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Posts tagged ‘Katrina Krites’

[Webinar Recap] Explore the Next Generation in Supervisory Controls

Katrina Krites | Marketing and Business Development

Manager, Food Retail

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

Building management and refrigeration control platforms have become essential tools of the trade in food retail operations. From providing visibility to key systems, faults, statuses, and alarms to fine-tuning performance with advanced algorithms, building control strategies and network connectivity, these platforms give operators and technicians the information they need to maintain efficient store operation. In a recent webinar, co-hosted with Sam Smith, Emerson’s director of product management for digital solutions, we explored the next-generation capabilities of Emerson’s new Lumity™ E3 supervisory control.

Unified control platform for E3 and site supervisor

Earlier this year, Emerson launched the Lumity brand with the goals of providing our customers with data-driven insights to inform operational decision making while helping them ensure food safety and quality. The E3 is among the first products to be launched under the Lumity umbrella. Built upon the foundation of the Lumity supervisory control software platform, the E3 shares the same software with site supervisor. Thus, end-users only need to learn one software platform. Any enhancements made to the software will be available in all available control devices and accessories.

Familiar form and fit with enhanced functionalities

The E3 was designed to provide a true drop-in hardware replacement of the E2, offering the same familiar form and fit, but with greatly enhanced functionalities. The back of the E3 enclosure is designed to fit into existing panels to eliminate the need for new wiring while reducing installation costs and headaches via:

  • Identical wiring holes, mounting points and vents
  • Fits into existing panel cut-out
  • Total of four COM ports for connected devices with two isolated COM ports
  • Fully backward compatible with MultiFlex and IONet boards

The front of the device features an integrated 10-inch, touch-screen display that provides on-site access to the software interface. Web-enabled capability supports online remote visibility from a web browser or mobile device, delivering the same user-friendly experience, regardless of how it is accessed. Compared to the E2, the E3 processing power is 12 times faster and includes 16 times the built-in memory for faster response time and increased storage capabilities. Several models are available, depending on the type of control needed:

  • Building control (BX)
  • Refrigeration control (RX)
  • Combined building and refrigeration controller (CX)

Whether operators prefer a distributed or centralized control architecture — or some combination of the two — the E3 has the built-in flexibility to communicate to upstream and downstream devices. Data integration protocols include: Rest MQTT and SOAP, which allows the E3 to serve as a gateway of communication throughout the network to deliver insights into every aspect of store operation.

Empowering decisions with insights

The E3 is designed to empower stakeholders of all disciplines and skill levels to take decisive actions through a variety of intuitive features. Store operators can manage day-to-day performance while technicians can take a much deeper dive to optimize system performance, perform detailed analyses, and fine-tune facility controls.

  • Floor Plans: Access 2D/3D views of store floor plans to monitor each device, locate active alarms, and streamline your team’s prioritization and response.
  • Graphical Scheduling: Easily update, set, and duplicate schedules via simple click-and-drag functionality and a graphical interface.
  • Smart Alarms: Review straightforward alarm notifications — not cryptic or confusing codes — to detect, prioritize, troubleshoot, and resolve issues.
  • Performance Meter: Monitor refrigeration asset performance from one dashboard to verify refrigeration fixtures and equipment are performing as expected.
  • Site Aggregator: Bring the entire control network into a consolidated view — includes connectivity to legacy Emerson devices (such as E2 controllers) as well as third-party devices.

To learn how you can leverage the power of the new Lumity E3 supervisory control and software platform in your facility, view this free webinar.

Supermarket Food Safety: Emerson Cold Chain Solutions

Katrina Krites | Marketing and Business Development

Manager, Food Retail

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

Providing consistently safe and high-quality food in supermarkets is important to each stakeholder in the food retail supply chain. From farm to fork, grocers depend on their cold chain suppliers to collect, share and report on the handling and shipping practices that contribute to food safety. In the first blog based on an article in PerishableNews.com, we examined food retail market trends and risk factors impacting food safety and quality. In this companion blog, we will explore how Emerson is helping food retailers and stakeholders address these challenges at nearly every step of the food supply chain.

