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Posts tagged ‘James Mitchell’

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.


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.


Key Benefits of Refigerant Leak Detection Program

I recently wrote an article featured in Food Safety Magazine that discussed the broad impacts of refrigerant leaks on food retailers and the benefits to having an effective leak detection program. Highlights from the article are below.


Minimizing refrigerant leaks is important to food retailers not only from a financial perspective, but also to protect the environment and meet government regulations. Investing in a leak detection program can help retailers to minimize and even eliminate leaks, thereby improving store operations and the overall customer experience.

Impacts of Refrigerant Leaks

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill research, the average U.S. supermarket leaks an estimated 25 percent of its refrigerant supply per year. In a 100-store chain, this could result in $600,000 annually in refrigerant leaks, not to mention additional costs due to labor, loss of business and food quality issues.

Leak Detection Methods

Remote leak detection programs continuously monitor system refrigerant levels and notify stakeholders when there is a deviation from normal operating conditions. This system analyzes key indicators that help provide actionable insights. “Sniffing” detection methods can only monitor parts of the refrigeration systems that are located in closed areas.

Best Practices for Effective Leak Detection

Retailers should aim to implement a zero-tolerance policy for refrigerant leaks. When establishing a leak detection program, three key areas are critical to incorporate:

  • Detection Methods: There are different technologies to choose from, but depending upon the retailer’s requirements, automatic leak detection equipment can provide early detection of leaks and help to identify the location.
  • Reliable Notifications: When a leak occurs, it’s critical that the appropriate people are alerted. Alarm notifications can be remote, local or a combination of the two.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Recording and analyzing the data at the time the leak occurs can help to determine the best course of action.

Read the full Food Safety Magazine article online here.

And to learn more about the latest options in refrigerant leak detection, read this blog post from my colleague Mike Saunders.

For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions 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.

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

Facility Controls: Six Benefits for Improved Operations and Refrigeration System Maintenance

I recently wrote an article for Convenience Store Decisions, highlighting the practical benefits of facility controls for today’s convenience store operator. A brief summary of the article is below.

Today, many convenience stores utilize energy management systems for HVAC, refrigeration, lighting and other building systems. Some retailers couple this with monitoring services that provide real-time performance data on building operations, system efficiency, energy usage and more. These operators can use facility insights to increase equipment uptime, eliminate unnecessary truck rolls, minimize emergency service call costs and improve effectiveness of service technicians.


Below are six benefits of using facility controls for improved operation and maintenance of convenience store refrigeration systems:

  1. Information and expertise keeps stores operating smoothly.
  2. Expert triage avoids unnecessary, costly service calls.
  3. Direct-to-store alerts allow local problem solving.
  4. Remote monitoring can identify system issues before they appear locally.
  5. When service calls are needed, technicians are better prepared before dispatch.
  6. Operate consistently across all stores with enterprise-wide control.

There is a great opportunity for convenience store operators to better utilize store equipment for a higher return on investment by leveraging energy management systems and monitoring services. New technology and IoT deployment is improving options daily, and Emerson Climate Technologies can help operators currently using these systems to better understand the latest capabilities available.

Read the full Convenience Store Decisions article online here.

James Mitchell
Product Manager, ProAct Enterprise Software and Services
Emerson Climate Technologies Retail Solutions

White Paper: Condition Based Maintenance for Supermarket Refrigeration Systems

Emerson Climate Technologies recently released a white paper titled “Condition Based Maintenance: Putting Predictive Maintenance Algorithms to Work to Optimize Asset Maintenance and Performance in Supermarket Refrigeration Systems.” In this paper, I introduce the concept of condition based maintenance (CBM), highlighting the benefits of this service for retailers, illustrating the savings in maintenance costs and energy consumption that can occur with the adoption of CBM.

Typical Equipment Failure Impact (Conventional PM or Run-to-Failure)

Typical Equipment Failure Impact (Conventional PM or Run-to-Failure)

CBM is basically what it says: performing maintenance based on the condition of the equipment being monitored, rather than on a preventative maintenance (PM) schedule or after a failure. Using CBM, retailers can expect to see typical equipment maintenance savings of 18-40 percent, compared to PM or run-to-failure strategies. The regular reporting function, combined with technical expertise to interpret it, provides actionable intelligence with significant ROI.

By utilizing run-time data analysis to optimize asset maintenance and equipment performance, CBM provides supermarket maintenance managers with a sustainable maintenance solution that offers visibility into the condition of their refrigeration systems.

Typical maintenance interventions from CBM could include:

  • Determining the source of a refrigerant slow leak and repairing it before further leakage or other system fault
  • Replacing worn compressor motor contactors  prior to a welded contactor condition and compressor failure
  • Determining the source of a compressor low or high superheat condition prior to damaging  the compressor
  • Correcting  a inconsistent phase-phase voltage in the compressor, protecting against damage from overheating

CBM also uses algorithms for refrigerant slow leak detection, enabling early detection and potential resolution, which can save refrigerant, equipment, product and overtime labor.

Emerson offers condition based maintenance as part of its ProAct™ Services portfolio, offering new value to retailers in the areas of maintenance and energy management, and in compliance for refrigerant management and food quality.

You can read the full white paper on condition based maintenance here.

For more information on condition based maintenance, you can also read previous Climate Conversations blog posts, including an introduction to CBM and an overview of my 2013 Technology in Action Conference (TAC) presentation.

What maintenance strategies do you use? Does condition based maintenance offer a solution to your maintenance concerns?

James Mitchell
Product Manager, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

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