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The original Reveal Merchandiser® is a versatile open multi-deck that retailers use for all medium temp applications, and they tell us they love it. How can it get any better than that? Well, they said, “Give us Reveal cases that maximize the freshness of red meat and produce.” We loved their request, and we answered it! Meet the 4-deck Reveal™ MX (meat exclusive) and the 3-deck Reveal™ PX (produce exclusive) display cases!

Fresh meat and fresh produce naturally look appealing to shoppers. The bright red meat and colorful vegetables are eye catching, so we developed our display cases to enhance their visual appeal. We designed our newest cases for maximum product freshness with a sleek, clean exterior and a spacious interior with excellent packout. The Zero Zone ChillBrite® LED lighting puts those products in their best light with bright, even illumination.

In true Zero Zone fashion, we give you ways to customize the MX and PX cases to your needs. Choose between two case heights (75″ or 80″ for MX; 80″ or 82” for PX), two sill heights (low or medium), optional windowed ends, and optional glass fronts. These options allow you to choose the case configuration that is right for you.

Give yourself the competitive edge and keep your shoppers coming back for more. Choose the Reveal Merchandiser® MX or PX!

Visit the Reveal Merchandiser® page to learn more.

Retailers like you need low-charge refrigeration solutions to meet regulations and minimize risks, but you have struggled to find a reasonable low-charge option for your medium to large store. Zero Zone has the answer: the new Zero Zone LCCU ETP (Liquid-Cooled Condensing Unit Electronic Technology Package).

The LCCU ETP is a total package from Zero Zone that includes a condensing unit, controller, pump skid, and Hybrid™ display cases. It starts with a low-charge condensing unit, which runs on R-448A and uses a DC compressor and electronic expansion valve (EEV). Behind this condensing unit is a controller that acts as the brain behind this energy-efficient system. The controller optimizes operation, monitors performance continuously, and maintains consistent product temperature. The refrigerant is cooled by a glycol/water loop that is pumped by a Zero Zone pump skid. This system cools a Zero Zone Hybrid™ display case that elegantly showcases your merchandiser to your shoppers. The LCCU ETP is a seamless alternative to a high-charge rack system.

The LCCU ETP also has advantages over a traditional ACCU (Air-Cooled Condensing Unit). It has a low profile because the condensing unit is shorter than a traditional ACCU, allowing for a shorter shroud to hide the condensing unit on top of the display case. The condensing unit is also insulated and enclosed, resulting in a quieter option than an ACCU. Lastly, the condensing unit releases heat to the glycol/water loop instead of adding heat into the store like an ACCU.

Partnering with Zero Zone means you are getting durable and dependable equipment and superior customer service. Contact the responsive company today to learn about this new low-charge solution for your entire store.

Learn more on our Hybrid™ Display Case page!

On March 1, the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) moved its new CO2 safety standard to public review. Titled the “Safety Standard for Closed-Circuit Carbon Dioxide Refrigeration Systems,” the standard will be open for public review until April 15. John Collins, Industrial Sales Manager for Zero Zone, Inc. and chairman of the IIAR CO2 Task Group, presented the new standard at a panel and at the closing forum for the 2019 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo.

CO2 continues to gain momentum across the refrigeration industry with thousands of CO2 systems operating worldwide. However, the industry lacks a definitive, detailed standard to guide engineers and contractors. As a standards developer accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), IIAR is equipped and positioned to fill this need for natural refrigerants. Many members of the CO2 Task Group have contributed to other safety standards. They also partnered with the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) as they branch into regulations for commercial refrigeration.

The CO2 Task Group and the NASRC have developed the standard to cover the full life cycle of a CO2 refrigeration system, including design, installation, startup, inspection, testing, and maintenance. The standard establishes minimum requirements for a safe system, defining baseline requirements for the proper application of CO2 refrigeration.

