Some of the most innovative products among the exhibits that filled two halls of the massive Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta focused on mechanically making ice and mechanically creating cold for beer storage and dispensing. And there also was plenty of attention given to walk-in and reach-in cooling and freezing, ranging from the structures themselves to the unit coolers within to the controls maintaining precise temperatures. And, as always, energy efficiencies and water purity were given attention - perhaps even more so than ever because of greater concerns over rising energy costs and health issues in the food service sector.
Here then is a review by topics of what was new on the show floor that contractors and technicians might soon see at jobsites.
ICE MACHINESKold Draft(www.kold-draft.com) focused on energy-efficiency in showing a line of ice cubers that officials said were “re-engineered to meet the stricter energy efficiency standards slated to take effect in several states in 2008 and nationally in 2010.”
They noted the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a nonprofit organization that works to promote energy-efficient products, technologies, and services, has established guidelines for commercial ice machine equipment that are expected to form the basis for national standards in the United States and Canada.
“Kold-Draft ice, particularly the full cube, is widely recognized by mixologists as the standard in premium ice,” said John Brigham, Kold-Draft chairman, president and CEO. “The purity, density, and size of the ice have defined it for decades. Preserving those characteristics was the top priority in a challenging, but rewarding, redesign project.”
Also focusing on the energy issue wasManitowoc(www. manitowocfsg.com) with its EnergyMizer™ campaign. Logos “on the outside (of equipment) assure you that there’s energy-saving technology on the inside,” according to a statement from the company.
Among new products was the S-Series 1870C air-cooled remote ice machine said to be “75 percent quieter than standard remotes due to the compressor and the condenser fan motor being housed in a remote condensing unit located away from the ice machine head section,” according to a statement. It was further noted that the series “is one of the most efficient ice machines in the industry, meeting the stringent Tier 3 energy- and water-efficiency specifications of the CEE.”
Water and conservation issues were addressed byFollett(www.follettice.com) which announced that its Chewblet® icemaker has been “redesigned to reduce the water wasted in the ice-making process by over 75 percent.”
Steve Follett, CEO of Follett Industries, said, “Icemakers are an often overlooked opportunity to save water in restaurants, cafeterias, and convenience stores. Icemakers in the foodservice industry consume about 20 billion gallons of water per year, of which about 8 billion gallons are wasted.”
In contrast, “almost all water used by Follett’s Chewblet icemakers is turned into ice,” he said. Follett icemakers are available in capacities from 400 to 1,400 pounds per day, he said, and can help building owners earn credits toward LEED certification in the category of water efficiency.
New fromIMICornelius(www.cornelius.com) is Nordic™ cubed ice machines. Ice is produced in full- or half-dice sizes. The evaporator is nickel-plated, there is a mechanical assist to reduce energy consumption, and condensers are oversized so as to improve ice making in high-temperature conditions.
Pearl Ice™ was promoted byIce-o-Matic(www.iceomatic.com). It is soft, chewable ice, the company said. The technology to produce the ice was designed to reduce water usage and power consumption.
Scotsman(www.scotsman-ice.com) provided information on Prodigy™, its line of self-monitoring cubers with external light indicators that provide end user alerts when it is time to have preventive maintenance or for a service call before an emergency.
Hoshizaki America(www.hoshizaki.com) noted its DT-400 BAH-OS, described as a “sanitary cubelet ice machine/dispenser,” is part of its Opti-Serve Series. The entire unit comes in a sealed housing to prevent moisture from entering and “eliminating the possibility of an electrical short.”
Franklin Chef(www.franklinchef.com) showed machines with daily production ranging from 44 to 1,002 pounds, using R-134a and producing clear, hard, cube-shaped ice.
BEER STORAGE/DISPENSINGPerlick Corp.(www.perlick.com) used the show to introduce what it called Euro-style beer dispensing towers. Two models come with various faucet configurations. It was noted that select models can be ordered as iced towers, meaning they will build up to ½-inch layer of ice on the exterior of the tower for aesthetic purposes. The dispensing heads are designed to maintain chilled beverage temperature up to the faucet to ensure a cold pour.
Draw Box™ fromNational Roto Mold(www.kelvinator.com) is a nonelectric portable keg bar. Ice is added to the unit and what the company called a dual-pass cooling system keeps the product cold. CO2 is also used. Users place up to three kegs in the unit, fill the sink beyond the faucets with ice to cool the lines in the cold plate, and then place ice around the kegs.
A draft beer dispenser fromExcellence Commercial Products(www.stajac.com), comes in two models, both using R-134a with extra dense foam insulation to hold a 33° to 40°F temperature range.
Portable beer dispensers for home and commercial use were shown bySummit(www.summitappliance.com). The units come with regulator, draft tower, CO2 tank, drip tray, and adjustable thermostat.
WALK-INS, REACH-INSMaster-Bilt(www.master-bilt.com) unveiled its InterKool walk-in system. Panels are insulated with polyurethane foam and have cam-lock construction. The panels are paired with either a remote or packaged refrigeration system. Coolers and freezers can be built to fit virtually any length up to 10 feet. Freezers also include a four-sided frame heater and pressure relief port. The company also showed a 5,000-pound structural floor option for walk-ins and refrigerated warehouses. The floor is designed to allow for maximum weight storage on internal shelving.
