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Is HVAC/Refigeration Automation the Next Big Thing for IoT?

Is HVAC/Refigeration Automation the Next Big Thing for IoT?

Commercial Refrigeration, Energy Efficiency, HVACR, Industrial Refrigeration, Performance Analytics, Technology
As we throttle toward the end of this decade and into the future, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to become more and more ubiquitous in our daily lives. On smaller scales, we see it in our homes with products that now merge thermostats with home security, or allow us to order items from Amazon through voice-activation. On a massive scale, we see it in the near-full automation of some global supply chains. And right in the middle of those ends of the spectrum, we're starting to see it become standard practice in the one place we spend most of our time: the workplace.   In particular, the HVAC/Refrigeration industries are beginning to catch up to the times and see the benefit of automating the operations that they can. Lighting,…
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FDA Provides an Update on the new Produce Safety Rule

FDA Provides an Update on the new Produce Safety Rule

Federal Regulations, Food Safety, HVACR, Produce
As the full, national rollout of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA)—a sweeping reform of food safety laws designed to better prevent issues as opposed to simply responding to them—continues, some of the larger regulatory pieces are taking their time in being implemented. One of these pieces, and arguably one of the most impactful and watched closely of them all, is the Produce Safety Rule.   Bluntly, the Produce Safety Rule establishes the first science-based minimum food safety standards as it pertains to growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce intended for human consumption.   Within the Produce Safety Rule, regulations were developed to affect six (6) main areas of commercial farms that fall within the scope of the rule. These areas are: Worker health, hygiene, and training Agricultural…
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Recently Advanced Farm Bill Could Have Wide-reaching Impact on Produce & Floral Industries

Recently Advanced Farm Bill Could Have Wide-reaching Impact on Produce & Floral Industries

Federal Regulations, Food Safety, Produce
The national conversation surrounding the 2018 Farm Bill, advanced in the Senate on June 28th by an 86-11 vote, will likely revolve around the highly political topics as the bill continues through the legislative process.   Topics such as SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which could see a congressional war over work requirements to receive food stamp benefits, international trade and tariffs, and the improvement of the Federal Crop Insurance program. The conversation around SNAP, in particular, figures to be very partisan and it is easily the most controversial aspect of the farm bill. There are also proposals in the bill that have bipartisan support, such as the potential federal legalization of hemp. Hemp is currently lumped into the controlled substance category alongside its cousin, marijuana. And a provision…
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E. Coli Outbreak can be Learning Opportunity for Leafy Greens Industry

E. Coli Outbreak can be Learning Opportunity for Leafy Greens Industry

Commercial Refrigeration, Federal Regulations, Food Safety, Industrial Refrigeration, Produce
The worst E. Coli outbreak in over a decade has affected a widespread swathe of the country—reaching as far as Alaska—but seems to have originated from just one location: Yuma County in southwest Arizona.   According to public health officials with the FDA, the outbreak has sickened 197 people in 35 states, with five tragically having died. Officials also said that the contaminated supply of romaine lettuce has worked its way through the supply chain and is no longer available for consumption. So any immediate risk has passed.   And while everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that they are not currently at risk, the fact remains that an outbreak did still occur. This is a fact not lost on both public health officials and produce professionals in the…
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Contractors and Customers Alike Can’t Live Without Refrigeration Controls and Monitoring

Contractors and Customers Alike Can’t Live Without Refrigeration Controls and Monitoring

Commercial Refrigeration, HVACR, Industrial Refrigeration, Performance Analytics, Technology
"It's almost like the check engine light in your car."   This is how Charlie Sternberg, owner of S&S Refrigeration Co. in New Jersey, described the base value of NRM's monitoring platform to greenHVACR magazine. As a refrigeration technician, any tool that improves his ability to effectively—and efficiently—solve his own clients' issues is invaluable. And a tool specifically designed to offer the best, and most comprehensive, fault detection is worth its weight in gold. For Sternberg and his dedicated team of technicians, he found that sidekick in NRM's controls and monitoring platform.   "What the NRM system provides is real-time system functionality and control, energy savings, monitoring, and notifications of potential issues," he added. He's heard feedback from his clients that they are more at ease knowing their product is constantly…
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As Companies Continue to Alter Their Processes to Adhere to FSMA, Some Remain Skeptics