After April 15, the CO2 Task Group will sort through the public comments, respond to them, and revise the standard as necessary. Speaking from experience with the process, Collins says it is common to have additional public reviews, whether of the whole safety standard or excerpts of it. After that, the standard will be evaluated, voted on, and submitted for approval. After approval, it will be published as an ANSI standard, which will become a resource for commercial and industrial CO2 systems.

Collins has served as the chairman of the IIAR CO2 Task Group since the project formally began in 2016. He has also served on the IIAR CO2 committee, the standards committee, and as a board member.

Collins describes the work as “gratifying” because they can see the interest across the industry. “Now is an exciting time for CO2 refrigeration. New and old contractors want to gain experience with working on CO2 systems,” he explained. This CO2 safety standard will provide the necessary guidance.

When making your New Year’s resolution, you possibly resolved to save more and spend less. How can retailers like you continue to save money in 2019?

Every grocery store requires thousands of kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year to operate. This electricity covers refrigeration, ventilation, lighting, cooking, heating and cooling, and office. But the overwhelming majority of electricity goes to refrigeration equipment that runs whether the store is open or not. This makes refrigeration an obvious target for energy and cost savings.

Through some simple investigation and adjustments, you could benefit from energy savings. Check out some steps our product managers and engineering team recommend to get the most out of your commercial refrigeration equipment.

Evaluate Energy Consumption

First, collect data about the energy that your refrigeration equipment uses by referring to the component specification sheets. You should verify that the equipment is operating at the specified temperatures. If not, the controls could be set too cold, which wastes energy, or there could be a performance issue such as an iced coil or low refrigerant charge. If you notice equipment is not operating correctly, contact your refrigeration contractor.

You can also contact your utility company. Ask if they can perform an energy audit to compare your energy usage to similar businesses that use refrigeration equipment. They may even suggest ways to improve the efficiency of your equipment.

In addition to checking your refrigeration equipment, look at your HVAC system settings. Refrigerated display cases are designed to operate in ambient temperatures of 75°F and 55% relative humidity (defined by ASHRAE). Ensuring that your HVAC equipment maintains good store conditions will reduce refrigeration equipment energy consumption, and it is more cost effective to have the HVAC equipment cooling the store instead of having the display cases dehumidifying it.

Install Energy-Saving Features

There are many features available that are designed to reduce energy usage and provide cost savings down the road.

Also contact your refrigeration manufacturer. They may be able to offer other features to reduce energy consumption.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

It pays to be proactive and schedule regular maintenance for your refrigeration equipment. Instead of waiting for an issue to happen, you should schedule regular visits from your refrigeration contractor to keep the equipment running efficiently and catch component failures early.

General cleaning and maintenance is important for efficient case operation. You should clean doors and windowed ends so people can see product. Regularly clean lint and dust accumulation off of condenser coils and discharge air grills. On a monthly basis, ensure gaskets are not torn, doors are at ideal tension, and all fans are operating.

With so many steps available for reducing your refrigeration energy consumption, it is wise to develop a plan. Even if the budget does not allow for a full equipment overhaul, you may be able to update your cases department-by-department. That allows you to stay within budget, and your New Year’s resolution will be off to a good start!

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has officially published details about the California Cooling Act, which will take effect on January 1, 2019. The Act, which is based on vacated EPA SNAP Rule 20, prohibits HFC refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP)—such as R-404A and R-507A—for supermarket systems, condensing units, and self-contained units.

The California Cooling Act affects new and retrofit equipment. Manufacturers cannot sell equipment using prohibited refrigerants that are manufactured after January 1, 2019.

CARB Definition for New Refrigeration Equipment:

  1. Any refrigeration equipment that is first installed using new or used components; or
  2. Any refrigeration equipment that is modified such that it is:
    1. Expanded after the date at which this subarticle becomes effective, to handle an expanded cooling load by the addition of components in which the capacity of the system is increased, including refrigerant lines, evaporators, compressors, condensers, and other components; or
    2. Replaced or cumulatively replaced after the date at which this subarticle becomes effective, such that the capital cost of replacing or cumulatively replacing components exceeds 50 percent of the capital cost of replacing the entire refrigeration system.

