Mar 12, 2020
When it comes to your facility’s process safety management (PSM), switching from paper to digital is a no-brainer. Using a digital platform saves time, makes document storage more convenient and allows you to have more control during OSHA audits.
We live in an online, digital world where software technologies make our work more efficient. Why should one of the most important elements of your business — the health and safety of your employees — be any different?
Stellar has been a pioneer in the digital PSM market since 1998, and we’re raising the bar.
Feb 27, 2020
Source: CalARP Resource Compliance
California has long been an epicenter of food manufacturing in the United States. With more refrigerated warehouses looking to become sustainable in the 2020s, California is primed to be a major market where cold storage facilities transition to natural refrigerants.
However, “The Golden State” has unique regulations that refrigerated warehouses must follow when updating their systems. Most critically, there are strict regulations on ammonia, which traditionally has been the preferred refrigerant because of its efficiency, low cost and safety when the system is properly designed.
Feb 13, 2020
Between 2018 and 2019, pet food production was up 4% globally and increased by double-digits in some regions, according to Alltech’s 2020 Global Feed Survey. Higher-quality food is also in greater demand as more consumers view and treat pets like family.
Among these trends are an increased interest in fresh, refrigerated pet food.
The Associated Press reports that “U.S. sales of fresh pet food in groceries and pet stores jumped 70% to more than $546 million between 2015 and 2018, according to Nielsen, a data company. That doesn’t include online sales or people making their own fresh pet food.”
As a manufacturer, if you’re considering the refrigerated pet food space, there are important differences to keep in mind when it comes to processing and distributing these chilled goods.
Feb 6, 2020
In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed that owners of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) refrigeration systems have some decisions to make as R22 refrigerant is phased out and states take on regulations and enforcement.
Natural refrigerants, like CO2 or ammonia, are good alternatives, but they can sometimes get a bad rap. We’ve debunked some myths about CO2 before — now let’s look at ammonia.
Busting the myth that “another compressor” is always the answer
Jan 9, 2020
Compressed air is a commonly used power source in manufacturing facilities, but it isn’t necessarily a cheap one. Aided by the Compressed Air Challenge movement, which started 20 years ago, users have started treating compressed air as a utility with supply and demand.
This has led to a greater understanding of how to use compressed air efficiently, but many facilities are still running on systems that are not optimized.
Read the top takeaways from CBRE’s new research report
Dec 12, 2019
Source: CBRE’s latest research report
Growth in online grocery sales is stoking demand for cold storage facilities across the United States, according to a new research report from CBRE. The real estate services and investment firm found that up to 100 million square feet of additional capacity is needed to meet online sales through 2022.
However, the cost and complexity of cold storage construction could make meeting that demand difficult. The resulting shortage will likely cause cold storage to become an even more coveted real estate asset – and those willing to invest in the market stand to reap major rewards.
Read below for the top insights from CBRE’s latest cold storage report.
Dec 5, 2019
Stellar – Compressor Rebuild & Repair Facility (How It’s Done) from Stellar on Vimeo.
We recently updated our refrigeration parts and compressor shops in Jacksonville, Florida, and Fort Worth, Texas. (Stellar also has shops in Modesto, California and York, Pennsylvania.) Each facility offers climate-controlled storage spaces and a compressor shop with a separate teardown room, clean room and paint booth.
From the time a compressor arrives at one of Stellar’s service facilities to the time it leaves, it undergoes an unrivaled 75-point quality inspection — a rigorous examination unlike any in the industry.
Oct 24, 2019
When it comes to ammonia refrigeration machine rooms, ventilation updates can often be overlooked.
Current and new mechanical codes — International Mechanical Code (IMC) and Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) — defer to IIAR 2 (and sometimes ASHRAE 15) as the referenced code for ammonia refrigeration systems, including the machine room ventilation.
Just because your ammonia system was designed to code years ago it may not necessarily be code compliant today.
If you have updated your refrigeration system recently, did you update your machine room’s ventilation as well?
Aug 8, 2019
It’s always a good time to check up on your facility’s safety — but now the stakes are even higher when it comes to safety violations.
Employers across the U.S. have been facing higher penalties from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) this year. In January 2019, the federal agency announced it was increasing the maximum penalty for serious and other than serious citations to $13,260 and the maximum for repeat and willful violations to $132,598.
That means conducting a safety audit is especially critical if you’ve already received citations at any company facility, since a repeat offense could trigger a costly willful violation.
Jul 25, 2019
Automation is on the rise in industrial facilities, food processing plants and cold storage warehouses. At Stellar, we’ve seen more client requests for automation in the past year than ever before.
When people think of automation and cost savings, the obvious usually comes to mind first: labor costs. Projected minimum wage increases and the scarcity of people willing to work in a cold storage environment are driving more owners to invest in automation.
But automating your warehouse can yield more savings beyond just the payroll. Here are six more benefits that you may not have considered.