Global household brand manufacturing food & beverage
The customer is a well-known global brand and manufacturer of a variety of food and beverages.
The customer is a well-known global brand and manufacturer of a variety of food and beverages.
The site, consisting of four large manufacturing buildings, required a solution to provide spot cooling to the operator locations which are spread across each building adjacent to production lines.
Due to the heat loads generated within the factories and limitations on the ventilation due to the sites being adjacent to a populated area, the spaces maintained a very warm temperature throughout the year. During the summer, conditions for the staff were particularly uncomfortable with temperatures regularly at +28°C, and sometimes as high as 42°C. The emphasis was on the wellbeing, health and safety of the team operating within the factory to put an end to the high temperatures having an impact.
“I have had excellent communication with the company all through the project with regular meetings and team members regularly attending site.”
The nature of the problem allowed us to look at conditions relative to operator comfort. It became clear that each of the four buildings required a separate bespoke solution and air delivery system.
JD Cooling’s technological, practical and energy saving design has resulted in an effective solution that has reduced and maintained a much lower temperature.
There are a number of unique aspects to the new spot cooling system including:
The customer will now see 75-80% less energy usage over a year compared to a mechanical cooling solution.
“I have had excellent communication with the company all through the project with regular meetings and team members regularly attending site. The sub-Contractors used by JD Cooling have all been easy to work with and observed our site rules regarding PPE, access and the PTW system. Installing the air socks and ducting within the plants during production has been a challenge on both quality and logistical fronts but has been achieved with minimal disruption and downtime to production.
Any potential issues were dealt with quickly and effectively and small scope changes were discussed, agreed and finalised prior to installation. The project has run over on timescales slightly but this was our (The Customer) fault, caused by areas not being able to be released.
The system installed across four separate plants with totally independent systems performs to the agreed limits and will certainly deliver the required effect during hot weather. The system is as the name indicates to provide spot cooling for individual operatives that have in the past had to endure temperatures in excess of 30℃. The new systems deliver chilled air at a temperature of 5℃ to 8℃ below ambient.
All in all it has been a very satisfactory partnership between our company and JD Cooling and I would not hesitate to work with them again or recommend to future customers.”
G’s is one of Europe’s leading fresh produce companies supplying all sectors of the food industry. This ranges from own-label salads and vegetables for supermarket customers across Europe to G’s brand products for the independent wholesale, food service and food manufacturing sectors.
As part of the Covid-19 response and the research that good building ventilation reduces the risk of Covid-19 through airborne transmission, the customer approached JD Cooling to design and install an energy-efficient fresh-air ventilation system to meet guidelines.
“The project was led by the HVAC department of JD Cooling Group, delivered on time and within budget with the feedback from our staff being incredibly positive.”
A ventilation system that supplies fresh air to a number of office and meeting spaces providing a minimum of 10l/s per person.
The project installation included:
Fresh-air ventilation benefits
The system takes fresh ambient air from outside and passes it across a filter and heat exchange unit which is rejecting the room’s stale air. Rather than exhausting the rooms air to outside and losing the energy used to heat it, up to 80% of the energy is recovered to condition the incoming fresh air reducing energy loss.
Each cellular space now receives fresh air, which will help reduces the transmission of airborne viruses, rather than the previous system, which recirculated mixed air.
“The benefit of this will be felt by up to 130 members of staff working throughout the office and some smaller office areas and meeting rooms.
The project was led by the HVAC department of JD Cooling Group, delivered on time and within budget with the feedback from our staff being incredibly positive.”
Civils Contracting Limited, is a highly successful and accomplished British construction company providing construction services across a wide variety of sectors. As the main contractor on site, they were tasked with to design and build the building shell for the landlord and the fit out for the tenant. The tenant, Berry Gardens Limited is the UK’s leading berry and stone fruit production and marketing group, suppling all of Britain’s leading retailers with a market share of more than 30%.
JD Cooling Group’s brief was to design, supply and install a future proof cooling system, which would be expandable and flexible for long-term growth while delivering operational and optimal efficiency.
The installation, designed to be both expandable and flexible saw JD Cooling supply two ammonia/glycol chillers delivering 1.6 Megawatt of cooling via a secondary, food-safe glycol system. This serves a series of ceiling mounted coolers and roof void air handling units to supply conditioned, filtered air to the automated packhouse via insulated ductwork and fabric air socks.
