Hillphoenix at a Glance
More than 130 years of fresh thinking and responsible solutions for retail and industrial refrigeration
The Hillphoenix AMS Group shows customers how to cut operational expenses and boost the bottom line with energy-saving products and services that improve the store environment, optimize performance and increase profitability. From incentives and rebates to recommissioning, the AMS Group helps customers identify opportunities to save energy and improve the retail shopping experience.
Innovation & Performance
In the world of retail and industrial refrigeration, one name is synonymous with innovation — Hillphoenix. Our designers and engineers lead with solutions to the industry’s most challenging issues.
Design Services Consulting and Education
The Hillphoenix Design Center is a collaborative workspace and showroom where Hillphoenix design professionals work with food industry retailers and experts from around the world to bring ideas to life. Explore every aspect of food retailing from operations to merchandising to store technologies. Our Design Center experts are eager to share what’s new in store design, lighting, departmental programs, merchandising display design and energy efficiency.
The Hillphoenix industrial refrigeration team offers an extensive line of products and services for specialized applications including cold storage, food processing, biopharma and ice rinks. Our dedicated industrial refrigeration team designs, engineers, and manufactures custom systems to meet critical process requirements.
A Legacy of Innovation
The origin of Hillphoenix dates back to 1887, when C.V. Hill, a New Jersey grocer, dissatisfied with the coolers currently available to him both with regard to price and performance, decides to build his own. Because Mr. Hill “dislikes lifting out the heavy butter and lard tubs stored in the coolers”, he invents a butter slide which comes out automatically when the cooler door is opened. This is the first of many patents the company will own as new ideas are initiated over the decades that follow. A neighboring grocer hears of the unit, and when he sees it, buys it on the spot. Mr. Hill sells another cooler and then decides to go into the cooler manufacturing business, as he says, “for a few years,” then return to the grocery store. He starts a new company and names it, C. V. Hill Refrigerator Works. He never returns to the grocery business deciding instead to focus on developing better ways for grocers to display perishable products. Not only is a company born but so is an industry.
Mr. Hill learns about refrigeration and air circulation on the first two coolers he builds, and in 1889, he establishes his first factory. He builds two more refrigerators and shows them at the first Trenton State Fair. Although he enjoys the fair, he does not sell any products. In March of 1890, he sells two refrigerators at $115.00 each. He also invents the first baffle and bunker system for ice-refrigerated coolers. This “puts him on the map in Trenton.”
By 1896, Hill Refrigerator Works moves to a larger facility in Trenton, N.J., and begins to receive orders from the government and steamship operators as well as from grocers. As the turn of the century arrives, Mr. Hill starts developing refrigerated show cases, and in 1905, introduces the first Hill refrigerated show case. As he continues to develop show case concepts, he is particularly focused on developing the first refrigerated display case for fresh meat. Around 1909, utilizing the growing availability of the electric motor and ammonia as the refrigerant, Mr. Hill begins to make a name for himself as grocers up and down the Eastern Seaboard want to buy his meat cases for their stores. Hill Refrigeration Company is born.
During the 1950s, Hill dramatically expands its manufacturing capabilities to meet the requirements of the many new “supermarkets” that are being built for the ex-soldiers and their families who are moving in huge numbers to the suburbs. In 1953, Hill becomes the first manufacturer to offer grocers the option to add color to their display cases. The introduction of “Color Blend” styling leads a design transformation in an industry that previously only offered one color — white.
The “Color Blend” trend that began in 1953 culminates with the 1967 introduction of the Vista line of medium-temperature cases. The Vista line offers a departure from the traditional white boxes by expanding the range of available colors and sporting sleek, streamlined styling.
In 1977, Georgia entrepreneur, Grant Brown, recognizes a neglected niche in the market for custom refrigeration systems and starts Engineered Supermarket Products (ESP). Immediately, ESP introduces the first uneven parallel system and begins to establish a leadership position in the refrigeration systems market.
In 1980, ESP is sold and ultimately becomes the company known today as Emerson CPC Controls. That same year Grant Brown forms a new company, names it Engineered Refrigeration Systems (ERS), and continues to expand his presence in the custom refrigeration systems business.
