Linear Actuators to Automate display cabinets:
our innovation for HOSTELCO 2018
Opening and closing refrigerated display cabinets manually might soon be a thing of the past. Working closely with CAFF, a premier name in refrigeration for the food service industry, REGNER® has innovated by building a linear actuator system that enables safe and precise movement for glass cabinets.
At REGNER®, we often come across people curious about the engineering solutions process. The answer is that our focal point is collaboration. That is, we work closely with our clients, and a multidisciplinary team takes care of each project.
To us, ideas are important, but execution is everything, and we see eye to eye with CAFF on this. Proof of their efficiency is, of course, the fact that they are such a well-known manufacturer for industrial refrigeration, and that their products can be found in refrigerators, cold rooms, working tables and counters in restaurants, hotels and cafés in over 50 countries around the world.
In January this year, CAFF sought us out for an actuator solution to be presented at the April 20th HOSTELCO, the leading Spanish trade-show for up-and-coming products and services in the hotel and restaurant equipment industry. They wanted to automate the opening and closing of their refrigerated display cabinets instead of using lift-up hardware driven by gas springs. We took on the challenge, and our work began.
First, we analyzed the strength of the idea and we identified our main challenges:
- We would have to design an optimal way to open glass cabinets to the maximum.
- Two sleek actuators would have to move simultaneously and smoothly in order to avoid any vibration or torsion.
- We had to materialize the solution through a robust and cost-effective electric control box with a controller that would allow for high-precision programming providing reliable synchronization.
From there, the idea was brought into built form in four stages:
- We defined the brief and discussed our vision for the project, which allowed the designers to come up with multiple possibilities. From those, a schematic design was made and our team researched and developed the concept of the actuator solution for the ‘smart cabin’, which we presented to CAFF before moving on.
- CAFF gave their go-ahead, and we entered the creative stage. We created the necessary CAD files by generating 3D models for rendering purposes, so we could rotate and analyze the engineering solution from all angles, and also share our advances with CAFF.
- In the electrical and mechanical engineering phase, the assembly design was finalized to create production-ready files and a bill of materials.
- We built a prototype to test the functionality and the general appearance of the solution.
The actuator system developed by REGNER®, shown at HOSTELCO. Picture credits: REGNER & HOSTELCO.
Built for efficiency and easy cleaning, the linear actuator system opens glass cabinet to the maximum
Developing a project such as this is not a piece of cake. It requires passionate and meticulous engineers willing to dive into countless approaches, and to fail and try again and again until the perfect solution appears. The CAFF project was no exception. Ultimately, though, the effort proves worthy. When we put our prototype in front of the CAFF team and their eyes light up and they smile, or when they present our solution at HOSTELCO and people keep smiling, the REGNER® team can’t help but think ‘We got it!’. Not every company or every project gets to that point, so let’s celebrate that this one has.