Cold Link Africa July/August 2019 | Page 31

FEATURE PROPER SEALING Doors are probably the most key element in maintaining the cold chain in a facility. If they are not insulated, easy to operate or sealed properly, they will not fulfil their function of containing the precious cold air within the building, explains Janssen. When deciding on industrial doors and loading dock equipment for cold storage facilities, the main features to look out for are insulation and seals preventing any air exchange around the door, in between the door panels and around the dock leveller. Modern freezers are expensive – both to build and to operate. And given the growth in product lines, racking systems must offer both high capacity and great access. A high-quality, properly balanced, insulated sectional door is easy and quick to operate and therefore allows for quick movement in and out of the door, he adds, minimising opening time and loss of cold air. An electrically-operated door would be first prize as this will reduce possible damages due to negligent operation and ensure that the door opens and closes to its optimum with less wear and tear. The dock leveller should be designed in such a way that there are minimal gaps allowing cold air to escape the building. Docking accessories such as cushion seals or shelters are critical elements in the loading process and should fit snugly around the truck, also preventing any loss of cold air from the building during loading and unloading. An ideal solution for cold storage facilities is a loadhouse. The loadhouse is a complete, separate loading platform and is the most energy efficient solution, incorporating leveller, shelter and door for a complete loading bay unit on the outside of the building, which maximises energy efficiency and from Janssen’s experience, is the Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) auditor’s preferred layout. With the dock leveller outside the building, which is closed by a properly insulated and sealed sectional door, the amount of air exchange that takes place during loading is limited. The other benefits of load-houses are an increase in hygiene and maximising space in the building. The space under a dock leveller can be a shelter for pests and for dirt to build up. With the leveller being outside the building you prevent the ingress of dirt and pests into the building, and by moving the loading process from inside the warehouse to outside you immediately free up space in the warehouse. If space restriction does not allow for a separate load-house to be built outside the main building than an insulated dock leveller would be a great investment. Strip curtains or high-speed doors at loading dock entrances can also minimise cold air loss. Temperature logging and control is also key to ensure the product doesn’t go off. be ruined. Bram Janssen from Maxiflex Door Systems shares some tips from his experience on how to get this right. INCORPORATING COLD CHAIN The ammonia plant room at the Chilleweni cold store in Johannesburg. COLD LINK AFRICA • July/August 2019 31