The Rt Hon Liz Truss, formerly the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and now appointed to the post of Justice Secretary, and Peter Aldous, the Conservative MP for the local Waveney constituency, were among the guests of honour at the official opening of Adande’s new refrigeration test rooms, at Barley Way, Lowestoft, on Friday 8 July.
Pictured, left to right at the tape cutting ceremony are: The Rt Hon Liz Truss, formerly the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and now appointed to the post of Justice Secretary, the Conservative MP for the local Waveney constituency, Peter Aldous and Adande Chairman, Nigel Bell.
After unveiling the state-of-the-art research and development facility, Liz 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.”
Peter Aldous added: “The £4.2 million 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. ”
The new £500,000 laboratory is part of a £4.2 million investment to help Adande, and its consortium partners, accelerate the development and commercialisation of its Aircell technology. Aircell is a unique and patented air flow management system, which has been designed for the improved performance and reduced energy consumption of refrigerated displays used for grocery retailing. The development programme will allow Adande to take Aircell to new levels and meet retailers’ specific merchandising requirements in the UK and abroad. The investment is being funded by a £2.1 million 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, of in excess of £5 million, to between £20 million and £30 million 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 will be generated at Adande, its consortium partners, other cabinet manufacturers and sub-contractors, leading to 97 additional jobs in the next eight 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 sophisticated computational fluid dynamics’ suite, for the numerical analysis of complex issues, relating to fluid flows and simulation scenarios such as turbulent flows.
Adande’s Managing Director, 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. We are now well placed to work with refrigeration equipment manufacturers and grocery retailers to deliver solutions, which meet the specific needs for sustainable refrigeration, tangible energy savings and an improved shopping experience.”
Aircell®– how it works
Aircell works by dividing the refrigerated display case’s merchandising envelope into separate air flow managed cells with small, low pressure air columns. Each cell has its own air curtain, which is more efficient than a full case height air curtain on a conventional multi deck case. The net result is less pressure on the air curtain of each cell and a substantial reduction in cold air spillage from the case. Crucially, Aircell does not require back panel flow to support the air curtain, so it does not over cool and freeze food at the rear of the cabinet.
The main benefits of the Aircell system, for retailers and cabinet manufacturers, are significantly reduced energy consumption, tighter operating temperatures and the tempering of cold aisle syndrome, which is the chilly and uncomfortable environment, experienced by shoppers and staff.
The Aircell system has been tested against the cabinets of various manufacturers, on both sides of the Atlantic, demonstrating energy savings of between 25% and 50%.
The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI)
AMSCI has supported manufacturing supply chains in England to reshore in the UK and improve global competitiveness by encouraging innovative, collaborative projects which establish strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Complementing the Regional Growth Fund, AMSCI has offered flexible funding support for R&D, skills, training, capital finance whilst leveraging private sector investment.
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