The world recently agreed to phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), gases harmful to the environment, which are used heavily in the manufacturing of refrigerators and air conditioning units.
The agreement by nearly 200 members of the Montreal Protocol will be legally binding, resulting in trade sanctions for countries that fail to live up to their obligations. As a result of the agreement, consumers will likely pay more for equipment that make use of HFCs, as manufacturers will have to redesign their manufacturing plant to accommodate the use of alternatives.
The agreement was reached in Kigali, with the 200 countries present agreeing to phase out consumption of HFCs by 2019 for developed countries, while developing countries such as South Africa will begin the same process in 2024.
The unprecedented agreement will lead to the avoidance of emissions amounting to more than 70 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent HFC, which will allow the world to prevent a 0.5 degree Celsius increase in global warming by the end of the century.
Top global companies have spent billions of dollars researching alternatives after anticipating the phasing out of the use of HFCs. All developing countries will be supported by the protocol's Multilateral Fund, which rich countries are expected to replenish next year as they are mandated to do every three years.
Africa is a large commercial market for refrigeration and air conditioning units, and South African refrigeration display cabinet and systems market leader Omega Refrigeration has been at the forefront of developing systems and equipment that is kinder to the environment, which leads to energy efficiency gains.
Omega provides innovative solutions that take commercial refrigeration to the next level, helping stores to achieve a return on their investment through energy efficiency and the implementation of low maintenance systems, allowing these stores to lessen their environmental impact.
Innovation is the cornerstone of Omega Refrigeration's push for environmental sustainability, cost saving and energy efficiency gains, with the latest technologies used to ensure that they produce and implement state of the art systems to provide clients with the best possible solutions for their refrigeration requirements.
Omega Refrigeration is a company that aims to work in partnership with independent contractors wherever possible, as the industry-leading refrigeration experts appreciate and value the important contribution that contractors make to the refrigeration industry.
Omega welcomes the opportunity to work with contractors in mutually beneficial partnerships, which is why they have created the Omega Contractor Accreditation, allowing refrigeration technicians and contractors the opportunity to work in partnership with Omega on various projects.
The company works with retailers and their appointed contractors, saving the retailer and installer money in maintenance and running costs while adding their expertise to each project that is undertaken alongside the Omega approved contractor.
The process of becoming an Accredited Omega Contractor is simple, as candidates can access the Omega Refrigeration website to complete the official contractor's agreement, before submitting it to the company.
The contractor will then be contacted by Omega for training that will take place at the Omega head office in Selby, Johannesburg. Upon completion of the training, the contractor will receive final accreditation as an Omega approved contractor or installer, at which point the contractor is able to offer their services to stores under the Omega accredited banner.
Omega aim to develop long-lasting relationships with approved contractors, and the company commits to referring associated refrigeration products to the installer, as long as the products do not relate to Omega's core business, but is required to complete the retailer installation.
The contractor will work directly with the retailer, and will benefit directly from the work done, but Omega will partner with them to ensure the best products and systems are available to the contractor, as well as the store.
To become an Accredited Omega Contractor:
- Complete a contractor's agreement with Omega.
- Training to be completed at Omega head office.
- Final accreditation received.
- Work can then begin with official Omega Contractor Accreditation.
The latest report on the commercial refrigeration equipment market suggests that the global industry will reach $52.52 billion by the year 2024. This is according to a detailed analysis into the subject from Grand View Research Inc.
The growing number of hypermarkets and supermarkets in developing regions such as South Africa has been credited with the increase in demand for energy efficient equipment in the recent years.
Rapid industrialisation, rising disposable income of the growing middle class, and several other demographic factors has been the catalyst for a noticeable change in food and beverage consumption in recent years.
Rising capital investment with the growing emergence of food services in terms of transportation, distribution, and production is expected to increase the volume of shipments. The market will also continue its impressive growth due to an increase in the use of commercial refrigeration equipment in horticulture, processes, and seafood.
The rise in demand for commercial refrigeration equipment has also been positively affected by a change in food consumption trends, which led to increasing international trade of frozen food between different countries.
Advances in technology, including improvements focused on cooling technologies have and will continue to push demand for energy efficient products across the hospitality and food service sectors. Companies such as Omega Refrigeration continue to contribute to advances in energy efficiency technologies within the refrigeration industry.
One of the key elements of the research findings is the fact that the transportation refrigeration equipment component of the market accounted for 19% of the market last year, but it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% from 2016 to 2024.
The transport segment is affected by a rise in international food trade due to the fact that consumer preferences are geared towards high nutrition and processed foods. The food service sector within the commercial refrigeration equipment market was responsible for over 32% of the revenue share in 2015, but this is expected to experience significant growth over the next eight years.
Another research company called Hexa Research, which is based in California, found that the major barriers to market entry in the commercial refrigeration equipment industry include high capital investment, stringent regulatory environment, and increasing research & development costs. If these are overcome in future years, the market will continue to grow from strength to strength.
One of the most energy-heavy processes in the foodservice and sales industry is supermarket and display refrigeration. These systems use a great deal of energy in order to keep food fresh while displaying it so that consumers can easily see and buy products.
Customers open the doors of these refrigerated display cabinets, consider their purchases and let cold air escape, before closing the door with or without the products they were considering.
In some cases, such as those for vegetables in supermarkets, the display cabinets do not even have doors, in order to make shopping easier for busy consumers with trolleys or baskets who wish to grab items and move on as quickly as possible. Open display cabinets therefore allow cold air to float away, rather than being trapped by a door, using more energy.
This costs the supermarkets both financially and in terms of efficiency, which is why Omega Refrigeration's efforts over many decades have been so useful in turning the tide on energy efficiency and providing stores with the most efficient cabinets and systems on the market.
These energy efficiency gains allow supermarkets and other foodservice organisations that make use of Omega's products to strike the fine balance between environmentally friendly and energy efficient systems and cabinets that save money, while keeping consumers happy and providing them with a store layout and experience that is intuitive and enjoyable.
Omega provides innovative solutions that take commercial refrigeration to the next level, helping stores to achieve a return on their investment through energy efficiency and the implementation of low maintenance systems.
The company makes use of the latest technologies to ensure that they produce and implement state of the art systems for clients or in partnership with installers.
Omega designs innovative refrigeration cabinet solutions that positively impact customers in terms of cost and energy saving, while maintaining their systems to ensure that energy efficiency is an ongoing task, not simply a once-off benefit.
This means that Omega customers enjoy lower operating costs and reduced carbon emissions through affordable technology improvements that provide short and long term benefits.
The latest shopping and dining destination in Pretoria makes use of environmentally-friendly refrigeration concepts to ensure that they can provide what consumers want while protecting the environment.
The new R1.8 billion vibrant mixed-use 65,000sqm Central Square opened towards the end of September within the iconic 315,000sqm Menlyn Maine decentralised green city mega-development.
The concept behind the development was to have positive impacts on both the environment and the people who use the shopping and dining complex. Menlyn Maine is South Africa's first green, mixed-use city precinct, in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative.
Menlyn Maine is one of 16 green cities being built in a number of countries, and the only city of its kind in Africa at the moment.
As a priority for Menlyn Maine considering their high sustainability benchmarks, all buildings in the precinct will be rated 4 Green Star SA or higher by the Green Building Council of South Africa. Central Square at Menlyn Maine has achieved a Green Star SA Custom Mixed Use rating from the GBCSA, which is a first for such an establishment in the country.
Co-owned by joint investors Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings and the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) represented by the PIC, Central Square will offer over 30,000sqm of exceptional boutique-styled mall development with over 50 retailers, restaurants, and entertainment experiences available to consumers.
