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Refrigeration Energy in Supply Network and Operations

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) has been used successfully by many organisations to plan and identify internal improvements. Furthermore when used appropriately it can help the process industry eliminate waste, maintain better inventory control, improve product quality, and obtain better overall financial and operational control.

The ultimate goal of VSM is to identify all types of waste in the value stream and to take steps to try to eliminate these. Waste can be any part of the process that takes time and resources but adds no value to the product and can even include something as small as taking extra footsteps to bring a product to another part of the factory for finishing.

The following areas of refrigeration energy wastage have been identified in the companies investigated:

  • Difficulties in achieving and maintaining temperatures
  • Temperatures throughout all of the sites fluctuated greatly from room to room
  • Inappropriate plant layout
  • Lack of space for new equipment
  • Repetitive handling and moving
  • Inadequate storage facilities (e.g. use of off site storage)
  • Poor information flow
  • Customer’s orders often unpredictable and unreliable therefore requiring the need to accommodate buffer stock
  • Technical errors with machinery
  • Inappropriate maintenance practices
  • Badly utilised equipment
  • Inappropriate quantities of storage in chilling rooms
  • Transportation logistics issues

Possible solutions to reduce the key areas of refrigeration energy waste include:

  • Energy monitoring
  • Fit sub metering equipment
  • Fit door strip curtains or automatic doors
  • Minimise changes in temperature
  • Redevelopment of the processing lines
  • Avoid unnecessary movement of goods
  • Improve plant layout and processing lines
  • Streamline supply chains
  • Improve information flow
  • Maintenance practices
  • To improve machine errors
  • Utilise the opportunity for heat recovery
Supply network and operation analysis

Contact FRPERC

Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre (FRPERC), Grimsby Institute (GIFHE), Nuns Corner Campus, Laceby Road, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire. DN34 5BQ. UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1472 315522 / 315565 | Email: [email protected]