Food manufacturers boost efficiency and sustainability with GEA refrigeration solutions

26 January, 20

Investing in the latest compressor equipment and refrigeration solutions has not only boosted the performance of two of the UK’s major food manufacturers with improved efficiency, energy savings and reduced carbon footprint, but also earned the supplier GEA four nominations in this year’s RAC Cooling Awards.

GEA clinched the contract to supply a new, environmentally friendly refrigeration system – which will be Scotland’s first large-scale plant combining biomass heat and absorption chilling – at Mackie’s of Scotland, one of Britain’s leading ice cream producers.

As part of a multi-million-pound project, the luxury ice cream brand replaced existing freezing equipment at its Aberdeenshire facility with GEA’s ammonia-based, low carbon, power efficient refrigeration unit that incorporates an Absorption Chiller supplied with the help of German company AGO – an innovative solution that will help Mackie’s to target ambitious CO2 reductions of 90% and energy cost savings of 70-80%.

A specialist in supplying high-tech processing, packaging and refrigeration kit for the food industry, GEA also won a contract from Quorn Foods to replace an obsolete compressor at the veggie food company’s North Yorkshire facility with a GEA Grasso Conversion Kit (GGCK), a larger compressor that increased the refrigeration capacity at the plant by an extra seven percent.

In addition to the GGCK, GEA also replaced the existing controller with a new state-of-the-art OMNI Retrofit Panel controller (GORP). The work was carried out and completed during a small window of opportunity, enabling Quorn Foods to get back into production earlier than expected.

Submitting these successful projects to the judging panel has seen GEA shortlisted in four categories for the industry’s cooling awards, with the winners being announced at a virtual ceremony on December 9. The nominations are Cooling Manufacturer of the year, Refrigeration Innovation of the year and RAC Contractor of the year – all for the GGCK and OMNI project – as well as Building Energy Project of the year for the Mackie’s installation.

Sustainability targets do help focus minds, and GEA believes food manufacturers should not delay switching to sustainable cooling and heating systems based on natural refrigerants (e.g. ammonia and CO2) that can reduce their CO2 emissions and energy bills – as well as boosting productivity.

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