The supermarket tenants at Central Square's support and believe in the development's sustainability ethos. These include large supermarket chains, Spar, Pick n Pay, and Woolworths, which each have a presence at Central Square.
SPAR at Central Square is geared towards ensuring operation with minimal impact on the environment, according to owner Peter Arsalides.
"The developers have focused on minimising the environmental impact of the centre with the latest innovations for water and energy efficiencies. This is an important undertaking and I feel it is critical for future developments to follow similar examples to preserve our environment for future generations. This was an important motivator for me, as well as the SPAR brand, in choosing to be part of this milestone development," said Arsalides.
The Central Square SPAR uses the latest imported LED lighting, while the refrigeration uses the latest world standards in refrigerants and condenser technology, cutting the store's electrical consumption by 67%. Woolworths Food at Central Square will also be environmentally aware in the store, with specific reference to their refrigeration.
Woolworths Central Square's refrigeration uses a 100% natural gas system that has zero impact on the environment. In addition, its food market has an underfloor heat reclaim system that recycles gas to keep the store warm. In addition to those energy saving aspects, the Woolworths freezer and cold room doors will save energy by using LED lighting.
Pick n Pay at Central Square is one of the brand's next generation stores, offering its exciting new format with a renewed focus on sustainability and environmental awareness.
"When it comes to sustainability, Central Square was an obvious choice for Pick n Pay," said Adrian Naude, Marketing Director of Pick n Pay. "As a leading retailer, Pick n Pay is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and encourages suppliers and customers to do so too. Its efforts are guided by a climate change and food security strategy," he added.
"We focus on improving energy-efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint, decreasing the waste we produce, recycling, and being water-wise. To minimise energy consumption, we change behaviours and use new technologies, especially in-store with refrigeration, lighting and air conditioning," concluded Naude.
Industrial gas companies Praxair from the USA and Germany's Linde are in merger talks, according to numerous media agencies covering the potential business move.
Talks between the two refrigerant suppliers are ongoing, and if the move were to go ahead it would mean a combined market value of around $60 million. The two companies are global suppliers of refrigerants as part of their industrial gases portfolios, with one operating out of North America, while the other is European-based.
While Linde offers a wide range of refrigerants including the new HFO blends and "natural" refrigerants, Praxair has a more limited offering of HCFCs, HFCs and "natural" refrigerants, but the combination of the two firms in a merger would see a far more impressive combined offer take shape.
Linde operates refrigerant packaging facilities throughout the world with substantial bulk storage, bulk breaking and blending capabilities, while its refrigerants are sold in over 40 countries. These include nations throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific regions.
They also operate through many well-known local brands in these countries, such as Linde, BOC (UK), AGA (Scandinavia), TEGA (Germany), SIGAS (Saudi Arabia) and PSG (South Korea). In South Africa Linde operates as African Oxygen, or AFROX.
As the leading gas suppliers in southern Africa, AFROX supplies the complete range of refrigerant gases, including: long-term HFC replacement refrigerants such as R134a, R404A, R410A and R507A.
Linde's revenue in 2015 was around $20 billion, while their potential merger partner, Praxair had sales of $11 billion during that same period. Interestingly, the deal may complete a circle, with both companies having been founded by Carl von Linde, the German scientist and refrigeration engineer.
Von Linde formed Gesellschaft für Linde's Eismaschinen AG in 1879, which would go on to become Linde, and he also founded Linde Air Products, which would become known as Praxair, in Ohio from 1907.
With the Olympic Games recently coming into focus and generating hype the world over, we at Omega Refrigeration have been thinking about the elements that make a successful sports team or athlete, and how that applies to our business.
There are a few factors relating to a successful sports team that we continue to apply to our own Omega team, which allows us to deliver quality for clients on a consistent basis.
The Right Team
At Omega Refrigeration, we believe in hiring the best people for the job. This ensures that our clients get the best possible service, and enjoy absolute confidence in our ability to improve their stores, refrigeration systems or cabinet products. With Omega, clients are certain that they are working with the best in the business, and our track record of gold medal-worthy performances on projects says it all.
Excellence Is In The Details
All Olympic teams strive for perfection, knowing that a place on the podium is a matter of millimetres, hundredths of a second or that extra burst of speed in the dying moments. At Omega we understand this, which is why we are perfectionists with the work we do, ensuring that all elements of the work are carried out with excellence. We are focused on constant improvement and we commit ourselves to delivering each project to a high level.
Versatility Is Gold
Any sports team values the utility players who are able to deal with challenges head on and find solutions for every problem. Omega specialises in this on behalf of clients, and no problem is too big or unsolvable. Our experienced staff use their expertise to navigate through issues without letting them hold the client back, which is why we are trusted as refrigeration experts who never compromise – just like the Olympic champions. Our product range and service provision is diverse and wide-ranging, allowing us to provide refrigerated display cabinets for any purpose, while offering store design expertise and other consultation services.
Support Equals Success
Any sports personality or team worth their salt is backed by fans and other supporters who give them that extra something when they need it most. At Omega we have the backing of our incredible team of engineers, technicians, sales, admin and other staff in delivering great work throughout the year, while our numerous satisfied clients form our supporter-base who proudly tell other companies about our world-class work.
Monitoring To Improve
One of the most valuable contributions to a successful sports team is the team of experts who watch and analyse every moment of a performance to note areas of weakness and strength. Our Omega Eco Monitoring system delivers value and peace of mind for refrigerated systems by ensuring that problems are diagnosed accurately and quickly so that we can fix the issue and allow client systems to continue running optimally. This is done by constantly monitoring the system for any temperature anomalies, so that we can immediately see if anything needs addressing and dispatch a service team accordingly. This system tracks every temperature spike or power failure, therefore preventing loss of perishable food, reducing cabinet maintenance costs and enabling advanced energy and operational analytics, which often lead to further savings with regards to operating costs.
Please feel free to speak to us about our innovative refrigeration products and services designed to help you improve your store in terms of efficiency, cost-saving and many other benefits. Trust the Omega Refrigeration team to strive for excellence on your behalf.
In today's world there is a great need to reduce food waste, as perishable goods should go to better use rather than being wasted, and they cost supermarkets and other retailers a great deal in wastage.
Omega Refrigeration is dedicated to saving the environment through the extended shelf-life inherent in the display cabinets and systems that the company provides to clients within the supermarket and foodservice industries.
According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Resources Institute (WRI) about one-third of the food produced each year is wasted. Fruits and vegetables are wasted at about 25 percent of the production level, and perishable food products are often exposed to fluctuating temperatures during the transit and handling processes, before they even reach the end destination, which adds to the waste.
The global population is anticipated to increase at a fast pace in the near future, which will in turn increase the demand for food products, and especially products that require refrigeration.
The increased requirement for food waste to be reduced is one of the key drivers contributing to the growth of the refrigerated warehouse market, as well as the commercial refrigeration market within supermarkets and other foodservice stores.
Omega Refrigeration is determined to play its part in reducing food waste, by supplying systems and display cabinets that increase shelf life, therefore leading to less waste.
Omega works to deliver on the requirements of clients to provide them with a sustainable return on their investment. This is where extended shelf life is produced through technological advancement, as constant and accurate cooling is ensured through speed regulation, thereby extending the life of refrigerated products and making sure that stock lasts longer.
The improved product shelf‐life due to accurate temperature control and hot‐gas defrost becomes an important benefit for superstores in reducing waste, as their products are able to remain on the shelves for longer periods before they are removed or discarded. In some cases food and other products need to be kept well below freezing temperatures to maintain freshness and shelf-life.
