Growth is welcome. However, rapid growth represents challenges. AsRopa Food GmbH, the Truong family, has grown quickly in recent years. The business, that began in the 1980s at Klosterwall in Hamburg with a small Asian food shop, has developed into one of the largest importers for Asian food.
The company imports everything that is used in Asian cooking – from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Customers all over Europe are supplied from the company headquarters in Glinde. Two containers arrive every day: noodles, rice, fish, meat, vegetables, spices. An increasing part of the goods is frozen. The old location in Hamburg quickly became too small and the Truong family bought a logistics hall in Schleswig-Holstein. They added a 14,000 square metre refrigerated warehouse in 2015 with five energyefficient, high performance coolers from the Küba SG series with EC fans to ensure reliable frigid temperatures. Kelvion evaporators were used. The Truong family had already had positive experiences in the cold-storage rooms in their own supermarket – the supermarket still exists, by the way. The Truong family wanted a sustainable deep-freeze solution: a durable system that can provide investment security for the next decade and is well thought out, ecologically. Wassim Dahche, a contractor for refrigeration systems, listened carefully, analysed the resulting requirements and recommended a transcritical CO2 booster rack system with glycol defrosting, and a 3,000 litre thermal energy storage system using thermal discharge to heat the offices and social areas. Managing Director Hu Truong looked very carefully at the calculations and was not at all happy about the expected costs. But eventually he agreed because: the savings potential for operating costs in comparison to a traditional deep-freeze system were 20,000 Euros for the installed CO2 system, every year! The NAPE* (National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency) funding programme for energy-efficient cooling systems also applies here. This reduces the investment volume. The sum of all these arguments convinced. The new deep-freeze system is designed for 10,000 tonnes of chilled goods. This is equivalent to 1700 pallets: large enough to still offer sufficient space for further expansion. The goods are delivered frozen. Two 40-tonne containers arrive every day with new goods. ‘The high throughput means that the staff need to enter the deep-freeze warehouse constantly to store goods or to assemble orders and remove them’, says Wassim Dahche, who was already involved in the planning of the new building. This meant he was able to plan in accordance with the company’s needs. Thus, a cold air lock that was originally considered was then cancelled. In its place the delivery zone/cold air lock was turned into a picking room with Medium Temperature Cooling.
Two ceiling fan coolers Küba DPA 043-CN, which blow out on both sides, create a uniform air distribution, ensuring that the cold chain is reliably maintaining an optimum flow and simultaneous reduction of the air speed. Also the staff is not always standing in a draught. From here you can enter the refrigerated warehouse through an automatic door. A 600 square metre Medium Temperature Cooling fresh food room for fruit and vegetables is integrated into the cooling concept on one side. Here two SGB 56-F61 ensure constant room temperatures. “The two air coolers appear to be oversized. However, with this design we have the option to convert this fresh food room into an additional deep-freeze room if necessary without structural changes”, says Wassim Dahche. Five high performance Küba SGB 56-F82 coolers are installed in the deep-freeze room – with customary air throw we are used to with Kelvion products. A mobile racking system not only allows fast access and the storage of the individual families of goods but it was also included in the design of the cold system. The SG air coolers are each fitted with highly efficient EC fans. The EC technology reduces the energy intake by an average of 30%. The fan unit can be hinged and is fitted with a wall ring heating. All SG air coolers are fitted with defrost hoods, combined with Shut-Up and double insulated drip tray. This allows efficient defrosting of the condensers. The drip tray prevents condensed water on the bottomside and reduces the transfer of defrosting heat. The defrost hoods help heat to exit the cooler into the room. Thisreduces defrosting times, prevents ice built-ip and substantially reduces power consumption. The unit coolers defrost automatically regularly on demand, controlled by air intake and air output temperature sensors. This results in constant temperatures of -23 °C, even during the defrosting process. “The system is highly efficient and the technology it contains is trendsetting. Not least also because CO2 is available constantly at fixed prices. This is not guaranteed with other coolants”, confirms Wassim Dahche and emphasises: “We have installed carefree deep-freeze equipment here that includes everything technically feasible today and points the way forward.”
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