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Meadow Foods

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Meadow Foods is the UK’s largest independent dairy.  The company supply milk and dairy ingredients to the food industry, producing over 650 million litres of milk each year.

Due to the success of a newly developed product, the Meadow Foods site in York required a new cold store. Stewart Clough, Operations Manager, contacted Polarbase with some interest in the cold storage options available to the dairy company.

Without knowing how successful the product would be, commitment to a permanent solution may have been difficult to conclude. However, following a meeting with Martin Bowman, Regional Sales Manager, the following option was proposed: a permanent solution, a 16.0 x 4.0 x 2.4mtr modular cold room. During the decision-making process, the company received multiple orders for the new product. This effectively, made the decision a simple one; the cold store would need to be permanent. The alternative solution to the modular proposal was to ‘line’ the available room with insulated panels and convert the whole space into a chilled space. After an in-depth discussion with Stewart and Dave Hutchinson, the engineering manager on site, it was determined that the preferred solution would be to stagger the conversion of the space by supplying multiple cold rooms. This would allow them to assess how well the product was selling and if necessary, spread the capital outlay.

The specification for the first room was agreed and the contract drawn up. Following receipt of the signed agreement and the initial payment, the installation date was agreed. Due to the specialist nature of the equipment, the room was delivered six weeks later, installed, commissioned and signed off by the client. The first project was a success. Through open dialogue, experienced installation engineers and flexible thinking, the Polarbase team had demonstrated their ability to deliver on a project from initial concept through to design and implementation.

Within a week of the first room being commissioned, Stewart contacted Martin and requested a second meeting to discuss the next stage. As sales for the product were still increasing, the site knew they would need an additional two rooms installed as quickly as possible. However, the specification of rooms two and three would need to be slightly different from the first.

Having reviewed the original specification, rooms two and three had their doorways increased to 1600mm wide. The refrigeration system on room one was specified as dual through-the-roof monoblocks. These allowed the height of the room to be maximised to the underside of the sawtooth roof. An extraction fan was fitted to the gable end of each roof section to allow the heat produced by the monoblocks to be removed from the building. It was decided that the heat produced by an additional two rooms would be too difficult to extract. Therefore, the refrigeration systems for rooms two and three needed to be remote, with the condensers situated externally. In order to ensure the height of the two additional rooms could be matched to room one, Polarbase were required to source ceiling-mounted evaporators with low profile room protrusions. The selected evaporators also had dual discharge units to ensure the airflow around the room was completely filled.

The second alteration required was the type of room used, the first room supplied was selected as a modular, cam-lock room as the price was marginally lower than the respective custom-built panel room. However, the cam-lock style room is only suitable for level surfaces and rooms two and three were not fortunate enough to have a level surface to mount the rooms to. Therefore, both subsequent rooms were constructed on site, with each panel being cut to match the floor level variances. In order to match the 2.4mtr room height of room one, each individual panel needed to be measured perfectly.

When completed, the doorways to the three rooms would create a makeshift lobby area when entering the warehouse. It was noted at the design stage, that due to the change in panels, rooms two and three would have a different colour external finish. In order to meet with Stewart and Dave’s aesthetic requirements, Martin Bowman proposed the front walls of the secondary rooms could be sprayed using the RAL paint code for room one. Although the specification of the secondary rooms had changed, Polarbase had designed a solution to retain the aesthetics required by the client.

From the beginning of this project, Polarbase worked with Meadow Foods on a consultative level in order to achieve the desired end goal. The three rooms have been supplied within the initial budget and have perfectly maximised the available space allotted to storing this product. Following this successful implementation, Martin Bowman and Polarbase hope to work with Meadow Foods again in the future.

‘Martin and his team demonstrated excellent knowledge of cold storage applications and completed the project within tight timescales and with high quality build techniques. Following the success of the three cold room installations we are extremely happy to be working with Martin again to install blast chilling equipment to further assist us with our growing market demands.’

D. Hutchinson, Engineering Manager