Bespoke Maintenance plans

With an extensive range of products and solutions that can be adapted to meet all of our customer’s needs, the team here at Star Refrigeration can handle every element of the process, from design, installation, commissioning, as well as a planned preventative maintenance programme once the installation is complete.

Star provide brand new refrigeration and heat pump installations for a multitude of large-scale industrial applications, and across a broad range of industries, including food and drinks manufacturing, cold storage and distribution, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, HVAC and ice rinks. We are able to offer standard and custom-built solutions that are crafted to each customers' needs, for the ultimate bespoke refrigeration installation.

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Rob Lamb

Group Sales and Marketing Director

Related Case Studies

  • Star helps Bristish healthcare provider become more efficient


    A leading global healthcare provider, recruited Star Refrigeration’s Operations team to resolve ongoing maintenance issues at one of their sites in Scotland.

    Star Refrigeration had developed a good relationship with the company over the past ten years, and gained a good reputation for the design and maintenance work carried out at other sites across the country. This led to the customer taking out a three-year maintenance contract with Star Refrigeration Operations Group.

    When Star engineers arrived on site, they found that the customer’s ammonia plant was overcharged with oil due to incorrect setup. Soon after taking over the contract, the plant’s expansion valves were replaced in order to regulate gas back to normal working pressures and working levels. Star’s proactive and planned maintenance routines had no impact on the customer’s operation.

    An important part of Star Refrigeration’s aftercare work was to ensure that the British pharmaceutical company’s ammonia plant was up to date with current regulations. It also implemented site SAP routines to ensure that air conditioning systems were routinely assessed and subject to regular and consistent maintenance.

    Plant performance was also reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it was working at optimum conditions.

    Working together with the customer’s energy supervisor, Star monitored the plant energy usage and quickly identified when the plant was not operating at maximum efficiency. Through the installation of air conditioners with timers in all of the site’s central offices, Star succeeded in reducing the customer’s energy bills by £8000 per annum.

    Star’s good performance during the initial contract period resulted in the customer renewing their aftercare contract for another three years. In addition, the customer trusted Star Refrigeration’s Aberdeen team with a new project to design and install a brand new plant for an extension to their facilities. 

    Furthermore, the customer also requested Star’s services to assess the need for an Ethos system, a performance optimisation and energy management system, for their ammonia chillers. The award-winning Ethos system is a new scheme developed by consultants Star Technical Solutions (STS) which identifies efficiency problems and can save plant owners thousands of pounds in electricity bills - typical energy savings of 30% to 40% -. It effectively measures the gap between how the plant is operating and how it should be operating and identifies corrective actions to reduce the gap. 

    The Ice Co, Asda, BrewDog and Campbell’s Prime Meat all use Ethos in order to address common maintenance activities, improve the control strategy as well as replace inefficient equipment.

    Niall Murphie, Chief Engineer of BrewDog, said, “Our expansion over the past 5 years has been rapid and we’ve needed to ensure our equipment is ready to meet demand. We commissioned STS to measure operation and performance of our existing chillers through Ethos so that we could gain a better insight into refrigeration load and spare capacity ahead of increasing production”.

    Malcolm Dufton, Property and Energy Manager at The Ice Co & Logistics said of Ethos, “Energy consumption is a large operating expense for us. Add on charges increasingly diminish the control we have on our electricity costs. Therefore, we focus on reducing energy usage and already the improvements identified on one system will reduce its energy cost by 10%, encouraging us to roll out the service to our other systems and sites.”

    “A key feature for us is the online monitoring dashboard, it gives our managers and engineers clear real-time visibility of all our connected systems health and performance and allows them to drive energy savings and preventative maintenance.”

    Campbell’s Prime Meat also employed Ethos to assess future investment. Offering positive feedback of the system, Darrin Leslie, Factory Manager for the company, said , “We planned to expand our production facility and were not sure whether our existing refrigeration plant had sufficient capacity to handle the additional cooling duty required. Rather than taking a risk or buying additional equipment that maybe wasn’t necessary we employed Star Technical Solutions (STS) to assess our site’s cooling demand over a 2 week period. The assessment revealed that our existing equipment could comfortably handle the new production load. Star’s appraisal allowed us to capitalise on surplus capacity and avoid the unnecessary purchase of new equipment.”

    Ethos uses a data-led approach to monitor performance and identify solutions to keep energy consumption at a minimum. The system remotely monitors and analyses data and identifies corrective action which will save electricity. To enable this service, STS installs sensors and an Ethos panel to the customer’s systems. This information is sent via the built-in 4G mobile connection to a web portal, where it is assessed by software and a team of refrigeration consultants. Customers can access a customised online dashboard from where to check details about plant performance.

