Tag Archives for " blast chiller "

Why should I run a manual defrost?

  • September 23, 2019 /

Why does ice-build up?

Even at set points which are at an ambient temperature, in order to keep temperature regulated and controlled, the temperature at the evaporator is likely to be much colder.

Water particles are present in the air, and so the amount of water present in the unit increases with every door opening. This water when mixed with cold air then creates ice build-up on the units. If there are more door openings then ice is more likely to build up, therefore you are likely to need to run a defrost or tempering cycle more often.

Frozen evaporator coil

How does ice affect the running of the unit?

Ice puts all components in the unit under more pressure and reduces cooling and operational efficiency. Due to the way ice forms, excessive build up can crush the evaporator coil. This means the unit is likely to breakdown, and can cause costly repairs, as well as leading to significant operational down-time.

What should I look out for? How do I look for it?

Although it seems obvious, look for any signs of ice on the unit. The most important places to check are the evaporator coil, this is inside the unit where the cold air comes from. In Blast Freezers this may be above a false ceiling, so please ensure that you use appropriate health and safety procedures to check this area, and don’t cause damage to the false ceiling. Ice can also build up on the floor, or walls of the unit, so ensure you check these areas also.

What should I do to solve the issue?

All of our units run an automatic defrost in their running cycle, however, these automatic defrosts are stopped when doors are opened. If interrupted the efficiency of the automatic defrosts are significantly reduced. This re-concurrence of interruptions over a period of time will eventually render the automatic defrost less efficient. Our units additionally come with manual defrost or tempering cycles which are able to be activated in order to remove this ice-build up.

If any ice is detected then you need to run additional manual defrost or tempering cycles.

Ensure that after the cycle all ice has melted, and the water has completely cleared from the drains. Depending on the amount of ice build-up, it may be necessary to run more than one additional manual defrost or temper for longer in order to clear all the ice and ensure all water has drained away. For very excessive ice, empty the unit and run at at least 8oc and ensure all water drains away.  If all ice and water hasn’t cleared then by running the unit again you are more likely to rebuild ice up again quicker.

We recommend that clients get to know their units, understanding when automatic defrost are run and how long they run for. Keeping a chart on the wall can lend a hand to ensuring that during automatic defrosts the doors aren’t opened. We would also recommend that units are cleared out and a full manual defrost s run once a month.

If you have any further questions then please don’t hesitate to contact the Blue Cube Service Department on 0333 320 2620

Daloon thrives from solution driven partnership with Blue Cube

  • August 27, 2019 /

When frozen food producer, Daloon, needed to update their cold storage needs, they were considering numerous companies, and at this time received a call from Blue Cube Portable Cold Stores (PCS) introducing their services.

Lisa, UK Sales manager, explains, “I met with Andy from Daloon and he explained they were looking for a facility to increase capacity and ease product movement on site.

"They were facing challenges with working at heights, and so it was vital to find a solution which resolved this. We’re very transparent as a company and try to work in partnership with our clients rather as suppliers, and so we gave our best cost-effective price on first quotation for a solution that worked for Daloon.”

The cooperative working relationship was a key driver of the decision making process according to Andy Reed, GoodLife Foods Interim Engineering Manager, “I’ve been really happy with how Blue Cube have worked with us to find a solution that fit our business needs. We found the process very straightforward and customer friendly.

“The speed that Blue Cube work at really sets them apart from their competitors. They focused on finding a solution to our particular needs which was cost-effective, and their customer service throughout the entire process was excellent. The relationship with UK Sales Manager, Lisa, has been spot on. Everything I asked of her she delivered on, I couldn’t fault the whole process.

“The units arrived on time and we were given plenty of information to get the best use out of them. I couldn’t fault the service from beginning to end. I’d use Blue Cube again without a shadow of a doubt.”