The success of stores is linked to their ability to keep stock fresh and allow customers to purchase their products before their shelf-life expires, and in the case of frozen foods the ability to maintain very low temperatures is fundamental.
Omega provides various freezer cabinet options for this purpose, such as upright glass door, deli, combi, bin and jumbo or wide freezers, with specialised stainless steel shelving and other elements available for better display of merchandise.
In the same way that cold products require a certain level of refrigeration to guarantee the freshness and shelf-life of the products, the hot foods that supermarkets or stores sell to consumers require hot cabinets that are designed to keep food warm and fresh, while displaying the products to attract the attention of customers.
Organised retail formats such supermarkets, hypermarkets, forecourt retailers, discounters, and convenience stores can therefore benefit from Omega Refrigeration cabinets and systems to ensure that they have less wastage of refrigerated products.
According to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc, the world's commercial refrigeration equipment market is set to expand, with the particular sector estimated to be worth around $47 Billion in seven years' time.
Industrialisation and an increase in disposable income have apparently made for changes with regards to how food is consumed, as it has led to the rapid growth of the frozen foods industry.
These factors are driving the expansion of the commercial refrigeration equipment market size in better part of the coming decade. The report, which is titled: "Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Market Size By Application (Food & Beverage Retail, Food & Beverage Distribution, Food & Beverage Production, Food Service)", goes on to suggest that the industry will grow in leaps and bounds due to huge capital investment that it will continue to experience.
This is due mainly to the emerging food services that require commercial refrigeration for transportation, distribution and production. Interestingly, another contributing factor is the growing international trade of frozen foods between countries due to the aforementioned changing food consumption trends, and this leads to a noticeable rise in the demand for commercial refrigeration equipment.
The global energy demand for air conditioning and refrigeration accounted for around 20% of the overall energy consumption. Technological advancement is expected to be pushed by a growing awareness concerning refrigerants that may add to global warming and negatively affect the environment.
Fuel prices are expected to continue rising, and this is anticipated to affect transportation refrigeration sector growth, but the introduction of zero-emission technology will likely mitigate the negative impact of increasing fuel prices.
In South Africa, Omega Refrigeration uses the latest technology available globally, offering a world-class range of unique cold display cabinets and hot self-service sales cases that boast superior quality, functionality and price.
This ensures that the coming growth will be catered to by an experienced company with the expertise to provide commercial refrigeration equipment on a large scale.
In addition to the provision of a wide-ranging selection of display cabinets, Omega is dedicated to positively affecting the supermarkets that they work with by developing systems and cabinets that are extremely energy efficient, benefiting the environment and leading to cost-savings.
Remote display cabinets used to be all the rage when supermarkets experienced a growth phase and required additional refrigeration for their frozen and chilled departments.
This large-scale refrigeration was provided in the form of remote cabinets, but they were not energy efficient, certainly not compared to the modern standards available through self-contained cabinets.
The advent of highly efficient self-contained cabinets has changed the game, with this section of the display cabinet market now able to compete with the remote cabinets as far as efficiency and installation cost. In addition to those obvious advantages, the self-contained options suddenly looked far better and allowed for more space savings as they no longer needed to be bulky and unsightly.
This was done through plant and equipment miniaturisation, as well as more efficient cabinet design, which was a positive step forward in creating a sleek and modern look that suited the image most supermarkets were trying to portray. Then, about seven years ago, Omega Refrigeration took what was already an innovative product and made it even more cutting edge.
The company removed the heat produced by self-contained cabinets via a water jacket on the condenser which pipes it out of the store through plastic hoses and a closed-loop cooling unit.
The experience of the Omega management with regards to refrigeration contracting to supermarkets and cabinet design and building was used to enable the addition of other improvements which have gone on to revolutionise the commercial refrigeration industry through cost and energy savings.
The self-contained cabinets used to be problematic in hotter climates, with heat pumped into the stores and forcing air conditioning systems to work overtime to compensate. Omega Refrigeration's innovative system changed this, and allowed for even more cost saving in warmer parts of the world, such as Africa and parts of Asia.
With all of these improvements forming part of the Omega innovation, the company launched the first closed water-loop self-contained cabinets on the African market. This technology therefore offers supermarkets or stores of any size with a viable option to move forward with sleek and energy efficient cabinets in store.
Features of the Omega Inverter Series (OIS), as the Omega Refrigeration water-loop self-contained system is known, includes the following:
• System that guarantees high efficiency
• Faster store set-up and lower costs
• Greater flexibility regarding layout modification
• Less space needed for refrigeration systems
• Drastic reduction in the amount of refrigerant needed in the system
• Possible integration with the air-conditioning
• Less refrigeration system maintenance required
Omega Refrigeration has developed excellent relationships with many clients from a variety of industries and market segments, thanks to the work completed on their supermarket or retail foodservice refrigeration.
It is inevitable that these clients have been pleased and impressed by the quality of Omega Refrigeration's work, as well as the impact that this work has had on their businesses and the bottom line associated with these businesses.
This is what Omega Refrigeration clients have said about the difference made to their businesses:
"Any retailer serious about their business should note the difference that the Omega Closed Water Loop System can make to their business – real bottom line stuff."
Chris Christodoulou – 5 Star Superspar, Secunda Superspar
"Omega has brought a dimension to refrigeration technology, cost cutting and energy saving that I have not seen in decades – real cutting edge. I am more than happy I now have more money in my pocket."
Ayis Kyriacou – Nina Park Spar, Pretoria North Spar, Hercules Spar
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Omega for all their efforts in the stores we have opened together. Omega was still a new design but we decided to give them the opportunity. We had a few teething problems with regards to the specification of the stores requirement, however, Omega has never pulled away and have always resolved any problems that arose. I am happy to recommend Omega to anyone and will be using them in future projects next year."
MJP Ferreira - Roots Buying Group
"I would like to thank you and your team for the effort and hard work carried out at 5 Star SuperSpar. Mike, you went the extra mile making sure all work ran smoothly so that we could launch our store in time."
"Thank you for the dedication to our project! The attention to detail has provided us with a world class store. The savings we have made due to installing the energy efficient system is unbelievable. We would definitely recommend the Omega System to all retailers. Looking forward to many more projects with Omega."
Thano Manitsas – 5 Star SuperSpar
"I would like to personally thank you for the time/effort and donation of equipment that was put into our staff canteen at Spar North Rand. We now have a facility that is truly "World Class"."
"Your team went out of their way to deliver a top class product and installation. Could you please extend our appreciation to all of those who were involved."
Shaun Cruickshank, Spar North Rand, Saxby SuperSpar
"I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Omega Refrigeration (Pty) Ltd for a job well done. We particularly want to commend you all for the excellent service rendered during the warranty period, your professionalism and customer service is outstanding."
"Your product has tremendously reduced our electricity bills, a definite value add to our business. We will recommend your products and services to others. Good luck and all the best for the future."
Paul Cerca – Roots Butchery Daveyton
"I would like to thank the Omega team and all its personnel for their new and exciting project that they have delivered and installed in our store. The equipment is operating very well and we can only see good results coming from their product. Well done to the entire Omega factory team and all those involved."
O. Pretorius - Tembisa Spar
All of the complements and praise are testament to the hard work and dedication that goes into every project that Omega Refrigeration undertakes, and it is with this work ethic and commitment that the company looks forward to a bright future.
Omega Refrigeration was present at FRIGAIR Expo 2015 in June, 2015 as one of the many companies within the refrigeration industry that attended the international trade fair for air conditioning and refrigeration in South Africa.
