Equipment and design leaders

As retailers ramp up their investments in equipment and store development, Grocery Headquarters takes a look as some of the latest innovations in the field.

At the recent Food Marketing Institute’s Energy and Store Development Conference, there was a great deal of buzz among retailers, equipment suppliers and store development professionals about renewed energy. They were not just talking about energy savings, but about a revitalization of store design and equipment.

“Things have stagnated for quite a few years due to the recession and slow recovery, but we can’t ignore the stores or keeping putting Band-Aids on the equipment forever,” one Midwest retailer said.

Below are descriptions of some of the latest equipment, facility maintenance and design companies to help retailers keep their stores operating at peak efficiency.

Advanced Service Solutions
Advanced Service Solutions provides 24/7 services 365 days a year nationwide to help retailers achieve and maintain their full potential. The maintenance services firm has the people, the pride and the facilities to deliver snow and ice management, landscape maintenance, parking lot maintenance and exterior building maintenance or any combination of services in a plan tailored to the precise needs for one location or 100, say officials for the Hammonton, N.J.-based company. They add that Advanced’s experts deliver a program that will maintain the attractive appearance of retailers’ facilities and positively influence the bottom line.

AHT Cooling Systems USA
AHT Cooling Systems USA is a global manufacturer of plug-in refrigeration and freezing equipment for retailers and food/beverage manufacturers. The company’s product range includes refrigerated multi-decks, open-air curtains and refrigerated/frozen coffin islands and spot cases.

AHT’s objective is to provide an environmentally friendly solution with flexibility, energy savings, maintenance savings, low install costs and high quality control, say officials for the Hanahan, S.C.-based company. They add that AHT systems have a fast ROI and low cost of ownership and company officials work with retailers on test scenarios and/or roll-outs.

Airius has launched FanCenter Management, the latest technology companion to the company’s Air Pear Thermal Equalizer destratification fan system. The FanCenter provides wireless networked control over each fan in any Air Pear EL installation, according to officials for the Longmont, Colo.-based manufacturer. Airius offers six models of its patented Air Pear destratification fan to balance overall temperature in any working environment and reduce energy costs.

Arius’ FanCenter provides local or remote web-based access to a facility’s entire fan system. Air Pear fans, for example, can be adjusted to run at different speeds and different times of day or night depending on a building’s occupancy.

Alpina Manufacturing
Alpina Manufacturing makes any size frames or stands designed to enable retailers to quickly install and change graphics and posters without having to remove frames from the wall. While many frame manufacturers require minimums, officials for the Chicago-based manufacturer will quickly produce a single custom unit of any size or color. The company also offers free shipping, instant pricing and online ordering.

With Amerlux’s Contour track heads, produce aisles may be able to attract consumers’ eyes like never before. The Contour line is available from 12 to 40 watts, with outstanding performance in beam control and color consistency, say officials for the Fairfield, N.J.-based company. The manufacturer’s 34W and 40W track heads are approved in the latest Energy Star Approval Program. Amerlux created the utility-approved Contour line as an Energy Star partner, enhancing its customers ROI through maximum energy savings, lower maintenance costs, and top rebate incentives.

The Combitherm Automatic Grease Collection System from Alto-Shaam is designed to save labor and provide greater employee safety by eliminating the handling of hot grease that is normally collected in the drip pan. Created specifically for use with Alto-Shaam’s Combitherm ovens, this system keeps employees and the kitchen protected from messy spills and slippery floors, say officials for the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company.

Grease and other by-products are automatically pumped from the cavity drain into mobile grease collection containers, which can hold enough volume for multiple batches of chicken during the workday. The mobile grease collection containers can then be easily rolled to a disposal site as needed.

Baltimore Aircoil Co.
The TrilliumSeries Condenser from Baltimore Aircoil Co. uses a patented dry-coil adiabatic design that saves energy, reduces refrigerant charge and lowers operating costs, say officials for the Jessup, Md.-based company. With the use of pre-programmed proprietary logic and sophisticated controls, the On-Demand Adiabatic Pre-Cooler uses water only on the hottest days to maintain condensing temperatures that typical air-cooled technology cannot achieve. No water treatment is necessary for this equipment, therefore, water from the drain and overflow can be used for irrigation and other non-potable uses.

