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Manufacturers Must Consider Their Options Before The Virgin R404a Ban

The ban on the use of any virgin refrigerant gas with a GWP above 2500 is fast approaching. As 1 January 2020 looms ever closer, operators using R404a (GWP 3922) must take action and consider either plant replacement or retrofitting now according to leading solutions provider, Dawsongroup TCS.
There are three key questions that companies should be asking themselves to determine how to lower virgin refrigerant gas levels whilst continuing with ‘business as usual’:
•    Is it time to replace your cold room?
•    Could process flow be improved if sited elsewhere?
•    Are the panels still efficient or are they freezing or chilling too much ambient air?
Chris Allen, sales manager at Dawsongroup TCS, said: “Although replacing your cold rooms or re-siting the process flow sound like an expensive and lengthy process, there’s no need for companies to panic. Whether replacing the plant entirely to lower running costs or taking the simpler route of retrofitting a lower GWP, there are solutions that minimise disruption and help clients maintain their usual service and quality levels.”
Instead of paying for refrigeration services off site, highly efficient equipment can be manufactured specifically for the business. Plus, there will be minimal disruption if hand over happens before the current facilities are turned off. Not only does this make the transition process as smooth as possible, but it saves a huge amount of money in the long term by keeping the manufacturing process in-house.
Chris added: “Current market conditions mean that retrofitting, such as the hire of a mobile plant room piped into an existing cold room, are also a good option for companies to consider.”
Chilled inflatable cold stores offer a fast and flexible solution that inflates within an existing current cold room to minimise disruption. They have upright sides to increase floor capacity from 14 to 20 UK pallets within the same footprint and can include features such as automated roller shutter doors which provide forklift access.


Camfil warns over air quality measurement

Measuring larger particulate matter – so-called PM10 and PM2.5 – to determine the health impact of poor air quality is missing the point, according to a leading air quality expert. Peter Dyment, technical manager of top filter manufacturer Camfil, said the basis for measurement of harmful particulates should be on PM1 (particulate matter that is 1 micron or smaller in diameter).
His comments follow the publication of a study by air cleaning systems supplier Zehnder UK, which has presented initial findings from ongoing research into the impact of introducing a range of common pollutants into residential properties.
The study, based on data from commercially available air quality sensors in a handful of homes, advises of the need to improve education on ventilation use over concerns at spikes in indoor level of PM2.5 particles caused by inadequate ventilation in properties after everyday tasks such as cleaning or cooking.
However, Mr Dyment warned: “PM1 particles are around three times more penetrating into the lungs than larger particles in PM10 and about twice (1.7x) more than those in PM2.5 so they are far more damaging to health. If the PM1 comes from traffic-sourced air pollution, then you are likely to find that it is also a lot more toxic.
“In fact, traffic diesel PM1 is a group 1 carcinogen as labelled by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which ascribes it as the highest level of causing cancer. It can damage DNA and there is no safe level of exposure to this form of air pollution.”
Although the WHO publishes exposure levels for PM2.5, Mr Dyment cautioned that it does not talk specifically about traffic air pollution. He added: “The nature of particles is that, when they are smaller, they get into the body so much more easily…
“Published government data has been based onPM10 and is now based on PM2.5 more often than not. The WHO are looking to move in the general direction of PM1 I think, but it hasn’t happened yet. When you consider the characteristics of these particles if they are much more penetrating and more toxic, they should be at the top of the priority list.”
He acknowledged that the smaller the particle the more difficult it is to measure: “But, with current technology, we should be able to start measuring PM1 to an acceptable level of accuracy. There is a public need for this; it’s not some academic point, it’s something that is very important because measuring PM1 actually tells you how bad the risk is to health.
“You can then apply PM1 rated filters to counteract the threat. If you are fiddling around with PM10 and PM2.5 you are getting an inaccurate measurement of the risk to health and you are ending up with a rated filter that is not fit for purpose – a high efficiency at PM10 might be a low efficiency at PM1.”
Filtering clean ventilation outside air from PM1 must be a priority to protect people in city buildings. New technical standards BSI CEN ISO are in place to enable effective solutions.


Union Industries ‘preserves the heat’ for Stelrad

A trio of installations by Union Industries has helped to support energy efficiency at the production facility of a world-leading radiator manufacturer.
Stelrad has benefited from the installation of six of Union Industries’ Bulldoors at its Mexborough, South Yorkshire, 17-acre site. The facility handles Stelrad’s UK radiators business and the co-ordination of the company’s advanced production and distribution operation.
Union Industries’ market-leading, bespoke high-speed roller doors help to prevent the severe drop of ambient temperature in buildings, especially in the winter months, which eliminates any potential impact on production environments.
The Leeds-based company’s Bulldoors are often regarded as the ‘reliable workhorse’ of rapid roll doors and have been known to perform more than 1.4million cycles per year, making it a popular choice across several industries. The Bulldoors feature specialist Crash-Out’ and ‘Auto-Reset’ damage protection facilities, and offers control outputs for options such as airlocks, traffic control systems and remote monitoring, in addition to temperature control for ambient and chilled environments.
Established in 1936, Stelrad has grown to become Britain’s number one radiator brand, operating from facilities in the UK and Europe. The company distributes more than 2.5m products each year from its Mexborough site on Stelrad’s four manufacturing lines.
“We’re delighted with the Bulldoors installation in our Distribution facility here in Mexborough,” says Warehouse & Distribution Manager Paul Schofield. “Their installation is part of a planned upgrade of our facilities and will help us to save energy and create a far safer working environment during the colder months of the year. The amount of MHE moving around on site within Production and the National Distribution Centre completing the daily workload is substantial and any help we can have to reduce the heat loss in the buildings will contribute significantly to the overall efficiency of our operation.”
Union Industries has established itself as the UK’s leading manufacturer of bespoke warehousing and industrial solutions, working with a range of companies that operate across multiple sectors to help improve their logistics and reduce heat loss in distribution centres, warehouses, factories and storage facilities.
Robert Howe, Technical Sales Engineer at Union Industries, said: “We are proud of our rich heritage and reputation for delivering bespoke solutions to various industrial settings, which includes supporting organisations’ environmental policies. Stelrad is a world-leader in the manufacture of radiators and required a robust and resilient solution to further enhance the working environment for its staff, while preserving as much heat in its largescale building as possible.
“Our Bulldoors have remained a popular choice for a range of production facilities and industrial applications because of their toughness and bespoke features. Our entire range of high-speed roller doors are engineered and designed for long usage and high intensity operations, which are made specifically to meet each individual client’s requirements.
“Heat loss and energy efficiency can prove to be a major problem to companies such as Stelrad, which produce high volumes of quality products. We were delighted to support Stelrad’s working environment at its Mexborough facility with the installation of our Bulldoors.”

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