The winners in food retail and industrial, and the Innovation of the Year, were announced at ATMOsphere Japan.
Left to right: Akito Machida, Mayekawa; Akio Motohashi, Kokubu Group; and Takahiro Suzuki, Aeon.
shecco, publisher of this website and Accelerate Japan, and organizer of the ATMOsphere Japan conference, announced the winners of the 2020 Accelerate Japan awards at ATMOsphere Japan in Tokyo on Monday, February 10.
The winners are:
Aeon: Best in Sector/Food Retail.
Kokubu: Best in Sector/Industrial
Mayekawa CO2 Condensing Unit: Innovation of the Year
The annual Accelerate Japan awards, which were presented for the second time, recognize people and organizations that excel in advancing natural refrigerant technologies in the Japanese market. The winners were selected by shecco, with the exception of the Innovation of the Year award, which was based on a public vote leading up to the ATMOsphere Japan conference.
The runners-up for Innovation of the Year were: Hoshizaki, for its ice maker using isobutane (R600a) and its plug-in refrigerator using propane (R290); Panasonic, for its 80HP CO2 rack system; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for its 40HP CO2 condensing unit; Nihon Netsugen Systems for its CO2 brine chiller; and, ATS Japan for its CO2 semiconductor chiller.
The winner of last year’s Innovation of the Year award also went to Mayekawa for its NewTon NH3/CO2 system.
This year’s winners were selected for the following accomplishments:
Aeon has employed natural refrigerant systems in Japan since 2009. In 2011, it launched its “Aeon Natural Refrigerant” declaration stating that Aeon Group would “introduce facilities with natural refrigerants at all new stores while converting to natural refrigerants at existing stores over time.” As of September 2019, the company has installed natural refrigerant equipment (mostly CO2) in 635 stores, including 31 general merchandise stores, 298 supermarkets, 285 drug stores and 21 convenience stores.
Kokubu has used natural refrigerant technology in Japan since 2016 for new distribution centers. In February 2016, it opened its West Tokyo distribution center, located in Akishima City on the west side of Tokyo, where it adopted an ammonia/CO2 system for its refrigeration and freezing equipment. Following this, it installed transcritical CO2 at the Kawaguchi and Funabashi Hinode distribution centers (opened in 2018) and the Obihiro distribution center (opened in June 2019).
Mayekawa announced last March the release of a new CO2 condensing unit aimed at low-temperature storage and food processing facilities in Japan. The system, dubbed “COPEL,” is an air-cooled packaged unit designed for cold-storage warehouses and food factories.