The TrilliumSeries Condenser uses the latest sound reducing technology fans and electrically commutated motors which reduces energy consumption and sound levels from the unit.

Designed for maximum versatility and flexibility, the Baxter OV310 Mini Rotating Rack Oven with Epicon Visual Interface is ideal for baking, roasting or reheating a wide variety of food, say company officials. The Epicon control panel uses an intuitive design and visual icons to guide users in customizing or accessing recipes. Operators can use manual mode to create and set up every step of the recipe throughout the baking or cooking process.

Saved recipes are available through the auto menu mode, so recipes can be easily repeated with consistent results. Recipes can also be saved on a USB drive to share with multiple locations.

Cummins Allison
The Money Machine self-service coin counter from Cummins Allison dispenses cash on the spot. This time-saving feature increases the opportunity for customers to spend money inside the store and eliminates the need for customers to wait in service lines, say officials for the Mt. Prospect, Ill.-based company. It also allows employees to focus on more valuable tasks instead of redeem­ing, tracking and balancing customer receipts. With a 99.995% accuracy rate and 98% uptime, Cummins Allison officials say the high-quality self-service coin counting machines are the global standard for speed, accuracy and dependability.

Con-Tech Lighting
The O2 line of LED track fixtures from Con-Tech Lighting are available in three wattages; 16W, 28W and 44W. Each O2 fixture features a single high lumen output multi-chip LED array. Specular reflectors provide smooth, precise uniform beams, say officials for the Northbrook, Ill.-based manufacturer.

Retailers can select from spot, medium or flood beam distributions in 2700K (Kelvin), 3000K or 3500K. Dimming is available and allows smooth illumination down to less than 10%. Vertically oriented die-cast aluminum driver housing with die-cast aluminum heat-sink includes vertically oriented fins engineered for optimal heat dissipation. Lockable, precision aiming enables 360˚-plus horizontal rotation and 180˚ vertical aiming adjustment. Integral on/off switch and track polarity indicator are standard.

Retailers have the ability to enhance their store brand and improve their customer’s shopping experience with Themed Graphics from D|Fab. Officials for the Madison Heights, Mich.-based firm say they understand how to communicate the uniqueness of a retail brand with graphic elements that convey a retailer’s special image and help increase customer loyalty and sales. The company engineers décor with light-weight, cost effective materials that give a store character and create an exciting presentation, add officials.

Eliason Corp.
The HCP-10 traffic door from Eliason is a 1½-inch thick door that features a high-strength structural PVC framework, bonded to impact-resistant ABS face sheets and a CFC-Free urethane foam core for insulating properties. The door is lightweight, yet durable, and is available in a variety of colors, according to officials for the Kalamazoo, Mich.-based manufacturer. The HCP-10 operates on Eliason’s Easy Swing hinge system and features full-perimeter edge gaskets making it usable for walk-in cooler applications.

Retailers can display a wide range of products with FFR-DSI’s new Power Zone FlexRoller Self-facing System. The merchandiser creates an organized, easy-to-shop presentation compatible with a wide range of products for use in center store, warehouse racking or cooler case environments, say officials for the Twinsburg, Ohio-based manufacturer. The gravity feed design utilizes integrated rollers for a smooth, self-facing shopping experience, keeping product front and center at all times.

The system is ideal for beverages, dairy products and other heavy merchandise, add officials. Base units are pre-assembled and are available in three styles: cooler shelf overlay, gondola shelf and pullout shelf while dividers and front fences can be added for a custom designed merchandiser. Dividers are available in wire or metal in a variety of sizes and can be moved on the merchandiser to accommodate any change in planogram.

Forté Product Solutions
Forté Product Solutions offers a variety of fixtures to help retailers create the most attractive endcap presentations. Forte’s  48”x24”x8” Half Size Display can be used to build a powerful, eye catching, cross-merchandising endcap that will encourage impulse shopping and will increase sales exponentially, say officials for the Kansas City, Mo.-based firm.

