IN DEPTH: Displaying advances

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A recent CED Fabrications counter installation.

Foodservice counters, displays and serveries have always got to keep up with the latest technology and trends, especially when reducing costs at sites has never been more important. We take a look at the latest developments this sector’s suppliers have made.

CED chilled display ranges

CED prides itself on producing energy efficient chilled display units as standard. Its portfolio of cold drop-in displays, merchandisers and patisseries are supplied with its hydrocarbon gas technology system for a reduced carbon footprint.

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The fabricator’s Merseyside manufacturing plant produces Designline and Kubus ‘HT’ displays which use an efficient naturally occurring refrigerant gas, within a leak tested, hermetically sealed range of R290 condensing units.

These ranges and the Money Maker line are said to reduce annual energy consumption by up to 37%, with zero ozone depletion potential and low global warming potential. Sustainably-sourced product packaging is used for all units, while long life, low energy LED lighting is available as standard. These lines are independently CE approved and fully supported in the field by a qualified service team.

Ian Whittington, standard product manager, appraised: “From initial general arrangement and manufacturing drawings, at CED we turn concept designs for the bespoke servery into reality. Once approved, material procurement and frame drawings are issued and off-site factory construction of the servery counters is brought to completion, inspection, and breakdown.

“At CED we pride ourselves on our innovative, stylish, and reliable ranges of bespoke and standard commercial catering equipment. As we continue to gain market share, our recent merger with Tournus Equipment confirms CED’s investment in future business growth.

“With the company now expanding our horizons across the Middle East and Europe, the exceptional choice, quality, and value for money of CED catering products, are now offered to an even wider audience.”

Whittington believes: “At the heart of our growth lies continued investment in ourselves: staff training, product development, design software, component sourcing and manufacturing plant and processes.

“CED’s unequalled capacity to fulfil our customers’ many diverse requirements, simply increases year on year. Whether that need is for kitchen fabrication components, the latest in energy efficient drop-in displays and patisseries, or the most complex of bespoke servery counters. With a fleet of 13 delivery vehicles operating from three fully equipped manufacturing and stock holding facilities, we’re ready to serve.”

Gastros Switzerland InductWarm 130+ undercounter induction units

The InductWarm 130+ undercounter induction units by Gastros Switzerland are used in counters for hot holding and feature DPC (Dynamic Power Control) technology. This detects the quality of the inductive layer in the dish and adjusts its power, accordingly, meaning there should be no need for external trivet or sensors on the buffet surface. The undercounter units can be used under artificial stone, glass or wood.

The 130+ undercounter unit offers choice of control configurations and power settings: four pre-set temperature levels, USB connectors to capture data from the unit and allow firmware updates.

Induction power automatically turns off after 20 seconds of non-usage or when removing the dish and goes into standby mode. In case of re-usage, within 6 minutes it turns on again at the pre-selected power level. Because the system only uses the energy it needs to heat up the dish, the energy consumption is said to be low.

Users can also link up to 16 InductWarm 130+ elements together and control them with one external control panel, facilitating service and consistency across all the dishes served.

Signature FSE supplies the Gastros brand to the UK, with MD Paula Sherlock detailing the manufacturer’s latest developments: “In line with the recent hygiene and safety measures, Gastros products adapt to individual servings with the concept of the ‘One Dish Counter’. In this context, the meals are pre-portioned directly in the dish by the kitchen staff, kept warm on the counter and presented to the guest as attractive single portions, ready for guests to grab and go.

“The device that is ideal for keeping food warm for this concept is the induction unit InductWarm 200 – available as tabletop or as built-in models. Each induction unit of this series comes with six induction coils, hence six pre-portioned meals can be kept warm with one unit. There is one warming zone of a maximum size of GN 1/1 that can be split into three warming zones of size GN 1/3.”

Flexeserve heated food to go units

Flexeserve’s latest product, Flexeserve Hub, brings the manufacturer’s technology and learnings of hot-holding to new areas of the food industry. According to customer experience director Warwick Wakefield: “We’re introducing the benefits of hot-holding to back-of-house operations and helping businesses in food delivery, takeaway and pickup to make the most of the growth in demand for their hot food.

