Heatcraft Refrigeration Products’ Beacon II Refrigeration System Proves Fit for a King

When you’re a distributor for the “King of Beers,” you have to achieve the highest possible standards of quality and reliability. So, in late 2004, when Hodgen Distributing planned a warehouse expansion to meet growing demand for Budweiser and other Anheuser-Busch products, they turned to Heatcraft Refrigeration Products (HRP), the most trusted name in commercial refrigeration.

Russ Strandholm, president and owner of Hodgen distributing company, worked closely with contractor and engineer Mike Ledbetter of Ledbetters’ Refrigeration Inc. and HRP representatives to move from the existing 18,000 sq. ft. facility to a new 43,000 sq. ft. Controlled Environment Warehouse (CEW), which means every can, case and keg of beer must be maintained at a constant temperature to preserve the distinct freshness and flavor for which Anheuser-Busch products are renowned. The CEW also had to meet Anheuser-Busch’s strict specifications for systems control and integration.

For Ledbetter, the Hodgen CEW was the largest project he had ever tackled, so he counted on HRP to provide technical guidance in the selection and installation of equipment. Together, with the help of Tim O'Meara, manager of RSD in Portland, OR, they chose a combination of HRP air cooled condensers and the Beacon II™ Refrigeration System with Smart Controller for a 13,000 sq. ft. package cooler (maintained at 39°F) and a 4,000 sq. ft. draught cooler (held at 34°F).

The condensers are designed for high-efficiency heat transfer over a wide range of ambient temperatures. The Beacon II microprocessor system ties all the equipment together, allowing Hodgen warehouse managers to monitor and control temperatures of both coolers from a single location, onsite or offsite. The system also enhances efficiency by minimizing unnecessary defrost cycles.

After the equipment was selected, HRP hosted a one-day seminar to train contractors and engineers on how to properly install the Beacon II system. Ledbetter attended the seminar and felt that it was a tremendous help. “Being a small company and getting a job of this magnitude was pretty overwhelming. The seminar helped me feel more at ease and confident during installation.”

The installation of the condensers and Beacon II Refrigeration System was completed within a couple of months. Part of what made the process so smooth was the fact that the Beacon II Refrigeration System is delivered preassembled and preprogrammed, making configuration the only requirement for implementation.

Strandholm is very pleased with the new equipment, particularly the Beacon II Refrigeration System. He appreciates the convenience of being able to monitor warehouse climate conditions from a personal computer. Another outstanding benefit Strandholm has noticed is the system has resulted in substantial operational and energy savings. Strandholm also noted that, while the new facility is three times larger than the old one, it is also three times more cost-effective and efficient.

Also citing his enthusiasm for the system, Ledbetter said, “I would recommend the Beacon II Refrigeration System to any small company looking to do larger-scale jobs. It was a great experience. I enjoyed putting it together and making it work, and I am definitely sold on this great piece of equipment.”