The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liz Truss, and the Conservative MP for the local Waveney constituency, Peter Aldous, were among the guests of honour at the official opening of Adande’s new refrigeration test rooms in Lowestoft last Friday.
The new £500,000 laboratory is part of a £4.2m investment to help Adande, and its consortium partners, accelerate the development and commercialisation of its Aircell technology.
Aircell is a patented air flow management system, which has been designed for the improved performance and reduced energy consumption of refrigerated displays.
The development programme will allow Adande to enable Aircell to meet specific merchandising requirements in the UK and abroad.
The investment is being funded by a £2.1m Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) grant and an AMSCI loan of £380,000, together with private equity investment.
The development of Aircell is expected to contribute to the growth of the company’s current turnover, by in excess of £5m, to between £20m and £30m by 2018.
The investment programme has also led to the recruitment of nine new employees at Adande in technical, engineering, management, sales and administrative roles.
Additional employment opportunities should be generated at Adande, its consortium partners, other cabinet manufacturers and sub-contractors, leading to 97 additional jobs in the next 8 years.
The new facility includes three environmental chambers for testing to BS EN ISO 23953, which is the accepted industry standard for the testing of refrigerated display cases.
They also provide the resources to meet and exceed future test standards.
The energy efficient facility incorporates the latest design features, including a single control system to regulate humidity, temperature and fan speed within the chambers, backed by sophisticated data acquisition and monitoring systems.
In addition, Adande has also established a dedicated facility, housing CAD resources and a computational fluid dynamics’ suite, for the numerical analysis of complex issues, relating to fluid flows and simulation scenarios such as turbulent flows.
Adande’s MD, Ian Wood, commented: “We have made a significant investment in the design and development of Aircell, with recent laboratory tests and in-store trials bringing the technology within the realms of commercial viability.”
After unveiling the state-of-the-art research and development facility, Truss stated: “The British food and drink industry is leading global innovation right across the food chain.
“The energy saving technology on show today and Adande’s investment in research and development are fantastic examples of how the sector can become more competitive through reducing its environmental impact.
“Not only will this technology help to reduce energy consumption and cut costs, it will keep food at its best for longer and help reduce food waste.”
Aldous added: “The investment is a great boost to an already highly successful company. It is great to be here to see this unveiling today and see this company going from strength to strength. ”