The primary refrigerant, ammonia, delivers around 20% greater efficiency than man-made refrigerant alternatives and has zero GWP (Global Warming Potential), which makes it future proof in environmental terms.
Further environmental benefits come from the low-energy, highly efficient and compact-sized adiabatic air cooler units that reject the heat from the cooling plant. JD Cooling also provided the cooling for the offices, canteen, and IT requirements of the new facility.
The system utilises water cooled ammonia/glycol chillers. The driving decision behind this selection, rather than using air-cooled ammonia chillers was that the actual ammonia charge within a water-cooled chiller is less than 10% of that which would be contained within an air-cooled version. Given the end user’s previous lack of experience with ammonia chillers, applying water cooled chillers to the project has given a peace of mind, allowing minimal measures having to be adopted to accommodate them into the site.
The advantage of using water cooled chillers is that a common heat rejection loop can easily be introduced so that any heat taken from the cooling process can easily be “tapped into” for reuse in various energy efficient applications.
Adiabatic air coolers were installed to reject the heat from the cooling plant, these offer compact sized units with highly efficient heat rejection.
JD Cooling’s sister company JD Power Systems design, installed and commissioned all control wiring, cabling and electrical main supplies to the refrigeration system.
Commenting on the “very efficient and highly controllable” refrigeration system and the impressive solar PV installation, Duncan Pierce (Page Surveyors) said the Berry Gardens project had not just been a good example of collaboration but had been “a road map for how buildings of this type could be done in terms of energy efficiency, control systems and design”.
Photography undertaken by: South East Farmer.
Based in King’s Lynn award-winning Captain Fawcett is both a supplier and manufacturer of simply ‘First-Class Gentlemen’s Grooming Requisites’. The Captain’s alter ego and Founder of the business, Richie Finney started making his own moustache wax on the kitchen stove at his home. In 2010 Captain Fawcett moved to larger premises, where they now make their own men’s fragrances along with both hair & beard grooming products, selling directly to consumers and trade customers worldwide. More than 80 per cent of the company’s sales are overseas, with Captain Fawcett products available across 40 markets, such as Australia, Italy, Holland, and Canada.
To mark their 10-year anniversary in 2020, Captain Fawcett’s Emporium and world renowned ‘Marvellous Barbershop Museum’ was opened at Fawcett HQ in King’s Lynn – the same building houses their laboratory – where their famous products are made – along with their distribution centre.
“This is the Captain speaking, suffice to say that I am hugely impressed by the prompt service and exemplary installation of our air conditioning system.
I have no reservation in highly recommending JD Cooling to advise, supply and fit your individual heating and cooling requirements.”
It is at the museum; JD Cooling Group’s HVAC team supplied, installed and commissioned one large, ducted heat-pump air conditioning system complete with two fabric distribution ducts running down the length of the open plan area at high level. The ducted system is complete with a Daikin Madoka wall-mounted wired remote control.
The fabric socks were supplied, designed and printed in the customer’s own branding by Prihoda, which fit in well with the look and feel of the unique museum.
Fabric Ducting by Prihoda
Fabric ducting is mounted in the room or space being conditioned. There is no stock product, each duct is designed specifically to deliver the air pattern and velocity required for the room. Because there is a lot more surface area of ducting within the space when using a textile diffuser system, the air distribution is much improved and can be designed for a variety of purposes.
Permeable materials allow cooling below dew point without condensation and micro-perforation technology delivers air without draughts. Nozzles are available for heating and long throw applications. Bends, transitions, branches, changes in height or direction are all possible. Sections zip together to form the system designed and fabrics are available in a range of colours and printing options.
[Source: Prihoda Fabric Ducting & Diffusers]
The fabric is:
For more information, please visit: Prihoda’s website here.
“This is the Captain speaking, suffice to say that I am hugely impressed by the prompt service and exemplary installation of our air conditioning system at Captain Fawcett’s HQ, Hardwick Narrows Industrial Estate in King’s Lynn, Norfolk & Good. From initial concept to completion the project was handled with both minimum fuss and disruption to our everyday working practice. The design ethic was such that the bespoke ducting is sympathetic to its museum surroundings and in truth adds a certain cachet to this unique environment. I simply love it. Thank You!
I have no reservation in highly recommending JD Cooling to advise, supply and fit your individual heating and cooling requirements.”
Photography undertaken by: Matthew Usher – https://www.matthewusherphotography.com/. Copyright: JD Cooling Group
P.G Rix is a family farming business based in the Essex/Suffolk border. The Rix family have been farming since 1951, specialising in growing onions, potatoes, sugar beet and cereal crops.
