There’s no debating that refrigeration system controls can help reduce energy costs at private and public refrigerated warehouses. Curious to learn how the technology might change during the next three to five years, R&FF put the question to two industry executives: Matt Chang, vice president of sales and marketing with Hench Control Inc., Hercules, Calif.; and Jim Conant, president of Logix Controls, Kirkland, Wash.

Jim Conant: The industry needs to develop, or agree to, a shared platform that is accessible to all for seamless communications between vendors. There are major manufacturers in the refrigeration industry who restrict the ability of third party vendors to communicate effectively with their systems. This is a needless technology barrier that is a disservice to the customer and could be eliminated by the readers of your magazine asking major equipment manufacturers to make it happen.

Matt Chang: Hench Control already is building prototypes and conducting R&D for our next generation controllers – taking into consideration future wireless technology such as ZigBee. The result of this intelligence will reduce the physical size of our controllers and lessen the power use necessary to operate them while at the same time greatly enhancing our capabilities.

This will also consolidate our different controllers into one standard product that will be able to do anything and everything that the multiple individual controllers do now. The expandability and redundancy of one standard controller that has everything built inclusively creates more reliability and flexibility.

There are many possibilities for integrating systems partners – such as Apple – for the iPhone and LogMeIn for remote access. This integration would further streamline our communication and reporting for our customers.