    Star Refrigeration Operations Group also offers 24-hour technical support for the customer from nine branches across the UK. This includes design, maintenance, service, contracting and spare-parts. Star Refrigeration Operations Group is now pioneering the use of condition based monitoring for industrial refrigeration end users and delivering improved efficiency, greater reliability and lower total cost of ownership.

     

     


  • AGC Chemicals Europe


    Based in Thornton Cleveleys, AGC Chemicals Europe is a global leading producer of fluorochemicals used in industrial applications, agriculture, construction and much more.
    When the site was hit by a major failure of  one of their process heat exchangers, an onsite contractor recommended Star as the reliable experts for the job.

    The equipment failure meant that AGC Chemicals could not operate its refrigerant process line. The process fluid needed to be cooled to below -300C which required specialist Low Temperature (LT) refrigeration equipment. Downtime on this process line is extremely costly to the business if it is not operational, so it was essential that an assessment and plan of action was developed rapidly in order to deliver the right solution. The client was looking for a temporary refrigeration solution for their process line that would allow them to  be operational again as quickly as possible.

    A team of senior engineers from Star’s local branch attended site within half an hour of the call-out. The issues were established and the temporary solution requirements were identified. Thanks to a business partnership with temporary supplier of chillers, Aggreko, Star was able to deliver the specialist temporary temperature controlled solution to site within a short time frame. Aggreko provided 2 off VLTC chillers for approximately 150kW of cooling to below -300C, two off heat rejection air cooled chillers, a special LT heat exchanger which was connected into the customer’s process line, circulation pumps, a buffer tank and generators. 

    Dr. Rudolph Prince, Head of Engineering at AGC Chemicals Europe, said, “The thing that really impressed us about Star was the speed in which they reacted to our situation. We needed the equipment on site as soon as possible so we could start up production again with minimum disruption. It was all coordinated over the weekend, and the temperature solution allowed us to be fully operational again within a few days so we didn’t suffer from further downtime.”

    Furthermore, the chemical plant found that the temporary refrigeration equipment was much more efficient than their fixed site equipment. Star’s selection of the right temporary solution for the site capacity and temperature requirements delivered a more effective cooling process, allowing for a larger output of product than the plant it replaced. This allowed the site to catch up with the back log of production from the downtime very quickly once they were operational again.

    Now that AGC Chemicals are aware of Star Refrigeration’s expertise, the companies are likely to form a long term partnership. Star has already delivered a second temporary solution with Aggreko elsewhere on site, and there is scope for consultation on overall site requirements.

    In terms of future work at the plant, Star plan to ensure AGC’s  peace of mind by protecting their business operations-should the unthinkable happen-with Star’s Refrigeration Temperature Control Contingency Plan Scheme. This will help the site prepare better for future refrigeration equipment failures. AGC Chemicals will turn to Star for any future equipment installation needs, with Star’s technical consultants, STS, ready to undertake a full site survey and produce a technical specification for a new installation to replace the time served plant.

    This successful project highlights how Star Refrigeration’s UK branch network can provide expertise and a rapid response in an industrial emergency situation. While the equipment failure was unwelcomed by AGC Chemicals Europe, it provided an opportunity for the company to see how more efficient technology could benefit them in the long term, both economically and environmentally.

    For more information on Star’s preventative services and contingency planning visit /news/chiller-contingency-planning-for-critical-cooling-situations-keeps-star-refrigeration-customers-cool.aspx


  • Asda Rochdale PPM


    Asda’s distribution centre in Rochdale works with its local Star Refrigeration branch in Manchester to maintain its refrigeration plant in the most efficient way possible. Star Refrigeration has a national maintenance contract with ASDA, working in partnership with the customer to provide a preventative maintenance plan and ensure any faults are dealt with promptly and safely when these unexpectedly occur. At this particular site, palletised goods are broken down and delivered to individual stores, and the temperature needs to be controlled and maintained throughout the operation.

    The client requires 24/7 cover of its refrigeration plant including remote monitoring and planned preventative maintenance (PPM) visits. Star keeps the plant safe and legal, with services including Written Schemes of Examination, calibration of the ammonia detection system and other sub contract works managed by Star. Working alongside Star the retailer has strict contingency planning procedures in place to ensure a rapid response in the event of a mechanical failure, supported by a qualified team of engineers from Star’s local branch. Generally, major faults are uncommon in large, complex industrial plants which are regularly serviced and maintained. However, end users need to be well prepared in advance, should the unthinkable happen, to minimise and, where possible, avoid any losses.

