Keeping the cold in – and electricity costs down

With SA’s soaring electricity costs, food manufacturers are now looking very closely at a utility bill that previously was not of great concern. Introduced timeously to the SA market are several thermal insulaton systems from UK company, Seymour Manufacturing International (SMI), and introduced here by local agent, Cape Town’s B.R.E. Innovations, and which it reports permit energy savings of up to 25% in chillers and 35% in freezers.

What are SMI’s systems all about?

Back in the 1970s Brian Seymour, the present company’s chairman, formulated Tempro, a highly thermally-efficient, thin and flexible insulating material. From it he developed a family of food chain products including pallet covers, containers, cold stores and inflatable cold rooms. In the early 1990s, Seymour researched and developed a Tempro thermal strip curtain – called Cold Stop, the curtain and its associated suspension system have subsequently been a major success and accepted by several leading retailers as the solution to the issue of heat loss from chilled stores. For example, Cold Stop is installed in the majority of Tesco’s UK outlets and has been accepted as its standard for new stores. 

“Companies in the food processing and food manufacturing sector are also purchasing in quantities in recognition of the energy savings that Cold Stop curtains can achieve from their chilled and frozen stores,” comments B.R.E. Innovations’ Phillip Hopkinson. “The Seymour product is also seen as a solution to several health and safety issues.”

Cold Stop Curtains

Patented by SMI, these provide a revolutionary alternative to traditional plastic strip curtains used in many cold rooms. The curtains are a cost efficient thermal barrier based on Tempro which gives the curtains insulation properties far greater than standard types, and resultant energy reductions. Tempro is flame retardant and the Cold Stop curtains are antifungicidal.

Basically, the insulated curtain traps cold air in and keeps warm air out of the controlled-temperature environment.  Customer experience and SMI’s validated research indicates energy savings of up to 18-25% in chillers and 30-35% in freezers above that of traditional PVC physical barriers. These claims have been validated by the Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association [] and the Building Research Establishment [].

The curtain panels are available in standard 300mm widths and bespoke heights. The panels have a deep, frost-clear window, are light, easily cleaned and flexible. They fit well and do not split, thus avoiding the expense of frequent costly replacement. Field trials with a leading multiple retailers indicate curtain lives five to six times longer than PVC strip designs, providing substantial capital savings. With SMI’s unique ‘cold lock’ system, the curtains fit neatly and effectively to the door head and floor, saving ever-costly energy.  

Customer feedback has also shown that the user-friendly operation of the curtains reduce operator frustration and subsequent tampering. Additionally, it is also difficult for staff to remove the curtains ensuring the system is more likely to stay in place.

“Power will only get more expensive and saving is essential,” comments Hopkinson. “Using Cold Stop can make a difference to your wallet, environment and your country.”

Tempro cold roomTemporary cold room curtain walls – Tempro Temperature Controlled Zones (TCZ)

Tempro Temperature Controlled Zones are a unique way of creating an instant cold storage facility (typically in a warehouse) which can be transformed back to an ambient store just as quickly. An efficient cold room can be created in the time it takes to pull the curtains around the space using SMI’s track and pelmet system.

Tempro is fabricated into Velcro connecting curtains which are lightweight, tough, impact resistant and UV stabilised.

Typical applications are instant cold rooms, preparation areas, extensions to cold rooms, temporary chill space for crops and bakeries, chilled space separation, cash & carry operations, mortuaries, munitions and chemical storage.

Tempro TT33Flat pack chiller/freezer – Tempro TT33 and Tempro Dome
SMI’s TT33 and its wheeled T3 condenser/evaporator base is an easy way of providing chilled and frozen products, mainly food and drink, on just about any site anywhere in the world in an acceptable condition to maintain health and safety standards.

The modular TT33 has a simple-to-erect body on a frame with light hook-and-loop fasteners and zip-up sections. The assembly is then chilled or frozen via a 240 volt mobile T3 evaporator. To operate the T3, the two gas struts are simply lifted allowing the evaporator to self-raise to its operating height. The operator then pushes the unit into the entry slot provided in the TT33 body. Simply plugging into a 13amp supply, or a generator, quickly produces the chilled or frozen condition. The time taken to achieve working temperature is dependent upon the ambient temperature. Once assembled, the TT33 is 3m2 and 2.9 metres high and provides a chilled or frozen volume of 17½ metres3.  At an ambient of +32ºC the TT33 can maintain an internal storage chill temperature of +2°C to +3°C.  The freezing capability will produce from -20ºC to -22ºC, again in an ambient of 32ºC.

Soon to be launched is the TT33’s Big Brother, the Tempro Dome configuration, that again supplies versatile/mobile refrigeration with 24m2 floor space.

Typical applications for these systems: outside events, catering, promotions, disaster special facilities, military or other field kitchens and overflow refrigeration.

Bio-Gard curtainsBio-Gard hygiene breakthrough from SMI

Following five years of research, a major hygiene breakthrough was achieved by SMI: Bio-Gard enriched with SteriTouch is a plastic strip curtain that kills 99.99% of illness-causing pathogenic bacteria including MRSA, E coli and salmonella. Significantly the curtain does not lose efficacy over time and the bacteriocide property is active throughout the matrix of the material. This means it works even if the curtain is cut or damaged.

Bio-Gard efficacy in killing 99.99% of bacteria has been validated by independent experts, having been thoroughly tested to:

– World Standard JIS Z 2801:2000

– EU Directive 20002/72/EC

– ISO 22196

Additionally Bio-Gard ingredients have FDA and EPA approval. It is classified as slow burning to self extinguishing.

Bio-Gard is tailor made to any length and is compatible with existing plastic strip hanging arrangements. This makes it ideal for any new or existing doors.

As well as its UK base SMI are active in France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Slovakia, Canada, Brazil, Australia and now South Africa.

B.R.E. Innovation

T 021 671 5253

[email protected] C 083 406 5253

[email protected] C 083 381 5253