A Belgium manufacturer at the forefront for HC cooling equipment

By Sabine Lobnig, Mar 16, 2010, 18:10 2 minute reading

hydrocarbons21.com visited the production facilities of an innovative Belgian supplier of customised display coolers that actively tries to convince its customers of the energy saving benefits hydrocarbon-based systems can bring. The company has announced a complete switch to HC standard solutions, in combination with other highly energy-saving materials and technologies for small food cooling applications.

With energy savings of up to 20%, first results for the switch from R134a cooling units to R290 are pretty impressive, the Belgian-based company AFM Europ confirmed to hydrocarbons21.com during a visit to their production facilities near to Antwerp. Tested in the company’s own laboratory as well as by an independent test laboratory the newly offered hydrocarbon units can offer clear financial benefits as compared to HFC-based ones.

Still, representatives from the company told hydrocarbons21.com that many customers are not willing to pay higher initial costs even if it is just marginal compared to conventional systems. As a result, and convinced of the environmental and economic benefits, the manufacturer decided to offer its new units for the same price as the R134a version. While all its products are available as an HC option, the company took another decisive step by offering its latest environmentally-friendly system with hydrocarbons as a standard. The Coolio Plus display cooler has been sold as from last month on as an R290 version only. With the exception of the US American market, where hydrocarbons are still banned, all other markets of AFM are now served with propane units. The company now plans to fully switch to R290 as the standard for all product lines by the end of 2010.

Safety no issue

To further assure everyone that hydrocarbon refrigeration solutions are not dangerous when maintained correctly, the company goes through the process of certification with all products. The Modular Cooling Equipment with R290 has its CE declaration of conformity and will receive in the next weeks the CB certificate, which is the basis for CE marking with regard to safety requirements. Many mayor food groups, such as Danone, Kerry Food, Lactalis Nordics, Campofrio Food Group as well as Grolsche Bierbrouwerijen appreciate the efforts and ordered already over 500 coolers with R290 within the last 3 months. Main strong points mentioned by the customers are obviously sustainability of the products but also that more and more supermarkets are forced to save energy expenses and take only energy-efficient promotional display cabinets.

A concept of sustainable technology features

The specialist for custom designs for temporary display solutions has chosen hydrocarbons as the best refrigerant to complement its other climate-friendly technology features, including one standardised refrigeration mono block used in all coolers to allow for a maximum amount of customisation of the advertising space around it, the use of night curtains to save energy, LED lighting, the use of cardboard for temporary display coolers, automatic night blinds to optimise the switching on and off of the units in supermarkets, and other flexible solutions to combine cost efficiency, environmental sustainability, and effective advertising in one product.

Further information

AFM Europ will showcase HC products at the trade show Alimentaria, from March 22nd till March 26th, 2010 at the Fira Barcelona, Gran Via – Pavilion 4 – booth F80.


By Sabine Lobnig

Mar 16, 2010, 18:10

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