Keep your unit running smoothly this summer

  • July 22, 2019 /

​With a summer scorcher predicted, ​and temperatures in the 30s expected, your unit will be under increased pressure to maintain and reduce temperatures. To avoid potentially costly call-outs follow Blue Cube's summer tips below: 

  • ​Check condenser coils at the back of the unit aren't blocked or dirty. This may prevent enough air being circulated around the unit causing parts to overheat and not work to their optimum performance.
  • ​Check there is no ice build up on the evaporator inside the unit. The area in which cold air is circulated into the unit can become built up with ice, which becomes a blockage to the cold air circulating keeping products cold. Running regular defrosts, and ensuring that any water is draining freely, will help to reduce any ice building up in your unit.
  • ​Make sure to try and reduce door opening as much as possible. Doors openings allows warm external air to enter, meaning the unit has to work harder to cool more air. Although some door openings can't be avoided to add and remove stock, try and keep these to a minimum in warm weather.
  • ​Ensure strip curtains provided ​are still in place. Although they can seem like a pain to work around, strip curtains are vital in helping to retain cool air within the unit during door openings. They also go some way to blocking warm air from entering the unit.
  • In warmer weather it's especially important to make sure ​you follow the 'Daily Operation Checks'. These are provided to you when you first receive the unit, and many of our units have them written on them with stickers. But if you would like this sent to you then please don't hesitate to contact us.

​​For any further advice about how to prepare for the warm weather please don't hesitate to contact our ​Service Department on 0333 3202 620.​

Vegan product and meat producer brought together with new production facility

  • July 12, 2019 /

When a vegan mince producer’s demand meant they needed to expand their production facility, the last place you would expect they would look would be a meat producer. But this is exactly what Jay Croslegh from Hooba Foods did, by contacting Holmesterne Farm Co Limited, who have more than 25 years of butchery based production knowledge.

Jay, explains, “Hooba Foods started as a small project but we very quickly outgrew our production facility with interest from the food service industry initially. There’s a lot of demand in the market now for vegan products, it’s a growing trend and it’s going to keep growing; so we’ve decided to outsource manufacturing.

“Hooba is effectively a vegan mince, so can be used in all the same ways a traditional meat mince can be. It made sense to link with a meat producer as they have the skill set to make meat products like burgers and sausage”.

Although to some it may have seemed an unusual move to seek out a meat producer, Jay feels it was a logical step. He continues, “Our ethos isn’t to say you can’t eat meat. The meat-free market is rapidly growing, but the majority of consumers are still meat eaters, so it’s a small part of the market compared to meat eaters.

“Our main audience are actually meat eaters, because we can offer similar products like sausages and burgers. If you want to just lose a bit of weight, our sausages have less than half the calories of standard sausage, so there’s health and environmental reasons for making some alternative options.

“We’d rather educate about the benefits of a plant based diet rather than opposing ourselves to a large meat eating population and this trend is growing.

 “We met the team at Holmesterne a year ago. They’d seen the start of this movement for less meat and understood it, and understood the potential in it, as a meat manufacturer they could either ignore it, or embrace it.

 “One of the things we had to be very conscious of, when getting involved with a meat manufacturer, is making sure there’s no danger of there being a cross contamination of meat getting into our product.”

This was the challenge for Mark Breeze, Head of Technical at Holmesterne, who, as part of taking on a new product line, needed to try and integrate a new separate production line to their site.

“We’re a compact site and so then had to find a design solution for our current set-up that allowed for the both operations to run smoothly. We’ve worked in meat for years, but saw the trend towards meat-reduced diets and when the opportunity came up to work with Hooba Foods to create meat-free items, we knew it was a great opportunity to widen our offering but still using our expert set of skills.

“It was obvious that we needed additional Cold Storage and Blast Freezing facilities, but it was a brand new product range for us, and held a risk in taking a large financial commitment upfront.

“So we decided to work with Blue Cube PCS to design and provide a solution that worked for us. Blue Cube had already offered us great products, efficiency savings, and service for our meat products, so why would we not approach them again? This meant we could have a completely bespoke solution which was able to be on a rental basis, so meant we avoided the same levels of financial risk.

