REFRIGERATION contractor WR Refrigeration has launched an industrial division as part its expansion plans.
The new UK industrial operation will provide industrial refrigeration services, including system design and specification, contract management, installation and commissioning, energy and performance analysis, service and maintenance contracts, and plant monitoring and data management.
The company’s Spalding branch will be the UK 'knowledge base' for the firm's industrial division. From the initial base in Spalding, the operation will be rolled-out to a network of branches nationally, to provide industrial services and contracts across the country.
Design and contract management will be based at the company’s Leeds and Leicester branches.
The company is aiming for a turnover of around £5m for the new division in the first 18 months, with anticipated growth of 30 per cent a year over the next five years.
Chris Cocks, who is heading up the new industrial division, said “Commercial refrigeration systems are now becoming more industrialised, which requires a different approach to system design and refrigerants. Our plans feed back into this and will enable us to provide the best possible solutions in both commercial and industrial technology.”
David Back, contracts manager for the new division, said “The company has long experience of the food sector through its nationwide involvement with the retail chains. It is a natural progression from this to enter the distribution networks and manufacturing bases supplying the retail sector and the wider field of industrial and process cooling.”
WR will be offering specialist refrigeration technologies aimed at a wide range of industrial applications, including spiral chillers, freezers and retarders, blast freezers/chillers, ambient coolers, cooling for high risk areas and clean rooms,evaporative dry cooling, process water cooling and ice rinks.
The company said its move is partly in response to the trend towards use of natural refrigerants across the industry, which requires the development of new skills, often drawn from the industrial refrigeration side of the business.
Referring to the scale of industrial plant and the nature of the systems used, Chris Cocks said “All the natural refrigerants need a much higher degree of safety awareness with the respective procedures. Ammonia obviously has its toxicity issues, carbon dioxide has its high pressures and with hydrocarbons it is flammability. We take this very seriously, with in-depth training provided to staff.”
WR Refrigeration recently opened a carbon dioxide training facility at its Birmingham branch for both the commercial and industrial sides of the business.
The firm said it believes rising food prices and a resurgent farming sector will enable industry to invest in new, more efficient manufacturing systems, including refrigeration plant.