Hang up a cold room - SMI's TCZ is your flexible thermal friend
From airports to ships, beer cellars to portable catering units, there’s no space which SMI’s range of award-winning products can’t keep chilled.
The company’s celebrated Temperature Controlled Zone (TCZ) has risen to the challenge in the most unlikely of places, including giant hangars and warehouses, and military depots.
SMI founder Brian Seymour explains: “When we invented and supplied one of the first flexible cold rooms to Waitrose many years ago, one of the partners suggested the name, and it has remained ever since.”
Like the majority of SMI’s products, the TCZ is made possible by the company’s astonishing Tempro, the remarkable lightweight thermal insulation material which has been scientifically proven to cut energy loss by at least 25% in chillers, and an amazing 33% in freezers.
For a TCZ, Tempro is sandwiched between two high wearing materials to make a curtain, which is hung from special hooks that run on wheels through a specially designed track. A pelmet is run on both sides of the track to keep the cold air in, and the ambient air out.
Similarly, a special barrier is attached to the base of the curtain to keep the bottom of the curtain in touch with the floor, forming an excellent thermal seal.
Mr Seymour says: “The real benefit of the TCZ is that it is so easy to use, quick to fold away, competitively priced, simple to fit and amazingly effective as a flexible cold room. As our slogan says . . . it allows you to ‘hang up a cold room’!
“Over the years, the design has improved and become more versatile, but the basic unit is the same today as our original design over 20 years ago.”
TCZs are used by customers as a quick and inexpensive answer to provide almost instant chilled space when required - then folded away when not needed.
Mr Seymour adds: “For example, we have a customer in the south of the UK who pulls out a TCZ to divide part of his bakery into a chilled area to insert cream and chocolate after the product is baked.
“He also uses Tempro thermal covers to continue the chilled protection to the delivery point.
“The system is so versatile and effective that we are also filling a need for a division of not only chilled against ambient air, but also supplying a barrier against dust, damp and odours.
“One customer took their TCZ with them when they moved premises, and we provided two more curtains and some extra track so he could extend it into a bigger space.”
SMI has even designed a TCZ for a customer who needed the curtains to be outside the room when not in use.
Mr Seymour says: “We simply ran the track to another room, and the curtains were pushed along the track into their working position when required . . . like a train.
“One of the most unusual designs we have made was 4m x 6m x 2m rectangular area which was lifted three metres up from the floor, complete with evaporator, when not in use. Anything is possible!”
Although most enquiries and orders call for a simple chilled space in an ambient area – usually in an L-shape – the SMI team can tailor-make a TCZ capable of separating or chilling any space.