With BITZER Digital Network for the best return on investment

From left: Ron Irwin, Owner of MadeFresh Foods Inc., and Matthew Stewart, President and Owner of IHC Mechanical, on-site

BITZER Canada and its partner IHC Mechanical had a joint goal – to find the best solution for MadeFresh Foods Inc.: a provider of delicious, fresh and ready-to-eat meals that can be found in most grocery stores in British Columbia and Alberta. MadeFresh Foods Inc. built a second food production plant in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. The requirement was to implement a socially conscious design that ensures control of critical equipment to manage energy with an eye on a reduced carbon footprint and with the ability to constantly improve.

IHC Mechanical is an HVAC and refrigeration service and maintenance company based out of St. Albert, Alberta, and has already been successfully working with BITZER Canada for more than four years. For good reason, as Matthew Stewart, President at IHC Mechanical, states: “We thoroughly enjoy the relationship. BITZER’s responsiveness, openness to listening to recommendations for improvement and willingness to navigate each project on its own merits has greatly facilitated the relationship.” Looking back on the beginnings of the project for MadeFresh Foods Inc., he adds: “MadeFresh Foods Inc. wished to expand into the Vancouver British Columbia market. We were thus looking for a cost-effective and reliable system that could be installed to handle the refrigeration load. We decided to install a single BITZER compressor with an IQ Module CM-RC-01 unloading range from 10 to 100 per cent and a BITZER gateway to give us remote access to the compressor. Ever since the start-up and commissioning of the system, this gateway has been giving us essential information on the compressor.

The gateway leads directly to the BITZER Digital Network (BDN): BDN is a cloud based platform offering users digital services for refrigeration and air conditioning technology. Matthew Stewart explains: “The reason we chose to use the BITZER Digital Network was, first and foremost, the remote access and in turn much better risk management. Also reduced energy consumption and energy control. The dependability for critical environments is second to none, providing peace of mind to our customers. And finally, BDN offers the serviceability that our discerning customers expect from us.

BDN provides detailed live information about the compressor operation in very high resolution. This unique information is brought to the user via a comprehensive compressor operation report and is essential for optimising system performance and efficiency. In combination with a 360 degree product information available, it makes remote troubleshooting not only possible, but also fast and convenient. Furthermore, users find valuable digital services such as remote monitoring and troubleshooting information in the BDN, the basis of which are BITZER’s cloud infrastructure, know-how and IQ products. In combination with targeted data analysis, this results in a solution that is new on the market and makes it easier for BITZER customers and partners to set up their own digital service infrastructure.

The BDN provides actionable insights based on high resolution compressor data

In one special case, the connection to the BDN paid off really quickly, as Matthew Stewart remembers:

Several months after the system was running without issues, we got a few unusual alarms from the compressor. We saw that we had lost communication with the gateway for some time. But when our staff arrived at the site, all of the cooler’s boxes were at correct temperatures. After a few phone calls we found out that the building had lost power for eight hours – something we never would have noticed without the BITZER gateway. In consequence, MadeFresh Foods was luckily able to deal with any food safety concerns.”

Matthew Stewart is grateful for the network: “It has numerous benefits. Of course it’s an initial investment, but the advantages clearly prevail: the reduced energy consumption and management thereof will offset the initial cost from day one. The extended life span will offset the overall cost, of course. But most importantly, the serviceability throughout the life of the asset will more than pay for itself through extended uptime and reduced failures in the end. And last but not least, the ability to service and manage control of the asset remotely enhances operations and will always be the best return on investment.

MadeFresh Foods Inc., IHC Mechanical and BITZER Canada started their joint project in February 2020 and completed it in July 2020. And the new food production plant? It now provides delicious meal supplies to the British Columbia region.