As Companies Continue to Alter Their Processes to Adhere to FSMA, Some Remain Skeptics

Federal Regulations, Food Safety, HVACR, Produce
This year marks the pivotal period for the widespread adoption of, and adherence to, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Originally passed in 2010, it took the next six years to develop the full breadth of the act. The FSMA was legislation driven by the Food & Drug Administration with the goal of having companies be better equipped to prevent food-borne illness as opposed to just reacting to contamination. On January 26, 2018, the industry of fresh produce had its first major compliance date, and routine facility inspections are scheduled to begin in 2019.   According to the FDA's official documentation, the legislation "enables FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. It enables FDA to focus more on preventing food safety problems rather than relying…
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In Connected, Smart Technologies, the HVACR Industry Sees a Real Game-Changer

In Connected, Smart Technologies, the HVACR Industry Sees a Real Game-Changer

Commercial Refrigeration, HVACR, Industrial Refrigeration, Technology
Some of the best places to gain insight on the future outlook of specific technologies or industries are trade shows, conferences, and educational sessions hosted by industry leaders. Often, a new technology or product will ignite a flurry of buzz and anticipation, but without a full understanding of its impact or integration into its particular market vertical. At events that gather the best minds of their industries, fleshing out what a new product, fad, or trend is, does, and affects, is usually a focal point for multiple speakers—most things are best viewed through multiple, different-colored lenses. This is especially true when the buzz is industry-wide and seemingly unavoidable.   In the world of commercial and industrial refrigeration, this particular maelstrom of a topic is smart technologies connected through The Cloud.…
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HVACR Contractors: the Key to a Healthy Relationship with Your Customers? Communication

HVACR
In the relationship between HVACR contractors and their customers who rely on the complex, expensive refrigeration equipment to keep their business alive, neither partner has it easier than the other. Especially when that relationship exists in the restaurant and service industry. Both restaurateurs and contractors work long, hard hours, maintain operation no matter the weather, and both face growing regulatory challenges, as well as competition. Like a marriage between two workaholic people, finding a balance—that "sweet spot" of understanding, needs anticipation, and support—is the key to a healthy and prosperous partnership. And whether a business relationship between two entities, or a romantic relationship between two bodies, communication is the soil in which to plant the seeds for a happy future.   Take Georges and Claudie d'Arras of Olmsted Falls, Ohio,…
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When is it Time to Consider a Refrigeration Monitoring and Control System?

When is it Time to Consider a Refrigeration Monitoring and Control System?

Commercial Refrigeration, Energy Efficiency, HVACR, Industrial Refrigeration, Performance Analytics, Technology
As more and more companies incorporate aspects of IoT and smart technologies into their day-to-day operations—from adaptive air-conditioning controls to motion-activated office lights to inside air quality sensors—one area for substantial improvement continues to be overlooked: commercial and industrial refrigeration. Most people couldn't live without their car dashboard warnings, their smart phones, or their cloud storage of pictures, videos, and documents. These types of technologies have radically changed how we interact with and use data. At a rapid pace, it's being adopted across any and all industries, but still, mostly except for one.   Ask yourself these 10 questions to consider whether or not it's time for your business to procure a refrigeration monitoring and control system.   Have you lost a compressor before?   We will start the list…
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2017 Sees the Finalization of New WICF Regulations for Energy Efficiency; Compliance by 2020

2017 Sees the Finalization of New WICF Regulations for Energy Efficiency; Compliance by 2020

Commercial Refrigeration, Energy Efficiency, HVACR, Industrial Refrigeration
On September 7th, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy put into place a new set of standards that revolve around walk-in cooler and freezer efficiency metrics. These new rules are now officially law. This passage concludes a three-year process that saw much back and forth, and faced doubts over whether it would ever actually materialize.   In the table below, which can be found in this article by ACHR News, the updated standards are expressed in terms of annual walk-in energy factor to the energy required for the refrigerated load.   [caption id="attachment_475" align="aligncenter" width="900"] The table displays the new standards for WICF energy efficiency metrics[/caption]   These new standards will have an impact on a wide range of refrigeration systems. They will affect everything from low-temperature dedicated condensing systems,…
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