FOOMA Japan 2017: Food manufacturers seek NatRef solutions
R744, June 16,2017
As awareness of HFC-free refrigeration systems among industrial food manufacturers in Japan increases, companies like Mayekawa and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems Co. Ltd (MHI) are responding by expanding their product line-ups.The NewTon CH system, on display at the FOOMA Japan 2017 exhibition, is the latest development in Mayekawa’s line-up of NewTon systems used for industrial applications.
“Once sales begin, we hope to sell 100 units of the NewTon CH system per year,” said Yutaka Arai, assistant general manager for Mayekawa.
Arai explained that the system was developed in response to growing demand for a more compact solution from small and medium-sized companies.
The system is half the size of the standard NewTon system and provides 135 kW of refrigeration capacity versus the standard NewTon’s 237 kW capacity.
“We have been testing the system the system at our factory and will begin trialling it with a customer in August,” said Arai.
In addition to the reduced size NewTon CH, Mayekawa has developed the ‘Sierra-A’ air-cooled NH3/CO2 chilling package.
The Sierra-A, a follow up to the popular water-cooled Sierra-W unit, was on display for the first time at the FOOMA Japan exhibition.
“We have been receiving a lot of demand and interest from food manufacturers in Japan for this air-cooled solution,” said Hidehiro Kitayama, sales manager for Mayekawa.
The system is available for sale now. Although there are no subsidies available for food manufacturers, end-user interest in converting away from HFCs remains strong.
“Many large companies are replacing R22 with natural refrigerants in food manufacturing,” said George Miyajima, director of the food division for Mayekawa.
However, initial cost remains an issue and is something the company is focused on reducing right now.
“But we need to help small and mid-size companies. That is why subsidies are needed,” he continued.
“It will take about five years to be cost-competitive with HFC systems, but we are working on reducing costs now,” said Miyajima.
In addition, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems Co. Ltd (MHI) is seeing healthy sales of its CLTS NH3/CO2 system for large cold stores.
“We are selling around 20 units per year,” said Takeo Koiso, sales department manager for MHI.
MHI announced that it had begun selling a smaller compact version of the CLTS system in April of this year – one of which will be installed by Yokohama Reito, one of the largest cold store operators in Japan.