ACS&T Slashes Cold Store Costs
03 February 2011
ACS&T Logistics, one of the UK’s leading cold storage and distribution companies, has cut running costs in one of its modern frozen food stores by 15 per cent after investing £6,500 in improving its building and energy management systems and controls with Next Control Systems.
ACS&T spent the money on the stage four cold store at its Wolverhampton site and in doing so has generated a saving of £22,000 in year one.
“We are always looking for ways to improve our efficiency, and the savings we have made with Next are a great return on investment, particularly because our controls were considered tight beforehand,” said ACS&T area facilities manager, Steve Pratt. Mr. Pratt can now monitor and manage the system via a mobile telephone link to a dedicated live web site.
The upgrade of the controls of the ammonia based refrigeration system was planned and installed by Hampshire based Next Control Systems, which took account of the fact that electricity which powered five compressors and nine evaporators was bought at varying tariffs depending on the time of day. Controls were changed so the store now runs at its lowest set point (minus 24 degrees C) at night when power is cheap and at a higher set point in daytime when electricity is more expensive.
An increase in compressor pressures and a reduction in discharge pressures made a significant contribution to the savings and their on-off controls were sequenced to minimise run times. Evaporators were sequenced with the result that it was often possible to run just two (instead of five) to achieve target temperatures.
The system also automatically measures and records temperatures around the clock, benefiting customers of ACS&T, including McCain’s and 3663, which use the 53,647 cubic metres cold store and much of the space for nearly 8,850 pallets - around 25 per cent of the site’s cold storage. “The controlling software is so accurate I know precisely what our costs are on a half hourly basis,” said Mr. Pratt.
Commenting on the success of the installation, Next Control Systems’ managing director, Tim Bartholomew said, “ this is a modern cold store which had good controls and systems so the savings we have generated demonstrate just how effectively we have been able to improve and upgrade the existing control regime.”
ACS&T operates from four centres in Grimsby, Wolverhampton, Tewkesbury and Scarborough. The company’s extensive resources include 12 cold stores, 3 ambient stores, comprehensive co-packing facilities and large, dedicated and shared user multi-temp transport fleets.
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