NAFEM Expo Stresses Safety And Efficiency

January 8, 2004
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A portion of the show floor at the NAFEM Expo in New Orleans.
NEW ORLEANS - When the word "food" is in the title of a major refrigeration expo, you can bet the focus among exhibitors will be on food safety, combined with promises of even better energy savings. These days, the safety issue encompasses battling bacterial concerns as well as bioterrorism fears. And the energy issue comes amidst complex controls systems that still must be simple enough for food service workers to deal with.

All those issues came together at the North American Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) Expo. It is an every-other-year event that drew hundreds of exhibitors and some 20,000 attendees in a city where diversified dining is an art form.

Here is an alphabetical look at a number of the companies who set up shop on the show floor and had products of interest to contractors and technicians.

ColdZone (www.coldzone.com) featured Uni-Pak air-cooled condensing units in 1/2- to 3-hp ranges. Target placements include cafeterias, convenience stores, restaurants, and fast food outlets. Units use R-22 or R-404A.

Cooper-Atkins (www.cooper-atkins.com) featured a line of refrigerator/freezer thermostats.

Danfoss (www.danfoss.com) noted options in its custom condensing units for commercial refrigeration and restaurant equipment. The units' range is 1/20 to 13-1/2 hp for use with R-12, -134a, and -404A.

Features are said to include computer-mounted drain pans, evaporator base, filter-drier, sight glass, pressure switch, electronic expansion valve, electronic thermostats, access ports on the high and low sides, base-mounted service valves, base-mounted receiver, and prebuilt cabinet wiring harnesses.

"One unit takes the place of many individual line items in the refrigeration system, and the specially designed cabinet wiring harness makes the condensing unit a plug-and-play component," according to a statement from the company.

Danfoss also noted it offered testing at a number of its labs worldwide.

The Emerson Climate Technologies (www.gotoemerson.com) rollout included a controller and condensing units, as well as services in monitoring and testing.

The Einstein 2 (E2) controller was billed as "the most powerful controller available today." The concept is to allow "a more effective and seamless integration and control of refrigeration systems and HVAC within a facility," as well as integration with other systems, such as lighting and security. The controller works with compressor electronics, electronic valves, and flow control devices.

The condensing unit aspect was promoted as a broad product line encompassing air-cooled, water-cooled, or split remote with options for refrigerants, horsepower, and temperature combinations. Standard features are fan guards, shrouds, power cords, pressure controls, receivers, accumulators, and crankcase heaters. Customized features include coils, liquid line assemblies, driers, moisture indicators, solenoids, and custom tube terminations and configurations.

The monitoring services are said to "remotely monitor the performance of facility equipment and energy consumption, and identify systems problems that produce excessive energy usage and maintenance calls."

Design and testing capabilities are offered to the industry "to test and evaluate an extensive variety of HVACR equipment and systems. Experts test the performance, quality, and safety of the equipment by utilizing sound chambers, controlled ambient rooms, calorimeters, airflow tunnels and more."

Follett (www.follettice.com) offered an ice system that allows hand-free dispensing into bags, carts, totes, and coolers. The Ice Pro 1000 has dual motor construction with dedicated agitation and dispense motors, a blower, and a drive system.

ColdZone featured its Uni-Pak air-cooled condensing units.
The Heatcraft (www.heatcraftrpd.com) booth showcased a stainless steel cabinet option and a stainless steel drain pan option on its low- and medium-profile unit coolers, as well as center mounts and large unit coolers. The stainless steel evaporators are offered in Bohn, Larkin, Climate Control, and Chandler brands. The unit includes a stainless steel external cabinet, drain pan, hanger brackets, and external fasteners.

Hoshizaki America Inc. (www.hoshizaki.com) noted its under counter series. The TempGuard® features a side-mount, removable refrigeration system. Standard features include removable air filters, stepped door design, backup door perimeter heaters, and an alert system.