Harvest and processing

The potential decay of perishable produce starts the moment it is picked, but this can be stunted by controlling temperatures and the ambient environment via: flash cooling/freezing; temporary staging in storage coolers; and pre-cooling shipping containers. Shipping containers may be modified with ripening agents, and processors often measure the levels of ethylene, a natural gas that can accelerate ripening.

Emerson provides temperature-probing devices that can be used to measure internal “pulp” temperatures prior to and during the staging and loading processes. Our real-time temperature monitoring and tracking devices can be activated inside a shipping container to immediately begin monitoring location, temperatures and other environmental conditions of in-transit perishable shipments.

Transportation

Food’s journey to supermarket shelves can last anywhere from days to weeks — by truck, sea and/or air — and grocers rely on their shippers to provide an unbroken chain of temperature certainty. Loading best practices promote airflow and shipments to be “load locked” in order to limit excess vibration. Transport containers must be able to maintain temperatures and provide visibility into container conditions. Mixed-load cargos may have different refrigerated temperature zones within the same shipment.

Emerson’s field-tested, proven compression technologies can withstand the rigors of the road while helping operators to ensure that their transport refrigeration systems preserve product at specified temperature ranges. Temperature monitoring, logging and tracking devices — combined with our cloud-based software portal — can provide real-time temperature and location conditions of product in-transit. The software enables live remote monitoring and issues alerts to stakeholders based on user-defined parameters, such as: temperature excursions; changes to shipping atmosphere; vibration; security breaches; and shipping delays.

Cold storage distribution centers

Upon receipt of food at a cold storage facility, handlers must inspect product temperatures and conditions, including pulp temperatures with probing devices, and trip data from logging and tracking devices. Relying on only the ambient air temperature of the shipping container is not an accurate measure, as some carriers may turn off the refrigeration system during shipping to preserve fuel. After inspection, handlers must promptly transfer perishable cargo into a designated cold storage temperature zone. The entire process must adhere to each facility’s established Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and/or Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventative Controls (HARPC) plans.

Emerson’s logging and tracking devices give end-users the ability to maintain live, remote visibility for monitoring the temperatures and locations of their in-transit shipping containers. In cold storage facilities, our compression and refrigeration technologies help operators to establish and maintain proper temperatures in various cold storage zones. Robust facility monitoring solutions help operators to remotely oversee conditions, ensure proper temperatures, and automatically record temperatures for use in HACCP reporting.

Grocery stores

From the moments perishable shipments are unloaded in supermarkets, operators take ownership of food quality and safety. This starts with inspection — checking pulp temperatures and trip data logs — and continues with the prompt transfer of perishables into designated cold storage coolers or freezers. Once in cold storage, control platforms help retailers to monitor perishable temperatures and optimize food quality.

Refrigerated storage and staging coolers for click-and-collect fulfillment must have sufficient capacity to handle fluctuations in order volumes and frequent opening/closing of walk-in doors. Order-picking processes and customer pick-ups and deliveries must be optimized to ensure safe handling and proper temperatures. Supermarket food preparation introduces hot-side complexities as consumers look to grocers for home meal replacements. Staff must be trained in safe cooking best practices — such as those provided by the U.S. National Restaurant Association’s (NRA’s) ServSafe® certification course — and cook-and-hold procedures should also follow established HACCP/HARPC plans.

In addition to our proven compression and refrigeration technologies, Emerson solutions address a variety of modern supermarket requirements. These include condensing units with variable-capacity modulation to precisely match refrigeration load requirements and flexible distributed architectures that can augment existing refrigeration systems. We also offer a suite of temperature-probing devices to help grocers automate the recording of prepared food temperatures and assist grocers with food safety and process compliance concerns.

