How to achieve water, electric and refrigeration efficiency that translates to long-term ROI
Jan 19, 2017
Energy costs typically account for 30 percent of a facility’s operating budget. That means nearly a third of all the money you funnel into your plant goes straight to the utility bill.
We already know about the popularity of green building and sustainable practices, but is it possible to go too green? In short, yes. You don’t want to go so overboard with efficiencies that you’re overspending on unnecessary improvements.
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.
Oct 20, 2016
LEED v4 is here. This latest version of the LEED rating system is “bolder and more specialized for building projects worldwide,” and it features more rigorous standards. While some of the credits and prerequisites are essentially the same as the 2009 version, there are some significant changes you should know about if a new build or renovation is in your future.
Aug 18, 2016
Photo courtesy of Shecco Media
One of Florida’s oldest third-party logistics companies is introducing one of refrigeration’s newest innovations into its new cold storage facility: low-charge packaged refrigeration systems. With a focus on moving to eco-friendly refrigerants, McDonald’s franchisee Caspers Cold Storage and Distribution will be cooling its new warehouse with an ammonia/ CO2 and low-charge ammonia DX system. Because Stellar will be designing and building the new systems, Accelerate America editor Andrew Williams interviewed Stellar’s Brandon France to learn more about the project. Check out the feature article, “I’ll have CO2 and ammonia with that” in this week’s blog post to learn more about how the company is using low-charge refrigeration systems to lower costs, reduce installation time and utilize green refrigerants.
How unfit doors can increase utility costs and diminish energy savings
Apr 7, 2016
Did you know a single weak link in your building envelope can have a major impact on your food plant’s energy efficiency? Take your facility’s doors and door openings. In an otherwise well-insulated and well-designed facility, an improperly designed door opening can erase a big portion of energy and utility savings. Your entire building envelope, from the windows to the walls, must be tightly sealed to achieve the utmost energy efficiency—including the doors.
Lessons from state-of-the-art chicken packaging, futher processing and storage facility
Feb 25, 2016
Family-owned premium poultry processor Bell & Evans has remained at the front of its industry’s flock by prioritizing high quality from all angles—from its antibiotic-free chicken to the materials and processes within its facilities. The most recent example of this commitment? A 160,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art chicken packaging, further processing, par-fry and storage plant in its hometown of Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania. Stellar was the design-builder for the poultry plant project and found it to be unlike any other project we’ve been a part of. This new facility is infused with cutting edge innovation and durability inside and out, from its materials and finishes to its packaging process.
Feb 4, 2016
CO2/NH3 cascade systems offer food processors a practical way to increase efficiency. By using two centralized refrigeration systems working in unison to provide cooling temperatures, they maximize the effect of carbon dioxide and ammonia. The high-temperature system pulls heat away from the low-temperature system, which in turn uses recirculated liquid to cool the evaporators.
Cascade systems that use CO2 as a secondary refrigerant offer unique advantages. Carbon dioxide is nontoxic and nonflammable, and is also less likely to damage food products in the event of a release. For food plant owners, CO2/NH3 cascade systems offer six key benefits, which are detailed below.
Lessons from Food Engineering's 2015 Fabulous Food Plant winner
Dec 17, 2015
As today’s home-brewing coffee drinkers continue to seek convenient alternatives to coffee shops, the demand for delicious instant coffee has risen. However, it’s not always easy for processors to produce high-quality instant coffee, as there are many moving parts that must come together to put a tasty cup of joe on the kitchen table.
Examining the best applications for LED and fluorescent lighting
Jul 9, 2015
All lighting is not created equal. When selecting LED or fluorescent lighting for your food facility or warehouse, understand that each type is better suited for some areas rather than others. How can you know which is the right fit for your plant?
Apr 23, 2015
Food for Thought is celebrating its two-year anniversary this month, and one of our very first blog posts is one of the most popular to-date. In April of 2013, I wrote a piece titled “Food Companies Go Green With Eco-Friendly Packaging,” discussing its different types and benefits. Eco-friendly packaging is something that’s only gained more steam as time has passed.