The Great Divide
Today’s insulated walls and panels deliver bright aesthetics, energy efficiency and cost-effective solutions.
Jump to: Helpful Hints
When Deardorff Family Farms wanted to combine its Oxnard, Calif., headquarters and three refrigerated processing/shipping facilities, including crop-processing functions, into one 115,000-square-foot LEED-certified building, they turned to Kingspan Insulated Panels North America. It was then that the Deland, Fla., provider of insulated wall panels constructed a high-performance building enclosure that more than doubled Deardorff’s ability to cool, process and pack its array of organically-farmed crops.
“Our new facility was designed and built to improve the environment, meet the highest standards of food safety and create the best possible supply chain efficiency,” says president Tom Deardorff II, who quipped that his company is “going green while growing greens.”
Kingspan’s Commercial & Industrial (C&I) panel systems consist of strong, visually appealing metal sheets that are structurally attached to a thick insulation layer, providing protection against moisture, air infiltration and thermal variability, says Steven Mauro, national sales director of cold storage sales.
“Kingspan works directly with end users and food manufacturers and processors to influence the use of insulated metal panels and their inherent properties of thermal performance and superior hygienic properties,” he adds.
Kingspan also provides insulated metal panels with r-values that range from 3-inch thick R25 and 6-inch thick R49 for coolers, processing rooms and freezers where food safety is of utmost importance.
“[We] provide several levels of finish and coatings from stainless steel, PVC and Kynar-painted finishes to provide the best opportunity to design a facility that will hold up to the rigors of every stage of a processing environment,” Mauro says.
Meanwhile, Zoneworks, Milwaukee, Wis., provides insulated curtain walls for cold food warehouses that store finished product before shipment or raw ingredients for production.
“Temperatures in production areas are constant, so we supply non-insulated curtains to separate areas for washdown procedures and to improve drying time (containing overspray),” says Kyle Justice, vice president of sales. “We have a broad customer base that includes dairy plants, frozen meals producers, meat tempering (blast freezers) operations and raw ingredient producers. Essentially, we service any customer that has a need to control temperatures.”
For example, its Wind-Block Curtain consists of a modular panel that acts as a barrier to separate open dock areas from production lines or other worker zones, preventing cold winds from reaching employees. These curtains can be configured with a series of sliding or stationary, insulated or non-insulated panels, and can be custom fit around corners or other obstructions.
“The beauty of our product is that it doesn’t have intricate features. It is a very simple composition of vinyl and polyester batting,” says Justice. “Insulated curtain walls are very flexible, easy to install and reconfigureable. Our curtain wall systems can be installed in tight confines because of the low-profile nature of the product. This means a minimal interruption to the customer’s operation and eliminates the requirement to remove product or racking from the installation area.
Additionally, as a modular system, the customer can easily change the layout of the installation when product, process or machinery changes happen in the future.”
Stellar also provides factory-insulated metal wall, roof and ceiling panels for the food processing and cold storage industry. In fact, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company offers a panel for cold storage construction using minor profiling in the facings (while providing required structural integrity and flatness tolerances) to make it easier to apply vapor barrier tapes and sealants for freezer application, eliminating the need for deep ribs that can allow the possibility of air and water vapor leaks, says Kevin Dufresne, divisional vice president.
“Our panels are double tongue and groove with the highest r-values per inch of any insulation material used in construction today,” says Dufresne. “The facings of our panels are available in USDA-approved white (siliconized polyester, polyester, PVDF, plastisol), galvanized (commonly used for liner and ceiling panels) and stainless steel (ideal for food processing/highly corrosive environments).”
What are some things refrigerated and frozen food producers need to keep in mind when selecting and installing insulated walls and panels?
1. Be creative with obstructions. Customers shouldn’t be discouraged by obstructions, such as pipes, conduits, etc., says Kyle Justice, vice president of sales for Zoneworks, Milwaukee, Wis., because “it’s a common practice to field trim around obstructions during the installation. Lights, evaporators and condensers can stay where they are currently located. These types of systems are fully customized to the application or need. Customers should use their imagination and be creative with their layouts.”
2. Think beyond the walls. “Because of the cost savings insulated curtain walls provide compared to traditional construction, customers can typically enclose or separate a larger area without going over the budget,” Justice says.
3. Proper vapor seals, thermal breaks. Hygiene-safe materials, increased inspections and washdown requirements have an effect on the performance requirements of insulated metal panels in cold storage environments, says Steven Mauro, national sales director of cold storage sales for Kingspan Insulated Panels North America, Deland, Fla. “The key to any well-designed facility is the use of proper vapor seals and thermal breaks in the wall panels,” he adds. “Higher performing finishes or the use of stainless steel and good detailing will result in a high-performance envelope.”
CLEAN ROOM DOORS, FIRE-RATED WALLS
Attendees at Promat and Automate 2013 experienced a handful of new product introductions.
For starters, Rite-Hite Doors’ FasTrax Clean Room Doors feature a one-piece radial header, which is machined from a solid block of ultra-high-molecular-weight (UHMW) plastic. The roll-up design of FasTrax doors allows them to operate at speeds of 100 inches per second, minimizing air intrusion while maximizing productivity. These high operating speeds also decrease the likelihood of forklift collisions. FasTrax doors can be used in a variety of applications, including washdown, high-wind and cooler or freezer high-cycle application.
Meanwhile, Allied Modular Building Systems developed a new “modular” wall system that can take the heat. FireLine is a 1-hour fire-rated wall for offices, guardhouses, machine enclosures and mezzanines, and is designed to withstand sustained flames of up to 1,500-1,800°F for 60 minutes. They come in a wide range of customizable design options, wall heights, doors, windows, colors and finishes.
A WALK IN THE CLOUD
Cloud computing and data storage is the next stage in the Internet’s evolution. Users no longer need to concern themselves with the issues of earthbound computing such as availability, storage requirements, software upgrades, data backup and the like. Instead, all of the above and so much more can be delivered to you as a service wherever and whenever you need it.
M&M Refrigeration, Federalsburg, Md., responded to this need with the development of its Energy Initiative (EI) Dashboard, a Cloud-based monitoring and alert system that promotes better power and facility management by consolidating information from multiple locations into a common platform accessible through a standard web browser. This gives owners and managers an overall top level view of the company.
“In order to manage anything, you need to be able to measure it, monitor progress and get information when you need it,” says Chuck Toogood, vice president of business development. “To check your health, you measure your pulse and blood pressure. The challenge for facility owners and operators is to determine how efficiently the facility is operating RIGHT NOW. What is the energy usage pulse of my facility?”
To find out more about M&M Refrigeration’s Energy Initiative Dashboard, go to http://bit.ly/WUfNzk.