“We’ve developed a new cloud-enabled controller for our units. This controller is the only one on the market designed specifically for use on a heated display and has been designed in collaboration with a leading manufacturer of temperature controls.”

On minimising energy consumption, Wakefield commented: “At Flexeserve, we have energy efficiency at the heart of everything we do. Our unique technology and services are crafted to achieve industry-leading energy efficiency. We’ve also made this efficiency as accessible as possible, with our products – Flexeserve Zone, Flexeserve Zone Rear Feed and Flexeserve Hub – each tailored to bring our technology to new audiences.”

Flexeserve’s hot air recirculation system and the air curtains created are designed to use the minimal amount of energy necessary to surround food products with a consistent air temperature. Tight air curtains should retain and recycle the hot air, and also ensure that cold air from the external environment doesn’t impact on the unit’s performance, reducing the amount of heat that needs to be produced. Its units are also equipped with double glazing, hi-tech insulative materials and LED lighting.

The flagship product, the Flexeserve Zone heated display, can create multiple temperatures within the same unit. Each of the unit’s zones can be programmed to its own temperature, so it can hot-hold a wider variety of products with different temperature requirements, all within a small footprint. Users can turn zones off independently – so they only use the zones, and energy, that they require.

Wakefield added: “The result of these capabilities is that we’re able to reduce or even eliminate food waste, and make teams far more efficient in how they work.”

Williams G Series multideck merchandisers

Williams Refrigeration’s G Series is designed to be the manufacturer’s greenest range of multideck merchandisers, incorporating the firm’s standard energy saving features as well as upgrades to further boost efficiency savings. These are the first Williams multidecks to use a hydrocarbon refrigerant as standard, which should help to reduce energy consumption and has a low global warming potential and zero ozone depletion potential.

The G Series comes fitted with self-closing front sliding or hinged glass doors as standard and has panoramic glass side panels to enhance visibility. The low emission thermic glass is double glazed and has inert gas between the panels, which helps to further improve efficiency. Other energy saving features include low energy fans and LED strip lights.

Sales and marketing director Malcolm Harling underlined: “Our smart airflow design ensures that cold air stays in the Multideck, even in open-front models or when the doors are open. This has multiple benefits: crucially it maintains food safety; it also prevents ‘cold aisle’ syndrome, whereby the cold air chills the customer rather than the food; and it minimises energy consumption.”

He added: “We offer the most comprehensive collection of chilled grab and go merchandisers on the market. The G Series brings a greener dimension to the mix, and we also offer the option of a heated Multideck, called the Scarlet.”

Williams’ Multidecks can be personalised further with its Chameleon vinyl wrap service. This uses hard wearing, food-safe vinyl to cover the units, allowing the equipment to fit in with the design of the business. The manufacturer provides an in-house graphic design service if required, or alternatively buyers can provide their own designs.

Going forwards, Harling hinted: “As a company we are working towards the new MEPS standard for display refrigeration that comes into effect from 1 March 2021, while also working on a number of exciting innovations to enhance several of our ranges.”

Counterline Elite refrigerated cabinets

Counterline’s range of Elite refrigerated cabinets are designed to conform to the highest recognised standard of energy efficiency: BS EN ISO 23953:2015. This specifies requirements for the construction, characteristics and performance of refrigerated display cabinets used in the sale and display of foodstuffs. Sales director Paul Purslow said: “The 3m1 and 3m0 classification we have received though independent laboratories gives assurance on performance and efficiency of our equipment.

“We recognise ourselves as the only UK manufacturer of commercial refrigeration to have a variety of standalone and drop in, self-service refrigerated cabinets that perform to 3m1 classification. Our rear loading doors for quick replenishment feature proving to be a key feature across all sectors of foodservice.

“Our ranges are always created with the business in mind, and know that each business has different needs. Versatility is one of the most important features in our equipment.”

This adaptability is demonstrated in adjustable shelves that can be set to a desired height for maximum usage of space, as well as giving the freedom to create the best display for products.

Elsewhere in Counterline’s portfolio, the heated and refrigerated display cases within the IDesign range encompass advanced technology.