The issue of water is dealt with through an electrolyzer. ROX electrolyzed water, said the company, "produces a nonchemical means of sanitizing by emitting an electrical charge into salt water, producing alkaline water and acidic water. The alkaline water is a ‘super degreaser' used to wash the surface of the food and food preparation equipment, and acidic water is used to eliminate bacteria."

Hussmann (www.hussmann.com) continued to advocate what it called "packaged refrigeration solutions." For the NAFEM audience, it showed its ability to custom design and build equipment. The principle, said the company, is to "combine individual condensing units with their own remote condensers into one integrated system with single-point control and single-electrical connection."

Ice-O-Matic (www.iceomatic.com) officials reported the company is taking on three challenges faced by ice machines - hard water, food safety, and tight spaces.

The company is dealing with hard water through its Harvest Assist technology "that pushes the ice into the bin every ice-making cycle rather than waiting for gravity to overpower the scale. This feature makes the ice production cycle consistent for the life of the machine, regardless of how hard the water is."

The food safety issue is being dealt with by an approach called Pure Ice. "This is a built-in silver-based antimicrobial compound that lasts for the life of the machine to prevent bacteria and slime fungus growth." As part of its marketing, Ice-O-Matic said that for customers who replace the water filter every six months, the company will extend the warranty on the evaporator from five to seven years. The tight space issue is handled with a top air discharge so as to avoid slide clearance for proper airflow.

IMI Cornelius (www.cornelius.com) promoted a FlavorBlastâ„¢ option for fountain dispenser equipment. It adds an extra flavor - such as cherry, vanilla, lemon, or lime - to soft drinks normally found in dispensers.

Also shown at the booth was a continuous compressed icemaker, the WCC-700. It creates "chewable" ice and is said to eliminate the need for water pumps, hot gas solenoids, and timers.

Also in the Cornelius family is the Remcor IMD-600-90, an icemaker dispenser that produces extruded, chewable ice for health care and food service facilities.

Kairak (www.kairak.com) focused on a multi-rack refrigeration system with such aspects as flush surface mounted, 6-inch-deep pans; no recess pans or air-over requirements; and extended coil core guarantee. Compressors are oversized to reduce run time. Hot air discharge is vertical. The units come prewired and prepiped.

Kold-Draft (www.kold-draft.com) had literature proclaiming "the best ice machines in the world" and "the right size ice for your every need." Cubers range from 350 to 1,250 pounds of production per day. The company also showed a cube dispenser and a crusher designed for in-line use with its cubers and bins. An external knob selects cubed or crushed ice.

The approach to ice distribution developed by Lancer (www.lancercorp.com) starts with an ice storage bin upon which can be mounted any of a number of brands of icemakers. The configuration includes a blower cabinet, icemaker relay, and pneumatic tubing. The process pushes ice into a number of ice dispensers at different locations in a facility from a single source.

A preassembled, customizable walk-in was shown by Master-Bilt (www.master-bilt.com). The units are assembled at the factory and delivered via goose-neck truck, then set in place by a crane, boom-lift, or forklift. After the customer supplies electricity for the single-source hook-up, the walk-in is ready to use.

Also featured were the Quantum Series medium-temperature, vertical, open display merchandisers. A solid-state electronic controller replaces a number of typical standard mechanical parts, such as a room thermostat, defrost timer, defrost termination/fan delay control, and temperature indicator.

In the company's BLG low-temperature glass door merchandiser, a bare tube condenser coil replaces regular fine-type condenser coils with the idea of reducing the amount of dirt and debris that can collect.

The Scotsman Ice Express System is designed to move large quantities of ice safely and quickly.
Maximicer (www.maximicer.com) makes tubular containers that are added to ice machine and cold-plate drink dispensers.

According to company officials, "Maximicer products capture incoming cold water and use it to prechill the water. The product reduces the ice consumption rate of cold-plate drink dispensers and boost the operational performance of commercial ice machines."