If the retailer or engineer is unsure whether the work will classify as a new system, they should contact the Refrigerant Management Program Hotline at 916-324-2517 or

Additional Reading:

Refer to the following for more information about California’s regulations or the EPA regulations that affect the rest of the country:

For further information, contact Zero Zone at 800-247-4496 and ask for our Department of Regulatory Compliance and Refrigeration Technology. This message is informational only, and customers should review the new regulations fully to ensure compliance.

How should retailers use open multi-decks and reach-in display cases to best showcase products? We asked Mike Floersch—owner of Ray’s Apple Market in Seneca, KS—and Marc Robért III—general manager of Robért Fresh Market in New Orleans, LA—to provide some insight about their merchandising strategies.

Open Multi-Decks

Both retailers selected the Reveal Merchandiser® open multi-deck for displaying produce, citing the natural appeal of fresh fruits and vegetables being enhanced in open cases. “I did not want to put produce behind doors. I’ve been in the business 50-some years, and I felt like it presented itself well,” Floersch said.

Robért Fresh Market uses a 54-foot run of Reveal Merchandiser® cases as its big “showstopper” that shoppers see first when they enter the store. Robért Fresh Market also uses the Reveal Merchandiser® for fresh meat. “That bright red meat color really pops, and it’s all about ‘eye appeal is buy appeal,’” Robért explained. He also emphasized that products are more accessible to customers in open cases.

Reach-In Display Cases

Both retailers also chose reach-in display cases—the Crystal Merchandiser® and Highlight Merchandiser®—for other refrigerated products, such as dairy, deli, and frozen foods. The key to Zero Zone reach-in merchandisers is the CoolView® doors. The door rails and mullions have a sleek, narrow design, maximizing display area and providing excellent visibility.

Zero Zone reach-in cases perform exceptionally well for stores in humid regions like New Orleans. To prevent condensation from forming, CoolView® doors include heaters in the doors, door rails, mullions, and sills. Robért has been pleased. “With our high humidity environment, I have found that [Zero Zone] has been a perfect match and that we’ve had zero issues with sweating and humidity issues coming onto our product.”

Floersch admitted that he “was a little nervous about putting things behind doors, but I’m so glad I have.” His shoppers have told him that they appreciate the warmer environment. “A lot of stores you go into, it’s cold, and it’s because of all the open cases.” His shoppers welcome this change.

A Solution for You… Whatever the Case May Be

Whether you prefer open multi-decks, reach-in display cases, or both, Zero Zone offers a solution for your entire store. Robért says that the combination of reach-in and open cases from Zero Zone “brought the décor and the feel of the whole store together.” Floersch shared that he has experienced a 25% drop in kilowatts, which results in great cost savings each month. In the end, getting the total package from Zero Zone was the right solution.

As 2018 comes to a close, everyone has their own story to tell. At the Zero Zone Systems Division in Ramsey, MN, our story focuses on our community and our industry. We are proud to be the City of Ramsey 2018 Business of the Year. When asked about what it takes to be business of the year, Vice President and General Manager Rick Steer promptly points to the Zero Zone employees. “They represent the company and build our relationship with our customers and our community.”

Employees and the Community

Zero Zone and our employees are engaged throughout the Ramsey community. Zero Zone supports various events and organizations in town, including the Happy Days Festival, Safety Camp, and the Ramsey Firefighters Relief Association. Our employees also joined the local Adopt-a-Spot program by cleaning Bunker Lake Boulevard NW. We are involved in these events and programs because they are important to us and to our community. We believe it is our responsibility to give back to a city that has stood with us.

We also believe we have a responsibility to showcase the value of manufacturing jobs. Industrial Production Manager Justin Borer assists with setting the curriculum for manufacturing courses at the local high school and technical college. Zero Zone is a member of various manufacturing advocacy organizations, including the National Association of Manufacturing, the local Manufacturing Alliance, and OPTIMA. We are also a charter member of the local Manufacturing Day in Ramsey, MN, since it began in 2012.