Electrolux(www.electroluxusa.com) showed its Smart refrigeration line, which has a defrosting function that detects ice buildup on the evaporator and de-ices only when required. The company’s Air-O-Chill® chillers/freezers are said to defrost only as long as necessary. After chilling/freezing is completed, the chillers automatically switch to refrigeration or freezer mode in order to lower equipment running time to save energy.
Walk-in coolers and freezers fromSnowman Cooler(www.snowmancooler.com) showed what it called “high-quality, economically built cold storage solutions for customers” that are pre-assembled prior to shipping.Everest Refrigeration(www.everestrefrigeration.com) stressed 2.5-inch thick high-density foamed-in-place polyurethane foam.
Polar King(www.polarking.com) was marking its 25th anniversary by showing seamless fiberglass walk-ins for both outdoor and indoor uses.
Solid door reach-in refrigerators and freezers were noted byQBD Cooling Systems(www.qbd.com).
Tecumseh(www.tecumsehcoolproducts.com) featured a wide range of unit coolers for both refrigerated rooms and refrigerated cabinets. A number are in low profile to allow more storage space.
Also showing low-profile coolers wasColdZone(www.coldzone.com) for small to medium walk-ins in air defrost, electric defrost, or hot gas defrost options.
Controls technology included RefriLogic™ fromBally Refrigerated Boxes(www.bmil.com/refrilogic), which has sensors ready for integration into new and existing refrigeration systems. It uses a microprocessor-based programmable controller to continuously monitor room conditions. Also from the company wasCoolLogic™(www.bmil.com/coologic), a dual-zone evaporator control system.
A walk-in alarm and light manager was shown byWeiss Instruments(www.weissinstruments.com). It provides a way to deal with walk-in doors accidentally left open and lights left on. Such oversights by employees can result in the loss of energy and the compromising of food safety, according to the manufacturer. The device provides alarms to warn of such oversights.
The Smart Panel Refrigeration (SPR-5) module fromRenau(www.renau.com) uses single-wire communications and provides Windows programming options directly from a personal computer using a USB key.
MORE ON REFRIGERATIONAlways*Green was the theme at the booth ofHussmann/Ingersoll Rand(www.hussmann.com) where emphasis was placed on the energy-saving and environmental aspects of its range of refrigeration products for the food service sector as well as its overall corporate philosophy.
New fromSupreme Metal(www.suprememetal.com) is a refrigerated drop-in cold pan. It comes with compressors ranging from 1/3 to ½ hp, R-404A refrigerant, and copper tube evaporator panels. Such units can be lowered into food service cases.
Packaged refrigeration systems were shown byLarkin(www.larkinproducts.com) including the Pro3 that comes ready to mount on the top of a cooler or freezer. The exhibit area also featured a side mount packaged refrigeration system. According to the company, the evaporator and condensing unit are together in one unit optimized for outdoor, pull-down applications.
Energy-efficient refrigeration systems fromCooltec Refrigeration Corporation(email@example.com) are designed for vertical air discharge or hot air with an oversized condenser surface 50 percent larger than conventionally packaged refrigeration systems. A modular refrigeration system from Tecumseh was said to have electronic controls, standardized parts, and single point electrical and refrigeration connections.
Embraco Aspera(www.embraco.com) showed its EK line of hermetic compressors that utilize R-744 (CO2).
Danfoss(www.danfoss.com) featured CO2 systems as well as those of other refrigerants. In fact, its interchangeable cooling engine for merchandisers was described as being designed for use with a wide range of refrigerants including CO2, R-404A, R-134a, and propane.
Scroll, hermetic, and semi-hermetic compressors were a portion of the product line shown at the booth ofEmerson Climate Technologies(www.gotoemerson.com).
Commercial water heaters also were given attention on the show floor including those fromRheem/Ruud(www.rheem.com) andA.O. Smith(www.hotwater.com).
AIR CURTAINSLoPro Commercial Series air curtains fromMars(www.marsair.com) were said to “maintain environmental separation with a light flow of air resulting in lower energy costs and enhance sanitation by deterring flying insects.”
Berner(www.berner.com) offers an Intelliswitch™ microprocessor remote for its Zephyr series of air curtains to control fan speeds, lockable controls, time delay relays, and internal/external thermostat.
WATER MATTERSNu-Calgon(www.nucalgon.com) had information on its supplying Nu-Plus® E Series By Everpure water filtration products. Among those products was nu-12000(2) and nu-i4000(2), both described as able to “reduce water-related ice machine problems caused by dirt, objectionable taste and odor, and by scale buildup.” The products employ pre-coat submicron filtration.
Everpure(www.everpure.com) itself had a number of announcements made at the expo.
It noted its Smartworks online water quality diagnostic tool, which allows the ordering of a free water test kit. The resulting data can then be inputed into the Smartworks program for analysis.
The company’s Exubera Pro Series is a filtration and dispensing system to provide filter water that is either chilled, chilled carbonated, or at ambient temperature.
The HSD filtration system was created to handle high-volume water filtration and excessively dirty water. It features a self-flushing capability.