NewCold, which specializes in deep-frozen storage and logistics, recently introduced a fully automated handling solution it says sets new standards in maintaining temperature integrity and efficiency in the cold chain.
Designed in close partnership with Gray and Adams, and produced at the trailer builder’s Doncaster manufacturing facility, the aptly named ‘Pod’ draws on the latest automated loading technology and, according to NewCold, is a first for the United Kingdom.
Tom Cassells, Newcold’s logistics advisor, sees a key role for the Pod going forward.
“Automated handling and loading are bringing a host of benefits to the deep-frozen supply chain and this new advancement represents a big step forward for NewCold and their customers—in terms of energy saving, faster turn-round and overall product quality,” Cassells said.
The Pod’s key function is to bridge the gap between the deep-frozen production or storage environment and NewCold’s auto-loading, 44-pallet double-deck trailers—also designed and manufactured by Gray and Adams.
For example, as soon as the product leaves the production line at -22 degrees, it is automatically loaded through a sliding door at the back of the 60-pallet-capacity Pod, which itself is pre-cooled to the same temperature. From here, following a brief temperature-stabilizing period, the pallets are automatically transferred into the double-deck trailer docked to the front of the Pod, NewCold said.
Initial loading into the Pod is completed in around 5 minutes, the company claimed, with the whole cycle taking less than 30 minutes. Meanwhile, three Carrier TRS refrigeration systems hold the temperature at a constant -25 degrees and, being electric, keep harmful emissions to a minimum.
Effectively, every deep-frozen package or pallet remains at a constant set temperature of -22 to -25 degrees, and at no time during its journey from the production line to completed loading in the trailer is any pallet exposed to the ambient environment or touched by an operative. This not only ensures absolute temperature integrity but virtually eliminates product damage, the company maintained.
The Pod recently won an Innovation Award for Gray and Adams at the annual TCS&D dinner, which was attended by operators and suppliers to the temperature-controlled storage and distribution industry.