innovation unlike any other in its history. Regulatory pressures, changing consumer habits and the growing demands for more efficient and sustainable technologies are transforming the market. Business owners and supermarket operators have a tremendous range of environmentally friendly, operationally efficient and — perhaps most importantly — regulatory-compliant solutions from which to choose.

But in order to do this, operators must navigate an ever-growing pool of refrigeration solutions, strategies and technologies. Keeping current on emerging technologies and consumer trends while anticipating future regulatory requirements are the keys to getting the best return on this long-term investment.

More choices

Without a doubt, the greatest challenge for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and operators alike is transitioning to the future of refrigeration systems. New refrigeration equipment, components and technologies are coming online in response to global demands for lower-GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants. In addition, more flexible refrigeration architectures are being launched to satisfy the move toward smaller retail footprints.

As a result, operators are facing a proliferation of refrigeration scenarios, each posing its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Decisions must be weighed against a host of factors, such as environmental impact, total cost of ownership, long-term viability and the ability to adapt to evolving consumer behaviors and potential future regulations. Education is key here; contractors and manufacturers will need to step up and help retailers explore and identify the options that will best satisfy their needs.

More connected

Automation and internet of things (IoT) technologies will increasingly play roles in this sector. System electronics are helping to manage refrigeration cycles and system operations, while compressor protection and diagnostic capabilities are simplifying service and maintenance processes. These connected components will provide operators with unprecedented visibility into critical facility systems that extend beyond refrigeration to include air quality, lighting and energy management. Supported by user-friendly platforms that integrate these key systems, operators will be able to more efficiently manage and optimize facility and energy performance.

More complex

The shift to lower-GWP refrigerants and the growth of new technologies pose a unique set of challenges to contractors. Extensive training on the proper procedures for recovering and servicing new and natural refrigeration systems, such as CO2-based systems, will be imperative. Contractors will also need to increase their knowledge of the landscape so they can align their customers’ goals with the available equipment options. This may require higher upfront costs, but they will pay off in the long term as today’s innovations become the norm.

Ready for the future

At Emerson, we are at the forefront of environmentally friendly and financially viable refrigeration systems and supporting technologies. Moreover, we’ve taken a proactive approach to contractor education, providing a wealth of options to help technicians increase their skills and expand their knowledge base to better serve customers.

At every step, we strive to help operators make informed decisions to maximize their investments. After all, commercial refrigeration systems can — and should — be in service for decades. And with no end in sight to the dramatic changes that are shaping the industry, operators need solutions that can adapt to and grow with the next generation of technologies and system architectures. Our approach to total refrigeration system sustainability is designed to deliver solutions that satisfy operational and sustainability objectives today, while anticipating the needs of tomorrow.

 

How Emerson Is Taking on Today’s Most Pressing Refrigeration Challenges with Copeland Scroll ™

Phil Moeller | Vice President – Product Management, Refrigeration
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Since its introduction nearly 30 years ago, the Copeland Scroll has revolutionized the standards for refrigeration performance and reliability. An article from the E360 Product Spotlight provides an overview of Emerson’s recent innovations for the Copeland Scroll. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

How Emerson Is Taking on Today’s Most Pressing Refrigeration Challenges with Copeland Scroll ™

The commercial refrigeration industry has changed drastically in recent years due to new regulations and consumer trends. Operators demand an ever-widening spectrum of applications, from large centralized systems to small walk-in freezers and coolers. Energy efficiency and environmental sustainability have become business priorities. And digital technologies promise connected, predictable visibility to refrigeration systems.

That’s why Emerson’s research and development (R&D) teams for Copeland Scroll have come up with innovative technologies that optimize performance and reliability, helping you take on these emerging challenges.

Innovations that bring more power, flexibility and advanced capabilities to the Copeland Scroll lineup

Wider application and temperature ranges: We’ve expanded the ranges of commercial applications for Copeland Scroll compressors, now spanning fractional ¾ horsepower ZF*KA compressors designed for low temperatures up to the 17 horsepower K5 compressor for low- and medium-temperature applications. You’ll find a variety of solutions within this horsepower range for your low-, medium- and extended medium-temperature applications.

Inherently robust product designs: Minimalistic, fully hermetic Copeland Scroll designs use up to 70 percent fewer moving parts than semi-hermetic, reciprocating compressors. That means they have no complex suction and discharge valves; can start under any system load; eliminate many vibration issues; improve liquid and debris handling; and, with their compact and lighter-weight designs, make servicing easier.

Energy compliance: Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) rely on Copeland Scroll technology to help meet the Department of Energy’s annual walk-in efficiency factor (AWEF) ratings for walk-in coolers and freezers. Copeland Scroll’s inherent efficiency and reliability are the foundation of AWEF-compliant condensing units in leading OEM equipment design strategies.

Alternative, lower-GWP refrigerants: The Copeland Scroll lineup includes many compressors rated for use with lower-GWP synthetic and natural refrigerant alternatives. We continue to evaluate and test emerging refrigerants to help operators achieve their performance and sustainability goals.

Performance-enhancing technologies: Emerson R&D teams for Copeland Scroll lead the industry in rolling out performance-enhancing innovations, from digital modulation capabilities to liquid- and vapor-injection options and lower condensing operation. These technologies improve system reliability and capacity while meeting today’s demanding regulatory requirements.

Smart diagnostics and protection: Today, many Copeland Scroll compressors are equipped with on-board CoreSense™ Diagnostics. CoreSense provides advanced motor performance monitoring and protection, diagnostics, power consumption measurements and communication capabilities. Other compressors can be retrofitted with our panel-mounted, remote diagnostic systems. This active protection technology is driven by advanced algorithms and fault detection logging and histories, helping enable technicians to quickly diagnose and repair systems.

Product development partnerships: As an Emerson customer of Copeland Scroll, you have access to Emerson’s extensive capabilities to support your own product development efforts, collaborating with us on application engineering; design, testing and certification services; proof of concept; and application development.

Closer ties to the industry’s largest support network: Copeland Scroll compressors are backed by a network of more than 1,000 Copeland-authorized locations and over 600 certified Copeland technical specialists — a base of operations that can quickly deliver the products and technical assistance you need. Our new, fully featured Copeland™ Mobile app connects to the Emerson Online Product Information database for on-the-go access to 30 years of compressor products and specifications. It can help you quickly troubleshoot and diagnose issues and connect to our wholesaler network to check local availability of replacement products.

 

With a legacy of innovation and an eye toward the future, you can be sure that Emerson will continue to evolve to meet today’s rapidly changing commercial refrigeration requirements. To learn more about our innovations and emerging technologies, read the full E360 article.

 

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.

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