New Names, New Products Dominate FMI Expo

June 27, 2001
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CHICAGO, IL — Figuring out who owned whom was part of the adventure walking the aisles of the massive Food Marketing Institute Show, held here recently. A lot of familiar names in the refrigeration sector appeared in newer guises.

For example, Tyler Refriger-ation, a major maker of supermarket racks, was bannered under the Carrier Tyler name, reflecting the former’s acquisition of the latter. Hussmann was in the Ingersoll-Rand fold. A new name in the industry, Enodis, had close to two dozen brand names — including Scotsman, Ice-O-Matic and Kysor Warren — in its listing. The condensing unit maker KeepRite, refrigerated boxes builder Bally, and refrigerant and recovery equipment maker National Refrig-erants all shared a booth. Two Emerson companies, Copeland and CPC Controls, were next-door neighbors.

Call the whole message one of synergism. Companies with aspects in a number of different, but somewhat related, sectors — such as refrigeration racks and ice machines — were signaling decision-makers in supermarkets that they were vendors who could provide “one stop shopping,” a concept not lost on store owners that use the same pitch on customers.



Scotsman technology produces ice by using a rotating evaporator to continuously produce a form of chipped ice for display cases.

RACKS

Hill-Phoenix (Conyers, GA) made another push toward the use of secondary loop technology as a means to reduce the amount of HFCs and HCFCs used. Proponents say the technology also allows for more stable product temperature and higher humidity.

In secondary loop design, the primary refrigerant, such as R-404A, R-507, or R-22, stays within the mechanical room and a second refrigerant, such as a glycol or brine, serves the display cases on the store floor.

The technology has been around for several years, but questions were raised about energy costs. Hill Phoenix contended it has met that challenge with “lower compressor suction gas temperature, increased secondary coolant fluid temperature, warm fluid for defrosting using heat reclaim, and new piping insulation technologies.” Booth officials said the coils and heat exchangers have been redesigned and changes have been made in the defrost system. Instead of a direct expansion valve, a circuit-balancing valve is used, which can be adjusted to regulate the flow rate of the secondary refrigerant to obtain the desired discharge air temperature.

Also garnering attention at the booth was Degree Master, billed as a “smart load management system.” It consists of a load center with a single point power distribution and a digital display unit that is programmable to show a variety of operating parameters.

Hussmann (Bridgeton, MO) showed an addition to its Protocol technology, which is designed to eliminate the need for backroom racks. The latest piece of equipment had three 6-hp horizontal refrigeration scroll compressors and a control panel in a mini-mechanical room designed for mounting on top of display cases. It was promoted as the company’s LP (Low Profile) Protocol. Booth officials said servicing would require a technician to use a stepladder.

Also by Hussmann was Safe-Net, a temperature monitor and/ or controller for one to eight cases. It allows monitoring in up to 20 different areas such as discharge air, return air, coil inlet, and outlet temperatures. A wireless, handheld controller is used.

And the company showed compressor control modules that integrated wiring that once was in panels and relocated it on the back of a control board. A microprocessor with relays communicates with the rack controllers.

Tyler (Niles, MI) highlighted TC Coil technology. According to the company’s Al Yob, traditional coils are 5¼8 in. or 1¼2 in. copper. The TC coil is 3¼8 in. copper. “This gives more primary surface, which can raise the suction temperature but still maintain the same case temperature we had previously.” The reduction in compressor horsepower can yield energy savings of 10% to 15%, he said.

In rack development, Tyler showed a design that allows servicing of both the compressors and the valves from the front. The floor model at the show had a CPC Einstein controller and refrigerant leak detector.

Another rack was a rear-access model with a horizontal control panel. It could be configured in a semi-loop format. “You may have just one suction line and just one liquid line going to an area of the store like the produce section — then branch off to individual coolers and prep rooms,” said Yob.

Among trends in controls shown by Tyler was one from Microthermal of Canada that does away with a control panel. Instead a “smart” module works through a PC and software package for adjustment from a remote location.

A company out of Ramsey, MN, called Systematic Refrigera-tion showed custom-made rack systems and related products for food markets, ice arenas, and institutions.

Kysor Refrigeration (Conyers, GA) touted its ties with Enodis and drew attention to its refrigerated display cases. One case allowed access to products from all four sides. According to booth personnel, it is customary to push two cases back to back to create four sides of products. The newer design reduces floor space by 1¼ feet while still maintaining product capacity. Service is accomplished by removing panels from below.



Eliason's Econo-Cover night covers could be used for energy savings in sections of stores that are not open 24 hours.

CONTROLS

Johnson Controls (Milwaukee, WI) showed a range of new products with supermarket applications. The Metasys M3 building automation workstation allows the viewing of refrigeration controls from several stores on a single WAN-enabled display. Booth officials said the technology allows one to view store operations in graphic format. Trans-mission is by Ethernet rather than phone lines.

A Johnson/Penn modular input-output board works in conjunction with the company’s refrigeration system and convenience store controllers. The boards allow for more inputs and outputs to control additional refrigeration equipment, as well as hvac and lighting.

