NHS Blood and Transplant

One of Britain’s leading thermal insulation specialists has expanded into the pharmaceutical sector after signing a contract with the NHS Blood and Transplant Centre.

Seymour Manufacturing International (SMI) is supplying its revolutionary Cold Stop curtains to the centre’s headquarters in Bristol.

The contract has already been extended on the back of impressive energy-saving results, and marks a new chapter for SMI, famed for its revolutionary Tempro insulation material.

The NHS Blood and Transplant provides a safe and reliable supply of blood components, diagnostic services and stem cell services to hospitals in England and North Wales, along with tissues and solid organs.

The Cold Stop curtains are a ground-breaking alternative to plastic strip curtains or pvc doors used in many coldrooms, with the capacity to save up to 33 per cent on energy bills.

Nick Hawker, estates and facilities manager at the company’s headquarters in Bristol, said: “We initially installed one of SMI’s cold stop curtains on a trial, and it seems to have worked really, really well.

“So much so, in fact, that we have recently placed an order for another 12 curtains.”

He added: “Not only are these curtains helping us to save energy, they are also far more practical.

“Before, we had pvc swing doors installed, and although they did a job to keep our cold room temperatures at a normal level, they were very hard to open for our staff, and not practical for people who would usually be pushing trolleys or carrying blood bags.

“The SMI curtains remove all of this inconvenience, are saving us money on energy bills, and saving us time.”

Mr Hawker said he hoped it was the start of a long and fruitful relationship with SMI.

“We are already in discussions with SMI to look at installing their products into our site in Birmingham, and exploring the possibility of ordering some of the company’s cold wrap products for the cages we use to transport blood around the country.”

SMI’s chairman, Brian Seymour, said: “This is certainly an exciting new direction for our company – the first real move into the pharmaceutical sector.

“The results which the Cold Stop curtains have had in the blood storage and plasma manufacturing unit at Bristol have been very satisfying.

“We hope, on the back of this, that we could roll out the same kind of equipment to blood banks nationwide. Every city in the UK has one, and if the products are saving money at Bristol, there is nothing to suggest they could not replicate this everywhere.”

SMI, based at Sutton Maddock in Shropshire, was founded more than 30 years ago. It already has a blue-chip list of clients in the supermarket sector for its innovative temperature-controlled curtains, cold room doors, modular temperature-controlled zones and pallet covers.

Cold Stop curtains are available in standard widths of 300mm and bespoke heights with deep, clear windows. They are quickly and easily installed.

The curtains are energy efficient and provide reduced wear on evaporator equipment allowing optimum settings to quickly achieve an internal working temperature.

SMI has carried out tests on the products with thermal imaging equipment, revealing that the outside temperature of Cold Stop curtains in a freezer can register at 10°C, while the inside surface is recorded as low as –21°C.

Tempro remains unchallenged as the world’s thinnest and most thermally-efficient material of its kind, and SMI is active in Europe, Scandinavia, South Africa and Australia. It is currently in talks about expanding into the USA and Canada.