“It was imperative to have separate solutions for meat and non-meat products whilst still ensuring we’re being as efficient as possible with the challenge of staying within our current site. Lisa at Blue Cube PCS worked with us to design an innovative solution for our needs.”

Lisa Rowbotham, UK Sales Manager at Blue Cube PCS, has 10 years of experience within the cold storage and blast freezing industry, and so immediately started thinking of an innovative design which would meet both customers’ needs.

She explains, “The most important thing was to make sure the solution was going to provide complete segregation from both meat and meat free products. We created and built a tailor-made design which meant workers had a separate changing area, production line, and blanch room. In addition, at the single loading bay area we designed a door which seals each section off from one another when it’s moved.”

“Our units now help throughout the entire production line, from keeping the raw materials cool in composition to blast freezing the end product.

“Our fully linked integrated units look as though they’ve always been there, as they join the main building, effectively doubling their existing production facility. We are very pleased we have been able to design and deliver such a great solution for Holmesterne and Hooba Foods.”

The new facility has now meant the future is looking very positive for Holmesterne and Hooba Foods.

Jay from Hooba Foods continues, “With the use of the expanded production facility and added expertise, we’re looking at a whole range of products now. We do a sausage roll, we’ve presented vegan pork pies, and we’re even looking at vegan scotch eggs. The versatility of this product means that with Holmesterne’s support anything that is mince based we can replicate.

“This summer we’re going to have BBQ products, alongside burgers and sausages, including hot dogs, grilled steaks, kebabs. We’re even looking at diced chicken replacement, or diced beef or pork replacements. We’ve also been approached by a large pizza manufacturer to make a pizza topping.

“There is a drive in the market for these types of products, and so if we can work with the likes of Blue Cube to facilitate the right production solutions, and Holmesterne to develop products to match what the customer wants, utilising the skill sets from the meat industry, it’s something we can do together and drive forward. Together we make a very effective partnership.”

For more information on how Blue Cube PCS could find the right solution for your business please contact info@bluecubepcs.co.uk, or call 0333 3202620.

KEEP YOUR COLD STORE….COLD

  • June 26, 2018 /

With the UK in the midst of a fantastic heatwave we’ve got a few pointers to keep your cold store at the right temperature.

It was the hottest day of the year in the UK last week and temperatures are expected to remain in the high twenties.  It’s great weather for a barbeque but not so good for portable cold stores or blast units sitting out in the sun.

All our units are fitted with PVC strip curtains.  These are across the door aperture to create an effective barrier against the warm air outside.  This allows the user to regulate the temperature more effectively.

You can see temperature spikes every time a cold store or blast unit door is opened.  This can be massively improved by using PVC strip curtains and ensuring they are covering the entire door aperture.  Especially during loading and unloading product.

As well as keeping your unit cold, air curtains can greatly reduce energy loss by keeping the cold air in and the warm air out.  This will effectively reduce operating costs as the unit won’t be working so hard.

The lack of rain and warm weather also brings more insects and dust.  So as well as keeping the cold in, PVC strip curtains have the added benefit of keeping the dust and little critters out!  This in turn can avoid product losses through contamination.

So, to keep your cold store cold make sure daily checks are carried out;

  • Check all PVC strip curtains are fitted & covering the door width. If they have been removed please get in touch with us to order replacements,
  • Keep the doors closed whenever possible using the shoot bolts to secure the doors,
  • Check the temperature set-point is correctly set for its operation,
  • Periodically check the running temperature is within 2°C of the set-point,
  • Check there are no obstructions to the condenser,
  • Minimise door openings and make sure doors are not left open for any longer than necessary.  Ideally no more than a maximum of 15 minutes in an hour.

For more information on how to reduce heat gain for cold stores this handy guide from the Carbon Trust highlights a few options > https://www.carbontrust.com/media/147201/j7981_ctl137_reduce_heat_gain_aw.pdf

If you experience any issues with your unit during this warm weather please call the service department on 01785 221721.