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Frigoscandia provides the service at King's Lynn.

Frigoscandia Provides the Service at King's Lynn

Back in 1965 Frigoscandia Ltd opened a new cold store on a site they had purchased at King's Lynn. Over the intervening period of time the cold store has been added to considerably, so that four more sections have been built on to the original store. This has entailed much reorganisation of the working procedures inside and the total capacity is now some 60,000 pallet positions, 20,000 on racks.

Some time ago this site was planned as a Food Town but for various reasons this theme has been adapted and modified. This means they have on site two further factory units that provide space for further processing activities and packing.

Basically, the company freezes, stores and packs produce to order on behalf of its clients. To do all this they have installed a selection of the freezers made by Frigoscandia Food Process Systems, mostly the Flo-Freeze variety. These range in size to give capacities up to 6 tonnes an hour for a single unit. In the last year the company has been involved in freezing peas, French fries, broad beans, green beans, carrots, parsnips, sprouts, broccoli, potato dice, cauliflower, vegetable mixes, spinach in leaf form and pre-cooked rice. This last product is a growing line of business. As to the French fry line, that has become so important it is kept going almost throughout the year, except when the pea season is in full swing.

Inside the packing operation one finds no fewer than eight unloading stations to match up with the same number of packing lines. From these unloading stations produce passes forward through cleaning, grading and separating stages with an optional glazing spray system at the end, all on a mezzanine floor. At the end of the preparation lines there are currently four Ishida multi-head weighers (with one to come) and three volumetric units. One of the lines incorporates an eight channel ESM colour sorter. From this point products pass down through various form fill seal units from UVA, Bosch and Hamac Hansella.

The next step is case packing and five of the lines are now totally automatic, with two left in the hand pack mode to provide flexibility. A new unit is being tried out on the remaining line. At this stage Loma metal detectors have been installed to ensure that no metallic contamination has entered the product stream. The cartoners come from Blueprint Automation. By using these units, filled bags are dropped into pre-erected cases; these units can handle various configurations to accommodate different pack arrangements and sizes. Following filling, the cases are taped and closed by Soco units before they move to Webster Griffin paternoster elevators.

From this point they pass along a conveyor system to the seven robot pallet stackers. These are totally automated so that only one operative is required to oversee the operation. Running alongside these Euroimpianti robots are two trolley cars - one carries empty pallets and the other full ones. The former ensures that each robot can get on with its stacking task and the other conveys completed pallets to the pallet stretchwrapper. From this point the finished pallets are trucked to the adjacent cold store held at - 30C. Bar Productions Storax mobile narrow racking has been installed to make best use of the expensive space in the cold store. These Storax units are mounted in pairs and each pair holds some 640 pallet loads of product. These racks are driven, so they can be opened to provide a space for the stacker truck.

At the time of our visit French fries were the product of the moment in the other factory. Potatoes from the farm are tipped into one of the eight receiving bins from the incoming vehicles. They pass through a cyclone destoner before being fed to a steam peeler followed by a centrifugal skinner. From this point the potatoes are sliced via two of Peter Holland's FAM slicers or the smaller one via the water gun. From the FAM slicers the |chips' pass over nubbin removers before entering the series of blanchers and finally the Florigo fryer; this unit has been fitted with an oil recovery system. The par fried chipped potatoes next pass to a Flo-Freeze unit before they are packed either in bulk Palletainer units or via an Autopack weigher and UVA form fill seal unit, Loma metal detector, etc.

This whole French fry line was designed and supplied by Flo-Mech some years ago. To cope with the space considerations a number of innovative features had to be incorporated. These included a fully automatic potato hopper reception, bulk holding and even feed system to the primary line; and this was so successful that its capacity was doubled not so long ago. A Komen and Kuin high pressure thermal peeling system was installed and linked to one of their centrifugal dry deskinners. This was installed because only the minimum of effluent could be contemplated and that had to comply with very stringent regulations. A potato hopper was designed to ensure that potato flow really did work on a |first in - first out' basis, with the ability to preheat them before the slicing stage. One of their integrated cutting installations comprising a K and K water knife, multi-cutter installation to provide crinkle cuts and a starch removal system, was installed. At the time the washing and blanching system was a new idea because it comprised a preheating pre-blanching installation followed by a blanching and conditioning installation, and there is an H and H multi-pass low energy predrying system. In more recent times Frigoscandia have installed a Flo-Therm direct fired heating system to replace the original thermal oil system.

Throughput for the season is now about 20,000 tonnes a year just for French fries, and that is only one of the products they deal with at Scania Way, King's Lynn where they provide a full service for all customers. Frigoscandia reckons to be one of the world's largest food service companies. They supply temperature-controlled storage and distribution services throughout the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and South America, processing services in the UK and freezing equipment worldwide. In recent times they have added the Stein range of coating, frying and cooking systems to their line of equipment.

In the UK there are nine sites providing storage services, four of them specialise in processing and packing, and five in distribution. Naturally they work around customers' requirements, so that cold storage space can be rented or the whole job can be done. This could include the complete distribution of products from bulk stock in the cold store. Their distribution fleet comprises more than 140 vehicles able to carry 24 pallets of product or a 21 tonne load, and they provide a guarantee on temperature maintenance. The temperature inside the trailer never varies by more than 2C so that produce, whether it be frozen, chilled, fresh or warm, is maintained in prime condition at all times. As to processing, the company is currently processing and packing upwards of 125,000 tonnes of vegetables a year and equipment at the various sites is always being modernised. At King's Lynn they have just invested a further 6m.[pounds] to install mobile narrow aisle racking, robot stackers and eight fully automated packing lines!

PHOTO : Peas leaving the reels prior to visual inspection

PHOTO : Two of the lines on the mezzanine floor

PHOTO : One of the robot stackers
COPYRIGHT 1991 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Frigoscandia Ltd.; cold storage
Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Previous Article:Application of glucose syrups and derivatives in confectionery.
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