The UK Food and Beverage sector is one of many industries that is having to rapidly adjust to consumer needs and behaviours.
Demand for food and drink products is such that facilities are now having to offer round-the-clock production to support both modern lifestyles and the use of online ordering, such as click and collect. This, in turn, is having a major impact on factory infrastructure.
Allied Bakeries, a household name thanks to brands such as Kingsmill and Sunblest, is no different.
In 2019, Rittal UK was approached by Rob Shaw, site controls engineer for Allied Bakeries’ Walthamstow facility, which produces circa 1.5 million loaves per week.
The company was performing a continuous improvement appraisal on the Plant Tunnel Oven, which bakes bread at a rate of 10,000 loaves per hour.
Cooling the electrical equipment required to run any industrial production lines is vital to ensure its continued optimum operation. Allied Bakeries was already protecting its equipment with Rittal’s ‘Blue e’ cooling units. Its engineers were keen to explore if an upgrade to this equipment would reduce the energy and carbon footprint of the site, while maintaining the high level of protection required by the oven’s controlling equipment.
The Rittal team undertook a fact-finding tour of the Walthamstow site to understand the wider processes, location and environmental conditions in which the electrical equipment has to operate.
Based on this initial appraisal and further discussions, it was confirmed that the technology-leading ‘Blue e+’ Cooling Units would fit the criteria. These new generation cooling units use state-of-the-art technologies to deliver industry-leading climate control. In addition, their hybrid cooling technology provides, on average, a 75 percent lower energy consumption than previous generation ‘Blue e’ units. This represents a quantum leap forward for cooling systems and is a major incentive for food and beverage production facilities seeking to minimise steep rises in energy prices.
In addition, Blue e+ unlocks the potential of Industry 4.0 through a remote monitoring capability, when used in conjunction with Rittal’s IoT Adaptor.
This means that Allied Bakeries’ engineers now have constant access to the cooling system’s performance data, as well as early warning of any issues before they escalate and cause electrical equipment failure and line stoppages.