Held every three years in Johannesburg, it is the only international trade fair in the refrigeration industry in South Africa. As refrigeration and energy technology continues to develop rapidly, it is important to remain at the cutting edge and in tune with the latest developments, trends and innovations. This is second nature to Omega Refrigeration, as one of the most innovative companies within the industry.
The FRIGAIR Expo gives such companies a unique platform for this purpose, with a specific focus on energy efficiency and environmental considerations. For this reason, a collection of developers, engineers, architects, contractors, training providers, entrepreneurs, engineers and designers meet to learn about the market development, the progress and the latest research results.
The event is also used as a networking opportunity with regards to chambers of commerce, consulates and agencies with a strong presence in Africa, as well as other like-minded companies within the industry.
Omega takes advantage of this international trade fair to unveil new advancements in its offering to the supermarket and foodservice industries. This was the case at the most recent expo in 2015, when Omega used the platform to introduce the company's 'The Final Solution', namely Omega's self-contained water cooled refrigeration cabinets.
Using the latest patented technology Omega is now able to offer a unique methodology to cutting costs, consumption and installation time, addressing the needs of the supermarket and foodservice industry while firmly leading that refrigeration industry into the future.
The OIS (Omega Inverter Series) Sistema is at the cutting edge of commercial refrigeration technology. Over 15 years of research and development has gone into developing this system, with the specific goal of producing energy efficient systems for refrigeration.
Highly efficient horizontal BLDC compressors maximise unit efficiency, while the wide range of modulation of the Power + DC inverter and the E2V stepper electronic expansion valve see that each individual unit always operates in the best working conditions, without being affected by the other units.
Compressor and valve modulation, thanks to intelligent control by OIS, ensures perfect control of food temperature, completely eliminating the typical fluctuations of remote systems, while providing in-depth information on refrigeration system status, and applying advanced algorithms for preventive diagnostics and general maintenance.
The waterloop system is designed so that every cabinet has its own self-contained refrigeration unit with an on-board variable-speed compressor, which is installed in a box either on top or under the cabinet.
Operation is completely monitored by the PlantVisorPRO supervisory system, which shows only the main information needed by specific users at a local and remote level, while also allowing overall system efficiency to be optimised according to the operating conditions of each individual unit. Those in attendance at the FRIGAIR Expo in 2015 were exposed to this incredible technology, and it has transformed the industry.
The next FRIGAIR Expo will take place in 2018, as the expo happens every three years, and Omega Refrigeration will be one of the major exhibitors available at the world-renowned event.
Omega Refrigeration's hard work in the industry was rewarded in previous years with the recognition of being considered a preferred supplier of refrigeration equipment and systems for the SPAR Group supermarket chain.
Omega's approval led to the company being officially listed as a national supplier to the SPAR Group, meaning that the refrigeration specialists are amongst an elite group of companies trusted to supply and service SPAR stores throughout South Africa.
Omega Refrigeration is an established company specialising in the commercial refrigeration needs of the supermarket and foodservice industries, with a combination of expertise in cabinet manufacturing and refrigeration contracting working in favour of brands such as SPAR.
With a combined experience of over 75 years in the refrigeration industry, Omega is known for their ability to manufacture refrigeration cabinets of superior quality for installers, contractors and store owners. The news of the official approval was communicated to Omega via a letter from Willem Viljoen, Head of Design & Development at the SPAR Group.
SPAR national suppliers such as Omega are selected through an extensive approval process, which includes financial, quality, experience and safety considerations, as well as the ability to service the SPAR Group on a national level.
Positive past experiences with the SPAR Group also helped to ensure compliance, while a support infrastructure in the six major national regions throughout South Africa was an important reality in this case.
Omega Refrigeration exceeded all of the required criteria, and SPAR has displayed confidence in the company's ability to be a successful supplier to the group for a long time to come. Omega is proud to be able to contribute to the success of their clients or installation contractors through refrigeration expertise, and they aim to meet requirements by designing and where necessary implementing the perfect solution for their refrigeration needs.
This method of conducting business has served the company well, as has contributed greatly to their consistent growth in the market, and their ability to innovate and respond to challenges with the best solutions involving refrigerated cabinets, the systems that are present within them, or a combination of both.
Omega Refrigeration is a company that is dedicated to innovation as a rule. The refrigeration industry is one that is consistently evolving to meet the needs of all stakeholders, and Omega's innovation is geared to responding to the nature of the industry.
It is with this in mind that Omega Refrigeration has worked to refine its display cabinet proposition, developing and designing a new Omega Slim Line range of cabinets that continue the trend of exceptional and modern product development which the company is known for.
With an eye on the current trends across the European market, the thought leaders at Omega worked to enhance the cabinets from the various perspectives available. By combining the latest innovation with experience and expertise, the company has produced cabinets capable of delivering performance and aesthetic excellence for supermarkets and others in the foodservice industry that benefit from display cabinets.
While Omega is always on a mission to update and maintain its place as an industry leader in cabinet design, it also appreciates that some stores will enjoy the older design. This is why the company reassures clients that the current look will remain available for any supermarket or retailer that prefers it.
Taking a closer look at the design of the new Omega Slim Line cabinets, a number of features have been built in to add value by modernising the range and making it more pleasant on the eye.
Some of the new design cabinet features include the following:
The extended rounded hood piece has been shortened to line up with the base of the cabinet. The rounded hood piece has been replaced with a new flat parsecs plastic hood that gives the illusion and feel of glass without the risk of cracks.
The rubber bumper has to been converted to a more flat and modern look, thus creating a sharp finish to the cabinet in which all components line up exactly for a smoother design.
Tubed stainless steel double bumpers have been added to the cabinet in order to offer the same longevity that became an important benefit of the highly successful previous Omega range.
The new modernised square look has been implemented across the full Omega supermarket range of cabinets, allowing the retailers involved to keep a modern flow throughout the supermarket.
The next five years will see the industrial refrigeration equipment industry grow to be worth around $36.25 billion. This is expected due to changing food habits and the improved trade of food products around the globe.
According to the most recent stats the industrial refrigeration equipment market in 2015 was worth an estimated $24 billion. This research is available due to a new report published by Zion Research.
To reach the expected value of $36.25 billion by the end of 2021, the industry will experience expansion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just above 7% over the next five years. Industrial refrigeration equipment is widely used in food and beverage production, cold storage, warehousing, and the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and all of these parts of the process require temperature controlled handling of raw materials and in-process materials.
Changing food habits and the improved international trade of food products will have a supportive effect on the industrial refrigeration equipment industry, leading to market growth over the coming years.
Food production and processing is the leading segment that is expected to experience growth during the next five years. That segment of the market was responsible for over 24% market share in 2015.
According to the research, North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa are the major regional segments of the market. Interestingly, the demand for industrial refrigeration equipment was highest in the Asia-Pacific area, with Latin America and emerging countries such as South Africa showing promising growth during the last few years.
Rapid growth of the food processing industry along with the expansion of refrigerated warehouses in developing countries is expected to increase the demand for industrial refrigeration during the next few years.
In South Africa, Omega Refrigeration uses the latest technology available from a global perspective, offering a world-class range of unique cold display cabinets and hot self-service sales cases that boast superior quality, functionality and price.
This ensures that the coming growth will be catered to by an experienced company with the expertise to provide commercial refrigeration equipment on a grand scale.
Omega Refrigeration began working on the Omega advanced self-contained water loop system around seven years ago, launching it two years later in what was a world first, and certainly a revolutionary concept for the African continent.
Fast forward five years, and there are now more than 2,000 cabinets installed from the Congo (DRC) through to Cape Town and in major and flagship supermarket outlets throughout South Africa.
This experience has taught us a thing or two about the system, its efficiencies, performance and installation, while revealing the excellent advantages produced by the cabinets using this system.
