A large bakery plant, with several freezer and chiller rooms using plastic strip doors to maintain the right temperature, can run into downtime and health and safety issues. This proved the case for Tyneside plant baker Greggs North East, which has 21 freezer and chill rooms.
Each door featured an overhead air curtain combined with several plastic strips. Yet these strip doors were easily damaged, due to the number of times they were opened and closed. In certain cases, some of the strips had been removed altogether for convenience.
As a result, downtime problems were occurring due to maintenance and cleaning, made necessary by the heat from the ovens in the bakery. And, in one of the larger freezer rooms, condensation was causing ice to form on the floor in the doorway, which extended into the room, posing a health and safety hazard.
Having read an article on Seymour Manufacturing International’s (SMI) Tempro Cold Stop insulated curtains, Greggs North East chief engineer Eddie Cartledge made contact with the Telford, shropshire-based firm. The worst doors in the plant were assessed and it was decided that SMI would supply and fit Cold Stop curtains to five freezer and chill rooms.
Top priority was the freezer running at –28ºC, where floor ice had accumulated. Since installation of the new curtains, the ice problem has been eliminated, claims SMI. Greggs has since decided to use Cold Stop’s curtains in all 21 freezer and chiller rooms.
Tempro Cold Stop’s thermal efficiency is claimed to reduce cold room energy consumption by enabling optimum settings on evaporator equipment to achieve the internal working temperature. Patented by SMI, the curtains’ Tempro technology is claimed to provide insulation that is far greater than on standard curtains.
Its energy reducing features qualify it for 100% tax relief under the government’s Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs) Scheme, which include delivery and installation costs. ECAs enable businesses to claim 100% tax relief in the first year of purchase of designated energy-saving plant and machinery.
The Cold Stop curtain panels come in standard 475mm widths and bespoke heights. Panels have deep, frost-clear windows, which SMI claims are light, easy to clean and flexible. Field trials, says the company, indicate that they last up to five to six times longer that PVC strip designs, offering substantial capital savings. SMI’s ‘cold lock’ system ensures the curtains fit neatly to the door head and floor.
Mr Cartledge says he anticipates energy savings in the future, as there was a noticeable reduction in refrigeration plant running times in the rooms where the plastic strips had been replaced. “We have disconnected the air curtains in those rooms too, which will cut energy consumption,” he says. “And, if our maintenance downtime is reduced, the curtains will pay for themselves in a short time.”