HOST 2015, the professional hospitality show, held 23-27 October at Fiera Milano Rho, the same colossal location as the international EXPO 2015, made for a bustling event of some 150,000 visitors (and an interminably packed metro ride) including a record-breaking 2,004 exhibitors from 47 countries. While traditionally dominated by Italian manufacturers, this year HOST showcased 714 international companies, a 26% increase compared to 2013.
The introduction of natural refrigerants in Ho.Re.Ca. (hotel, restaurant and café) equipment, thanks to some smart thinking and seriously bright ideas, has turned a previously stagnant industry into a hot-bed of activity. Special signage, ECO branding, and energy labeling were at the forefront of equipment manufacturers’ exhibition booths.
For example, the hydrocarbon MaxiGlass bottle cooler by Gamko provides a 55% reduction in energy from the previous model using R134a, thanks to hydrocarbon refrigerant, and improved glass and fans.
While the products are 7% more expensive in initial price, the ECO-Line provides end users with a 65% savings, which in the Netherlands equates to about €400 per year. Over the 10-year lifetime of the product, you can earn the price of the entire system only through these savings,” commented Fredrik Breda, Bar Engineer Export.
Among one of the 400 scheduled events at the conference, HOST Smart Label awarded its virtual quality label for groundbreaking innovation, effectiveness and sustainability. The jury awarded 63 products with the SMART Label, of which Gram Commercial A/S, for its R600a Superior Plus K 72 CCG Refrigerator, and Zanotti Spa, for its R290 monoblock refrigerator, were among them.
Here is a sample of the natural refrigerant developments from around the world at HOST Milan 2015, from vending machines, commercial fridges & freezers and display units:
Vending machines: SandenVendo
The G-Drink vending machine using CO2 refrigerant represents half of SandenVendo’s production. The success of this unit is due to a reliable delivery mechanism, a robot developed in Japan, which fetches the product and delivers it with precision. The G-Snack, also using CO2, is another successful innovation, which is conveniently available in an outdoor weather-resistant and vandalism proof version.
Commercial Fridges and Freezers: Liebherr & Foster
Natural refrigerants are not new to commercial fridge manufacturer Liebherr. For five years, nearly all of the company’s commercial and domestic fridges have used R600 and R290 in Europe. Liebherr showcased a wide variety of professional kitchen and drink coolers known for their convenient, space saving and energy efficient functionalities, as well as being economical in continuous operation. The GKPv 6573 ProfiLine fridge using R290 was one of Liebherr’s main innovations on display.
Foster, a Partner company of Gamko, handle the kitchen refrigeration side of business, whereas their counterparts specialise in bar refrigeration. Foster introduced its R290 FlexDrawer counter range at HOST, to compliment the EcoPro G2 cabinets.
“We think that hydrocarbons are the way forward for some smaller products on range. The only reason why we’re not offering it as a standard, is because the different markets we supply are going at different speeds,” commented Zoe Callender, Foster Export Manager.
There is a lack of service technicians in the Middle East and India. But for 10 years (in the UK) it’s been an option and now half of the product line is available with hydrocarbons and for some products it is the standard refrigerant. The next step is to see how we can introduce hydrocarbons in larger products because there are limitations.”
Display Units: Epta, Iarp, AHT & Oscartielle
The EPTA Group dedicated their presence at HOST to a Foodcity exhibiton booth, featuring state-of-the-art commercial refrigeration solutions and display cabinets produced by brands Eurocryor, Misa and Iarp.
Iarp, the brand most recognised as a major supplier of in plug-in units for packaged ice cream, displayed examples of their customised products for RedBull, Nestle and Unilever. But front and centre was the REALOOK 45, an upright, plug-in, glass door cooler using R290, equipped with an integrated audio system and a 47” full HD video screen to play promotional videos.
AHT presented the new Kinley R290 overhanging freezer cabinet for supermarkets, which makes for an easily accessible and eye-level frozen food presentation. For wall or island display, the Paris chiller/ deep-freezing cabinet is a plug-in model offering a 25% energy savings through an electric speed-controlled compressor.
Oscartielle, a part of Arneg World, showcased a comprehensive line of energy efficient plug-in refrigeration islands, serving units, cabinets and vertical glass door refrigerators for the food and beverage industry- all using hydrocarbon refrigerant.