In January of 1997, a team of 40 Hillphoenix associates meets over a long weekend and develops a statement of purpose that defines the Hillphoenix commitment to achieve a leadership position in the industry through the delivery of excellence to customers. This call to action continues to clearly communicate the company’s ideals and goals, providing every Hillphoenix associate with the focus and direction needed to provide answers that help our customers be successful. It is in fact a rededication to the principles that C.V. Hill and Grant Brown were dedicated to when they started the respective businesses that became Hillphoenix.
The Hillphoenix Statement of Purpose
- We will lead the markets we serve with innovative products, solutions and technical advances in a relentless pursuit to exceed customer expectations.
- We will create a culture that promotes teamwork, integrity and respect for our customers, our suppliers and ourselves.
- We are intolerant of mediocrity and dedicated to continuous improvement as a way of life.
- As a result, Hillphoenix will enhance the success of our customers, the return to our shareholders, and the satisfaction of our employees.
Also, in 1997, Electrical Distribution Systems (EDS), a Dover Diversified Company, manufacturer of electrical distribution systems that was originally started by Grant Brown during the Phoenix Refrigeration years, is merged back into Hillphoenix. EDS, located in Covington, Ga., becomes the Power Systems Division of Hillphoenix. Power Systems designs and manufactures pre-assembled, pre-wired electrical distribution products, including PowerCenter®, PowerPlus, Power On, and Power Flow, industrial enclosures and solar equipment.
At the 2003 May FMI Show, the introduction of the new ORIGIN2 display case technologies, including the industry’s first six-door reach-in display case and a focus on efficiency in system and display case design and performance, provides customers with answers to energy cost concerns. Hillphoenix introduces “The People Factor Makes the Difference”, a campaign that celebrates the impact that the people and the culture that make up Hillphoenix have in providing daily examples of Hillphoenix’ s century-long commitment to providing specific answers to customer challenges.
In 2004, Hillphoenix introduces the industry’s first true 5-deck rear load fresh meat case, the O5MR, and its companion O5M front-load model. A key feature is a patented articulating shelf design that provides supreme product integrity and striking display opportunities.
In 2005, a team is formed and a charter created that leads to an intense focus on the development of the industry’s most extensive product and process training program. The Hillphoenix Learning Center is launched in June of 2006. President Ray Hoglund says at the time, “Throughout Hillphoenix, we believe we can only provide the individual answers that help improve the profitability of our customers by supporting our sales force and customers with top quality training. I am pleased to announce the opening of The Hillphoenix Learning Center. We have made a very significant investment in the development of distinctive product training programs, increased our training staff and renovated our facilities in order to provide the best possible product training experience using state-of-the-art technology. I invite you to learn about Hillphoenix Answers — people, products and technology working together for a brighter future.”
In 2006, as environmental concerns move to the forefront of the industry’s focus, Hillphoenix Refrigeration Systems Division begins redesign work on the distributed systems offering that was first introduced in 1984. The ParaTemp® and WeatherPac® system designs are updated and the industry’s most complete and efficient indoor distributed system, InviroPac™, is introduced. Also, in 2006, the company’s Refrigeration Systems Division installs the first test stores utilizing CO2 as a secondary fluid at sites in Montpelier, Virginia and Savannah, Georgia.
In 2007, Hillphoenix becomes the first refrigeration equipment manufacturer to join the U.S. EPA’s GreenChill Refrigeration Partnership program. As a charter member, Hillphoenix is instrumental in helping the EPA work together for the first time with supermarket retailers to develop this partnership program designed to advance the deployment of sustainable refrigeration technologies. That same year, Hillphoenix releases its first Sustainability Report, the first from a refrigeration manufacturer. There is no doubt that at this time, Hillphoenix leads the way in the commitment to and development of sustainable technologies for its customers.
Also, in 2007, two distinguishable energy-saving technologies are introduced by Hillphoenix. The company starts extensive field testing of SmartValve®, a patented superheat management system designed to help customers ensure that display case superheat is maintained at a pre-set condition eliminating adjustments that are typically required to maintain optimum efficiency. And Climate Keeper™, a proprietary air distribution system, is introduced during the FMI Energy Conference.
