GEA Refrigeration Technologies has been named Contractor of The Year 2020 at the industry’s RAC Cooling Awards for its ‘clear-eyed vision’ installing a new compressor within a strict 10-day deadline, set by Quorn Foods, during a planned shutdown at the meat-free food firm’s North Yorkshire facility.
A specialist in supplying high-tech processing, packaging and refrigeration kit for the food industry, GEA was also Highly Commended in the Building Energy Project of The Year category for supplying a new, environmentally friendly refrigeration system at Mackie’s of Scotland – one of Britain’s leading ice cream producers.
These prestigious awards are awarded for innovation, best practice, service and going the extra mile in the industry. Commenting on the RAC Contractor of the Year accolade, the judges said: “GEA looked beyond the best solution for themselves and came up with a cost-effective solution for the customer within the timeframe they had, but also took the opportunity to improve the flexibility of how the plant ran and the energy saving going forward.
“The Judges felt that the approach to Quorn’s requirements demonstrated a real application of a practical solution to the plant performance issues, whilst taking a considered approach to the Capital Investment in achieving a great outcome with the improved energy usage and sustainability of the equipment for the immediate future.”
Investing in a GEA Grasso Conversion Kit (GGCK) enabled Quorn Foods to benefit from a larger compressor to replace obsolete equipment, boosting the refrigeration capacity by an extra seven percent. This not only improved the efficiency of the site but also delivered energy savings and a reduced carbon footprint.
GEA’s Head of Service, Mark Penney, said: “We are thrilled to win the RAC Contractor of The Year award. It’s great to get industry recognition for a real team effort that delivered a successful outcome for the client in terms of improved performance and increased lifetime for the plant. The tight deadline could have been a little unnerving but thanks to top-notch teamwork we beat it by a half – really great work!”
As part of a £4.5 million project, luxury ice cream brand Mackie’s replaced existing freezing equipment at its Aberdeenshire facility with GEA’s ammonia-based, low carbon, energy efficient refrigeration system that incorporates an Absorption Chiller – an innovative solution that will help Mackie’s to target ambitious CO2 reductions of 90% and energy cost savings of 70-80%.
GEA’s installation for the ice cream giant, set to be one of the most sophisticated refrigeration systems in Europe, was Highly Commended by the RAC Cooling Awards judges panel for being ‘packed with innovation’ - a comment that delighted GEA’s UK Project Sales Manager, John Burden. He added: “Designing an ammonia system for a site that has no previous experience of this refrigerant was a challenge but we achieved all the project goals. We have a wealth of experience in designing and installing systems utilising this technology and we’re delighted to see this recognised by such a prestigious award.”
Investing in the latest compressor equipment and refrigeration solutions has not only boosted the performance of two of the UK’s major food manufacturers with improved efficiency, energy savings and reduced carbon footprint, but also earned GEA two new industry accolades, further confirming it as a leader in supplying high-tech solutions for the food industry wherever they are in the world.