Sometimes the only way to work through challenges is to bring all parties to the table and discuss them in detail. This is what CEDA and CESA have achieved for the third year in a row, by holding their Joint Catering Equipment Industry Technical Conference event.
Held at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel on 7 October, the packed programme began with Suzannah Nichol, the chief executive of Build UK, advocating reducing the paperwork involved in project pre-qualification.
While Nichol represents contractors and trade associations in the construction industry, she was at pains to point out that they seem to be forcing catering equipment distributors to fill in too many forms to essentially assure competence.
“There are no consistent quality or risk standards, constant duplication of information and also multiple accreditation bodies,” she commented.
Therefore, Build UK has established an action plan to create a consistently applied system that provides assurance on supply chain competence whilst being simple and efficient to operate.
This would mean establishing a central data source online, where dealers only need to fill their information in once. They would then give permission to anyone who needs to access that data.
“This accreditation would be accepted by the industry and renewed annually – we all need to support the system, encourage its adoption and refuse to use contractors’ own forms,” urged Nichol.
In the second presentation of the day, CESA director and EFCEM technical committee chairman, Keith Warren, presented an outlook of catering equipment industry regulations from the EU.
He revealed that the main legislator drivers are currently energy, water, resources – relating to waste management, safety and hygiene. [[page-break]]
“There are more than 20 EU directives impacting foodservice equipment manufacturers,” said Warren. These include the refrigeration energy efficiency labelling regulations – which may also be applied to dishwashers and ovens in the coming years.
Furthermore, the European Industry Consortium for Products in Contact with Drinking Water (ICPCDW) is pushing for mutual recognition of water requirements across the various schemes that apply in Europe. However, proponents of the national regulations are not in favour of this, including WRAS.
BIM is also high on the European agenda, with EFCEM recently agreeing to produce a BIM model database along the lines of the UK’s CESABIM resource, across all of the main proprietary software platforms.
“This will be a major resource which all of the EFCEM national associations have signed in to, and all of that resource will be available in the UK,” Warren explained.
He also touched on the topic of FOG, saying that the issue is tied in with the role of waste disposal companies and water companies. “But in reality, they don’t really know what the FOG problem is, they just know they get blockages,” he commented.
FOG was a theme continued by Duncan Hepburn, director at consultants Carilo and principal consultant at his own firm, Hepburn Associates. Reporting from the recent FOG Forum conference, he said there still seems to be many elements of FOG that are unclear.
“There is no one single solution to the issue of FOG,” he believes. “It requires the involvement of all designers, consultants, installers, operators, and supply companies to ensure that the best solutions and practices are put into place, and then that they are maintained and followed through.”
The conference also ran three afternoon seminars, on gas regulations, fleet insurance and pressure system safety regulations.
Graham Skinner, sales director at Serviceline, led the session on gas safety, with Peter Hirst from IGEM contributing, detailing how the institution developed the UP/19 standard to clarify how to design and apply gas interlocks and how to measure air quality in a kitchen. [[page-break]]
Bruce Bennett from the Gas Safe Register explained how the unsafe situation procedure was changed following an incident where an engineer marked an appliance unsafe but did not disconnect it. The consumer then used it, which proved fatal.
“The procedure had too many categories and it was too confusing,” Bennett said. After an 18 month consultation, the categories have been reduced to two: immediately dangerous (ID) and at risk (AR).
The second seminar was hosted by Darren Cronin, a broker from Jelf Insurance, on the subject of fleet insurance. He pointed out that dealers and servicing firms with fleets of vehicles may be able to reducing their premiums by investing in risk management and ensuring they have all the relevant information about their drivers.
Furthermore, he advised: “If there is an accident and your driver is to blame, admit fault and notify your insurers as soon as possible.”
In the last seminar, Allianz standards engineer Andy Greaves set out the dangers of pressure vessels, such as those in coffee machines.
He described an incident in a Sainsbury’s cafe in 2010 when a coffee boiler catastrophically failed, exploded and caused seven people to be taken to hospital. “All items that fall under PSSR must have a suitable written scheme of examination,” he said.
The event was rounded off by the day’s MC, Richard West, international keynote speaker and former Formula 1 motor racing senior executive, who detailed the intriguing possibility of smart monitoring. This is where sensors are installed within assets to enable remote monitoring.
Should this innovation arrive in the catering equipment industry, West said it would provide ‘live’ product knowledge, more effective asset management, reduce stock holding requirements and virtually remove ‘surprise’ call outs. “Engineers will know what condition an asset is in and when they need to perform maintenance,” he concluded.