Scotsman (www.scotsman-ice.com) had an extensive rollout. The company introduced three large upright bins that store from 1,100 to 1,700 pounds of ice. A roto-molded door is dent and scratch resistant, according to the company.

The Ice Express System is de-signed to store and transport ice. Models range in storage capacities from 500 to 1,700 pounds. They are designed to move large quantities of ice safely and quickly while eliminating carrying buckets or scooping into carts. Ice flow is from the bottom of the bin.

The IceValetâ„¢ is a hotel ice cube dispenser in 22- to 30-inch widths. A removable top front panel allows access to the bin for cleaning and service without having to remove the ice machine.

The AquaDefenseâ„¢ system has three aspects to it. There is a water filtration system designed specifically for ice machines that leaves the bacteria-fighting chlorine in the water "yet ensures the unit produces crystal clear, taste-free and odor-free ice and provides a phosphate feed to inhibit scale buildup." There is an antimicrobial media placed directly in the sump water to reduce growth of potentially harmful microorganisms. AgION antimicrobial compound molded directly into certain ice machine components.

And the company noted its Eclipseâ„¢ technology that moves the compressor and condenser to the roof and allows linkage to ice machines in work or customer areas of a facility. The concept includes a compressor regulator valve to optimize performance and reliability. The technology now has 1,300-, 1,600- and 2,000-pound ice production all in 30-inch-wide cabinets.

Tecumseh Products Co. (www.tecumseh.com) drew attention to its relationships with Manufacturing Data Systems Inc. (MDSI), Applied Electronics, Masterflux, and Fasco, as well as its fully owned subsidiaries MP Pumps and Little Giant. MDSI supplies Internet-enabled, open-architecture software motor control applications. Applied Electronics offers electronic control design and manufacturing for OEMs. Masterflux offers specialized thermal management systems including compressors with brushless DC, compressors with sensorless drive, and compressors with variable-speed induction drive.

Fasco, acquired by Tecumseh in 2002, offers AC and DC motors, blowers, and gear motors. MP Pumps deals with fluid-handling requirements and Little Giant offers wastewater, condensate, and magnetic drive pumps among its products.

In specific developments within Tecumseh, it was noted that it had "successfully launched its horizontal rotary compressor and condensing units. The horizontal version of the compressor can be used in a newly designed low-profile condensing unit to achieve overall height of seven inches."

Thermo-Kool (www.thermokool.com) noted standard and custom-designed walk-ins and used a cartoonish rat and cheese to draw attention to its booth.

U.S. Cooler Co. (www.uscooler.com) promoted specially extruded polystyrene insulation. According to the company, "The newest insulation to be used in walk-in coolers and freezers is extruded polystyrene foam. This insulation is manufactured by extruding polystyrene plastic through an extrusion rod that creates the foam panel with the thickness, width, and any length needed to produce walk-in panels. Next, the panels are fabricated at the walk-in manufacturing plant to the exact size needed. The finished foam is coated on both sides with moisture-activated polyurethane adhesive. Lastly, the foam is laid between two sheets of metal and placed under a large press and cured to form the walk-in panel."

Vogt Ice (www.vogtice.com) labeled its VT line of ice machines as "VT for versatility." Among its concepts are hard, cracked ice; double surface freezing, which allows ice to form on both the inside and outside of the evaporator; no moving parts in the freezing zone; stainless steel crusher assembly; and an optional programmable controller.

Weiss Instruments (www.weissinstruments.com) used the expo to promote a distributed control system for restaurants and convenience stores. The two-wire daisy chain connection of DiXell control nodes are reinstalled for each appliance and tailored to specific applications including refrigeration.

A DiXell XJ500 system acts as a gateway to reach control nodes, according to the company. Store managers can automatically record temperatures, status and alarms, then fax, print, and remotely monitor and control the system without the need for a local personal computer. Accompanying XJ32 setup software is for start-up and remote access.

Publication date: 01/12/2004

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