    When an ammonia leak occurred overnight at the Rochdale site, ASDA and Star Refrigeration worked together to assess the situation and get the plant up and running again as soon as possible.

    Via the monitoring Hub at Star’s headquarters in Glasgow standby engineers at the Manchester branch were notified of a ‘low stage drum high level’ and attended site to address the situation. The low stage surge drum was full of refrigerant and had carried over to the compressors. One of the low temperature (LT) compressors had developed an ammonia leak, and the compressor had to be isolated from the ammonia system – however the concentration of ammonia in the plant room was too high to allow safe entry.

    Star Refrigeration’s engineers followed the company’s specified action plan to drop the ammonia  concentration in the plantroom including activation of local ventilation fans, and deployment of additional extract fans and ducting to ensure there were no ammonia levels above 25ppm.

    Once the plant room was safe to enter, a plan was put in place to transfer liquid between the surge drums and fit a replacement valve. There were three Star Refrigeration engineers on site in addition to the customer’s, working as a team to get the plant back up and running. The cold store plant was out of action for 11 hours in total.

    Colin Taylor, SHE Manager at the ASDA site said, “What really impressed us about Star was the way our emergency was handled. The plant tripped out at 9 pm, and with two senior engineers and a manager attending and working through the night, the cold store was working again on by at 8.30 am the next day.”

    “We have access to local trained and experienced engineers who have procedures in place for such an incident. It’s great that we have a branch local to our site and a second branch less than 50 miles away to assist if needed. Star offers a local team with the added benefit of a robust national infrastructure”.

    Dave Brown, senior maintenance engineer at Star Refrigeration- Manchester- said, “Working in partnership with the customer and planning for such events including devising safe systems of work for contingency situations such as this, which could occur at any plant, was dealt with promptly, safely and with minimum disruption to their business operation.

     

    Both companies have enjoyed a strong business partnership for the last decade and ASDA remains a key customer of Star Refrigeration. “It is the intention that we will continue to explore ways to maintain the successful relationship with Star Refrigeration in the future for the benefit of our respective customers, businesses, shareholders and other stakeholders”, said Taylor

     


  • Star Maintenance


    Operating and maintenance typically contributes to more than 80% of the life cycle cost of refrigeration plant. When selecting new plant, emphasis is often placed on purchasing the most efficient design but this does not guarantee low running costs. Pro-active maintenance is key to ensuring the plant continues to operate at its design parameters throughout its life.

    Star Refrigeration’s operations team is focused on ensuring our customers have plant that operates efficiently and reliably throughout the year. Our nationwide network of nine branch offices are fully staffed with experienced management teams and we have more than 80 mobile field engineers to support your business.

    Our aftercare team continuously reviews plant performance against design parameters to ensure the lowest possible running costs for our customers. We look for ways of improving performance from simple changes to operating parameters through to the retrofitting of new energy enhancing technology to existing systems.
    Examples include:

    • Application of inverter technology (compressors, condenser fans, pumps)
    • Defrost on demand
    • Automatic oil recovery
    • Electronic expansion valves

    We work closely with our customers to develop a proactive maintenance programme, tailored to their needs. When undertaking a new contract, we review the existing equipment and provide a free of charge plant review that highlights areas for action to bring the plant back to design and suggestions for improving reliability and efficiency. These are then developed into an action plan that is reviewed regularly with our customers.

    Our Telstar control system enables offsite monitoring of plant faults and alarms. More recent installations also include maintenance alerts which detect movement away from the plants design conditions. These provide early warning of reduction in efficiency and potential future problems, enabling our engineers to attend site to resolve before a problem occurs.

    Our proactive approach to maintenance is effective in reducing life cycle costs and is demonstrated in data measured by our customers. Below are examples of how the Star approach to maintenance has reducing operating costs for two customers.

    Case Study 1 - Temperature Controlled Distribution Centre

    This multi-temperature distribution store was completed in 2006 and has a two stage central ammonia refrigeration system installed by a competitor. The plant consists of three high stage screw compressors, two low stage reciprocating compressors, two evaporative condensers and 20 evaporators in three temperature controlled chambers. Following an 18 month maintenance period with the original installer Star took over in February 2008. Following a full site survey, modifications were made to reinstate the plant back to its design conditions. We made a number of zero cost changes to the plant control to enhance operating efficiency and improve store temperatures. Refrigerant was also added to the plant as the survey found it was running undercharged. This improved both efficiency and reliability.