2008 brings the first test site utilizing a new Hillphoenix Second Nature CO2 Cascade system design. Installed at a Price Chopper location in New York, this design provides yet another example of Hillphoenix’ s commitment to work together with its customers to continue moving the technology envelope forward in an effort to help them implement their sustainability plans. Also, in 2008, Hillphoenix works with Food Lion to install the first full store test site utilizing Second Nature glycol medium-temp systems and CO2 secondary coolant low-temp systems. And, in 2009, Hillphoenix receives two awards from the U.S. EPA; an Ozone Layer Protection Award and the 2008-2009 GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Award.
In 2009, Hillphoenix completes two key acquisitions. In May, the company acquires key assets of Tyler Refrigeration and the opportunity to welcome many key dealers from the Tyler Dealer Network to the Hillphoenix Dealer Group. As a result, the Hillphoenix Dealer Network immediately becomes the largest of any manufacturer, servicing the needs of customers in the U.S. and Canada. And, in November, Hillphoenix acquires Barker Company of Keosauqua, Iowa creating Specialty Products by Hillphoenix. Both acquisitions help deliver strategic initiatives directed at helping food retailers sell more products, more profitably and more responsibly, driving significant growth with existing and new customers.
This year (2009) also sees the introduction of Hillphoenix’ s proprietary Clearvoyant® LED lighting system, designed specifically for use in Hillphoenix display cases. And Hillphoenix becomes the first manufacturer to receive SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy) approval from the U.S. EPA to use CO2 as a replacement for HCFCs in retail refrigeration. When the announcement is made, Drusill Hufford, the director of the EPA’s Stratospheric Protection Division says, “I am glad to see Hillphoenix’ s continued leadership in the supermarket industry in providing options that protect the ozone layer and significantly reduce impacts on the climate.”
In 2010, Hillphoenix expands its Second Nature CO2 technology offering announcing the availability of its industry-leading Second Nature Low Temperature Direct Expansion Cascade system. And at the FMI Show, Hillphoenix introduces the availability of its Synerg-E™ display case technology, the most energy-efficient case technology available in the marketplace.
In December of 2010, the Champlain Valley Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in Burlington, VT, presents Hillphoenix with its first Research Promotion Award, recognizing the Hillphoenix Learning Center for its leadership and commitment to training for the commercial refrigeration/supermarket industries.
In 2011, Hillphoenix helps Sprouts Farmers Market become the third U. S. retailer to achieve Platinum GreenChill status with the installation of the new Hillphoenix Second Nature CO2 Cascade System for both low- and medium-temperature applications. Hillphoenix is the manufacturer as of this point in time that has been able to help customers achieve the Platinum certification level.
Hillphoenix saw the opportunity to help translate a store’s vision into a tangible asset and, in 2013, launched the Hillphoenix Design Center. The Design Center provides design services, lighting consultation, food safety initiatives, departmental programs and training. This service, along with the Learning Center, provides a value-added benefit that other companies are not offering.
In June 2014, Hillphoenix continued to support businesses with their sustainability efforts and installed its first warm climate CO2 Booster System in the southeastern United States at Sprouts Farmers Market in Dunwoody, Georgia. That same year, Hillphoenix President and CEO, Paul Sindoni, joins business leaders to meet with White House officials at an Industry Roundtable to discuss steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency for the supermarket industry.
The new headquarters building was also completed in the Summer of 2014 with a state-of-the-art Ideation Center, Design and Learning Centers. The new facility also put a majority of systems production under one roof after previously having it in 2 separate facilities.
The year 2015 sees Hillphoenix skating into ice rinks with the first CO2 ice rink in the United States installed at the Harry J. McDonald Center in Anchorage, Alaska. This opportunity forged a partnership with the Anchorage Parks and Recreation department and three additional ice rinks will be getting a CO2 upgrade which includes the Sullivan Arena, home of the professional ice hockey team, the Alaska Aces.