Jun 6, 2019
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.
The best eco-friendly investments that also generate ROI
Apr 25, 2019
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).
Feb 28, 2019
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 7, 2019
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.
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:
Sep 27, 2018
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.
Breaking down your options as the R22 refrigerant is phased out
Feb 1, 2018
The turn of the new year signaled the most recent step of the R22 refrigerant phase-out in the United States.
As a reminder, here’s the timeline according to the EPA final rule:
- On January 1, 2018, R22 production dropped 30 percent from the 2017 supply to 9 million pounds
- On January 1, 2019, production will drop 55 percent 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.
Since the supply just dropped at the beginning of this year, that means R22 prices (and repair prices) are increasing yet again.
If your refrigeration system uses R22, or any other refrigerant with a high Global Warming Potential (GWP), you have some decisions to make — and the clock is ticking.
Feb 23, 2017
More changes are coming to the food and beverage industry as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to crack down on ammonia safety.
The EPA has launched a three-year, nationwide enforcement and compliance initiative focused on reducing the risks of chemical releases from facilities that use extremely hazardous chemicals, including those that use ammonia as a refrigerant.
What two credit interpretation rules mean for temperature-controlled plants
Nov 22, 2016
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.
May 19, 2016
Quick chill systems are a viable option for hog chilling thanks to improved efficiency, product quality and yield. But to achieve these benefits, and peak performance, your system must be designed correctly.
How quick chilling works, improves pork product output
May 12, 2016
There are more than 68,000 pork producers in the United States alone—competition is fierce. So how can your hog facility remain competitive? By producing the highest quality product possible for consumers, efficiently. And an effective chilling system is key to facilitating the most premium product for your consumers: a flavorful cut of meat with appealing color, firmness and moisture levels. The faster a carcass is cooled after slaughter, the better quality the meat will be. Quick chill systems, specifically, reduce chill time and produce a better cut of meat. While they may be a significant upfront investment for your food plant, this method offers significant advantages and long-term ROI.