Remote monitoring and analysis

We provide a unique set of remote data collection packages utilised by a skilled team of engineers to diagnose customer’s plant performance.

This enables us to: 
A) Establish the root cause of plant faults quickly
B) Reduce customer cost
C) Focus maintenance as necessary
D) Maintain and demonstrate design efficiency
E) Forecast and prevent fault occurence
F) Track results of operational change

Sentinel Plus Operational Centre

A software package optimised to track and record faults and alerts throughout the working life of our customer’s sites from which customised reports are produced. The system automatically calls our local branch teams whenever an engineer may be required, 24/7/52.

MES Data Graphing

Industrial Refrigeration plants are generally controlled following the analysis of real time data input to a PLC. This operating data is often lost, making it difficult to determine the root cause of any unexplained event. Our system captures all the PLC data and stores it on a remote database for interrogation by the monitoring hub team using adapted graphing software and pre configured reports.

Remote Dial In to Site

Star Refrigeration offers the facility of a secure managed broadband service to enable remote dial up access to its maintained sites, giving us the ability to log directly into site, establish the current running status, and reset and make set point changes from any remote location with broadband access. This often removes the requirement for a costly engineer site visit.


Willie Little

Key Accounts Manager - Maintenance

Related Case Studies

  • Star helps British 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's.

     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 levels while ensuring Star's maintenance routines had no impact on the customer's normal operations.

     An important part of Star Refrigeration’s aftercare work was to bring the British pharmaceutical company’s ammonia plant up to date with current regulations as well as the implementation of SAP procedures to the air conditioning systems were routinely assessed and subject to regular and consistent maintenance.

    As part of Star's proactive maintenance plan, the plant performance was reviewed on a frequent basis. Working closely with the customer’s energy supervisor, Star monitored the plant's energy usage. After identifying when the plant was not operating at maximum efficiency, Star introduced measures to minimise energy waste such as the installation of timers in all air conditioners at the site’s central offices, which reduced the customer’s energy bill 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, Star's Aberdeen team was entrusted with a new project which involved the design and installation of a brand new refrigeration plant for an extension to their facilities.

     Star Refrigeration Operations Group 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 to over 300 customers across the UK.

  • 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


  • Multi-national Investment Bank

    One of the world's most august financial institutions and a long-term customer of Star Refrigeration faced a crisis when a BMS software command fault caused sub cooling of the condenser water circuit – this fault then shut down  their chillers. The fault was detected at 0030 am and the in house call out engineer was immediately summoned to site but was unable to restart the cooling system.

    The customer is a well known leader in effective control and safety surveillance measures as part of their broader risk management programmes and had enlisted the help of Star Refrigeration’s remote monitoring service - a fully comprehensive aftercare package to monitor their chillers operation 24/7.

    The remote monitoring service as well as customer’s engineers on site notified Star Refrigeration of the fault after every effort made by on site staff to reset the chillers resulted with further compressor start faults. But it was not until the conditions could be assessed by Star’s standby engineers who were able to remotely monitor, address and restart the chillers that the reset attempts were successful.

    The incident occurred at the blue chip banking company’s headquarters in London.  Star Refrigeration looks after the financial centre’s cooling plant at a multi story glass and steel building which provides circa 20,000 sq metres of office space in a building in the centre of the square mile. When the newly built headquarters opened in 2012, Star installed two standard Indigochillers with in-built remote monitoring functionality to serve the office building which caters for approximately 900 staff and machine rooms. 

    Since the facility opened, the site has been in undisrupted operation but in this case, Star’s services proved invaluable.

    Chris Druce, Service Manager at Star Refrigeration, said “The customer must be commended for their vision to ensure a preventive action and emergency plan was in place in order to address any potential weaknesses. Mechanical faults are a common occurrence when dealing with complex engineering systems requiring a diverse pool of technical expertise. Taking a pro-active approach to contingency planning such as this ensures businesses and their customers are protected, even under the most unlikely circumstances.”

    “Remote monitoring can be a lifesaver, as it diagnoses problems, sometimes, even before the client becomes aware of them. Star can notify a client and alert them of a problem before it becomes a critical issue. It also gives the engineers the ability to remotely reset and override system controls, which is what was needed in this instance.”

    The Head of Property Services at the company said, “We are very grateful to Star for the wisdom of having remote monitor and access to our cooling systems – Star had remote monitoring years before others and have kept up with technology in advance of competitors. I just want to pass on my sincere thanks to all Star personnel for their help and rapid response”. 

    “Thanks for being such an excellent service partner”.

    The site was without machine room cooling for a rediced period of time but thanks to a thoroughly planned preventative and contingency arrangement, no lasting damage was caused. The chillers were started remotely by Star's engineering team who also attended the site to reassure the customer. When the mobile engineer arrived, normal conditions had resumed.

    The remote monitoring system collects data from the PLC of the refrigeration system at the customer’s site and transmits it off-site via a broadband connection. A Monitoring Hub at Star’s head office which employs over 80 combined  man years of experience in mechanical, electrical and electronic control of industrial refrigeration plant – is instrumental in getting any issues noticed and  resolved. The elite team of senior engineers and bespoke software are dedicated to analyse equipment remotely 24/7. Plant issues and investigations involve collating recorded evidence (based on recorded history on or off site of graphical data or VCR playback of data), looking through wiring diagrams and refrigeration circuit diagrams and monitoring of live PLC software operation on site.

