Optyma Plus™ and AK-SC 355: The Innovative Combination for a Drive-Through Supermarket in France
Large retail is changing, with "drive-through supermarkets" appearing on the French market. This new trend also has consequences for refrigeration plants. FCPL, a company specializing in professional refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, has installed three Danfoss Optyma Plus™ units, paired with an AK-SC 355 controller for the storage of chilled and frozen products in a major French brand's drive-through supermarket in Mayenne (53).
No more queuing at the checkout. Goods are ordered and paid for online, and orders are prepared in less than 24 hours – the customer now just needs collect their shopping from the "drive-through supermarket", where staff load it directly into their car. Drive-through supermarkets save customers time and offer them unquestionable efficiency; the key to their success is, above all, service together with the quality of the goods sold. Refrigeration is key: systems must be 100% reliable, with breakdowns unacceptable in this extremely competitive environment where the customer's attention is entirely focused on the appearance and quality of goods.
This is also the case for the drive-through supermarket in Mayenne. In March 2013, FCPL installed 2 Danfoss Optyma Plus™ units to cool an 82 m² cold storage room and 1 Optyma Plus™ unit for a 17 m² freezer. As Thierry Joncheray, director of FCPL, explains:
"There were a number of constraints to deal with. On the one hand, our customer wanted a reliable system that was easily accessible for maintenance and servicing. On the other hand, the drive-through supermarket was in a very busy area. A solution was therefore required that was both aesthetically pleasing and quiet. Danfoss Optyma Plus™ fully met these requirements and also enabled us to stand out from the competition. The customer had initially considered having a central refrigeration unit on the roof of the drive-through supermarket. However, a system installed on the roof would have been difficult to access for maintenance engineers. In addition, the central unit breaking down would have led to a loss of all cooling. We therefore proposed three panelled Optyma Plus™ units, identical in appearance and colour, installed on the ground on a concrete slab. That allowed us to kill two birds with one stone: The units are separated. Shutting down one machine does not shut down the whole system. Being installed on the ground allows for simple maintenance of the whole system. To be even safer, we added an extra unit for cold storage rooms and refrigerators. In addition, the Optyma Plus™ units are aesthetically pleasing and quiet, so they are a perfect fit for the drive-through supermarket site."
In order to complete its solution, FCPL paired the Optyma Plus™ units with an AK-SC 355 controller, comprising three EKC 302 room controllers. This controller records temperatures and triggers an alarm if the temperature is too high or too low, enabling the customer to maintain the cold chain and ensure flawless traceability. The customer can thus view the temperatures of the cold storage rooms, monitor power consumption and manage the lighting and heating of offices using the same controller. The Optyma Plus™ system and the AK-SC 355 controller are upgradeable and allow for more cold storage rooms to be added if required. Thierry Joncheray is delighted with Danfoss technology: "We were looking for an extraordinary system to give our customer the best possible service. Combining Optyma Plus™ and the AK-SC 355 has enabled us to meet this challenge. The units are delivered pre-wired with the piping and controller already fitted. The solution is therefore practically ready to use, considerably reducing installation time. "Energy meters will be installed soon to highlight the many benefits of this system. The potential applications of this innovative Optyma Plus™ and AK-SC 355 combination go beyond drive-through supermarkets, as it would be a perfect fit for food distribution, professional kitchens, restaurants, etc.