MAJA, a German manufacturer of flake ice machines, has launched a “hybrid” unit that allows an end user such as a supermarket to initially use an HFC refrigerant but ultimately transition to CO2.

MAJA makes CO2-only ice machines with evaporators that link to commercial CO2 refrigeration racks. The new machine (RVH-CO2 HYBRID) is the first that accommodates either R404A or CO2.

“It’s a solution for customers who can’t invest in a CO2 refrigeration rack at the moment, but can switch over in two years,” said Joachim Schelb, global sales director, MAJA.

“It’s a solution for customers who can’t invest in a CO2 refrigeration rack at the moment, but can switch over in two years.”

Joachim Schelb, MAJA

“We had this request in the last couple of years from customers,” added Schelb. “They know that in two or three years they will need a CO2 refrigeration system but at the moment don’t have it. That makes an investment in a new ice machine very difficult. But now they can invest in a CO2 ice machine and use R404A in the meantime.”

MAJA introduced the hybrid unit at Chillventa 2016 last October.

MAJA has been making CO2-only flake ice machines since 2008 for supermarkets as well as meat and fish facilities. (It also makes NH3-only units.) In addition to Europe, the company has successfully marketed the CO2 unit in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. “All the supermarkets, especially in Japan, are setting on CO2,” he said.

In the U.S., CO2 is “coming more and more,” he said.  MAJA has a U.S. subsidiary in Omaha, Neb.

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