Integrated Refrigeration Line
Viking Range needed a new refrigerator platform to achieve a best-in-class product line that met stringent energy standards, offered superior technology for fresh preservation, provided the largest internal volumes in its class and met rigorous manufacturing and quality requirements.
We worked as an extension of Viking’s engineering team to create a new product line from a clean sheet of paper.
The development effort combined our expertise in refrigeration technology, mechanical design, heat transfer modeling, manufacturing implementation, structural analysis, articulated hinge design, as well as system and project management.
At the basis of the design was sheet metal and skeleton structure designed to hold dimensional tolerances though the foaming process, control racking, and maintain hole locations for ease of assembly and manufacturing quality.
Refrigerator wall/insulation thickness was defined using energy modeling to minimize heat loss while achieving the largest internal volume in its class. This design optimization was achieved through detailed energy analysis of both the heat loss through the cabinet and gaskets, and the energy efficiency of the refrigeration system. We developed, validated and calibrated the energy models though testing of commercial refrigerators and early product prototypes. The energy modeling approach allowed the team to compress schedule by ordering the high cost, long lead time foam tools before the products were fully prototyped and tested. The analysis work also shortened the development cycles on evaporator and compressor/condenser as the specifications for the components were established up front.
A critical feature of the new integrated refrigeration platform was an articulated hinge designed to survive 300,000 swings under over-loaded conditions. The development work involved extensive finite element analysis, door swing dynamics testing, stress/strain measurement, material science analysis to specify materials and surface finishes, and dimensional and tolerance analysis of the hinge assembly attachment to the cabinet and door.
The project involved extensive testing of the refrigeration cycle in order to establish the appropriate refrigeration charge and compressor speeds to achieve refrigeration specifications, such as pull-down time, temperature uniformity, and energy use.
Primaira developed and applied the novel Bluezone® fresh preservation technology into the Viking refrigerator to achieve the highest achievable levels of freshness. The Bluezone technology cleans the air in the refrigerator of ethylene, a naturally occurring gas from fruits that causes other produce to ripen more rapidly and spoil prematurely. The Bluezone air cleaning system also removes odors and eliminates flavor transfer among foods in the fridge. Finally, Bluezone kills molds, bacteria and virus than cause food spoilage.
For more product information visit: https://www.vikingrange.com/consumer/product/products/refrigeration/built-in-refrigeration/7-series-built-in-refrigerator-freezers/viking-professional/36–fully-integrated-bottom-freezer-refrigerator—vbi7360w