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J & E Hall chillers installed at food processing warehouse

Agrial Fresh Produce Ltd is a leading food processer of pre-packed salad and vegetable products which are transported across the UK. To cope with business growth the company has designed and built a new dispatch and storage area at its warehouse in Wigan, Greater Manchester. J & E Hall recommended that two separate refrigeration systems be installed on the 234m2 ground floor.

J & E Hall offers a unique range of services to help refrigerate, chill, store and freeze food products. This includes the supply of equipment and extends to design, engineering, supply, installation and commissioning. The company has wide experience of working with a range of different refrigerants including ammonia, CO2, hydrocarbons and HFCs.

Working closely with Agrial Fresh Produce, Rob Morris, J & E Hall Sales and Application Engineer for the north west, designed and installed the new chiller systems. He said: “Two systems were necessary because of the size of the chilled area on the ground floor.” 

Two J & E Hall DX expansion 35 kilowatt chiller packs have been installed to serve the ground floor chilling area. Each has a dual discharge system, independent temperature controls and a common power source. Both chiller systems run on the refrigerant R449A – a low GWP alternative to the much-used but high GWP R404A.

Neil Bradshaw was employed by Agrial Fresh Produce as its Facilities and Projects Manager while the warehouse was being redeveloped. He helped co-ordinate the work on the refrigeration systems with Rob Morris. He said that Agrial Fresh Produce wanted to bring the dispatch side of the business in-house at Wigan to improve efficiencies throughout the warehousing operation but could only do this by redeveloping the site. To achieve this a chilled area was created to handle the perishable produce but ambient storage facilities for less sensitive goods which already existed in the old warehouse had to be maintained.

Neil Bradshaw explained: “The site has been divided into two areas because of the different temperature requirements. A lift has been installed to transport products like bowls, trays and film on the mezzanine floor to the chilled floor below. A loading bay has also been built on the ground floor and powered pallet trucks are used to transfer the produce to the trailers in the loading bay.”

The new refrigeration systems introduced further savings to the warehousing operation. The chillers are able to revert to off-cycle defrosts to improve efficiencies by reducing load. This helps to maintain the integrity of the coils in the chillers and increases longevity.

Neil Bradshaw said that working with J & E Hall had also involved gathering key data on how the warehouse operated. He explained: “We had to look at the bigger picture. Obtaining the correct facts and figures on the volume of product coming into the warehouse, how often and at what temperature was key to the design of the chiller systems. Having an efficient chilling system is very important in a food processing operation. Keeping running costs to a minimum is key and the right chilling system makes a significant contribution to this. Agrial Fresh Produce are delighted with the outcome to the project.”

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