The RLM refrigerant monitoring system uses infrared sensors to reduce false alarms and increase flexibility. It is said to be able to detect 24 different refrigerants.

The P470 electronic pressure control features three field-selectable operating pressure ranges. The VFD66 condenser fan control was billed as a three-phase fan speed control. It uses pressure or temperature signals and inverter technology to control condenser fan motor speed and the flow of air across the condenser coil.

Elreha Controls (St. Petersburg, FL) featured controllers for cold storage, humidity, single and multi-stage, and differential. Included was the TKP 3130, billed as a universal controller for use in “almost all refrigeration applications.” The inputs and outputs can be configured to work with any integrated control functions or control circuits.

Wizard is the name of a controller from Genesis International (Arnold, MO) that works as a temperature controller, multi-function defrost clock, refrigerant leak monitor, and datalogger.

Grasslin Controls (Mahwah, NJ) showcased electronic time controls. The Talento 800 series provides 365-day one-, two- and four-circuit electronic time controls. Also shown was Talento 400 Series with 24-hour, seven-day, one- and two-circuit electronic time controls.



COMPRESSORS AND COMPONENTS

Copeland (Sidney, OH) showed what it called modulated digital scroll technology. William Bosway, Copeland senior vice president, OEM Marketing, stated that the technology is now being taken to the refrigeration sector. Emphasis is on food safety through “tight temperature control” and lower costs normally associated with variable speed. Bosway suggested that a single digital scroll could work with eight to 10 evaporators. In a store, that can mean walk-in coolers and freezers, ice machines, and ice cream cases could all run off a single compressor. This would result, he said, in reduced heat and noise and allow easier movement of equipment.

Part of the package includes technology from sister company CPC Controls (Kennesaw, GA). Bosway noted that the company provides a control for monitoring and communicating with all equipment in the store. Such controls technology can also work as an overall store controller beyond refrigeration.

Carlyle (Syracuse, NY) emphasized several offerings, including a part-load capacity control, lower speed drive in which energy savings offset first charges; a 75 mm screw compressor for supermarkets that does not need an oil cooler; and electronic technology that provides a technician access to discharge and suction temperatures, as well as oil pressure readings.

KeepRite Refrigeration (Brantford, ON, Canada) showed a range of products including unit coolers and condensing units, including the KR-Line indoor condensing unit for remote condensers.

Sporlan (Washington, MO) used its appearance at the show to note that its engineers work with customers “in developing products tailored to their applications,” including supermarket and transport refrigeration.

Among items featured at the booth of Parker Hannifin (Broadview, IL) was the Cool Tool Kit, containing common parts a service tech needs for valve repairs and maintenance in the field.

National Refrigerants (Phila-delphia, PA) offered its EZ One-Shot recovery cylinder. It allows recovery from several units until the cylinder is full. It is designed to be used as a temporary storage receiver or on single recovery jobs where refrigerant needs to be returned or stored.



ICE MACHINES, COLD STORAGE

Scotsman (Vernon Hills, IL) offered ice machines using a rotating evaporator to continuously produce a form of chipped ice for display cases. One unit was said to produce 1,500 lbs of ice in a day, and another model about 2,000 lbs/day.

The Scotsman technology uses a rotating horizontal drum in a water bath and a stationary stainless steel blade. The technology does away with a harvest cycle.

Manitowoc (Manitowoc, WI) showed a flake ice maker with machinery from the German ice machine manufacturer Ziegra. Two types of ice — a chiplet and flake — can be produced.

Howe Corp. (Chicago, IL), showed its Rapid Freeze flaker technology in 1,000 lbs/day production range, the smallest yet produced by the company. The machine can work with HCFCs, HFCs, ammonia, and in secondary loop systems.

Follett (Easton, PA) showcased its Symphony series of ice and water dispensers. Included was the Maestro icemaker, an auger unit that produces compressed nugget ice.

Bally Refrigeration Boxes (Moorehead City, NC) touted its pre-engineered and prefabricated walk-in coolers, freezers, and refrigerated warehouses.

RefPlus (Boucherville, QC) showed a line of reach-in and walk-in coolers and blast freezers, as well as condensing units.



CASE COVERS AND AIR DOORS

Covers that can be pulled across open display cases garnered a lot of attention at the expo. Even though most supermarkets are open 24 hours a day, the covers were said to be useful as an energy-saving measure in supermarket liquor store sections, which have more limited operating hours. They were also advocated for partially closing cases as an energy conservation effort during slow times in stores.

Eliason Corp. (Kalamazoo, MI) made that clear with its Econo-Cover night covers. The company suggested energy rebates could be available in some areas of the country when using such covers.

EconoFrost (Shawnigan Lake, BC) drew attention to its aluminum reflective covers for case insulation. Included was a braking system for ease in rollup.

Berner Air Doors (New Castle, PA) showed what it called an Air Entrance System. It replaces conventional swinging or automatic doors and uses a 7.5-hp motor to maintain positive internal air pressure.

Publication date: 07/02/2001

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