July 7, 2010

Thermo King Introduces Advanced Eco-friendly Technology With Dean Foods

Thermo King customer Dean Foods recently unveiled a delivery vehicle equipped with a new prototype truck refrigeration system developed by Thermo King. This advanced, environmentally friendly truck refrigeration system significantly reduces the emissions associated with traditional diesel-powered transport refrigeration. Dean Foods is the largest dairy processor in the U.S. and owner of one of the largest refrigerated direct-store delivery distribution networks in the food and beverage industry.

Reduced emissions and carbon footprint
These diesel-free, hybrid electric-powered refrigeration units replace traditional mechanical models powered by diesel engines to facilitate cooling during transport. Diesel-powered engines require oil, filters and anti-freeze as part of their routine maintenance. The new unit reduces emissions and waste by operating on electricity when parked and while driving, eliminating the need for an independent engine in the refrigeration unit. This new technology will help Dean Foods reduce its carbon footprint while increasing operational efficiency and cost savings.

“Our highest priority is reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of our operations,” said Harrald Kroeker, president of Dean Foods’ Fresh Dairy Direct business unit. “Innovations that eliminate the use of diesel fuel, which is a major expenditure and our second largest source of emissions, drive cost savings to our business and benefit the environment.”

Dean Foods to reduce diesel fuel usage by 50 percent
Dean Foods has already pressed Thermo King’s new prototype, truck refrigeration system into service in its Dallas-area fleet; it has been making dialing deliveries from the company’s Oak Farms Dairy facility since March 2010.

Dean Foods aims to reduce its diesel fuel usage by at least 50 percent, compared to traditional refrigerated vehicles, by adopting the new technology over the longer-term. Eliminating the diesel fuel used in the refrigeration units of traditional vehicles would significantly reduce costs and remove 21,000 pounds of carbon per vehicle per year.

“This emission-reducing technology delivers superior functionality by offering fresh and frozen precise temperature management with complete flexibility for the management of fleets,” said Dave Regnery, president of the Hussmann, Thermo King and Trane businesses in North America. “Implementing the new technology in Thermo King’s new prototype is a step toward Dean Foods achieving its goal of removing 50,000 metric tons of carbon from its transportation system by 2013—the equivalent of removing 9,500 cars from the road.”

Substantial positive impact on the environment
With a fleet so large, Dean Foods typically replaces about 200 delivery trucks each year. The large fleet size allows the company to make a substantial impact on the environment by taking advantage of innovations that help reduce fuel usage and carbon emissions.

“Our size and scale give Dean Foods the ability to implement changes in our operations that have tremendous positive impacts on the environment and for the entire food and beverage delivery industry,” said Chip Jones, senior vice president of sustainability and corporate responsibility for Dean Foods. “We continuously adopt innovative technology across our 13,000-vehicle network, and collaborating with strategic suppliers like Thermo King is a critical tactic in advancing our company’s sustainability goals.”

More on Dean Foods
Adopting new transport refrigeration technology is part of Dean Foods’ Smart Fleet initiative, an enterprise-wide effort to “green the fleet” by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants through delivery route optimization, investments in new technology and equipment and training for drivers. Dean Foods is one of the leading food and beverage companies in the United States and a European leader in branded soy foods and beverages.

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