Zero Zone and Natural Refrigeration

Not only is Zero Zone a leader in the local community, but also in the entire refrigeration industry. 2018 has been a breakthrough year in terms of natural refrigerants, particularly CO2 transcritical refrigeration. All across the country, there is ever-growing interest in greener solutions. It is the future of refrigeration, and Zero Zone is proud to be among the first to have installed CO2 transcritical systems in supermarkets and ice rinks. We are proud to partner with customers who are reducing their use of refrigerants with high global warming potential by switching to environmentally-friendly natural refrigerants like CO2.

Our employees also contribute to the refrigeration industry. Industrial Sales Manager John Collins serves as the chairman of the IIAR CO2 Task Group that writes new safety standards for CO2 refrigeration. This includes every step from design, to installation, and maintenance.

Our Commitment

What does it take to be business of the year? Zero Zone believes the answer is a combination of commitment to the refrigeration industry and to the local community. That commitment would not be possible without the employees. “Our employees have been the core of what makes Zero Zone special,” says Rick Steer. “It has been a pleasure being the City of Ramsey 2018 Business of the Year, and we look forward to many great years ahead.”

Even though they are separated by nearly 1,000 miles, Ray’s Apple Market in Seneca, KS, and Robért Fresh Market in New Orleans, LA, share a lot in common. They are both local, family-owned supermarket chains that now each have six stores across their states, and they are proud of their history in their communities.

Most importantly, they share a common mission: freshness. “We feel like that’s where we need to be the best… perishables,” says Owner Mike Floersch of Ray’s Apple Market. “You can buy groceries about anywhere today, but if we have the freshest meat, freshest produce, people will shop with [us].” Freshness is something that brick-and-mortar retail stores are particularly equipped to deliver, and each partnered with Zero Zone to accomplish this.

Fresh Produce

Marc Robért III, General Manager of Robért Fresh Market, says that “so much of produce is about the impulse, the visual, the pop of the colors, the appearance, and the appeal of the freshness.” He decided to make produce their big “showstopper.” When shoppers enter Robért Fresh Market, they are met with a 54-foot run of open Reveal Merchandiser® cases loaded with fresh produce. “The biggest thing that we focus on serving is healthy meal options that are quick and easy for [shoppers]. In our produce department, we have an enormous, growing [selection of] cut fruit and cut vegetables.”

Fresh Meat

Robért Fresh Market also uses the open Reveal Merchandiser® for fresh meats, such as beef, poultry, and pork, saying that the fresh meat colors really pop. “It’s all about eye appeal is buy appeal,” he noted.

Ray’s Apple Market sells meat in reach-in cases instead of open multi-decks. “Our product is lasting longer. We don’t see the shrink. The product behind the doors is phenomenal how it does keep longer.” Shrink can be reduced by up to 50% by switching to Zero Zone reach-in cases. Owner Mike Floersch also mentioned that shoppers perceive the meat as fresher because of the clean appearance of Zero Zone reach-in cases.

While their fresh meat strategies are different, each found that Zero Zone offered a solution that matched their goal of being fresh.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates which refrigerants may be used and how refrigerants must be handled. It is important to note that individual states may write their own refrigeration regulations above and beyond the EPA regulations.

Since 2015, EPA has proposed several rules, but some of those rules have been vacated in court. We understand that it may be confusing which rules still apply. Please read below to understand which regulations will come into effect in January 2019.

SNAP Program, Prohibited Refrigerants, and California

What is the SNAP Program?

EPA regulates which refrigerants may be used for new or retrofit refrigeration through the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program.

Which refrigerants were affected by recent EPA rules?

