Heatcraft Refrigeration Products’ Beacon II Refrigeration System Sheds New Light on Warehouse Performance and Efficiency

More than 11,000 fast-food restaurants throughout North America rely on The SYGMA Network, and its parent company, Sysco Corporation, to supply everything from potatoes to pizza dough. So what equipment does SYGMA count on to keep these foods cold and fresh?

Early this year, when SYGMA and system supplier PermaCold Engineering planned a distribution center relocation in Oregon, they chose the Heatcraft Refrigeration Products’ (HRP) Beacon II Refrigeration System with Smart Controller.

The goal of the project was to create several temperature zones within a warehouse, with a single electronic system to monitor and control climate conditions for each zone. “SYGMA’s main priority was to create a warehouse environment that offered our customers the highest quality of food storage refrigeration, while also reducing our energy costs, stated Mark Scheel, SYGMA Warehouse Supervisor. “The Beacon II Refrigeration System met both of these needs, all in one package.”

SYGMA’s customized facility includes an ice cream freezer, general cold storage, dock bays and coolers maintained at specific temperatures to ensure optimal freshness and quality. The facility flooring was designed so that the cooler space could be converted to freezer space at any time without needing major renovations.

For the project, the engineers and designers at PermaCold selected a combination of low and high temperature condensing units and evaporators, supplied through Refrigeration Suppliers Distributor – Total Control (RSD-TC). The equipment was linked together by the Beacon II Refrigeration System with Smart Controller, a microprocessor-based system with advanced diagnostics to control environmental conditions and operating costs.

Sophisticated in technology yet easy to use, the Beacon II Refrigeration System allows SYGMA warehouse managers to monitor room temperatures, check system status and make adjustments at the facility or offsite, through a computer or modem. The system helps maintain consistent temperatures at all times, improving food quality and energy efficiency. The Beacon II Smart Defrost option further enhances efficiency by defrosting only when needed.

As an added measure of reliability and convenience, a lockout feature controls access to the system, limiting use to authorized personnel. A controller on the system’s LCD screen indicates when a diagnostic function has occurred and automatically determines the cause of the action. With the touch of button, a SYGMA manager can adjust the system to correct failures, without having to wait for a technician and risk inventory losses.

Jeff Jones, PermaCold’s startup mechanic, supervised the installation of all the equipment. “The installation went extremely well,” commented Jones, “and I have been very impressed with how easy it is to use the Beacon II Refrigeration System.”

Scheel has also been very satisfied with the system’s performance, noting how well it maintains temperature and logs data minute by minute. “Our customers require specific temperatures to be monitored and met, and the Beacon II Refrigeration System with Smart Controller has made it easier to hand over accurate numbers to our customers,” commented Scheel.

Scheel was particularly pleased with the difference the system has made in terms of efficiency. “The new facility is at least 40% more energy efficient than the old warehouse, thanks in large part to advanced engineering of the Beacon II Refrigeration System with Smart Controller.”