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Practical issues common in cold store set-ups

Practical issues common in cold store set-ups | Condensation | Ice

SOURCES OF HUMIDITY

Ice and condensation stem from air laden with undesirable moisture, undergoing a phase change when certain specific conditions arise.

The most common sources of such moisture-laden air are:

  • Points of entry where doors/barriers are open for too long and/or close too slowly
  • Inappropriately sealed doors/openings in the outer structure
  • Ineffective sluices and other areas where goods are “in transition”
  • The goods stored within the facility
  • People and vehicles present within the facility
  • Pressure equalizer set-ups.

WHERE ICE AND CONDENSATION FORM

A PLETHORA OF PRACTICAL PROBLEMS

Unwanted ice and condensation can cause a wide range of costly problems in cold store facilities.

First of all,

PRODUCT QUALITY AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

Melting ice or pooled condensation can damage the packaging of goods in the cold store facility, consequently,

  • Greater waste, reduced profit margins and negative effect on customer relations

Undesirable moisture can result in both damage and contamination of goods in the facility, hence,

  • Health risks, greater waste, reduced profit margins and negative effect on customer relations

Depending on conditions, moisture can condense on the strip curtains through which people and/or vehicles and goods-moving equipment enter/exit the facility, therefore,

  • Possible cross-contamination of other goods passing through the curtains

Any cleaning/washing of the interior of the cold store at temperatures above 0 °C can affect the viability of the freeze chain, consequently,

  • Damage to the value/quality of the goods stored, including bacterial growth

SAFETY ISSUES

Ice and condensation result in slippery floors, therefore,

  • Staff can slip/fall, forklift trucks, pallet movers and other equipment can skid and cause accidents and injuries as well as damaging goods, equipment and fixtures

Humidity in the air can cause mist and reduced visibility, hence,

  • Accidents affecting staff, vehicles, goods, equipment and fixtures

Ice deposits can fall, as a result,

  • Injuries to staff and damage to goods, equipment and fixtures margins and negative effect on customer relations

REDUCED PRODUCT HANDLING EFFICIENCY

Ice and condensation can result in many small hindrances to effective, error-free transport, stacking and logistics, hence,

  • Reduced product handling efficiency and higher costs

Ice can form on the barcodes on products, packaging and pallets, therefore,

  • Product IDs/labels falling off or cannot be read/scanned effectively, resulting in non-productive time and workflow inefficiencies margins and negative effect on customer relations

POOR WORKING ENVIRONMENT

Formation of ice makes it difficult to close cold-room doors and other openings properly, hence,

  • Draughts, additional ingress of moisture-laden air, etc.

Staff experience a cold working environment with high levels of humidity as colder/more uncomfortable than an environment with the same temperatures but low humidity, consequently,

  • Lower staff morale, higher absenteeism statistics

WASTED MAN-HOURS AND REDUCED PRODUCTIVITY

Once formed, ice needs to be removed and condensation needs to be dried up before it freezes to ice, hence,

  • Constant need to use manpower for non-productive purposes ice and condensation result in slower movement and more accidents
  • Lower productivity and higher manpower costs for treatment/compensation/insurance, etc.

HIGHER ENERGY BILLS

Ice and condensation in cold stores need to be removed, therefore,

  • Additional energy consumption for defrosting of fixtures, fittings and refrigeration equipment

Evaporators work inefficiently when iced up, hence,

  • Additional energy consumption

In some cold stores floors are heated to avoid icing, consequently,

  • Additional energy costs for heating as well as for the cooling system needed to remove the heat again afterwards margins and negative effect on customer relations

HOW TO TACKLE ICE AND CONDENSATION? We are going to write about it in our next article. See you!

Courtesy of Cotes A/S

READ ALSO:

  1. Comparison among PVC products and other PE/PP products

  2. Case Study: Cold storage in logistic center, San Salvador

  3. Managing humidity in cold store installations | Condensation | Ice

  4. Aggressive Environment: Solutions for insulating metal panels | Cold Room

  5. 8 TIPS FOR CLEANING CORRECTLY YOUR COLD-ROOM

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Alberto Adriano

✓ Entrepreneur in the field of International Commerce of Industrial Thermal Insulation ✓ Sales Director at Globe Panels Ltd ✓ 12 years of experience in Sandwich Panels ✓ Exporting to Latin America since 2009.
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