Stonegrove Refrigeration Services has delivered an ammonia installation ahead of schedule for global logistics company Kuehne + Nagel. David Todd visited the site just before handover.
Most elements of an industrial refrigeration installation are on a grand scale, but sometimes it is the little things that make the difference. Like Stonegrove’s decision to send a key member of the team to Belgium to personally check on progress when a delay threatened to impact a £1 million-plus project.
In fact, the ammonia installation at a regional distribution centre in Greenford, north London, for logistics giant Kuehne + Nagel was ultimately completed a week ahead of schedule.
Lloyd Hopkinson, Managing Director of principal contractor JJL Design and Build, said: “The end result is fantastic, definitely one of the best cold room projects we have worked on. The design, installation and final product is something that everyone involved should be really proud of.’’
The new coldstore has six High Bay coolers and the system features two GEA inverter drive single stage screw compressors.
The loading bays have three additional coolers, plus gas-powered dehumidifiers to eliminate moisture and keep the cold store completely frost-free.
Stonegrove prides itself on providing a complete solution for its customers, ranging from a water-softening system to deal with London’s hard water supply, to the design of the plant room; from a new heater mat and floor to extensive leak detection systems.
The Installation has taken five months in total, with up to 20 Stonegrove staff and sub-contractors on site, and the Practical Completion was a week ahead of schedule.
An unexpected delay to the delivery of an evaporative condenser could have been a potential problem but Senior Project Manager Dave Forman travelled to Belgium to check on progress of the order. The condenser arrived three weeks later than originally scheduled but the Stonegrove team was able to work around the delay and still keep the overall project on track.
Dave said: “When we realised the condenser was not going to be in place when we had planned, it made sense to go over to Belgium and make sure things were sorted out as quickly as possible.
“We did have a contingency plan in place to bring in a replacement condenser if necessary, but that was a worst-case situation. Sometimes, going and dealing with an issue in person can make all the difference. We always want to do the best possible job as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“We have had a great team on site and that is reflected in the way the job has gone. We had a design meeting every fortnight where we let everyone know what was coming up in the days ahead and that always helps to flag up potential issues and deal with them in advance.
“We delivered the project ahead of schedule and the customer made a point of telling us how pleased they were with the quality of work and attention to detail.’’
Commissioning Engineer Garry Dawson helped write all the software needed to control the plant and Stonegrove can access any part of the system remotely if a fault is detected.
Garry also oversaw Stonegrove’s rigorous testing and monitoring and said: “It’s a very energy-efficient system. Looked after properly, it will last a long time. And by choosing ammonia, you are basically future-proofing your business.’’