Our powerful facility management, monitoring and control platforms address both existing and emerging food retail complexities. These tools provide near real-time access to critical information to help retailers track, triage and respond to issues pertaining to food quality and safety compliance — in individual stores and across their multi-site networks. In addition, these control platforms utilize alarms, notifications and remote access to provide end-users with continuous building and refrigeration monitoring at any retail location.

Connectivity drives cold chain visibility

Modern food retailers are held to increasingly higher food safety and quality standards. Store operators, consumers and health inspectors all demand greater transparency into the food supply chain and improved visibility of food’s journey from farm to fork. With today’s connected internet of things (IoT) monitoring and tracking infrastructures, operators now have the potential for visibility into each step of food’s journey — and even the possibility for comprehensive cold chain traceability. Emerson provides the refrigeration technologies and IoT-enabled infrastructures to help stakeholders at each point monitor, control and track a variety of conditions necessary for preserving food safety and quality.

 

 

 

[New Webinar] Make the Transition From E2 to E3

Katrina Krites | Marketing and Business Development

Manager, Food Retail

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

Facility management and supervisory systems have become essential tools for managing food retail facilities and their critical refrigeration, HVAC and lighting systems. To grow profit margins and achieve an ever-expanding list of operational and sustainability goals, retail operators must keep these systems running at peak performance and precisely optimized according to building occupancy schedules. In our next webinar, my Emerson colleague Sam Smith, director of product management, digital solutions, and I will discuss how upgrading from the industry-standard E2 to the new Lumity™ E3 supervisory control can help facility managers to achieve their goals while seamlessly running their day-to-day operations. This webinar will take place on Thursday, April 15 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT.

Supermarket and convenience store customers depend on their preferred retailers to consistently deliver the high-quality, fresh and safe food offerings that they’ve come to expect. In addition to providing a comprehensive food selection, a retailer’s ability to deliver exceptional customer experiences in all aspects of their operation — from comfortable in-store temperatures to welcoming lighting — is part of what can differentiate them from their competition.

At the same time, store operators need to keep a close eye on other factors that can impact their bottom lines, such as refrigeration system performance, energy and other utility consumption levels, store lighting and occupancy schedules, refrigerant leak detection and much more. Establishing connectivity among critical systems via a building management system (BMS) and smart controls is essential to enable real-time visibility into all these key parameters of success.

That’s why Emerson is pleased to introduce the Lumity E3 supervisory control — the next generation in facility management and refrigeration controls. The E3 greatly expands upon the widely adopted E2 with more power, robust control capabilities, faster speeds and seamless connectivity. The E3 is powered by Emerson’s new Lumity supervisory control software and gives end users an intuitive touch-screen display on-site and a web-friendly interface for remote accessibility.

In our upcoming webinar — which is designed for end-users, contractors and OEMs — we will demonstrate how this significant upgrade places advanced control over compressor groups, condensers, walk-in units, HVAC and lighting systems at their fingertips.

Attendees will learn:

  • New features and functionalities of the Lumity supervisory control platform
  • How Lumity supervisory control software brings all of Emerson’s supervisory control devices under one software interface
  • Why the E3 was designed as a true drop-in replacement of the E2
  • How to gain instant visibility to all key systems, faults, statuses, and alarms
  • How the Lumity supervisory control platform enables control of critical systems with advanced refrigeration algorithms, building control strategies and network connectivity

Register now for this informative and free webinar and visit our website at Emerson.com/E3 to learn more.

 

Factors Which Drive Innovations Toward the Next Generation of Refrigeration System Design

Katrina Krites | Marketing and Business Development

Manager, Food Retail

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

The coronavirus pandemic has increased the retail food industry’s collective focus on food quality, safety and sanitation in supermarkets while driving consumer adoption of click-and-collect. At the same time, industry regulations impact retailer behaviors. These factors have brought more attention upon refrigeration systems. In a recent Progressive Grocer article (pages 76–80), I explored how refrigeration products, monitoring and sensing devices can support these initiatives.

