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Blue Cube Coronavirus update - 17 March 2020

Coronavirus update – 17 March 2020

  • March 17, 2020 /

We want to reassure our customers that with the latest updates from the government, Blue Cube IT systems are set up on a cloud based system meaning that during this changing situation the team are able to work from home to provide account management and service support if needed. Our engineers are currently still out on the road able to attend breakdowns, and we also work with a network of trusted suppliers and contractors who we are receiving regular updates from.

Each site that our engineers attend will have their own systems in place, and we will work with your requirements. Please ensure that you communicate any changes of protocol to the service team as soon as possible so they can let our engineers know before they arrive to site.

As usual, the team can be contacted on 0333 3202620.

The Cold Store Conundrum

  • April 15, 2019 /
Portable cold stores: An opportunity for brewers

There’s no point in creating a great beer if cold storage, or rather the lack of it, will prove detrimental to your product. For those where reliable cellaring is a challenge along the supply chain, their site doesn’t allow it, or can’t justify large upfront financial investment, portable cold storage may be the solution, explains Lisa Rowbotham, Head of UK Sales at Blue Cube Portable Cold Stores (PCS).

It is widely reported that the enemies of beer are time, oxygen, light, and heat. Numerous solutions and precautions are in place to ensure time optimisation, oxygen prevention, and light protection, but consistent heat regulation can often be overlooked.

To keep beer as close to brewery fresh as possible, heat needs to be controlled throughout the cold chain until it reaches the consumer. Studies have found that beer which is kept at a consistent cold temperature has significantly less degradation than those kept at higher temperatures, or those which fluctuate from warm back to a cold temperature.

Most beer deteriorates from the moment it leaves the brewery; heat accelerates chemical reactions causing beers to have the unsatisfactory ‘cardboard’ like taste. Many statistics are quoted, but in general a beer stored at 37oC for one week tastes as old as a beer stored at 21oC for two months, or as old as a beer stored at 4oC for one year.

Finding a suitable solution for your business is key. Traditional cellaring can be difficult to regulate, and isn’t always a possibility on every brewery site. Brewing has seen a huge influx of new productions, which is fantastic, but finding suitable sites can be a challenge, but one option could be portable cold stores. Despite being called ‘cold stores’ they are able to provide regulated temperature control from -26oC to +26oC, and allow greater flexibility to businesses.

It may seem simple, but finding the right solution for your business should always be top priority. Every business and every site is slightly different. Whether you’re looking for a small, space saving option to fit into a confined site, or a large temperature regulated storage facility, options will be available to you.

Units are available as small as 10 accessible pallets, or linked units to allow hundreds of pallet units. We’re also able to offer tailor-made designs, which for some businesses is vital, in order to link to current facilities, for use internal or external.

The rental option

Building your own cold storage facility, or increasing your current size, can often take significant upfront financial inputs, as well as the implications of planning permission. However, investigating renting can often provide a flexible solution. There is no minimum hire term, contracts can be as flexible as you need them to be.

Both our standard sizes and tailor-made builds are available on rental terms, so can provide bespoke solutions without the large financial inputs. “Rental also ensures a high quality product, along with the security of knowing that all service and breakdowns are covered. We offer 24 hour, 365 day support which many of our customers find the most reassuring element of their decision making.

Within the cold storage industry different options are available from portable and non-portable cold stores to containers. Make sure you consider the cost of temperature control per pallet of goods, as those offering cheaper deals may not provide the best value for money.

You also need to consider the energy efficiency of units, as your energy consumption will be impacted. It’s important to find a company that will consider all the different ways it will impact your business to find the best solution for you.

It’s important to find suppliers who will support your business needs now, but also think about where you’re heading and provide you with options that will facilitate your plans for growth. Making your beer is a passion, so its key to find a supplier who supports your passion by giving you the best knowledge and support available.

Don’t take cold storage for granted

Just like any well brewed beer, cold storage units need care and consideration. Just like your fridge at home, the doors need to be left open as little as possible; to help reduce heat loss, all good suppliers will supply air curtains. Make sure the unit isn’t loaded above the load line. Check for debris blocking airflow such as shrink wrap or packaging labels.

Ice can build up on the evaporators which can have huge efficiency impacts, so once any ice is visible on the evaporators then run a defrost cycle, defrosts need to be run no less than once a day.

Making the most efficient use of your units is key to improving efficiency, which is why we provide training on delivery for all users.

Regulation changes

Many refrigerants and air-conditioning (RAC) systems used in the food and drink manufacturing sector use HFC refrigerants. The most common of these are R-404A, R-134a, and R-410A, which all have a high global warming potential (GWP).

Regulations have been implemented in 2014, 2016, and 2018 to reduce the use of these gases, which has had a significant impact on the food and drink industry. The industry is now working towards January 2020 where there will be a ban on using virgin HFCs to service refrigeration equipment that uses a refrigerant with a GWP about 2500. We’re lucky in that we have always had a programme of reinvestments and are highly conscious of our environmental impact so have kept ahead of regulation changes in our new highly efficient units, but it could catch some out and should be a significant consideration for business owners.

Overall, for those where reliable cellaring is a challenge along the supply chain, their site doesn’t allow for it, or can’t justify large upfront financial investment, portable cold storage may be the solution to ensuing highest possible quality for your beer. With you working so hard to create a fantastic product, this may provide a great solution to ensure your hard work isn’t lost.

COLD STORES – PERFECTLY TAILORED FOR YOUR BUSINESS

  • February 22, 2018 /

Rental portable cold stores are a cost effective solution where a food or logistics business has reached maximum capacity for existing products or wish to trial new product lines but simply don’t have the available storage space.