To expand their crop storage facilities, two new 2,280 tonne onion stores were built at their Colchester site.
The installation was completed to a very high standard and commissioned in time to cool down the 2018 crop.
P.G.Rix Farms Limited
To serve the new onion stores, JD Cooling designed, installed, and commissioned a bespoke ‘HFC free’, secondary cooling system using Food Safe glycol as the primary refrigerant.
Unlike other crops, when it comes to fresh produce storage, onions require unique conditions.
Most importantly, they need low humidity in order to be successfully stored for long periods.
With this in mind, we designed a cutting-edge solution to enable the client’s onions to be stored at zero Celsius, whilst factoring in the need for the cooling coils to sit as close to minus 10 Celsius.
The demand for defrosting coils is a major part of the overall storage running cost for many other growers. In a typical system using electric heater rods to defrost the ice, it takes a huge amount of electrical energy to get the whole coil warm enough for the defrosting process.
In addition, during defrost the coil becomes so hot that steam is released into the room and will later have to be removed again by the refrigeration system, using yet more energy.
Wanting to keep running costs low for the customer, we have designed a process whereby waste heat from cooling the crop is reused to defrost the coils “for free”. This type of defrost is very “gentle” and does not produce the steaming effect, which is present on the traditional system.
John Rix of P.G.Rix Farms commented, “The installation was completed to a very high standard and commissioned in time to cool down the 2018 crop. We are optimistic to be able to report significant energy savings once we have completed our full season.”
The customer is a leading dairy produce manufacturer.
JD Industrial, part of the JD Cooling Group, has been working with a leading dairy produce manufacturer to design and engineer a new refrigeration scheme that saves money and the planet at the same time.
Having recently invested in a new multi-million-pound processing system, the customer approached JD Industrial to design and install a new industrial refrigeration system to support the new facility.
Initially asked to focus on efficiencies and cost savings, JD Industrial presented the company with a solution that will reduce carbon emissions as well as costs, helping the customer in its drive towards becoming carbon neutral.
JD Industrial recommended a phased approach with Phase One seeing the adoption of a central ammonia system with secondary Cool Flow glycol and heat recovery.
Refrigeration system efficiency is expected to increase by a minimum of 5% thanks to installation of an inline sub-cooler application. The sub-cooler is preventing bubble in the liquid refrigerant produced spontaneously when the condensed liquid is subjected to boiling. This will benefit the smooth running of the system and help it run more efficiently to ensure refrigerant reaches the expansion valve in a quality liquid form.
The pre-feed installation has resulted in a free cooling process returning secondary fluid at +60oC to a roof-mounted High Density Rejector. The process recovers waste heat from the return pipes and transfers this to the water feed pipes into a boiler hot well, providing the customer with hot water for their own use.
The heat recovery system utilises waste heat from the new refrigeration system by compressing the ‘super-heated’ gas to a higher pressure to generate +85oC Low Pressure Hot Water (LPHW). This process removes the need for LPG or natural gas as the heat source – both of which are less efficient.
JD Industrial has also designed and installed a 2.5km network of new pipework to serve all parts of the dairy.
The new system meets Pressure Equipment Directive PED 2014/68/EU – Fluid group II / Category assembly – and has been issued with a Declaration of Conformity (DOC) in conjunction with a CE certificate plate.
A further 5% Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) was completed on site to ensure the whole installation meets stringent requirements on compliance. This brings the whole installation to 15% NDT inspection level.
Further measures to improve system efficiency are already being discussed with the client as part of planned Phase Two work. These will help to further reduce ongoing costs and further limit carbon emissions as part of the company’s commitment to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly operating system.
Energy savings for the sub-cooler installation equate to £12,573 per year, while the boiler pre-feed installation is expected to save £ 151,504 per year. This will result in a combined total annual energy saving of £164, 077 and a 2.06-year payback on the original cost of the project.
The total CO2 reduction for this application is just as impressive and totals a 683,500 kg saving per year – a 85% reduction on pre-installation levels.
Branston Limited is one of the UK’s biggest buyers, growers, distributors, and marketers of fresh potatoes – handling around 350,000 tonnes a year. With sites in Lincoln, Scotland, and the South West, Branston supplies some of the largest retail, wholesale, and food manufacturing customers in the UK.
