How Technology Is Used in Cold Storage
Whether you’re storing meat, dairy products, or other perishable goods, you need to keep them at the right temperature. This requires cold storage facilities that are designed to create the specific conditions necessary for a particular item.
New construction and expansions are key to the industry’s growth. Increasingly, design-build firms are embracing new technologies to improve food safety and energy efficiency.
Green building techniques can help improve the sustainability of cold storage buildings. This can include minimizing waste, using renewable energy sources and materials that are environmentally friendly, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Aside from lowering environmental impacts, green buildings also improve occupant health and comfort. Research shows that workers in well-ventilated offices have higher cognitive performance and sleep better than those who work in poorly ventilated spaces.
In addition, minimizing the use of toxic chemicals in building materials can reduce air pollution and toxicity for occupants. Chemicals like formaldehyde are known human carcinogens and can lead to watery eyes kho cap dong, headaches and fatigue.
According to the International Association of Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (IARW), it is important to design cold storage facilities to be as airtight as possible. This means installing two-door “airlocks” to prevent climate-controlled air from escaping when someone enters or exits the facility and eliminating windows entirely to reduce the number of potential leak points.
Another key aspect of green building is ensuring the buildings are built as efficiently as possible. This can include installing high-efficiency HVAC systems, optimizing lighting and using energy-efficient appliances.
In addition to addressing energy efficiency, the IACSC-IARW Construction/Codes Committee created a formal guidance document that designers can use to certify cold storage and refrigerated facilities under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Projects that follow the guidelines could receive up to 19 points.
Robotics are increasingly used in cold storage to improve the flow of goods, reduce labour costs, and increase product quality. These robotics include automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) and inspection robots.
When cold storage facilities conduct their operations on a large scale and serve a global customer base, it can be challenging to prepare and distribute the contents as quickly as market demands require. Still, Nolan Meats, an Australian brand that recently opened the largest meat-chilling distribution center in the Southern Hemisphere, successfully utilizes robotic equipment to keep its beef maximally fresh.
Automated solutions can maximise warehouse volumes, lowering energy consumption per pallet and improving productivity and efficiency throughout the cold storage process. They can also optimise warehouse space by eliminating aisles, allowing for better utilisation of floor space.
In addition to saving costs, automation in cold storage can reduce the amount of spoilage, which is a major objective of the industry. Several firms around the world are optimizing their cold storage spaces by seeking help from robots.
For example, a firm in the United States called Matson Fruit built a fully automated cold storage warehouse that cost more than conventional warehouses but should have long-term payoffs. This facility uses automated storage and retrieval systems, which allow for three times the storage density that standard warehouses offer.
Whether in a small storage space or an industrial plant, emergency lighting is critical for ensuring safe and efficient evacuation. This is especially true in the event of a power outage or blackout, which can cause panic and confusion.
The UK code of practice BS 5266 part 1 lays down minimum illumination requirements for escape routes and open areas. It also specifies the siting of emergency fittings in a building.
Emergency lighting can be provided as a self-contained unit or incorporated into existing fixtures. These lights typically detect a power failure and automatically switch to a back-up battery, which will provide lighting for a fixed duration.
LED emergency luminaires are one of the latest developments in emergency lighting. Their low energy consumption, high efficiency and long life (typically 10 years) make them more environmentally friendly than most other types of lighting.
Stacy Carr, electrical engineer design leader at Stantec, says there are many options in terms of emergency lighting. “The key is to understand the impact of the decision you make on the initial cost, frequency/complexity/costs of maintenance, and ultimately the total life-cycle costs,” she says.
The best way to ensure that your emergency lighting meets the codes is by testing them regularly. This can be done manually, using a test button or by the manufacturer’s recommendation.