Impacting food quality and safety

A grocer’s approach to refrigeration is a fundamental part of creating ideal shopping experiences for consumers. Starting with the configuration of the display cases, merchandising strategies are designed to present food in the most appealing ways. Many cases are now equipped with enhanced controls that turn on lights when a shopper approaches. By leveraging case controls and the internet of things (IoT) technologies, retailers can more effectively keep perishable foods within ideal temperature ranges, thus positively impacting food quality and safety while maximizing shelf life.

Continued improvements in data analytics and cloud-based, IoT technologies are enabling connectivity among equipment and devices, which will allow retailers to achieve much greater holistic controls of not only their refrigeration assets, but also other key facility systems, such as HVAC and lighting. These are areas in which Emerson has invested significant resources and will continue to do so in the future.

Closely related to that are the abilities to monitor and track the temperatures and locations of perishable foods throughout various steps along the cold chain journey.

Acceleration of click-and-collect

If what we’ve seen in 2020 is any indication, the supermarket industry can expect the continued adoption of online fulfillment options. This change in consumer shopping preferences will continue to drive innovations in the next generation of refrigeration system design.

With the growing popularity of click-and-collect, retailers are adding capacity specifically for these cold-storage purposes. With variable-capacity modulation capabilities that can adapt to changing load variations, the Copeland™ digital X-Line series provides refrigeration flexibility and reliability in click-and-collect applications. In addition, its onboard controls can be networked into a supermarket’s building management system (BMS) for complete refrigeration control and monitoring.

Our facility management controls (E2) and enterprise software (Connect+) also help retailers to remotely monitor their refrigeration assets, optimize system performance, and provide data-driven, proactive alerts of potential equipment issues.

The role of regulations

The regulation of refrigerants continues to be a source of great uncertainty for our industry. For several years, regulations have targeted the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants to reduce carbon emissions and their potential contribution to climate change. Many retailers face global, national and state regulatory mandates that ban the use of refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP) and call for the deployment of energy-efficient refrigeration equipment. As a result, the industry is undergoing a shift toward alternative refrigerants with lower GWP levels and no ozone depletion potential (ODP).

All of this has helped to bring low-GWP refrigeration solutions into the spotlight, and Emerson supports a wide range of options for retailers along the sustainability continuum.

Whether it’s natural refrigerants like CO2 or propane, or lower-GWP synthetic A1 or A2L blends, Emerson equipment is designed to cover the full spectrum of refrigerant preferences in various types of architectures. It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for this refrigerant transition; food retailers are employing a wide range of strategies, depending on their unique regulatory and sustainability mandates.

Many operators simply may not immediately require a drastic reduction in refrigerant GWP and instead are seeking a more gradual transition toward their future sustainability goals. We are helping these retailers to develop equipment strategies that will allow them to transition to lower-GWP refrigerants today, while giving them a pathway for achieving reduced GWP levels in the future.

Energy regulations are also in play, and Emerson is committed to helping the industry meet Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency targets for commercial refrigeration equipment. For example, our recent launch of the Copeland digital X-Line series is designed to meet the DOE’s annual walk-in energy factor (AWEF) efficiency standards for walk-in coolers. These products can also help operators in the state of California to comply with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements for small-format grocery and convenience stores. The X-Line series utilizes low-GWP R-448A and is designed to service a limited number of medium- or low-temperature refrigeration fixtures — making it ideal for small, urban store formats or large supermarkets seeking to add refrigeration loads outside of their existing direct expansion (DX) systems.

Innovation throughout the cold chain

Leveraging the power of IoT, operational data and the software that can extract insights and value from this information will also play much larger roles in future supermarket refrigeration strategies. To that end, continued efforts to achieve connectivity throughout the various links of the cold chain will allow supermarkets to gain much greater control of food quality and safety well before it reaches the shelves of grocery stores.

