Refrigeration manufacturer, Adande, is to invest over £4m in the further development of Aircell technology, which has been designed to improve the energy efficiency and operational performance of open front, refrigerated multi deck display cabinets.
The investment will be funded by equity finance and a £2.1m Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) grant. It should allow the company and its consortium partners, including refrigerated cabinet manufacturer, The Bond Group, to take the technology to new levels and meet retailers’ specific merchandising requirements in the UK and abroad.
Included in the investment will be the development of facilities for the research, development and testing of refrigeration systems at the Adande factory in Lowestoft.
Included in this, the manufacturer is committing over £500,000 to the construction of three state-of-the-art test rooms. The chambers will provide facilities for testing to BS EN ISO 23953, which is the industry standard specifying the requirements for the construction, characteristics and performance of refrigerated display cabinets used in the sale and display of foodstuffs. The facilities will also provide the resources to meet and exceed the terms of new test standards, scheduled for introduction in 2017.
The new test facilities will incorporate features including a single control system to regulate humidity, temperature and fan speed within the chambers. The test rooms will have accurate temperature control, through an extended range of 15°C to 43°C, regulated via a touch screen controller.
The test rooms will be designed to be energy efficient and to have a minimal carbon footprint achieved through a range of features, including active bypass dehumidification, Eurovent energy efficient class ‘A’ air handlers, air source heat pump EC fans and LED lighting.
In addition, will be creating a dedicated facility, housing CAD resources and a sophisticated computational fluid dynamics’ suite for the numerical analysis of complex issues relating to fluid flows and simulation scenarios such as turbulent flows.
The Aircell development programme is projected to require the establishment of technical and engineering teams, as well as associated management, sales and administrative roles, leading to 12 new jobs at Adande within the next 12 months, with nearly 100 jobs created by 2024.
Nigel Bell, Adande chairman said: “We are no strangers to the commercialisation of new refrigeration products. We have successfully designed, developed and taken to market our patented insulated drawer system, with ‘hold the cold technology’, for operators in the foodservice and food retailing sectors.
“In addition to our investment in Aircell, we are also committing equity funds to develop further global growth for our drawer products.”