Here are six major ways in which Omega Refrigeration cabinets produce savings for supermarkets and other stores:
Saving time and effort – Omega Cabinets come in standard unit lengths of 4',6', 8 and 12'. This makes planning, ordering, installation and service access far simpler, which translates to savings in terms of time, effort and money, especially in the initial phase where there is a need to open the store doors on time in order to allow the store to become profitable and operate normally.
Saving energy – Self-contained water cooled cabinets are inherently more efficient than remote cabinets because no energy is required to push the refrigerant to the cabinet and suck the gas back. Add to this the fact that Omega advanced self-contained water loop cabinets are fitted with all the modern electronic valves, controls and variable speed compressors that make for a highly efficient cabinet, and the best possible energy efficiency is a given.
Saving money – The Omega cabinets are designed to deal well with the refrigeration needs of hot climates in particular, as this often causes issues and costs more, while the heat other cabinet systems pump into the store is problematic. In addition, the advantage of self-contained compared with remote refrigerated cabinets is that they eliminate the need for hundreds and hundreds of meters of expensive trenching and tubing, skilled technicians and a dedicated room for the multiplex plant. This makes the set-up far less expensive, less complex and much faster.
The installed cost of an Omega self-contained closed water loop refrigeration is about 10% less than a comparable multiplex remote cabinet set-up. The Omega system is also designed for easy maintenance with a swap out compressor unit that slides in under the cabinet. Around 75% of all Omega cabinets in a store will use the 2.2Kw unit and the balance a smaller one. This means that with just two swap out units on hand store staff can easily keep all the cabinets running and prevent stock losses.
Less refrigerant needed - The total refrigerant load in a self-contained store is approximately a third of that of a multiplex powered remote cabinet store. This contributes to a lower initial installation cost while reducing the cost of fixing gas leaks and the cost of replacing the gas. An example to illustrate this saving is visible when you consider that a store with 67 remote cabinets would typically have a total of around 900kg of gas.
With the cost of gas running up to R500/kg that's a great deal of gas and money required to replace a gas leak in a single or double multiplex system. With less than 3.8 Kg in an Omega self-contained cabinet there's much less to lose. Beyond that fact, the likelihood of a gas leak is far lower due the fact that the Omega self-contained power pack is built and gassed in the controlled environment of a production line, and not on site.
Tax savings - While Omega cabinets provide ongoing cost savings in terms of maintenance and running costs, there is also the matter of the carbon tax to consider. The 2017 carbon tax will force companies to invest in energy saving and lower carbon-emitting technologies, and the refrigeration industry will be impacted immensely. Those with low energy options will be very grateful for their innovative operations, and this is precisely what Omega cabinets provide to supermarkets and stores.
Less wastage of perishables - Omega self-contained cabinets are driven by variable speed compressors, and these constantly adjust the speed according to the refrigeration demand. This not only eliminates the noise and energy drain of the stop-start operation typical of fixed speed compressors, but also restricts the average temperature variation in the cabinet over a 24 hour period to less than 1C.
In comparison with multiplex and simplex driven remote cabinets, the stop-start nature of their operation produces a 4C temperature variation. This kind of variation can mean the difference between your perishables going bad and lasting a few days longer, as certain types of perishables such as meat require very specific and consistent temperatures.
As with all companies that strive for excellence, the need to continuously innovate and improve systems and cabinets is high on the list of Omega Refrigeration's priorities. With this in mind, the company has produced a new cabinet design that further improves the provision of cabinets available to South African and African customers.
The efficiency of the cabinet is directly proportional to the amount of energy required in a store, and therefore the amount of energy and money saved in a supermarket. Simply put, the more efficient the cabinet, the less refrigeration is required from the refrigeration plant.
To this end, customers can count on Omega to help them lower energy and save costs in the running of their stores from a refrigeration perspective. This is because Omega cabinets, whether self-contained or remote, 8' or 12' long, whether frozen or chilled, all operate on less than 2Kw of power consumption.
In comparison, the specifications for most other cabinets will require far more electricity consumption, because they require a larger amount of refrigeration output in order to reach the desired temperature.
In certain cases cabinets could require up to 6.5 kw at -7 suction temperature. When considering some of the larger display cabinets in the Omega range, the Omega upright requires 1.89Kw input and only requires 4.66Kw of refrigeration capacity for a lofty. This saving of power is available across the range of cabinets produced by Omega for the supermarket industry.
Omega's cabinet efficiency is a direct result of its developmental history. Omega Refrigeration was founded as a company based on a new refrigeration concept known as the closed water loop self-contained cabinet.
To keep the self-contained cabinet competitive with modern remote cabinets in terms of the look, dimensions and display space the power pack was kept small. In order to make the small compressor work, the cabinet had to be far more efficient.
Consistent innovation on the part of Omega led to superior insulation and developments such as active air flow management to minimize air spillage. Special high efficiency coil fins were designed and patented, while programmable electronic control fans converted the displays into high performance cabinets. These leading edge design features are part and parcel of all modern Omega cabinets, regardless of the refrigeration system that powers them.
While the consumer shopping in the store only notices the sleek, uniform and branded cabinet frontage, the store owner understands the vast benefits that Omega cabinets provide thanks to years of research and development that has gone into the creation of the ultimate refrigeration cabinet.
In April the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) 2016 Industrial Refrigeration Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida took place. At the expo over 1,500 people attending experienced the latest in industrial refrigeration innovation from 148 exhibitors over four action-packed days.
Through workshops, panels, forums and other expressions of technical information, the Florida-based event allowed companies to present the future of refrigeration through the advances that they are implementing in industrial refrigeration.
With this in mind, here are a few of the interesting innovations:
Century Refrigeration - Centinel Intelligent Defrost Control System
Century Refrigeration used the opportunity to demonstrate their Centinel intelligent defrost control system, which is an electronically operated evaporator controller designed to save energy in refrigeration systems through the precise control of superheat and fans. This reduces compressor run time and implements demand defrosts thanks to a microprocessor-driven controller, four temperature sensors, and a suction transducer. In addition, the self-learning algorithm used by the Centinel intelligent defrost control system sees it customise itself to each individual evaporator.
GEA Refrigeration Technologies – Omni Control Panel
The Omni control panel developed by GEA Refrigeration Technologies is a system designed with the end-game of being a command center for refrigeration and gas compression control. The need for auxiliary control systems is eliminated, as it can control and monitor relevant system components from GEA and other companies. This includes elements of the entire system, from compressors, liquid re-circulators and wet bulb floating discharge pressure, to engine room safeties, and ventilation.
Jamison Door Co. – Air Curtain
Another interesting advancement that was on show at the confex was Jamison Door Co.'s Model AC conditioned air curtain, which produces counterflow forces equal and opposite to the two-way flow-through forces caused by air temperature differences. This system mixes air at the interface between room air and the air curtain's airstream, thereby significantly reducing two-way air exchange and diminishing air infiltration. The company suggests that it is well-suited for open doorways, such as cooler-to-cooler, cooler-to-ambient, and freezer-to-freezer applications.
Innovation is a core element of what we do at Omega Refrigeration, with the latest advances in technology used within the systems and cabinets that we produce and provide for clients, thereby passing on savings in cost and efficiency for the supermarkets and retailers who we work with.
Using the latest technology available globally, Omega offers a world-class range of unique cold display cabinets and hot self-service sales cases that boast superior quality, functionality and price. Omega is consistently innovating and developing improvements that impacts the South Africa refrigeration industry positively.
