15 Common Ammonia Safety Issues Your Refrigeration Personnel Can Control (and Correct)

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15 Common Ammonia Safety Issues Your Refrigeration Personnel Can Control (And Correct)

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.

 

Cold Storage Warehouse Automation: 6 Money-Saving Benefits Beyond Labor Costs

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Cold Storage Warehouse Automation: 6 Money-Saving Benefits Beyond Labor Costs

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.

 

5 Budget Factors to Consider When Designing Cold Storage Warehouses

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5 Budget Factors to Consider When Designing Cold Storage Warehouses

The need for cold storage facilities is greater than ever. Product integrity and fresh products are in demand as Millennials become major players in the consumer market. This generation of buyers favor healthier, fresher and higher quality products that have a shorter shelf life — meaning an efficient distribution network is crucial to serve these consumers.

But how can you design your warehouse cost-effectively?

 

Industrial Refrigeration: Your Options as R22 Refrigerant Is Phased Out

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Industrial Refrigeration: Ammonia and CO2 Systems

This is the last year that R22 can be manufactured in or imported to the United States.

As a reminder, here’s the timeline according to the EPA final rule

  • On January 1, 2018, R22 production dropped 30% from the 2017 supply to 9 million pounds
  • On January 1, 2019, production dropped 55% from the 2018 supply to 4 million pounds
  • On January 1, 2020, R22 will be phased out completely with no new or imported R22 allowed in the U.S.

If your refrigeration system uses R22, you have some decisions to make — and the clock is ticking.

 

HFC Refrigerant Regulations: What to Do as States Adopt SNAP Rule 20

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HFC Refrigerant Regulations: What to Do as States Adopt SNAP Rule 20

When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced they were going to phase out hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in 2015, many in the industry began preparing for the coming changes. The new proposed regulations under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act, known as SNAP Rule 20, established a schedule to phase out common HFC refrigerants such as R-22, R-124 and R-507.

However, when major chemical companies challenged the EPA in federal court in 2017, a judge ruled the EPA didn’t have the authority to mandate the changes. Attempts to appeal the court’s decision failed, and the EPA acknowledged they will not enforce the rule.

However, just because the rule was overturned at the federal level doesn’t mean you’re in the clear if you use these refrigerants.

 

Improve Your Food Plant’s Sustainability With These 5 Tips

The best eco-friendly investments that also generate ROI

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Improve Your Food Plant’s Sustainability These 5 Tips

Most food and beverage companies aren’t against being more eco-friendly — it’s just that achieving sustainability in a food processing plant can be easier said than done.

The upfront investment associated with energy-efficient solutions, such as “green” building materials and equipment, can be difficult to justify. How do you know which energy-efficient options will provide the best return on investment?

As we observe Earth Day this week, let’s look at ways to invest in your food plant that are both good for the planet and provide a solid return on investment (ROI).

 

Digital PSM: A Sneak Peek at Stellar’s New Compliance Software Platform

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Digital PSM: A Sneak Peek at Stellar’s New Compliance Software Platform

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.

 

Choosing the Right Refrigeration Condenser: 5 Variables to Consider

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Choosing the Right Refrigeration Condenser: 5 Variables to Consider

Condensers are one of the most critical elements of a refrigeration system. While optimizing the performance of your condenser is important for reducing energy usage and maintenance costs, if you’re building a new facility, it all starts with selecting the best option for your needs.

Location

When choosing a condenser, it’s important to consider where the facility is located. In colder climates, ice buildup and water freezing may occur with evaporative condensers. To work around this issue, you have two options:

 

5 Lessons Logistics Companies Can Learn From Caspers’ New Refrigerated Distribution Facility

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Caspers Cold Storage & Distribution, Florida’s oldest third-party logistics company, recently opened a new state-of-the-art refrigerated distribution facility in Tampa that is helping transform the company into one of the most dynamic leaders in cold storage distribution today. The 116,000-square-foot facility is key to Caspers’ new business model as a frozen-food storage provider. It includes:   

  • An 87,000-square-foot, -10°F freezer
  • Two -48°F blast cells
  • A 16,000-square-foot, 35°F truck dock
  • Machine and maintenance rooms
  • Offices and employee welfare areas

The facility was designed and built by Stellar, which overcame several building complexities to complete the project quickly and under budget. Here are five lessons companies can learn from Caspers’ new refrigerated distribution facility.

 

Is LEED Certification More Achievable for Refrigerated Facilities in LEED v4?

What two credit interpretation rules mean for temperature-controlled plants

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Food processing and cold storage facilities have historically faced challenges when pursuing LEED certification. Refrigeration and process systems require a lot of energy, and there has never been a specific path or program for these types of facilities under the LEED umbrella. However, LEED v4 and its two specific credit interpretation rules are now making the path to certification more achievable.