Branston also produces an extensive range of innovative and ready-to-cook prepared vegetables and meals.
The project was to convert two existing Passive Up Flow (PUF) stores that were used for long-term storage of potatoes and make them suitable for storage of sweet potatoes.
“The stores are absolutely superb.”
Branston had dramatically increased their sweet potato business volumes with one of the UK’s largest supermarkets, resulting in the need for bespoke facilities to meet the demand.
JD Cooling Group has worked with customers that import sweet potatoes for many years and in this time gained vast amounts of experience in this field.
To assist Branston with their requirements, JD Cooling had to understand a number of things including: where the sweet potatoes were being imported from, the type of container/packaging they were being shipped in, and the length of time the product would need to be stored for.
Working closely with Branston, we developed a design concept that worked for their particular storage containers and volumes/turnover in order to identify which stores would be suitable.
The converted stores utilise a common secondary glycol ringmain, as previously installed by JD Cooling over 10 years ago. The ringmain is chilled by two packaged HFC air-cooled chillers. Using a secondary glycol ringmain has helped the stores become very environmentally friendly. This will bring energy-efficiency benefits to the customer.
The cooler design is totally bespoke to JD Cooling and incorporates:
Another innovative design feature of the project is the application of the “Omnicuro” control and monitoring system. Omnicuro enables Branston to achieve finite control of temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 levels with the ability to monitor these levels and make any desired changes remotely.
Extremely tight deadlines to complete the project and handover was a challenge. To overcome the crucial need to hand over the stores to allow Branson to deliver their products to their customers on time, JD Cooling used a pre-planned hire package, whilst the permanent solution was completed and handed over to Branston.
Given the very tight deadlines of the project it was advantageous that JD Cooling were able to offer the benefits of a turnkey solution to Branston, thus reducing the coordination of different trades and removing any potential delays or additional cost that may result. JD Power were able to carry put all the electrical installations required for the store conversions, including mains power and distribution.
Sweet potatoes are a very different challenge to store compared with the traditional UK grown potato. Added to the different storage regime that they require, the harvesting, washing and grading process, which is done at source, followed by the potentially long journey required to get the produce to Branston’s sites adds a significant element of risk in trying to store the product for long periods on arrival. If this is not done correctly, there is the potential for large storage losses, which would make the whole process extremely risky for the UK handlers of the product. Working very closely together with Branston’s technical team allowed JD Cooling to engineer the stores, which have delivered excellent results for Branston, their customer and of course, the end user consumers of the highly desirable sweet potato itself.
“We have installed many systems for sweet potatoes going back decades for our various customers who have imported the product from multiple sources. Over this time the methods of processing at source have introduced new challenges to the storability once the crop arrives in the UK. In addition, the number of locations around the world that are producing sweet potatoes has also presented different pressure on maintaining the required quality once the produce has entered the cold chain.” Says John Dye, Chairman, and Founder of JD Cooling Group.
“The fact that Branston fully embraced the need to meet these new factors head on and support us in designing systems that would provide them with the necessary tools for the job was absolutely critical to the success of this project.” says Dye.
Following the handover of the new stores, Branston commented that the “stores are absolutely superb”, with their own suppliers also stating “amazing results are being seen due to the stores’ fantastic performance”. As a result of the success and excellence of the product results, Branston are confident in extending their sweet potato business.
Worldwide Fruit (WFL) is an international fruit marketing and distribution company, sourcing products globally from over 1,000 growers worldwide. WFL’s Appleway facility in Spalding handles 70 million packs of apples, avocados, pears, and stone fruit per annum, with over 40% of said volume being ‘Ripe & Ready to Eat’. Driven by ‘zero waste’ WFL’s aim was to reduce the non-value adding activities within their ripening process and cease dependence on repeated inspection to achieve and assure quality.
WFL’s previous avocado ripening process was designed around removing pressure variability within the ripened material to achieve a tight customer specification. This process contained many elements of inspection (destructive and non-destructive) in the management and conditioning of the fruit to achieve the desired outcome.
Softripe now ensures we have a more consistent, superior product and has enabled us to remove the secondary grading from our processes. Along with the reduced ripening cycles, there are clear benefits to producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers.
Operations Director, Worldwide Fruit
Prior to Softripe, over 489,000kg of product was wasted by destructive testing during the traditional method of ripening and sampling process. Post ripening, fruit was required to pass over a non-destructive grading process to remove the unwanted fruit and to close the range to meet WFL’s customer specification. In a very good season, the grader had a ceiling of 80% accuracy in the non-destructive testing process. The more variable the sample, the less accurate the grader became.
