Crispbread & cooling technology – part 1
Peter Donkers with an introduction to the project
A new project for a large fresh centre in Sweden. How do we approach that? In a number of blogs, we would like to take you into our world. In this blog: Peter Donkers with an introduction to the project.
With decades of experience in the cheese and (other) food industry, we at Voets & Donkers are now able to contribute to the optimisation of processes in the food sector. Less waste, fresher products, faster lead times… we like to do our bit. The Dutch fruit and vegetable processor Koninklijke Vezet will also implement optimisation measures. With a new fresh centre in Sweden, VCN, the Scandinavian branch of Vezet, wants to serve Swedish and Danish consumers even better. In the fresh centre, lettuce will be cut and packaged, and salads and fruit salads will be prepared. These are then sold in Danish and Swedish supermarkets. VCN engaged us for the cooling technology and air treatment in the fresh centre.
And so we were (and are) allowed to go to Sweden: the land of crispbread (knäckebröd), Ikea, Pippi Longstocking and the Vikings. This is new for us, and at the same time we immediately noticed that Sweden is close to the Netherlands in terms of culture, communication and regulations. This is convenient in all kinds of different areas.
The fresh centre for VCN is not just any project. With almost 8,000 m2 of floor area and 3,000 kW of cooling capacity, it is a challenging project we enjoy working on. Our activities here are threefold: we supply cooling technology, we provide the right (high-care) air conditions and we supply heat. The latter may sound odd, but it’s actually quite logical: what a cooling installation does is move heat. The installation extracts heat somewhere and you can use that heat elsewhere. Such as to dry the lettuce, to heat the offices in the building and for the cleaning water. This allows you to be super environmentally friendly, energy efficient and cost saving. A win-win-win situation.
”By cleverly using the heat that the cooling installation extracts in one place, elsewhere, we can be super environmentally friendly, energy efficient and cost savingPeter Donkers
As contradictory as it may sound, our preparatory work for this project therefore consisted largely of looking at where and when heat is needed in the newly built fresh centre. We link this to the areas where cooling technology and/or high-care air conditions are required. We already take all this information and specifications into account when we are designing our installations.
Greater efficiency, smaller error margins
Another special aspect of this project is the fact that we are designing the entire installation here in 3D and are already building it up in our own factory. Parts of the installation can already be inspected and certified here in Schijndel. We can eliminate any errors, whereby close consultation between engineers and the production department ensures greater efficiency and quality. We then disassemble the installation and transport it as a (relatively) easy-to-assemble package to Sweden. This way, our on-site technicians need less time for assembly. Working in BIM, a digital collaboration model between us, the contractor and other installers, also reduces error margins. This allows us to identify and overcome any ‘clashes’ and bottlenecks in advance.
In the coming months we will work hard to make this project a success. From design to production and from installation to realisation. We’ll keep you posted!
As a cheese producer, you know better than anyone that there are countless types of cheese and that each cheese has its own properties. The air conditions in your warehouse play a major role in this; after all, they determine to a large extent how your cheese matures and (therefore) tastes. Voets & Donkers is a specialist in creating exactly those conditions that optimise cheese maturation and give your cheese its own characteristic and perfect taste.
Optimum taste, quality and shelf life are of great importance in the fresh produce sector. At Voets & Donkers we have the knowledge, experience and expertise to offer added value as a refrigeration company. We have many customers in the fresh produce sector: from small-scale farms to large fresh centres. With cold stores and freezers in all shapes and sizes, we offer a wide range of possibilities. Whether it concerns a cold store on the farm, a vegetable-processing factory or a large (refrigerated) warehouse… we are at your service!
Sustainability is very important in our society today. We ‘have to’ get rid of the gas, and we also try to limit our use of electricity as much as possible. At Voets & Donkers, our installations contribute to sustainability in three ways: we use natural refrigerants, we develop energy-efficient installations and we make heat recovery possible.