Oscar Mayer

A leading producer of chilled ready-meals has called in a world leader in thermal insulation material to help solve a temperature control issue.

Oscar Mayer Limited supplies around 2.5 million chilled products every week to major supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and Morrisons under its own private-label.

The company, which has three facilities in the UK, also makes 1.5 million frozen ready meals a week under the Ferndale Foods brand for Waitrose.

And it is the Ferndale Foods factory at Erith in Kent which says it has been “really impressed” with its first investment in Cold Stop curtains, from Seymour Manufacturing International (SMI).

SMI chairman Brian Seymour explained: “Ferndale Foods contacted us because they were concerned at how much temperature was leaking from their cold store into the neighbouring packing area, so we fitted a set of our Cold Stop curtains.

“Tests on the site showed they would get a return on their investment in just a few months, and we were almost immediately invited to quote for six more.”

Rob Denne, engineering supervisor at Ferndale Foods, said: “One of our suppliers told us how much success Sainsbury’s had been having with the SMI products in their fridges so we made contact with the company to see what they could do for us.

“Initially, we just ordered one door to see how things went, but the benefits were soon apparent. We have since ordered six complete set of curtains, and we will definitely be using them again.

“SMI could not have been more helpful, and the installation process could not have gone more smoothly.

He added: “We will recoup our investment in six or seven months, because of the amount of money they are saving us on our energy bills.”

Ferndale Foods has two sister companies in the UK; Oscar Mayer in Chard, Somerset and Rowan Foods in Wrexham.

Mr Seymour said: “We have already done business with Rowan Foods, supplying them with a giant cold store door which was six metres high and three metres wide.

“Energy saving tests showed that this single door saved the company £4,500 on its energy bills in the space of 12 months.”

SMI’s latest Cold Stop curtains use the company’s market-leading Tempro insulation material, and provide a ground-breaking, anti-bacterial alternative to plastic strip curtains or pvc doors used in many coldrooms.

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.

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.

The company also makes Tempro thermal insulation systems, roll cage covers and pallet covers, thermal covers, bags and boxes.

Tempro remains unchallenged as the world’s thinnest and most thermally-efficient material of its kind, making it a popular choice in the food and logistics industries. It is also now being supplied to the pharmaceutical industry

SMI is active in Europe, Scandinavia, South Africa and Australia. It is currently in talks about expanding into the USA and Canada.