In early 2019, JD Cooling required a partner to develop the Softripe system further in the UK. WFL at the time was looking for a likeminded company that strived to think outside the box to help them to reduce waste within their food supply chain. In mid-2019, WFL partnered with JD Cooling to progress the Softripe system to the next stage for specifically for avocados.
Whilst Softripe system was proven to work for bananas and seemed to offer another level of technology, it was not proven to be effective for the ripening of avocados and other stone fruit, after the long cross sea journey to Europe.
Proof of Concept Room Trials
After visits to a Swiss CO-OP to view the technology working on bananas and then a further development trip to Belem in Brazil to test the technology on stone fruit, JD Cooling and WFL were encouraged by the potential of Softripe for avocados. WFL were keen to support the idea of UK trials, a plan to ripen avocados via the Softripe system was then developed. However, it was clear that significant in-depth work would be needed to allow the technology to work in harmony with the natural characteristics of the avocado.
JD Cooling put together a proposal to build a one-off test chamber at WFL’s Spalding facility to develop the Softripe system on avocados alongside the traditional ripening systems already in place. Extensive trials were carried out during the late season – October 2019 to January 2020.
The main aim of in the development of JD Cooling/Softripe technology was to achieve a tighter range within the raw material post ripening by increasing the volume of ‘in spec fruit’, and to tighten/narrow the range of the outlying fruit to the point that the need for grading post ripening is no longer required. By achieving the desired outcome, JD Cooling were able to reduce the cost per kg to ripen material, reduce the fruit loss (improve yield) by ceasing or reducing the need for inspection via grading and destructive testing.
We were able to prove that we could increase shelf life and remove the consumer dissatisfaction around ‘Ripe & Ready’ on the pack, (hard or black after purchase).
Consumer feedback from the trials were also outstanding, with Softripe avocados testing better than conventionally ripened ones across the board from taste, texture, quality, consistency, and shelf-life.
JD Cooling and WFL have now unveiled the new Softripe avocado ripening facility in Spalding, Lincolnshire for WFL. A total of 132 pallet spaces using Softripe technology are now in operation with fruit arriving nationally in stores in October 2020.
JD Cooling delivered a wholly project managed, end-to-end service from design to full installation, testing and completed system.
Speaking at the official ribbon cutting, John Dye, Chairman JD Cooling Group, said: “It is not very often something comes along in our industry that is game changing, but Softripe is most certainly that, and indeed the biggest thing to happen in the ripening sector for decades. This facility is going to be a total revolution for the ripe and ready marketplace.”
Softripe offers un-paralleled performance in fruit ripening that requires truly gas tight rooms. The six new gas tight chambers are complete with full RibbFill sealed joints between panels and floor. To achieve the level of integrity the chambers also include specialist gas tight drains.
A separate area has been designed for the specialist equipment in addition to the standard chillers. This equipment includes Controlled Atmosphere (CA) absorber, nitrogen generator, CA lungs and ripening gas. The rooms are completely gas-tight, and together with CO2 absorbers and nitrogen generators, the system enables optimum levels of ethylene, CO2 and oxygen all to be fully controlled. This allows the unique Softripe software algorithms to establish the optimum conditions for perfect ripening every time. Softripe effectively ‘listens and talks’ to the fruit through its respiration gases, adapting to its needs during the ripening cycle and guiding it through an optimum organic (biological) ripening process.
The doors are a newly developed gastight CA door complete with a gastight escape window manufactured by Salco. The doors have been specifically developed to allow double level stacking, which thereby provides a higher storage capacity on the same footprint than with conventional CA store doors.
Suction System with Automated Curtains
The racking within the rooms are complete with automated curtains to ensure optimised airflow through the product. In addition, the racking is complete with hydraulic compression dampers to ensure tight seals between the pallet and the racking. Changeover of C2H4/N2 supplied via MCP is automated via a custom-made valve station. Independent pressure of run / standby MCP and system outlet pressure is all visible on the main PC screen.
Plant Room and Chillers
The system provides Coolflow DTX glycol circulation at a temperature around -2.0°C or +32.0°C (+/- 1) to the coolers and around the system and returning at +2.0°C or +28.0°C. This is provided by two chillers.