The Half Size Display features an arch design and plastic construction that provide weight capability up to 2,500 pounds and rounded and smooth edges help create a safe environment for customers and employees. Officials say it is easy to move while fully stocked with a forklift or pallet jack, it will not chip, crack or splinter and floors around it will be free from the unsightly marks left by wooden pallets and metal shelving.

Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration
The Microchannel Air-Cooled Condenser with SunSource technology from Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration is a solar energy system designed to integrate directly with its microchannel air-cooled condenser product. The SunSource Energy System is configured to help grocery retailers and other commercial refrigeration users reduce energy consumption during peak demand hours throughout the day resulting in greater energy savings.

The easy-to-install system collects energy from the sun, feeds it directly into a solar-ready microchannel air-cooled condenser and supplies any excess electricity to the rest of the building or to the power grid, say officials for the Stone Mountain, Ga.-based manufacturer. In much of the country, the system can allow the air-cooled condenser to operate grid-free during times of peak energy usage, as it generates more power than the condenser consumes.

With a ½-horsepower motor and 12-inch-diameter chrome-plated, carbon-steel knife, Hobart’s Edge12 Slicer delivers improved slice quality and is ideal for operations needing approximately 2.5 hours a day of slicing, say company officials.

The wide carriage span offers a smoother glide, and the large product tray and slide rod make it easier to accommodate larger loaves, add officials. Other features include a sanitary anodized aluminum base that helps protect against bacteria growth, removable carriage system, rear-mounted meat-grip arm and top-mounted, removable, submersible Borazon sharpening stone. The Edge12 meets the requirements of the NSF/ANSI 8-2010 standard adopted in 2010, with compliance required by November.

Mehmert Store Services
Mehmert Store Services provides retailers with the tools and innovative designs they need to appease consumers, say officials for the Sussex, Wis.-based design firm. Specializing in grocery store and supermarket design, Mehmert Store Services has more than 20 years of experience, providing a wide range of services including fixture planning, interior design/décor, architectural services, equipment management, project management and construction supervision. The company’s extensive knowledge and fresh perspective create inventive solutions and eye catching designs for independent retailers across the country, add officials.

Mettler Toledo
Mettler Toledo’s retail weighing solutions are designed to provide integrative weighing, packaging and labeling technology for the needs of today and the growth of tomorrow. The company is focused on solving customer problems by providing innovative retail technologies that can be integrated into application-specific solutions, say officials for the Columbus, Ohio-based manufacturer. They say the weighing, packaging and labeling solutions integrate seamlessly into any retailer’s fresh department, service counter, backroom, bakery and checkout, providing capabilities for in-store marketing and inventory management.

Opus Orchestrator, a new cloud-based software offering from Novar, is designed to provide meter-based energy and information management solutions for large, centrally managed enterprises with hundreds or thousands of geographically distributed sites.

Composed of application bundles enclosed within a highly graphical interface, Opus Orchestrator enables faster—and more automated—identification of energy outliers, say officials for the Cleveland-based company. By automatically identifying energy outliers and accelerating the process of root cause identification, Opus Orchestrator allows corrective actions to be taken faster. The resulting benefit is measureable/monetized gains in both energy savings and operational efficiencies for the entire enterprise add company officials.

Pan-Oston’s Ergolane is designed to help achieve outstanding throughput levels and shorten checkout transaction times. While improving ergonomics for the cashier, the Ergolane provides full ADA accessibility for customers, according to officials for the Bowling Green, Ky.-based manufacturer.  Designs are also available to provide ADA accessibility for cashier and customer. The Ergolane also offers scan, bag and pass capabilities, a belted feed carousel and a choice of finish and trim colors. The equipment accommodates any POS hardware and is LEED compatible.

Parker Hannifin–Sporlan Division
The Sporlan SER-AA and SER-A Electric Expansion Valves (EEV) are designed for subcritical C02 (R-744) supermarket cases and other small HFC and HCFC applications. Officials for Washington, Mo.-based Parker Hannifin-Sporlan Division, say the uni-body construction strengthens corrosion resistance, reduces leak paths and improves mounting flexibility. They add that advanced pin and port geometry coupled with precision-machined components create unmatched resolution in the lightest load conditions and the removable M12 connections meet IP67.