    An energy monitoring system installed on site has provided detailed energy data since the plant was installed. The graph below compares running costs from 2007 and 2008. A comparison of plant running costs over 12 months indicates an average energy saving of 100,000kWhr per month since Star took over the site maintenance contract. This corresponds to a saving of £6,000 per month based on an energy costs of 6p/kWhr. Data for 2009 is following the same trend as 2008, underlining our ability to reduce and preserve operating cost savings.

    Case Study 2 – Brewery

    Star has recently completed modifications to an existing brewery maintenance customer’s cooling system to enhance operating efficiency. The customer has three modular water cooled plants as indicated in the following diagram:

    Star modified one of the three systems, installing a new inverter controlled reciprocating compressor package (in place of the original fixed speed machine). A new compressor sequencing system was also installed to supervise the starting and stopping of all three systems. This has resulted in a £2,000 per week reduction in running costs and a payback of less than 2 years on the investment.


  • Farmfoods Solihull


    Star Refrigeration has the reputation for installing and maintaining long-lived quality refrigeration solutions able to meet the needs of some of the biggest and most respected names in the UK. Farmfoods is one of the companies we work closely with. 

    Farmfoods is dedicated to bringing superior frozen food to its customers. A Scottish-run family business, it relies on quality equipment to ensure its range remains in perfect condition. For the past three decades, the Star installation at Solihull has ensured that every product is maintained and despatched to stores at the optimum temperature.

    “Originally built for Birds Eye, the depot was purchased by Farmfoods in 2000”, said Julian Hill, Engineering Manager at Farmfoods.  “Since Farmfoods took over the system there has been just a six month period where it wasn’t in use. When Birdseye left and Farmfoods took over, it was closed down. Our engineer came in every day just to make sure everything was okay, but once we bought it, we turned it all back on and Star has ensured it runs smoothly ever since”.

    Andy O’Brien, Senior Engineer at Star Refrigeration, further highlighting the reputation forreliability Star has in the cold storage industry, said, “The plant is 33 years old. Built to Lloyd’s requirements in 1984, the two stage surge ammonia refrigeration plant includes four reciprocating compressors, a low temperature surge drum, intercooler, receiver, hot gas defrost valve stations and waste heat recovery for the glycol underfloor heater mat. Provision was made for future expansion of the store and in 2003, three further evaporators were added to the system, increasing cooling capacity by 225kW”. 

    The warehouse has 13,000 pallet spaces across three different chambers - a cold store, a chill store and an ambient area. 

    The system uses environmentally-friendly ammonia, which is a natural occurring gas with zero ozone depleting and global warming potential. It is one of the most efficient refrigerants for this type of application. According to Farmfoods Engineering Manager, “the use of future proof ammonia, the robust industrial build quality of the system, and regular pro-active maintenance are the reasons the system has survived the test of time”.

    Since it was first installed, Star Refrigeration has provided full maintenance including a major overhaul of compressors and liquid pumps or any other works required by Lloyd’s insurance as well as cover for out of hours service calls. Hill said, “Maintenance work on the plant includes review of operating performance, inspection of equipment including compressors, evaporators and condensers and oil recovery”.

     Despite the system’s age, Farmfoods has experienced uninterrupted operation. Hill said, “There have been no major problems, no forced shutdown of the plant”.

    Modifications have also been made to improve plant reliability and efficiency. The original evaporative condenser was still in use and according to the manufacturer, the condenser was their oldest in operation in Europe. To safeguard the future operation of the facility, it was decided to replace the condenser.  Andy O’Brien described the process, “it involved a carefully planned programme including a short shut down of the system to enable the addition of new connections and extended pipework. Prior to the shutdown, the store temperature was lowered, to ensure product remained at the desired temperature”. 

    Farmfoods confirmed that “the replacement works were completed to plan and with no disruption to our operation”.

    To enhance operational efficiency, the new condenser was fitted with Star’s Aether control system. Aether varies fan speed based on heat rejection load and ambient conditions, saving motor power and ensuring optimum condensing conditions throughout the year.

    Star’s focus on efficiency and extended working life, as well as reducing carbon emissions, has helped Farmfoods keep running costs down over the years.

    Farmfoods and Star Refrigeration have enjoyed a successful and longstanding relationship for decades. In addition to the condenser works at Solihull, Star has also recently installed two Azanefreezers and an Azanechiller at Farmfoods new facility in Bristol in 2014 and will continue to support the frozen specialists in the years to come.