Primary and Secondary Pump Sets
Two 5.5 kW, duty/standby, fixed speed primary pump sets are each able to provide a flow rate of 56 m3/h with an available head of approximately 186kPa; in addition to two 5.5 kW, duty/standby, fixed speed primary pump sets, each able to provide a flow rate of 50 m3/h with an available head of approximately 189.2kPa.
There are four 4.0 kW, duty/standby variable speed secondary pump sets driven by an inverter – each set able to provide a flow rate of 50 m3/h with an available head of approximately 165kPa
These pumps maintain circulation between the chiller and buffer tanks and are located next to the chillers. Pumps have isolation and check valves connecting them into the system.
Pressure gauges are mounted in the suction and delivery pipework to allow the pumps set pressure to be monitored.
Both primary and secondary pump systems are used to circulate the glycol around the system and maintain the required flow and cooling capacity.
The Cold and Hot buffer vessels stores an amount of cold/warm glycol to maintain consistent operating conditions with load fluctuations, which then gets circulated and used for the ripening rooms. Circulation between the chiller, pump, all coolers, and plant are maintained within two central 2000L buffer tanks. These are manufactured from stainless steel and are fitted with a pressure relief manifold and anti-vacuum valve.
Pressurisation Unit and Expansion Vessel
The system is fitted with a pressurisation unit, this unit is designed to maintain the systems pressure at 1.13 Bar. The system is also designed with a 300L expansion vessel, allowing for the thermal expansion in the system. The systems pressure relief valves will vent out excessive pressure. This is to prevent damage to the system.
Dry Air Cooler
The system is fitted with a 603.0kW dry air cooler consisting of eight fans. This unit is piped to both the chillers, both sets of hot water pumps and the hot water vessel. The temperature this provides in and out of the system is +47°C / +42°C, +32°C ambient design air temperature and fitted with EC variable speed fans.
The air circulation fans are of EC (Electrically commutated) type. EC fans are used to reduce energy consumption and reduce the drying effect (by reducing air velocity when at holding conditions). EC means Electronically Commutated, EC fans use brushless DC motors (but powered using AC supplies) which improves efficiency by around 30% compared to AC fan motors this is achieved as the motor uses permanent magnets rather than using electricity to generate the secondary magnetic field. In addition, the EC fans can also speed regulate with far reduced current at lower speeds (this is the same principle as using an inverter).
Our sister company JD Power played a big part in the delivery of the project for Worldwide Fruit.
As leaders in power systems, JD Power were responsible for the design, project management and overall end-to-end service for the complete electrical work.
A giant leap forward in ripening technology, the industry award-winning Softripe has brought many major benefits to WFL’s operation, including increased yields produced at significantly reduced overall costs. A more efficient, streamlined process – including the removal of secondary handling – resulting in greater consistency and quality of the ripened fruit, coupled with far lower wastage through the reduced need for destructive testing and significant energy reduction. Softripe amounts to an investment that delivers huge benefits for the retailer and consumer, and which will effectively pay for itself.
WFL has already seen:
In all, Softripe has transformed the landscape of ripening to an unrecognisable level and 10 years from now will be the “norm” for ripening most exotic fruits that are currently being consumed in the UK, as well as possibly allowing the introduction of some totally new ones in the future.
Neal Collishaw, Operations Director at Worldwide Fruit Ltd, said: “Our key strategic direction is to deliver zero waste in all our processes. Avocados are a notoriously difficult product to ripen in a traditional ripening system. Post-ripening, we still had variability amongst the raw material which can end up on the shelf, leading to consumer dissatisfaction. Softripe now ensures we have a more consistent, superior product and has enabled us to remove the secondary grading from our processes. Along with the reduced ripening cycles, there are clear benefits to producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers.”
John Dye, Chairman, JD Cooling Group, says, “Although we at JD Cooling have evolved our traditional ripening rooms to incorporate advances in technology including our innovative heat recovery system, Softripe is going to be transformative for UK fruit growers and importers.”
John continued, “Innovating with our partners for the benefit of end-users is central to our work and Softripe is another great result of what we can achieve through collaboration. This project is the result of working together with our customer and supply chain partners for nearly two years and with this launch of a commercial scale avocado ripening facility, together we have changed the landscape the ripe and ready category forever.”
“We are excited by the prospect of Softripe and are already planning on continuing our relationship with JD Cooling to trial this innovation on other fruits. So, watch this space.” Neal Collishaw, Operations Director, Worldwide Fruit.
