Digital PSM: A Look at Stellar’s Updated NH360 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.

 

What Refrigerated Warehouses Need to Know About Ammonia Utilization in California

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What Refrigerated Warehouses Need to Know About Ammonia Utilization in California

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.  

 

Refrigerated Pet Food Plants: What’s Different?

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Refrigerated Pet Food Plants: What’s Different?

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.

 

Ammonia Refrigeration: Debunking 3 Myths

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Ammonia Refrigeration: Debunking 3 Myths

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.

 

The Secret to Optimizing Your Compressed Air System

Busting the myth that “another compressor” is always the answer

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The Secret to Optimizing Your Compressed Air System

Credit: Kaeser

 

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.  

 

Demand for Cold Storage Development Heats Up

Read the top takeaways from CBRE’s new research report

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Demand for Cold Storage Development Heats Up

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. 

 

How Stellar Services Industrial Refrigeration Compressors [VIDEO]

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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.

 

Ammonia Refrigeration: Is Your Machine Room Ventilation Up to Code?

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Ammonia Refrigeration: Is Your Machine Room Ventilation Up to Code?

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?

 

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.