Beacon Lights the Way for Seafood Importer

In the finest restaurants of Ohio, the catch of the day is made possible in part by a ‘beacon.’ This beacon is not necessarily from a lighthouse on the coast guiding shrimpers and trawlers to safety, but rather through a refrigeration system that ensures the high quality of seafood through a reliably controlled cool¬ing environment.

EuroUSA, Inc. is an importer and distributor of seafood and specialty foods serving clients throughout Ohio, western Penn-sylvania and southern Michigan. “We store and ship anything from tuna, pasta, oils, lobster and cheese to mahi mahi,” says EuroUSA President Duff O’Donnell.

Sixteen years ago, when he started EuroUSA, O’Donnell couldn’t have imagined ever need-ing a high-tech refrigeration sys¬tem to cool a huge distribution warehouse. “When it was just me driving a truck around Cleveland I never thought that this would be a 50-employee corporation with sales approaching $100 million,” says O’Donnell, laughing. “But today we dominate the market because of selection, service, qual¬ity and distribution efficiency, and we expect to continue our double-digit growth.”

As a result of its continued expan¬sion, EuroUSA decided to con¬solidate its three distribution ware¬houses into one large, refrigerated warehouse facility to improve effi¬ciency. “They required an efficient, cost-effective and reliable system and Beacon was the right solution,” says Jon Dresser, Refrigeration Specialist at Refrigeration Sales Corporation. O’Donnell worked with Paul Clement and Dean Betlee of Controlled Environmental Systems, Inc. and decided on a Beacon Refrigeration System with its Smart Controller and Smart Defrost technology.

EuroUSA’s new eight-room facil¬ity has a 100' x 40' x 30'-freezer, a 100' x 50'-cooler area—both 30 feet high—and six smaller cool¬ers housing applications varying from fish processing to waste man¬agement, and ranging in size from 6' x 18' to 18' x 30'. The refrig-eration components range from a Larkin 50 horsepower dual com¬pressor condensing unit down to a ¾ horsepower hermetic system for the smallest room. Six Beacon Smart Controllers monitor the various boxes (except for the small waste management cooler).

“The nature of this customer’s business requires extremely tight temperature control in order to maintain the integrity of its inven¬tory and business,” says Larkin Refrigeration Area Representative Tod Heath of Miller Component Sales. “Beacon’s cutting-edge technology allowed us to offer the best temperature controls possible.”

“With Beacon, the system responds more quickly to tempera¬ture changes than with a standard thermostatic expansion valve,” says Dresser. Since Beacon uses a solid-state microprocessor to con¬trol its electric expansion valve, it is able to sense and regulate temperature changes more quickly and efficiently than a con¬ventional thermostatic expansion valve, which must “hunt” up or down to search for the right set¬ting before it can modu¬late efficiently.

In a high-traffic applica¬tion, such as EuroUSA’s warehouse, a conventional tempera¬ture control system is slower to respond to changing conditions in the refrigerated space and tends to stay on lon¬ger, reducing efficiency and increasing wear on equipment. Beacon’s Smart Defrost system also gives an added jolt to cost efficiency by defrosting the system on an as-needed basis only, as opposed to a set defrost schedule found in a con-ventional control system.

“One of the most impor¬tant reasons EuroUSA liked Beacon,” says Heath, “is its usabil¬ity.” EuroUSA not only needed tight temperature control to ensure product quality, it also needed flexi¬bility because of the variation in the types of seafood and other products that might be received or distrib¬uted on any given day. “EuroUSA wanted state-of-the-art equipment to be able to monitor and change the performance of the equipment easily,” says Heath, “which can be done with a few touches on a wall-mounted Smart Controller key pad.”

With the modem communica¬tion option, Beacon systems can even be monitored and adjusted from off site. “I really like the high-tech aspects of the system,” says O’Donnell. “It allows me to do more things, such as check the status of product and the system remotely. It gives me and my clients peace of mind.”