We are very proud of our Omega Refrigeration Eco Retail Monitoring Solution, which delivers value for refrigerated systems in supermarkets or stores by ensuring that problems are diagnosed accurately and quickly so that they can be fixed, allowing the system to continue running optimally. This is done by constantly monitoring the system for any temperature fluctuations, so that we can immediately detect if anything needs to be addressed, and dispatch a service team to fix any issues that are detected.
There is no better peace of mind for a supermarket owner or manager with regards to refrigeration than to know that their refrigeration issues will be dealt with professionally and efficiently before they are even aware of a problem.
With the Omega Refrigeration Eco Retail Monitoring Solution, this is exactly what supermarkets benefit from, as the system picks up on problems before they are given time to cause damage or cost the business money to address.
Omega Eco delivers value for refrigerated systems in supermarkets or stores by ensuring that problems are diagnosed accurately and quickly so that they can be fixed, allowing the system to continue running optimally.
This is done by constantly monitoring the system for any temperature fluctuations, so that Omega can immediately detect if anything needs to be addressed, and they then dispatch a service team to fix any issues that are detected.
Every temperature spike or power failure is tracked and responded to proactively, therefore preventing loss of perishable food, reducing cabinet maintenance costs and enabling advanced energy and operational analytics, which lead to further savings with regards to operating costs.
The risks of not monitoring refrigeration systems well are clear, with the potential for losing large quantities of stock or mistakenly selling perishables that have gone rotten to customers and risking store customers becoming sick as a result.
For this reason refrigeration cabinets need monitoring to ensure that any failures or minor temperature changes are immediately noticed and fixes can be put into place to protect the stock of the store and the consumers who buy from the store.
This can save stores a fortune, as a typical supermarket may have hundreds of thousands of Rands worth of perishable dairy, meat, seafood and frozen food products requiring reliable refrigeration at any given moment. Monitoring such stores manually would require specific people to be hired for that purpose, but with the Omega monitoring system human error is eliminated and costs are saved.
Omega Eco's monitoring centre collects and manages temperature alarms linked to the stores it serves, allowing their advanced and precise system to react in real time and dispatch service teams as needed, saving stores huge amounts of money due to less wastage and well-maintained refrigeration.
Loadshedding had a severe financial impact on South African food production in 2015, according to an expert at energy efficiency company, Energy Partners.
With the threat of loadshedding not completely behind South Africans just yet, and Eskom likely to be under increased pressure this winter, the effect on the country’s food production and refrigeration needs to be considered.
The Eskom policy of sharing power via scheduled outages in revolving areas taught the retail refrigeration industry about the importance of energy efficiency in keeping perishables fresh.
Dawie Kriel is the head of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration at Energy Partners, and last year he admitted that loadshedding affected primary food production, post-harvest handling and the retail sector.
Speaking at the peak of loadshedding last year, Kriel said, “The interrupted electricity supply is costing the local food production industry millions every month and could be depriving South Africa of quality nutrition.”
In addition to that, the disruption of the cold chain through power instability affects the retail sector, with the safe handling and storage of perishable foods at risk within supermarkets and other parts of the cold chain that require refrigeration.
“If the cold chain is disrupted, shelf life is affected and shop owners either have to remove affected products from their shelves or face unhappy customers who return inedible products,” he said.
This means that the parts of the retail sector that require heavy amounts of power need to be as energy efficient as possible, including refrigeration.
“Lights, refrigeration, ovens and all other energy intensive elements must be as energy efficient as possible and energy usage must be monitored closely. Once this has been implemented, store owners can invest in standby generation and solar power, especially if they trade mostly during daylight hours,” Kriel added.At Omega Refrigeration the systems and cabinets are built with energy efficiency at the core of the design. Energy efficiency therefore leads to immediate and long-term cost saving, and as far as loadshedding is concerned, Omega systems lessen the need for the Eskom policy because of the superior energy efficiency that comes standard with all systems that the company installs.
The consistent industrialisation and modernisation present in food retail throughout the world, and especially within developing countries such as South Africa, China and India will assist the global commercial refrigeration equipment industry to be worth $38 billion in 2018.
The ‘World Commercial Refrigeration Equipment’ report predicts the growth of the industry over the coming year, and it is assumed that for 21 countries in the report, improving economic conditions will drive demand for commercial refrigeration. This is based on the fact that commercial refrigeration equipment purchases were kept at a minimal level throughout most of the period between 2003 and 2008, as a result of the global economic downturn.
Changes in refrigerant and efficiency regulations are expected to have positive effects with regards to sales of commercial refrigeration equipment in most global markets. This is especially likely in most of the developed world, such as Western Europe and the US, as numerous refrigerants are phased out and commercial settings are focused on a reduction in power usage, forcing commercial refrigeration equipment to be replaced in order to ensure compliance.
It is predicted that reach-in and walk-in refrigerators and freezers will experience high demand during the forecast period. High demand for commercial refrigeration parts will produce further gains for the industry. Developed markets will require retrofitting of current equipment to ensure energy efficiency, while developing countries will experience growth through the maintenance of existing refrigeration. The report suggests that China will continue to be the world’s fastest growing commercial refrigeration equipment market, as its food and beverage industry continues to evolve and develop.
India is amongst the developing countries which are making cold chain development a priority by constructing warehouses and other facilities for freezing or chilling food awaiting transport, to deal with the demand for fresh food products and a rising interest in imported foods and modern processed foods.
In South Africa, Omega Refrigeration uses the latest technology available globally, offering a world-class range of unique cold display cabinets and hot self-service sales cases that boast superior quality, functionality and price. This ensures that the coming growth will be catered to by an experienced company with the expertise to provide commercial refrigeration equipment on a grand scale.
While developing nations have a great deal of room for industry growth, increases in demand in developed nations will be important as far as the whole picture is concerned, despite the fact that growth remains below the global average. This is where the US market is a big contributor, as the largest national market for commercial refrigeration equipment due to the expansive foodservice and food retail industries present in the market.
Technology continues to provide society with ways in which to achieve their goals through use of new and innovative methods, which help to advance the industry in question. Refrigeration is no different, and Omega Refrigeration’s Inverter Series Waterloop System is the epitome of technological advancement.
The OIS (Omega Inverter Series) Sistema is at the cutting edge of commercial refrigeration technology, providing South African and supermarkets and retailers with a world class refrigeration solution that is designed with their needs in mind.
Over 15 years of research and development has gone into the Omega systems with the specific goal of producing energy efficient systems for refrigeration.
This is made possible with the use of highly efficient horizontal BLDC compressors which maximise unit efficiency, while the wide range of modulation of the Power + DC inverter and the E2V stepper electronic expansion valve ensures that each individual unit always operates in the best working conditions, without being affected by other units.
Compressor and valve modulation handles the balance of food temperatures through intelligent control by OIS, completely eliminating the typical fluctuations of remote systems, while providing in-depth information on refrigeration system status, and applying advanced algorithms for preventive diagnostics and general maintenance.
The waterloop system from Omega has been designed so that every cabinet has its own self-contained refrigeration unit with an on-board variable-speed compressor, which is installed in a box either on top or under the cabinet.
The heat of condensation generated by the compressor is not released into the surrounding environment. Instead, it is carried outside by a waterloop system to a simple dry cooler.
Flexibility is another important benefit, especially when considering the installation, as the system layout can be changed with absolute ease.
These systems save on refrigerant costs and have a much lower rate of leakages, because they are small factory tested units that are designed to work well in various temperatures.
This is an important consideration in South Africa, as the country’s higher average temperatures compared to most other parts of the world need to be taken into account when implementing refrigeration systems.
On the monitoring side, operation is monitored by the PlantVisorPRO supervisory system, which displays the main information needed by specific users at a local and remote level, while also allowing overall system efficiency to be optimised according to the operating conditions of each individual unit.