A core product from the range is the ceramic glass hotplate which uses a heating technology developed exclusively for Counterline products, allowing for a more consistent heat distribution and optimised coverage. Purslow emphasised: “Our largest 6 gastronorm sized hotplate runs off a 13A plug, while other manufacturers’ hotplates require a 20A supply. The energy savings an operator can make over the course of 2 years means that the unit will have paid for itself over this time.”

Counterline has also recently released a range of dual-purpose heated and chilled display units, which allow for self-help and assisted service food offerings. Its inclusion has since formed a critical part of key infrastructure projects across Asia and the Middle East.

Victor Optimax refrigerated units

Victor Manufacturing’s Optimax square-fronted refrigerated units were said to be the first of their kind to receive approval onto the ECA Energy Technology List by the Carbon Trust.

UK sales and marketing director Steven McGarvie explained: “To gain inclusion onto this listing, the range was put through vigorous independent testing to EN23953:2005, M1 Climate Class 3 standards.”

Specific energy efficient features of this range include a rear door arrangement designed to help maintain cabinet temperatures when one or both doors are opened.

Of Victor’s overall capabilities, McGarvie analysed: “From the initial concept design sketches and 3D ‘walk-through’ visuals, to the project management, site install and commissioning of our counters, we offer a full turn-key solution.

“Utilising the latest 3D modelling technology means that the manufacturing processes used in the build of our servery counters are as efficient as possible.

“The nature of front of house counter design means that each project is truly bespoke, to offer a tailored solution for the customer. Initially building each project using IronCAD software allows us to produce detailed manufacturing drawings, displaying all aspects of the counter, down to the very smallest of components.

“Our 3D software is linked to a Design Data Manager package in which every component is accurately costed to reduce waste and ensure that we can be competitive on the overall project quotation.”

The manufacturer is also able to offer additional site works such as any M&E, building or site management as part of its project contract.

McGarvie added: “Having a dedicated R&D team also means that we have the capability to work with customers where modifications are required to products from our existing portfolio. We have recently completed a roll-out of retail display units with bespoke dimensions where we had to be able to commit to an 8 week design, build and delivery lead time.”

Fri-Jado modular convenience and custom counters

Fri-Jado’s range of chilled Modular Convenience Counters (MCC) benefits from the manufacturer’s OmniCold refrigeration technology. OmniCold works by blanketing the product on display from all sides. A low velocity air flow of approximately 120metre3/h/m circulates above and below the food. This feature is claimed to combine the benefits of forced air flow with static air flow cooling systems.

Refrigerated air circulated across the product deck chills product from below, whilst slots in the deck allow air to escape to the top. This should prevent the top air flow from collapsing and enable higher stacking heights, even at minimal air speeds. An air outlet grille creates an air flow which reduces turbulence and therefore mitigates the infiltration of ambient air. This means less energy is required to refrigerate the air, from 0°C to -3°C at 3M0 conditions.

Fri-Jado’s Custom Counter (CC) range also features the OmniCold air flow system, together with efficient LED lighting, DC fans, triple pane insulated side glass and a fully insulated shell, designed to reduce energy consumption to 4.54kWh/day/metre2 at 3M0. This figure is some 43% below the ECA Energy Efficiency Index threshold.

The manufacturer’s hot MCC models are also engineered for energy efficiency with Fri-Jado’s Hot Blanket holding system, which is claimed to deliver energy savings in excess of 20% compared to competitive models. The counters use a combination of hot air and heated shelving, ensuring heat consistency. Hot air is circulated to each shelf to maintain optimum display temperature throughout the unit.

Gary Thacker, director of national accounts, Fri-Jado UK, said: “Whilst improved energy efficiency and better food quality are key features of the Fri-Jado range of MCC and CC equipment, product visibility, versatile configurations and merchandising flexibility are also areas in which the counters score against the opposition. We have addressed demands from operators to ‘make the food king’ with an innovative shelf design that increases the visibility of merchandise for maximum effect, promoting impulse purchases.”

Tags : ced fabricationscounterlinecountersdisplaysflexeserveFri-Jadogastrosserveriessignature fseVictorwilliams
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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