They can be delivered and moved anywhere that the business requires which is especially beneficial when they have too much inventory, have a special promotion or decide to move premises.

Designed for use across a broad range of industries, cold stores offer the ultimate temperature and size-based solutions for food and logistics businesses. Choose from wide-body formats and standard to high roof options. Built for internal or external use, cold stores can sit on the ground or be elevated to meet an existing loading dock.

Flexibility is key so today’s cold stores can provide additional production and storage space or fill unused and odd-shaped areas. Designed to help further enhance the workflow of a business and improve operating efficiencies, cold stores can be used on a standalone basis, linked together to create a much larger footprint or attached to a building.

The latest portable cold stores offer the next generation of refrigeration systems with extremely low running costs and temperature ranges from +26° to -26°.

Today’s cold stores offer significant efficiency and convenience benefits. Long term rental contracts are not a requirement and they can be leased for as long as necessary rather than buying a static unit outright.

 

Blue Cube’s portable cold stores offer a range of advanced features including innovative LED lighting which is fitted in the ceiling coving and provides 300 lux of light. This complies with the official level for picking operations and does not limit the cold store to storage applications only.

Each unit is fitted with impact step protectors, lockable doors and locking door bars as standard. Emergency lighting, externally mounted audible and visible man trap and temperature alarms provide all the necessary safety features. Optional extras include side doors, ramps, dock level platforms and racking.

Blue Cube’s national technical support department offer tailored support packages on a 24/7, 365 days a year basis.

Blue Cube’s portable cold stores offer:

  • 14/22/31/37 pallet options
  • Latest generation fridges ensures low running costs
  • Thermally efficient panels ensures good temperature retention
  • Ground based or elevated solutions
  • 3G dial in for remote temperature data
  • Dual temperature configuration option
  • Can be linked to create a larger floor plan
  • 365 day 24/7 nationwide support

So, whether a standard, fixed size temperature controlled storage solution or something ‘perfectly tailored’ is required, there is a portable cold store for every type of food or logistics business.

 

ENDS

ICE IS THE ENEMY

  • November 30, 2017 /

Ice is the number one enemy of portable temperature controlled storage solutions. It can significantly impact the efficiency and cooling capacity of cold stores. Ice is typically caused when warmer moist air enters the unit and comes into contact with cold surfaces. The water vapour in the air then turns into condensation and freezes to form ice.

Even very thin layers of ice build-up on evaporator coils, floors, ceilings and other surfaces can cause major problems with cooling efficiency and ultimately lead to component failure.

The evaporator coil is important for maintaining the required temperature so any sign of frost needs to be addressed quickly to avoid long term damage and interruption to operation.

During warm weather with high humidity ice can build up on evaporators very quickly, especially during prolonged and frequent door opening or through incorrect use of the cold store

Ice on the floor and around entrances can also cause damage to the cold store or blast freezer body and be a health and safety hazard with an increased risk of slips and falls.

Below are some tips to help customers maintain the efficiency of their cold store or blast freezer and eliminate chargeable callouts caused by ice build-up.

  1. Opening and closing of the doors to a cold store or blast freezer is often unavoidable but try to minimise door openings and make sure doors are not left open for any longer than 15 minutes in any 60 minute period.

 

  1. Keep the plastic thermal curtains fitted at all times even during loading periods. It is important to remember that air can still be sucked into the cold store when the doors are closed.

 

  1. Manually defrost the unit at least once per day, more if needed.

 

  1. Clear up any ice on the cold store floor – don’t let it build into a mountain.

 

ENDS

BLOGSPOT

  • June 28, 2017 /

What a Blast!

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the nutritional and quality benefits of freshly frozen food products with a growing trend for healthier ready cooked meals. In fact, according to a report published last year by The British Frozen Food Federation (Frozen Food Report II), the UK frozen food market is worth a massive £8.13billion, and is set to continue expanding.

Due to natural bacteria growth occurring during the cooling process, all foods, once cooked, will start to deteriorate. Food spoilage is typically caused by microorganisms, chemicals and enzymes. To maintain food quality it is important to take control of humidity, time and temperature.

Freezing is the easiest, most convenient, and least time-consuming method of preserving foods. Super-fast freezing will help ensure that bacteria have minimal time to develop. Almost any food item can be frozen and by using the correct method, taste and appearance are maintained while nutritional goodness is preserved.

Portable Blast Freezers are ideal where a large amount of product needs to be frozen over a certain period of time or current storage capacity has been reached and you want to avoid the hassle or expense of outsourcing,

Portable Blast Freezers help to enhance business productivity by rapidly chilling or freezing fresh food products ready for safe transportation or storage. Available in all shapes, sizes and specifications, Blast Freezers are cost efficient and ensure ultimate control over quality and consistency.

Modern Blast Freezers can also be remotely controlled via an internet connection, enabling the user to monitor the unit’s performance and track temperature movements.

Options include sending automated alarms as a warning of potential issues both to the Blast Freezer supplier and the end user, as well as the customer in some cases. The unit will record all temperature parameter data automatically. All of this information can be displayed on a summary page of live data via an internet browser which list’s the unit’s current mode, temperatures and basic operating parameters.

Benefits of Blast Freezers – at a glance

  • Portable solutions meaning no planning permission is required
  • Renting helps overcome production/seasonal peaks
  • Various pallet capacities available
  • Latest energy efficient fridge units
  • End flow or cross flow options
  • Blast freeze, chill or temper
  • Large volumes of product frozen over a short period of time