Phononic Unveils Next Generation Actively-Cooled Tote 2000™ Cold Chain Fulfillment Solution
February 15, 2023
The ACT 2000™ is the first truly sustainable end-to-end solution for grocery’s cold chain fulfillment needs
Durham, NC — Phononic, a global leader in solid state cooling technology, today announced the launch of its Actively-Cooled Tote (ACT) 2000: the next generation of cooling and freezing for cold chain fulfillment. This innovative solution combines the success of the first ACT which debuted in September 2021; now with learnings from more than 20 commercial installations. As the first truly sustainable solution for grocery’s end-to-end cold chain fulfillment needs, the ACT 2000 features a proprietary thermoelectric-based cooling platform that eliminates toxic refrigerants and environmentally destructive hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that warm the earth’s atmosphere. All while meeting the most demanding refrigerated and frozen cold chain needs.
“Grocers are facing a costly challenge to improve their fulfillment capabilities, particularly for perishable and frozen items, while achieving profitability, requiring a re-examination of the grocery fulfillment process,” said Larry Yang, Chief Product Officer of Phononic. “For the ACT 2000, our team incorporated the feedback and learnings from over 20 commercial installations to provide customers with a comprehensive solution. Currently, the approach for retailers in on-site grocery fulfillment is costly, losing $13 per $100 order. The ACT 2000 helps close this gap by being flexible and scalable and delivering a proven ROI on cold chain operations and ensuring critical food safety and quality – ultimately enabling retailers to meet the demands of e-grocery fulfillment.”
Available in both refrigerator and freezer versions for retail and automation environments, the ACT 2000 includes accessories, IoT data connectivity, and turn-key installation. Phononic’s ACT 2000 is the premiere solution for precise and secure cooling and freezing throughout the fulfillment ecosystem. The ACT 2000 has updated features including lightweight and ergonomically friendly design for ease of handling and has 33% more storage capacity than its predecessor for larger food items and multiple orders. Its aluminum shell has enhanced durability and recyclability, its lid has bidirectional opening for packing flexibility, and it features a user-friendly UX that displays cooling status and IoT connectivity. The ACT 2000’s solid state cooling offers unprecedented value and sustainability not achievable with compressor-based systems, freezer pack or dry ice solutions.
At the end of 2022, the EPA issued a regulatory proposal for the phasedown of super-polluting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to further reduce the high global warming potential refrigerants that are used in typical compressor-based grocer refrigeration. The ACT 2000 provides grocers and retailers an opportunity to meet these reduction proposals while also meeting internal sustainability and profitability goals.
Phononic’s ACT 2000 key features include:
Dimensions: The ACT 2000 has updated internal dimensions to maximize the ROI for grocers. The thin walls and straight edges are designed to increase volume and reduce weight. The larger capacity creates room for bigger food items and multiple orders.
Temperature: Precise temperature control provides unmatched cold chain integrity, with freezer setpoint at -18°C (or -0.4°F) and refrigerator at 3.3°C (or 37.9°F).
Weight: The ACT 2000 is lightweight and portable, at 21lbs. This equates to a 33% reduction in weight from the ACT. This is critical for workers who might have to lift it in the facility.
Lid Capabilities: The innovative lid can open from either side. The replaceable friction hinges hold open to reduce touches during picking, and a magnetic closure helps the tote stay closed for energy conservation. Last, the entire lid can be removed for maximum convenience and efficiency.
Connected Services: The ACT 2000 has built-in IoT connectivity that powers a dashboard that can show the temperature history, energy consumption and other metrics, ensuring the highest product quality and maximum operational efficiency.
Accessories: Experience with commercial installations has demonstrated that grocers are asking for a comprehensive cold chain solution. The ACT 2000 will include a family of Tote accessories: mobile-powered carts for optimized picking, staging and curbside pickup, vertically powered storage racks to minimize storage footprint, and integration into robotics automation.
Phononic currently has over 20 commercial installations, including grocers from the top 10 U.S. grocery retailers and the leading automation partners for Micro Fulfillment Centers (MFCs), and plans to expand globally.
For more information on the ACT 2000 solution, please visit: Gen 2 Tote Product