The customer is a global manufacturer providing bespoke polyurethane chemicals to a wide variety of industries including refrigeration, industrial insulation, automotive, marine and leisure.
Operating in Norfolk, the customer’s 55,000 sq.ft factory sits on a 5-acre site in a rural environment.
The plant consists of seven adjoining units, which allow efficient product flow from raw material warehousing, through production, to quality control and finished goods storage.
Due to the close proximity of the site, JD Cooling’s HVAC department were able to offer a one-off turnkey solution to assist the customer with their project.
The brief was to refurbish and develop part of an existing and used warehouse space and turn it into a training facility to enable the customer to demonstrate a new product line.
A specialist asbestos company was employed to undertake the survey and removal of asbestos within the building as part of the preparation for a safe working environment. Following the removal of asbestos, our team of engineers undertook a full dilapidation of the existing building services, including a toilet block, oil fired boiler, compressed air, domestic and sanitary water. The floor was ground back to a clean finish and then levelled and painted.
The construction phase included:
The programme of the whole project was tight with the official order received late December 2019 and the customer requiring building handover and opening by mid-March 2020. To meet the customer’s deadline, our team were able to start on site in the first week of 2020 resulting in the successful handover a full week prior to the customer’s deadline.
As the main contractor we coordinated the full site operations and project managed the site as per the duties of a Principal Contractor; working with the customer to deliver the project on time. Liaising on a daily basis to implement additional safety procedures, whilst maintaining the customers extremely high safety standards, ensured the health and safety for everyone on site remained paramount.
The programme and preconstruction coordination with all trades was key to the success of this project, each element was meticulously planned and executed to ensure continuity in the build phases and seamless integration between the elements of the construction.
G’s Growers’ Feltwell site in Norfolk specialises in growing fresh quality red, purple and French Breakfast radishes for both the pre-packed and bunched radish market.
Once the crop (radish) is grown, it is then picked, cleaned, and graded on site.
With the previous cold store on site deemed unfit for use and the new harvest pending, G’s Growers required a new fast-tracked cold store to be built and running in time for early May (first harvest).
The internal atmosphere created by the refrigeration solution, along with the foggers is phenomenal.
J Harvey Ltd
J Harvey Ltd, the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor on the project employed JD Cooling to design, install and commission the refrigeration and fogging solution for the new cold store.
The brand-new cold store is now home to:
With G’s Growers being the supplier of 75% of the UK’s market for radishes, the new store will now be in constant use up until November 2020.
Having gained planning permission on 30th November 2019, the project begun in December 2019 with the demolition of the existing cold store. Construction of the new cold store was completed in April 2020, handing the commissioned cold store over in time for the start of the 2020 season.
The aim of the project was to fast-track the programme to enable G’s Growers to begin storing radishes from early May in time for the first harvest; the handover date of April was important.
With the pandemic of Covid-19 hitting Europe early in 2020, this unfortunately affected the project, resulting in a slight delay to programme. The knock-on effect from site restrictions, social distancing, and material delays all played their part in a challenging delivery.
With all parties involved in the project working tirelessly together, all the challenges were successfully overcome, with the overall project delivered and handed over in time for the first harvest – much to the customer’s delight.
The customer was delighted with the new cold store and made positive comments about the store’s performance, the relationship and team work shown between all parties.
Scott Watson, G’S Growers commented: “From planning, installation right through to commissioning I couldn’t be happier, working through Covid-19 and shutdown was a challenge but all contractors that we had took to the new rules with ease, and to have this project finished a week ahead of schedule was brilliant.”
He continued, “The coolers along with the foggers have extended our shelf life and we do not have any dehydration on the top of the dolavs giving us an increased yield through the packhouse. Well done all.”
James Harvey, J Harvey Ltd said, “JD Cooling’s input on this project was excellent, from John Dye’s advice at an early stage, to Mark Pierson’s assistance while heading up the installation. The internal atmosphere created by the refrigeration solution, along with the foggers is phenomenal. I look forward to working with JD Cooling on future projects.”
Adam Stevens, JD Cooling Group commented, “There was huge importance to ensure the project was completed in time for the first radish harvest. It was essential that the team from the client to the consultant, builders and JD Cooling were able to work flawlessly together, especially with the added issues of material and labour shortages impacting us severely throughout Covid-19 when the UK and Europe virtually shut down.”
“We have proven that team work prevails in all situations. Our thanks must go to all involved – a great project to be involved with.”