This kind of system is innovative, and provides a raft of beneficial features for the user, including guaranteed high efficiency, faster store set-up and lower costs, increased flexibility with the layout and required space in mind, less refrigerant required, as well as decreased maintenance necessary.This all saves costs, and provides store owners and managers with an excellent refrigeration system designed with their specific requirements at the core of the functionality.
The glass door refrigerated cabinet market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 8.6 percent during the forecast period between 2015 and 2023. This is according to a report compiled by Transparency Market Research titled: Glass Door Refrigeration Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 – 2023.
The rapid increase of supermarkets, hotels, and cafes, along with changing food consumption trends, and increasing food safety and quality regulations are amongst the major factors contributing growth to the global glass door refrigerated display cabinet market.
Other elements that are adding to the growth and adoption of glass door refrigerators amongst food and beverage, and retail industries include a growing retail network and food industry, a rise in consumer spending, and technologically advanced systems such as the Omega Inverter Series Waterloop System, which uses fluid for cooling, eliminating the need for a plant room, saving costs and energy.
Small-sized glass door refrigerators with critical-temperature-control features are also becoming increasingly popular for use in other industries, such as biomedical.
The global glass door refrigerator market was valued at around $6,5 billion in 2014.
Such display cabinets with glass doors also form an important element of a relatively new trend that continues to do well, with supermarket restaurants popping up as an interesting new way that people are able to shop for fresh food or sit and have a meal while getting their other groceries.
Supermarket restaurants are stores which allocate space inside their premises for restaurants and enhanced freshly prepared food which is on display. These stores, known by some as groceraunts (grocery store restaurants) are now in direct competition with traditional restaurants.
In fact, according to a study titled, "The Sophistication of Supermarket Fresh Prepared Foods", the restaurant industry has grown by an annual rate of around 2 percent between 2006 and 2014, while sales of supermarket freshly prepared foods grew at around 10.4 percent year on year during that time.
When supermarkets display freshly made food in glass refrigerated display cabinets, they give the perception of freshness due to the fact that the ingredients to create the foods on show are in the same store and can be easily accessed.
The popularity of such display cabinets in the supermarket setting is understandable; as the produce is kept at the necessary cold temperatures or even frozen while the store is able to keep the produce on display for customers to easily view through the glass. From a freshly prepared point of view they serve both purposes, and customers can easily see and grab the food they wish to consume by simply opening the glass door.
Omega Refrigeration is specialised in the design and manufacturing of a full range of refrigerated display cabinets for various segments of the foodservice and supermarket industries, with a huge variety ranging from jumbo and wide islands to upright cabinets and upright glass door cabinets, as well as hot food options.Omega has been at the forefront of refrigeration technology and cabinet manufacturing since its inception, and continues to focus energy on leading the industry in terms of expertise and innovation.
An innovative partnership between supermarket chain Pick n Pay and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) has produced the first ever spaza-to-store conversion, which includes completely refurbished refrigeration that allows the store to carry refrigerated fresh produce.
The Monageng Market opened in Diepkloof, Soweto, at the end of February, and is the first in a selection of spaza-shops in the informal retail trade sector to be converted into modern micro stores.
Using the assistance of certain suppliers, Pick n Pay worked with owner Solly Legae to completely refurbish his store, which now enjoys new refrigeration and IT systems. The store is still small in size, but it now benefits from 800 lines of edible and non-edible groceries as well as fresh produce and perishables, which require refrigeration that was previously not a possibility in the spaza set up.
A butchery section with fresh refrigerated meat, and various display cabinets that keep the food and beverages fresh while putting them on display for customers have been added to the store.
Omega Refrigeration supports stores of various sizes with regards to their refrigeration needs. From the largest supermarkets that required countless refrigeration cabinets to the corner bakery with a small display, Omega offers innovative, customised and long-lasting refrigeration to fit every application and budget.
Spar uses Omega as a preferred refrigeration partner, while OBC is another client that Omega serves, supporting the low to mid-market sectors by providing quality, affordability and convenience.
According to a 2016 report by consumer behaviour monitor, Nielsen South Africa, the informal or independent retail trade sector is worth around R46 billion in annual sales, with an estimated 9 million households shopping in traditional trade stores.
Chris Reed, group executive for franchise of Pick n Pay discussed the spaza conversions, saying: “Many independent township traders are experiencing tough times as the economy tightens and competition becomes more intense. When we talk to spaza owners about the challenges and how we might help, they frequently identify better access to quality products at good prices, a reliable distribution system, good business management systems, and business advice and mentorship as priority areas for them.”
“Pick n Pay’s successful franchise operation has been a strong base for many years for developing new entrepreneurs and building new business leaders, including young black entrepreneurs. We are excited about adapting strong elements of our franchise model to support independent SMMEs and make a contribution to the economic revitalisation of township communities,” he added.
Pick n Pay is currently investing R5 billion over the next two years in new store development and infrastructure, which will include a significant investment in refrigeration.
As refrigeration specialists Omega Refrigeration provide systems and cabinets for supermarkets and stores to ensure that their refrigeration requirements are met with excellent solutions that provide a variety of benefits to store owners and consumers who purchase refrigerated products.
Using the latest technology available globally, Omega offers a world-class range of unique cold display cabinets and hot self-service sales cases that boast superior quality, functionality and price.
Climate change is a problem that is affecting our planet, and each country is beginning to awaken to the fact that something needs to be done to address the damage that is being caused to the environment.
Carbon emissions form part of the problem, and companies are beginning to embrace the need to limit these as much as possible. Carbon tax laws are a way for government to incentivise a focus on renewable energy and a change of consumer behaviour in environmentally friendly terms to reduce carbon emissions, while the tax would also provide some additional revenue for government.
Recognising the importance of reducing carbon emissions while appreciating the benefits of a low carbon economy, the South African government has committed to ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025 against a business-as-usual curve.
One of the ways that this can begin to be achieved is through the initiation of a carbon tax, which is to be administered by the South African Revenue Service.
While the road and air travel industries are major causes of carbon emissions, refrigeration and air conditioning are also substantial contributors of greenhouse gas emissions.
Most supermarkets and food retail stores make use of refrigeration that leaks some of the refrigerant used. That leakage has a significant environmental impact, because the most common refrigerants are made of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), which contains harmful greenhouse gases.
Omega Refrigeration is aware of the need to put the focus squarely on green initiatives, in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint in the stores that use the Omega Refrigeration cabinets and systems.
With carbon tax laws set to be implemented in South Africa at some point, the more energy efficient and less refrigerant dependant supermarkets become in terms of their refrigeration, the better it is from many perspectives, which is why an association with Omega Refrigeration is beneficial for these retailers.
Omega’s self-contained waterloop refrigeration system installed in refrigeration cabinets allows for the reduction of operating costs through better energy efficiency than conventional systems. At the same time this process reduces carbon emissions, as less refrigerant is needed and there is a much lower rate of leakages - This is due to the fact that Omega factory-tests all units.
Indications suggest that the proposed initial marginal carbon tax rate of R120 per ton CO2-e will be affected by numerous tax-free thresholds and discounts, allowing the effective carbon tax rate to vary between R6 and R48 per ton CO2-e.
The exact details involving how a carbon tax would be administered in South Africa are not all available at this stage, but government says that it will phase it in slowly so that businesses and industries affected are not overwhelmed.
At the beginning of February, US Congress passed the Electrify Africa Act, which is designed to give a push to the provision of electricity access for people in sub-Saharan Africa who are currently living without reliable electricity.