 

 

Grow Your Bottom Line With Sustainable Refrigeration Retrofits

Katrina Krites | Marketing and Business Development

Manager, Food Retail

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

Across the food retail market, supermarket operators are re-evaluating their legacy refrigeration architectures. A dynamic mix of regulatory mandates, sustainability goals and the emergence of e-commerce fulfillment models are dictating changes in the status quo of refrigeration. We recently published an article in the RSES Journal that discussed refrigeration retrofit strategies that allow retailers to meet their sustainability objectives while improving their bottom lines.

When considering refrigeration retrofits, food retailers must remember that sustainability is a two-sided coin. While reducing leaks of global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants is important for lowering direct emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), many supermarket operators often overlook the potential for indirect GHG emissions caused by poor system energy efficiencies.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that supermarkets are the most electricity-intensive of all commercial buildings. Commercial refrigeration systems account for 40–60% of supermarket energy consumption and are by far the greatest contributor to indirect GHG emissions. Combined, direct and indirect emissions make up the true measure of sustainability, or a system’s total equivalent warming impact (TEWI).

Reduce direct emissions with lower-GWP refrigerants

The transition from high-GWP refrigerants and those with ozone depletion potential (ODP) is inevitable. Common legacy refrigerant options such as the HFC R-404A will be phased down while hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) such as R-22 are being phased out. But this does not necessarily mean operators should immediately transition to an alternative refrigerant or embark on a complete refrigeration rebuild.

Lower-GWP A1 refrigerants, such as the hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blend R-448A/R-449A, are available that allow end-users to retrofit their existing system, reduce GWP from direct emissions by up to 60%, and still maintain a familiar operational footprint similar to the one they have today.

For those operators currently using R-22, the transition to R-448A/R-449A is relatively straightforward and requires very few substantive architecture changes. The transition from R-404A to R-448A/R-449A is slightly more involved but can still be accomplished without significant architectural changes. R-448A/R-449A produces compressor discharge temperatures that run approximately 10–12% higher than R-404A. This may require additional compressor cooling mitigation such as head cooling fans, demand cooling modules, or a liquid or vapor injected scroll compressor. Consult your compressor OEM’s guidelines for specific retrofit procedures.

Improve system energy efficiencies

Any system retrofit or upgrade comes at a cost, so food retailers must ensure their investment delivers long-term viability and returns to their bottom line. This is where reducing indirect emissions by improving energy efficiencies plays such an important role. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that every dollar saved in electricity is equivalent to increasing sales by $59.

While it makes sense to undertake energy-efficiency measures in conjunction with a refrigerant transition, energy optimization best practices can — and should — be performed periodically on all systems. Before considering any retrofit options, start by performing a system assessment to determine your current performance metrics — which in many cases will deviate significantly from the system’s original commissioned baseline.

The next logical step in the energy optimization process is to enable a variable-capacity modulation strategy by either upgrading to a digitally modulated compressor or adding a variable-frequency drive (VFD) to a fixed-capacity compressor. Variable-capacity modulation provides significant system improvements, not just to energy efficiency but also to overall refrigeration system performance, reliability and lifespan. Benefits include:

  • Precise matching of capacity to changing refrigeration loads
  • Tight control over suction manifold pressures, allowing increased setpoint and energy savings
  • Improved case temperature precision
  • Reduced compressor cycling (on/off)

In digital compressor retrofit scenarios, we’ve demonstrated that replacing an underperforming, fixed-capacity compressor with a variable-capacity compressor can result in an additional 4% energy savings — even before activating digital modulation capabilities. And once digital modulation is activated, operators can expect an additional 12% energy savings.

Whether you’re trying to reduce your direct emissions with lower-GWP refrigerants or seeking to improve energy efficiencies and lower your indirect emissions, Emerson has compression technologies and sustainable refrigeration solutions to help you meet your specific objectives. The Copeland™ digital semi-hermetic and Copeland™ digital scroll compressors provide opportunities to transition to lower-GWP refrigerants and enable variable-capacity modulation to drive energy efficiencies.

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