Client: Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I
Date: 6th April 2021
Duration: 3 weeks
Location: The Royal Forest Factory, Coleford
Sector: Food and Drink
Founded in 1899, the Suntory Group employs over 40,000 people globally and is a leading producer of a broad range of products including soft and alcoholic beverages. Many of Suntory’s products can be found on UK store shelves, including Lucozade and Ribena.
Born from the passion to create western-style liquors to suit Japanese palates, Suntory has grown from a singular store in 1899 to now being a globally recognised powerhouse, with more than 300 Group companies spread across Asia, Oceania, Europe, and The Americas.
CB Refrigeration were contacted by Suntory in June 2020 to present a proposal to design and supply a new refrigeration system to replace their existing dilapidated equipment. The system cooled two Ribena concentrate storage rooms at their Royal Forest factory in Coleford.
Suntory highlighted that they wanted a system that was future proof and supported green technology, in line with their ambitions for cleaner, renewable factories across their Asian, Americas and European buildings by 2022.1
With this in mind, the team put forward two proposals:
1. A natural refrigerant HC chiller with pumped mono-propylene / water secondary system.
2. A direct expansion trans-critical CO2 system.
Suntory’s two storage rooms holding more than 1,000,000 litres of Ribena concentrate which needs to be maintained at +5°c room temperature.
CB Refrigeration decommissioned and removed the existing and equipment whilst maintaining operations and supplied and installed a twin compressor 120kW R744 (CO2) pack (both compressors were inverter driven on the pack) feeding eight dual discharge evaporators with four evaporators in each room for balanced air distribution.
The team installed a CO2 audible and visual alarm system by CPC at each entrance and exit to the cold storage rooms. The alarms were set for two different concentration levels of CO2 (2,000 and 5,000 parts per mil). In addition, early indicator beacons/warning signals were installed as an additional safety precaution. The team undertook a comprehensive risk assessment prior to the CO2 alarm design and placement, an integral part of the process. This assessment ensured the alarms were correctly placed to provide a critical safety solution for the cold store, to protect people.
Challenges and outcomes:
There were various challenges to overcome during the installation process, including asbestos within Cold Store 1. To combat this, the team manufactured and erected eight steel gantries which were colour matched to the room to support four of the evaporators.
During the installation, the team also had to work within extremely tight spaces to mount the evaporators due to an abundance of existing M&E services. To reduce risk to staff and new equipment, the team carried out a thorough method and risk assessment, looking at all safety and operational implications.
Within the programme the project managers overcame crane lifts, operational risk to the sites stock as there was no shutdown period along with a tight timeframe to complete the project due to peak blackcurrant picking season approaching.
From procurement, planning, management and engineering the project was delivered on time and within the client’s budget.
The new trans-critical CO2 plant and equipment assisted Suntory in their ambitions for cleaner, renewable energies. Delivered a uniform air flow and temperature with a robust engineering solution to control the temperature for long periods of high value, large volume Ribena concentrate.
Tom Hannaby, Managing Director of CB Refrigeration, commented: “CB Refrigeration is proud to have worked with Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I with the fitting of their new, sustainable cooling technology that will ensure the critical stages of the cooling process for the two Ribena concentrate storage rooms will be seamless.
“The team faced numerous challenges throughout the install, but with our expertise in engineering and ability to create bespoke solutions to meet the needs of our clients, we were able to complete the project successfully, much to the delight of the client.”