Energy losses and, therefore, high costs are an all-too-common occurrence in the refrigeration and frozen goods sector. Thousands of euros' worth of energy are lost every day. That's during loading and unloading, as well as the opening and closing of indoor cold stores. That's shameful and entirely unnecessary.
So think the folks at Rite-Hite GmbH in Volkmarsen, Germany. This is an international supplier and expert in the field of advanced refrigeration solutions. The company is already a well-known player in many sectors. But, it also sees a lot of potential within the fruit and vegetable sector. So says product manager Gerwin Jansen.
Rite-Hite GmbH's Eqlipse system in daily use.
Rite-Hite GmbH's products are used in numerous retail DCs. "Instead of single solutions, we aim for a total system. It can be used for an efficient, cost-saving cold chain. We not only have the well-known solutions for the loading bay and doorways. We also offer many advanced solutions for refrigeration and freezer halls," explains Gerwin.
Rite-Hite GmbH is based in Germany. But they have a production facility in Poland. The company has service offices in various European countries too. Despite the coronavirus outbreak, there's currently no shortage of investment in the field of cold storage.
"On the contrary, there's a greater demand for longer shelf-life products, such as frozen products. So, these types of distribution centers' capacity must be increased. That means there's a lot of movement in our market segment at the moment."
ISO loading dock
Cooling doors: saving energy during refrigeration
The innovative company sees potential for two of its products, in particular, within the food industry. They use these in two of their types of systems. Firstly, there's the FasTrax FRLD variety. The refrigeration and frozen goods sector use this system. Then, there's the BarrierGlider for the frozen goods sector.
Most cooling doors are still manufactured from heavy steel panels. These cumbersome doors have a disadvantage. They open and shut quite slowly. As a result, considerable amounts of energy are lost every time someone uses them. "We, therefore, opted for a lighter panel. It made mainly from PVC," says Gerwin.
The FasTrax cooling door system.
The foodstuff sector distribution centers are often run in shifts. So, the doors are used a lot. "The light material means our doors don't insulate as well as the steel ones. However, this is amply recouped by the high opening and closing speeds," says Jansen.
"That saves a lot of energy during frequent opening and closing. This requires a different way of thinking on the client's part. But, our solution will be profitable within two to three years. We can substantiate with figures."
Sealed hinge openings: Less risk of loss
Rite Hite GmbH not only supplies the, now approved, cooling doors. They also have dock shelters that seal trucks' hinge openings. "Before, when trucks docked, ample space had to be left between the back of the vehicle and the loading dock."
BarrierGlider is an advanced cooling door system for the frozen goods sector.
The Eqlipse system uses a plastic hook. It automatically seals the trucks' hinge openings (0.25 m2 on average) on both sides. "First of all, no energy is lost during the loading/unloading process. But there's also less risk of loss. That could be because of external factors - either vermin or moisture - affecting the loads' quality. That's essential, for example, in large fruit and vegetable refrigeration halls or at wholesale markets," concludes Gerwin.