Freezer Failure Puts Heat On Warehouse

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A routine Tuesday morning at a cold storage warehouse here in Frankfort became anything but routine when the central refrigeration system failed. As a frozen food warehouse for some of the nation’s largest food distributors and restaurant chains, the company is responsible of keeping its clients’ products frozen 24/7.

The failure of one component in the refrigeration system rendered the entire plant inoperative; warehouse temperatures started to rise.

The first step was to move the product to refrigerated trucks to prevent losses, but that made the flow of product in and out almost unmanageable. To further complicate matters, the company wanted to replace the old refrigeration system rather than attempt to repair it, which would require coping with any temporary solution for a longer period of time.

The calls started going out to rental companies, including Mike McGushin, Midwest regional manager for NuTemp. “I knew this customer was calling a number of companies,” he said. “However, NuTemp had the right equipment for the job, the technical resources to manage it, and very competitive prices.”

The customer wanted to lower the cold storage temperature to 0 degrees F as quickly as possible, and maintain it there until the new permanent equipment could be installed. To solve the problem for the customer, the company brought in a 300-hp low-temperature chiller to supply –30 degree brine to two specialized cold storage air units with electric defrost, as well as

a second chiller, which was pressed into service as an air-cooled condenser.

The company also supplied electrical cable, circulating pumps, expansions tanks, and interconnecting brine piping. The result was a system in parallel with the customer’s permanent system, which kept the storage warehouse at 0 degrees and allowed uninterrupted work on the permanent equipment.

In order to simplify the equipment installation process, NuTemp had two technicians at the site the day the equipment arrived. They worked with electricians, pipe fitters, and refrigeration technicians to ensure proper installation and maintenance of machines.

NuTemp technicians also commissioned and started up all of the equipment. Equipment was on-site and running within 36 hours of the customer’s first phone call.

“We worked 16-hour days to really make sure we fulfilled the job we were there to do,” said McGushin. “As a result, our rental refrigeration system was the perfect substitution for the failed refrigeration system and the client was satisfied.”

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Publication date: 08/04/2003

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