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Munters Case Study: Cold Storage and Holding Area Improvement at Chester Wholesale Meats

20 August 2013 by Munters

Chester Meats case study

Chester Wholesale Meat, based in Congella, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, was founded some 25 years ago, and has grown to provide packaged and processed meat and poultry products to markets across the nation.

Chester is a significant importer of meats with wholesale outlets and a retail chain of 15 butcheries. It has also recently expanded into commercial cold-storage. While Durban's moist and warm climate is an attraction for tourists, it provided a challenge for Chester Wholesale Meat, raising production costs as well as affecting the working environment of the plant.

The problem was caused by moist tropical air moving inwards from the truck loading area and condensing in the holding dispatch section, which is kept at 10°C. In addition to blinding mist, large amounts of condensation on the meat product, walls and floor caused a slippery build-up of water and provided a potential hazard for the workforce.

Beyond the holding area, moist air made its way to the cold store, which, at -25°C, caused it to cool and flow downwards to the store floor. The result was considerable formation of frost on the freezer coils as well as the freezer entrance, walls, floors and on product. Not only was this energy-inefficient, requiring multiple defrost cycles per day and high refrigeration plant load, but the formation of frost was destructive to product packaging and to the Chester product itself.

For the client to be more efficient and successful, a moisture-free holding area and frost-free cold stores were needed.

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