Star Refrigeration's maintenance programme flies miles above the rest for Northern Europe's largest logistical company

DFDS Logistics offers end-to-end supply chain solutions across Europe, serving 20 different countries and a range of different industries. The company specialises in cold chain transport services, and is the largest provider of transportation solutions to the Scottish salmon and seafood industries. Its site in Larkhall has an annual intake of 300.000 tonnes of fresh seafood products for storage and distribution, with a plant consisting of cold and chilled storage, blast freezing and a distribution warehous

Until recently, the equipment was managed by the original equipment installers and other contractors – but the level of service was not sufficiently adapted to cover DFDS Logistics strict requirements. DFDS Logistics experienced low quality work, cancelled visits and poor site attendance which had resulted in overall inadequately maintained equipment. The company decided to partner with Star Refrigeration’s maintenance team in a rolling contract to assess the contractors ability to offer an improved quality service – and have stayed with them ever since. 

All of Star’s maintenance plans are tailored to each individual customer and the specific site requirements. Engineers conduct a thorough survey of the equipment and facilities to produce an effective bespoke maintenance programme taking into account the system’s refrigerant, condition, age, any legal or best industry practices and health and safety requirements.

During the initial survey at DFDS Logistics, Star’s senior Service & Maintenance Manager, Gary Beckwith, identified a number of issues and presented recommendations. Firstly, there was an access problem to reach the evaporators for ongoing maintenance of the evaporators in the various chill areas for inspection and leak testing. As a consequence, routine maintenance had never been performed in the evaporators before. Star recommended the hire of a scissor lift every two months to allow access to the evaporators – which was approved by the customer.

The quality of the previous maintenance programme had been questioned by the customer after one of the control panels had caught fire. It was quickly extinguished, but DFDS Logistics was understandably concerned and wanted Star to ensure this would not happen again. As part of the Star maintenance package, annual thermographic surveys, which can rapidly assess control panel health and highlight areas of concern, are carried out.

Gary Beckwith, who worked with DFDS Logistics said, “A thorough site survey both from a technical and a health & safety perspective results in a well planned and executed maintenance programme and at the same time offers an accurate and realistic maintenance contract proposal to the customer. Previous contractors failed to include access equipment to reach high level parts of the system, which resulted in missed maintenance routines and additional unforeseen costs for the customer to provide access.”

 “By having a good conversation with the customer during the tender process, DFDS Logistics was quick to understand the need for inclusion of additional services within the contract. For example the site had previous issues with overheating on the controls which lead to a small fire, and a simple method of reducing this risk is for an annual thermographic survey of the control panels. This has already highlighted areas of concern which require remedial works to improve safety.”

Additionally, the customer was wary of contractors who would regularly fail to turn up for visits or rush through maintenance checks to visit another site. Star’s Bellshill branch in Glasgow have a pool of nine qualified engineers to cover central Scotland, so can always keep on track of regular site maintenance visits.

In addition to the premium level of engineering service provided, Star advises on refrigerant phase out requirements and replacement plant options, both of which are available within the company’s resources.

Star offer a professional service provided by senior and qualified engineers as well as well-trained apprentices and a good support team. DFDS Logistics has been extremely happy with the competence of Star’s award-winning engineering staff, response time and the level of service provided. Peter Carswell, Maintenance Manager at DFDS Logistics said, “Star Refrigeration keep current equipment maintained to a high standard and advise us of future industry changes.”

Star Refrigeration Operations Group provides fast response and 24-hour technical support from a UK-wide network, offering maintenance, service, contracting and spares services across a wide range of business sectors of all sizes. The Operations Group accounts for about half of the company’s total revenue, with an annual total for last year circa £20 million and helps over 300 businesses nationwide.

Each branch offers a complete range of services, from consultancy to design through to installation, commissioning and maintenance of cooling solutions to suit a variety of different business needs at local, national and international levels.

  • Inside the warehouse at DFDS logistics