DAYTON, Ohio — Emerson Climate Technologies announced that it is building a fully operational commercial kitchen to research and develop solutions to food service industry challenges, including connected kitchen concepts, new refrigerants, and food safety.

The kitchen is one of five modules currently under construction at The Helix innovation center, a nearly 40,000-square-foot facility on the University of Dayton campus. Emerson said its $35 million total investment in The Helix will foster a collaborative approach to conducting research to create new technologies that address HVACR industry challenges.

“We want to look holistically at the challenges facing busy commercial kitchens, so our new facility will be a working restaurant that can serve 150. We will be able to simulate warm and cold climates, as well as looking at zoning, lighting, humidity, and food temperature scenarios. The facility will be built with the latest technology from food service equipment manufacturers and Emerson’s own controls and food recycling systems,” said Allen Wicher, director of food service marketing for Emerson Climate Technologies Refrigeration business.

The functioning 1,500-square-foot commercial kitchen will help Emerson and its collaborators tackle new solutions to current and future challenges in food service operations. The company is kicking off the process by creating a cross-functional team of its food service product experts to interview chefs and staff at commercial kitchens across the country.

When completed, The Helix innovation center will employ about 35 people and focus on five HVACR industry markets: supermarket refrigeration, food service operations, residential connected homes, data center cooling, and light commercial buildings.

Emerson plans for The Helix to be a global hub of HVACR industry education. In addition to the five modules, the facility includes three learning labs and the company plans to host industry meetings and hold forums for HVACR professionals on-site.

For more information on Emerson’s plans for The Helix, see the YouTube video with Emerson COO Ed Purvis at

For more information about Emerson Climate Technologies, visit

Publication date: 3/30/2015

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