Rational’s new SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency combines two innovations—HiDensityControl and Efficient LevelControl. This is in addition to the established SelfCookingControl and the recently launched CareControl. HiDensityControl has achieved a quantum leap forward in terms of cooking performance and quality, say officials for the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company.

HiDensityControl not only delivers outstanding cooking quality, but also allows chefs to maximize output, add officials. Efficient LevelControl shows the user that a variety of products can be cooked simultaneously and adjusts the cooking time depending upon the load size as well as how often and how long the door is left open.

Safestrap Co.
Safestrap Co.’s Safe-Dock car seat docking station for shopping carts is designed to provide a safe place on the shopping cart to hold the portable car seats that parents routinely bring into stores. Earlier this year warnings were added to shopping carts to alert consumers to the dangers of placing their car seats directly on the shopping cart. Despite the new warnings, officials for the Wharton, N.J.-based firm say most parents still do this.

With the addition of the Safe-Dock, parents can use their own car seats with the shopping cart. Officials say the car docking station is easy to install and nests to conserve floor space.

Se-Kure Controls
Vantage II Telephone Security from Se-Kure Controls is designed to allow retailers to display, protect and power up Mobile Phones with a single wire to eliminate clutter. The self-aligning sensor and magnetic nest guide the phone back into its display position after shoppers have handled or inspected the product being offered. Ranging in heights from 3 inches to 6 inches, these display stands provide easy installation, flexible configuration and simple maintenance, say officials for the Franklin Park, Ill.-based manufacturer. When properly attached to the displayed device and alarm, the LED Light will be illuminated confirming protection.

Southern Imperial
The NEXT System from Southern Imperial is a versatile, strong and expandable product facing system that works with a wide variety of products, say officials for the Rockford, Ill.-based company. They add, unlike other product facing solutions, the NEXT System can display and face almost any product and is easy to install. Its tray design allows it to sit on a shelf or bar, giving merchandise the best possible presentation.

Each NEXT Tray features sides that can be adjusted to match the width of the product. The pusher paddle also locks back to easily load merchandise and custom options are available.

The Supermarket Depot
The Supermarket Depot provides retailers with shelf management needs. The company’s digital storefront helps grocers meet their ordering and distribution logistic challenge, say officials for the Kansas City, Mo.-based company. A customizable, “brandable” storefront allows pricing managers to order and track shipments from their desktop 24/7.

Temprite developed the 130 Series of coalescent oil separators to meet the increasing demand for CO2 products that deliver high efficiency, low emissions and significant energy savings in the transcritical CO2 environment.  Officials for the West Chicago, Ill.-based manufacturer say the 130 Series separators have the most efficient oil-refrigerant filtering and separation technology available, with a 98.5%-plus separation efficiency rating across the widest range of mass flows. Each unit is designed for improved refrigeration system thermal efficiency by minimizing oil and dirt in the system’s evaporator. This results in shorter compressor run times, reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption and providing the highest possible return on investment.

The new Traulsen Blast Chiller with EpiconVisual Interface combines chill performance with touch-screen controls. The Epicon control panel simplifies the process for blast chilling products through the temperature danger zone, enabling greater food safety, HACCP documentation and more consistent results, say company officials. Three modes are available to start the chilling process and four chill settings deliver increased efficiency and flexibility compared to traditional blast chillers. A USB port allows for a transfer of information between the blast chiller and a personal computer, and an on-board printer provides documentation for HACCP requirements.

The Trion WonderBar has been enhanced with new features including ½-inch vertical adjustability; dual-lane merchandising from single trays; improved oversize product capability; specialized pre-pack meat tray concepts; 13-inch to 24-inch tray depths and an extended 2¾ -inch to 17½ -inch tray width range.

According to officials for the Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based manufacturer, the bars also feature compression pushers for improved pack-out, pusher and security hooks; integrated label and sign holder capabilities; tool-free universal gondola mounts; a choice of five bar configurations in two lengths; and more.


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