    The refrigeration experts and data analysis software then generate targeted task lists for Star’s fleet of over 100 specialist engineers located throughout the country to focus on, therefore eliminating the need for costly on-site visits and traditional fixed schedule invasive maintenance. 

    Critical” faults are notified to stand by engineers instantaneously with an automated call so that immediate action can be taken. A total of five standby engineers are allocated to handle each job with teams located around the country’s nine branches and available 24 hours a day- so even when a fault occurs overnight, such as in this case, Star can take immediate remedial action. 

    The back-up of Star’s aftercare service gives businesses peace of mind. Remote monitoring allows Star to track, monitor and repair any faults, sometimes without the engineer having to even visit the site. This means customers don’t have to wait for engineers to attend the site and issues can be resolved promptly, before problems become critical. In turn, this approach also reduces maintenance costs. 

    Personnel from both companies have been working together for almost 30 years . Star will continue to provide ongoing aftercare for  the customer through their StarCare team in London to ensure the refrigeration plant remains reliable, efficient and operational 24/7.





  • Chiller Contingency Plan

    The award-winning meat processors have signed a Chiller Contingency Plan for Critical Cooling Situations for their site in Linlithgow with industrial refrigeration contractors Star Refrigeration.

    As one of Scotland's finest traditional butchers, Campbells Prime Meat is committed to keeping standards sky high. It is this dedication that won the company top honours at the Meat Management Industry Awards 2015. As well as producing premium quality meat, the business also appreciates the importance of running watertight premises that are able to cope with any unexpected incidents. When the business encountered a fire at their last facility with an estimated £ 10 million worth of damage, over 300 jobs at stake and the loss of all its stock, it realised the importance of having a comprehensive contingency plan in place.

    After the move to their new premises in Linlithgow, the family-owned firm enlisted the help of Star Refrigeration to develop a controlled contingency plan to complement its existing infrastructure and ensure a seamless solution.

    Stephen Sweeney, Campbells' Finance Director, said, "We rely on a secure, efficient and robust refrigeration system."

    "We place great importance on our relationship with Star Refrigeration and believe that this contingency plan will give us security and peace of mind to fully focus on maintaining a successful business and growing it for the future."

    In a bid to safeguard the current premises against the unknown, the Star team, together with Campbells Prime Meat and commercial power generation and temperature control specialists Aggreko, came up with a savvy on-site plan that allows for the quick and easy connection of a temporary chiller should the plant encounter any issues. These included scenarios such as overheated equipment, faulty mechanisms caused by plant room or control panel fire or flood, major plant failure, heat exchanger failure or power failure, or anything which could not be repaired quickly.

    As the site was already covered by a Star maintenance agreement with remote monitoring of the complete refrigeration plant, the team already had a good understanding of exactly what the client needed. Star carried out a full site survey prior to the specification of the preventative plan to identify potential equipment requirements, plant location and capability, pipework or electrical cable routes. Star was also aware of the potential risks that allow for anticipation and mitigation of the consequences of a possible emergency situation.

    In order to accommodate emergency machinery, Sweeney explained: "several modifications to the glycol system were made so that the provisional system can now be connected into the main flow and return headers almost instantaneously with no disruption to business operations."

    The Campbells Prime Meat site is now armed with an intelligent and cost effective preventative cooling contingency plan. For the customer, the system offers the total peace of mind that in unexpected circumstances, the site will continue to operate as normal. A rapid response emergency call out procedure means that Star and Aggreko personnel will be on site within 4-6 hours. This eliminates the risk of financial loss due to spoiled produce. The system also represents potential savings in the form of slashed insurance premiums.

    Star Refrigeration's Business Development Manager Dr. Lewis Brown, who worked with Campbells to develop the bespoke contingency plan and coordinated all parties involved to provide a customised bullet proof solution, said: "At its core, the Star/Aggreko Contingency Plan allows the customer to think ahead for when the unthinkable might happen. If the plant experiences a major refrigeration failure that leads to a total loss of cooling, the tie in points to the glycol system will allow for the activation of a temporary chiller to keep the produce fresh with minimal disruption to normal business operations."

    As a customer oriented service provider, Star is always looking for ways to offer clients new incentives and offerings that offer added value to the customer.

    As well as the initial development of the contingency plan, Star and Aggreko will conduct annual reviews to ensure the plan remains functional and efficient. Additionally, Star is remotely monitoring the plant through Sentinel to control power usage and plant conditions, and conducting preventative maintenance.

    All it took to get the ball rolling was one call to Star Refrigeration and a quick discussion of contingency plan needs and a site visit. The Star/Aggreko team was then able to develop a customised controlled contingency plan that safeguards the Campbells Prime Meat plant against cooling failure. The result is a solution that eliminates the risk of an on-site refrigeration meltdown while ensuring zero impact on existing products.

    When it comes to designing and maintaining energy efficient cooling and heating systems, Star is a natural innovator. Star works with strategic partners across the globe to deliver low carbon, cost saving solutions.

    To find out more about Star's Chiller Contingency Plan, view the leaflet.