EPA released Rule 20 and Rule 21 through its SNAP program, which delisted refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP). This prohibited common refrigerants such as R-134A, R-404A, and R-507A. However, EPA was challenged in court and lost on Rule 20, which means it has been vacated and will not go into effect. It is possible that Rule 21 will also be vacated, but the courts are still evaluating it. Use the links below for more information:

Can high GWP refrigerants be used?

Yes, depending on state. Rule 20 was vacated on a national level, but individual states may pass their own refrigeration regulations. In 2018, California passed a regulation that adopts Rule 20 (called Rule 1 in California). This rule prohibits high GWP refrigerants in California after January 1, 2019. More information is available on California legislature’s website:

High GWP refrigerants can continue to be used in all other states, but that may change too. California is a member of the United States Climate Alliance (USCA), and the other states will likely adopt similar regulations. This includes Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

In summary, R-134A, R-404A, and R-507A may be used in all states except California, which prohibits those refrigerants. However, other states in the USCA are likely to prohibit those refrigerants in the coming years.

Section 608, Record Keeping, and Leakage Rates

What is Section 608?

EPA regulates how refrigerants are handled through Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. Section 608 affects many sectors in the refrigeration industry:

For more detail on how Section 608 applies, visit

What are the new Section 608 regulations?

EPA issued new regulations that 1) require owner/operators to keep additional records for their refrigeration systems, and 2) change the allowable leakage rates for refrigeration systems. These rules affect ozone depleting refrigerants and will take effect on January 1, 2019.

The new rule included refrigerants with high GWP such as R-134A, R-404A, and R-507A. However, EPA proposed to omit refrigerants with high GWP from the rule. This has not been finalized, so more information will be provided as it becomes available. Use the links below for further reading.

What records does an owner/operator need to keep?

What are the allowable system leakage rates?

EPA reduced the allowable leakage rates. Annual leakage rates are calculated as a percentage of the full system charge. Details for calculating leakage rates can be found at

Allowable Leakage Rate Before Retiring or Replacing Old rule New rule
Commercial Refrigeration 35% 20%
Comfort Cooling 15% 10%
Industrial Process Refrigeration 35% 30%

What must be done when a leak is found?

If leakage rate exceeds allowable rates, the system must be repaired, retired, or replaced.

Repair: If a leak is repaired, the technician must ensure the system is leak-free before adding refrigerant. After refrigerant is added, the technician must check the repair again after the system returns to normal temperatures and pressures. Information for technicians can be found at

Retire or Replace: Owner/operators must develop a retrofit or retirement plan within 30 days if the leak cannot be repaired. The plan must be implemented within 1 year. If the leak is repaired within 180 days, the plan can be terminated and the system can be used.

What must be done after a leak?

After a leak, systems must be checked for leaks based on the schedule below. All visible, accessible parts of the systems must be inspected.

When should a leak be reported to EPA?

If the annual leakage rate of a refrigeration system exceeds 125% of the full charge within a calendar year, owner/operators must notify EPA by March 1 of the subsequent year and describe their efforts to identify and repair leaks.

Three Zero Zone engineers received special recognition from ASHRAE for their extensive contributions to the 2018 ASHRAE Handbook (from left to right): Mike Chieffo, Compliance and Engineering Analyst; Bruce Hierlmeier PE, Director of Regulatory Compliance and Refrigeration Technology; Carl Roberts, Engineering Lab Manager. Hierlmeier and Roberts have participated for over 20 years, and Chieffo joined for his first effort. These three men account for the largest representation from an individual refrigeration manufacturer.

Their efforts focused on adding technical information and omitting obsolete data from two chapters: “Retail Food Store Refrigeration and Equipment” and “Food Service and General Commercial Refrigeration Equipment.” Their additions reflected recent technology developments, new regulations, and the shifting mindset of industry leaders, with an emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency. Topics included design enhancements and new refrigerants, such as high glide refrigerants, propane, and CO2—particularly in transcritical mode.

Zero Zone is proud of their combined efforts for the 2018 ASHRAE Handbook, which is used as a reference by refrigeration engineers and government agencies that write regulations.