President Barack Obama signed the act into law recently, after the two years it took to convince the Congress representatives to approve the bill.
According to Voice of Africa, Ed Royce, the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee in California, explained what the bill is trying to address.
Royce said: “It is a direct response to the fact that today 600 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa, which is 70% of the population, do not have access to reliable electricity.”
This means that at the moment millions of Africans cannot use certain basic necessities such as lighting and refrigeration.
They cannot refrigerate foods or medicines, but this initiative will change that over time, allowing refrigeration an expanded platform in Africa, with supermarkets throughout the continent then able to run successfully and provide those living there with refrigerated food and medicine, not to mention the jobs and opportunities that will be created.
The Electrify Africa Act is designed to provide a legal framework for Obama's flagship Power Africa scheme, which is trying to improve access to electricity through public-private partnerships, which will further benefit the refrigeration industry on the continent.
The inclusion of renewable energy resources in the electricity provision strategies of African countries is another important outcome that the act intends to address, as the current lack of electricity forces some people in sub-Saharan Africa to use charcoal and other toxic fuels for their energy needs.
This touches on yet another important consideration in the refrigeration industry, as renewable energy is key to sustainability, especially for supermarkets and stores in Africa which intend to save on energy due to the environmental impact, as well as the more obvious cost-saving benefits.
The Electrify Africa Act will serve to provide those who do not yet have electricity with many incredible tools and resources that are now part of a modern life for people around the world, not least of which is refrigeration, which will revolutionise many lives for the better.
The American government has made financial promises of $7 billion to support the scheme, which it expects to draw a further $43bn in investment via other public and private partners.
Omega Refrigeration looks forward to also servicing stores within sub-Saharan African communities currently without reliable electricity, with their new refrigeration requirements.
Recent days have seen temperatures in the North West province reach beyond 40 degrees Celsius, while the national weather service reveals that 32 temperature records have already been broken in 2016.
A town called Marico in Kwazulu Natal reached an incredible 45 degrees, and while these temperatures are certainly not the norm, they do highlight the important role that refrigeration plays in ensuring food safety.
Heat waves have battered South Africa this summer, and while the water shortage and severe drought conditions have impacted food security, the safety of the food we consume is under threat as it will inevitably spoil if not stored and refrigerated correctly.
Provincial health department spokesperson Jo-Anne Otto addressed this issue recently due to the consistently high temperatures experienced countrywide.
“Proteins are specifically susceptible to spoiling in hot weather. Meats and fish are high in animal proteins which are volatile and quickly develop bacteria,” Otto explained.
The bacteria that forms then leads to cases of food poisoning, vomiting and diarrhoea, and this is statistically most prevalent in South Africa between November and April, as these are the hottest months for the country.
A 2015 World Health Organisation (WHO) report revealed that diarrhoea diseases were responsible for more than half of the global burden of foodborne diseases, causing 550 million people to become sick and leading to 230,000 deaths per year, with children in particular danger.
It is estimated that around 600 million people become ill after consuming contaminated food, much of which is due to lack of sufficient refrigeration. This is especially prevalent in Africa, where temperatures are high in summer months.
Otto suggested that refrigerators be set between 3 and 5 degrees, and freezers between minus 10 and minus 12 degrees to operate optimally.“These are the recommended temperatures for the safe storage of foods that require refrigeration. However, during this hot weather it is advisable to take an insulated bag along with you should you be buying perishable foods, as some foods deteriorate rapidly,” said Otto.
As the international standard for food safety controls, the hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system plays a vital role in the food service industry, and in refrigeration in particular.
Consumers are increasingly aware of the need to focus on food quality, and they expect the companies that produce, store and refrigerate their food to be ever vigilant concerning standards of food quality. Retailers are required by law to be able to store and supply food that requires refrigeration according to predefined temperatures.
This is done to ensure that the products that reach the final consumer are fresh and safe to buy and consume. The responsibility for food safety falls on the shoulders of the food manufacturer and distributor, but at Omega we partner with supermarkets and other stores to make HACCP compliance easier through cutting edge technology.
Omega Refrigeration holds itself to the highest standards of regulation compliance, which is why adherence to HACCP guidelines is a given. One of the major guidelines related to HACCP is the need for temperature monitoring to ensure that perishables remain fresh by maintaining the consistent temperatures required.
This is one of the important benefits of the Omega Eco Monitoring system, which allows for strict remote monitoring of refrigerated systems for any temperature anomalies, so that immediate action can be taken to address issues.
This system tracks every temperature spike or power failure, therefore preventing loss of perishable food, which goes to the core of what HACCP aims to do. This information is also stored as historical data, which can be used for the purposes of future audits.
Omega Ecotherefore assists in ensuring that stores do not lose stock, or even mistakenly selling some perishables that have gone rotten to customers. To monitor the stores manually would require reliable human resources that become costly, but with Omega Eco human error is eliminated and costs are saved.
Omega Eco’s monitoring centre collects and manages temperature alarms linked to the stores in real time, allowing the advanced system to react as needed and exceed expectations with regards to HACCP.
Unilever, a multinational company with numerous products distributed in South Africa opened their first ice cream factory in the country in October 2015, providing numerous jobs and showing confidence in the South African market.
The factory was built at a cost of around $44.36m, and is situated in the Lords View Industrial Park in Midrand, Johannesburg. Being located within an environment friendly development, Unilever's factory uses smart technology to harvest rain water, and they recover and reuse water that was utilised within the production processes.
Unilever SA vice-president of manufacturing, Sandeep Desai, said: "The refrigeration and utilities services are specifically designed to reduce the energy consumed through efficient motors, drive mixers and air compressors. This, combined with decreased water usage and responsible waste disposal, has an exponentially positive effect on the factory’s environmental impact."
Unilever owns and operates 40 ice cream factories around the globe, with South Africa being their first factory on the African continent. They also have similar construction projects currently under way in China and Turkey.
Unilever owns Ola and Magnum, and as a result the ice cream factory produces recognisable brands such as Rich ’n Creamy, Cornetto, addelpop, Gino Ginelli, Fruttare and Magnum.
Two industries that do not have many immediately obvious similarities have found common ground in technological terms, allowing for Formula One to provide the refrigeration industry with a way of reducing consumption.
A new aerodynamic device, which is currently under development by Williams Advanced Engineering in collaboration with Aerofoil Energy, could potentially affect the energy consumption of supermarket refrigerators by up to 41.5%.
Upgrades would not be problematic either, as these devices are designed so that they are added to existing cabinets.
Supermarkets and other similar stores are culpable of consuming great amounts of energy, affecting the bottom line of these companies. Naturally, the refrigeration used in these stores accounts for the majority of this consumption, with experts estimating that between 60 to 70% of the cost is down to refrigeration.
Interestingly, this boost for efficiency is born from a company dealing in Formula One developed technologies, with their extensive experience regarding aerodynamic design and testing in Formula One racing benefiting refrigeration in partnership with Aerofoil Energy.
The aerofoils are designed to attach to each shelf of a cabinet, so that it can manipulate the air flow to keep the cool air inside, reducing the workload needed to keep contents at specific temperatures.
Research conducted by Refrigeration Developments and Testing Ltd and the EPTA shows that the use of aerofoils on refrigerators can produce impressive energy savings of between 18 and 41.5%.
"We’re proud to be giving our fridges a turbo boost with this fantastic aerodynamic technology," the Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering, Craig Wilson told the media last year.
"Aerofoils help the airflow around Formula One cars and can improve their performance – and that’s exactly how they help the fridges in our stores, by keeping the cold air in. This Formula One inspired innovation has already shown it can cut carbon produced by major refrigerators," he added.