There’s been a recent rise in demand for cold chain products. The expansions in the global market for perishable goods have recommended the need for efficient and productive cold storage management.
Cold storage refers to frozen or refrigerated facilities typically used for storing chemicals, food products, or any other product that needs cool temperatures for their preservation. Therefore, you can easily find cold storage applications in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, or chemicals.
However, the extreme cold may cause damage to machinery, which means more frequent maintenance, and may even affect the health of employees. You also need to maintain the temperatures of the cold storage facility to ensure that the products you store remain fit for use, as warmer temperatures can make them unsafe for consumption.
Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a cold storage facility to ensure that the temperatures are effectively low, employees remain healthy, products are fit for use, and the equipment is in the best working condition at all times. That said, here are six best practices for maintaining cold storage facilities:
1. Adopt Automation
Cold storage facilities are typically costlier than other warehouse storage types since their costs are associated with maintaining these facilities at low temperatures. Thus, it’d be wise to adopt automation since land, energy, and labor costs keep rising.
Automation can help optimize your cold storage facility space by enhancing cube utilization. You can use your vertical space optimally by employing automated storage and retrieval systems, ASRS, or high-density pallet racking systems.
You can also minimize the need for human labor through automation, guaranteeing substantial savings. You can use automated guided vehicles to shuttle your products through the facility, hence, operating the facility with fewer employees.
2. Maintain Temperature Ranges
Your storage facility might be for holding different kinds of products. You can simultaneously have different products that differ in storage temperatures, like vegetables, meat, ice cream, and milk. Therefore, you need a specific unit for each product, a particular temperature range. This means that you have to set temperature ranges and maintain them. For instance, frozen products must stay frozen at all times, and refrigerated products should also remain refrigerated.
You can create barriers between these different temperature zones to allow simultaneous storage of various products. A modular insulated wall system can help you maintain temperature ranges in your cold storage facility. Some companies have transport vehicles that can move your products while maintaining the set temperatures of these products. For more information on such matters, you may visit minus1.com.au and other similar sites.
3. Minimize Heat Loss
It’s also crucial to minimize heat loss, ensuring that you maintain fixed temperatures. Minimizing heat loss helps by guaranteeing more energy savings and avoiding spoilage of the products in the cold storage facility.
You can use strip or rapid or high-speed doors to minimize heat loss in your cold storage facility since they have high efficiency in containing refrigerated air and allow unhindered access to vehicles and employees in all areas of the facility.
4. Use Suitable Equipment
You can have machines, equipment, and tools for different temperature-controlled storage options in your cold storage facility, like computers, barcode scanners, forklifts, sensors, and pallet jackets. Therefore, you need to have modified equipment and tools designed to work the required low temperatures.
For instance, your touchscreens should be sensitive enough to allow you to operate them with thick gloves. The buttons on scanning devices should also be big enough to allow for easy pressing even with work gloves. You also need to use batteries with higher voltages since their constant exposure to cold temperatures results in a 40 to 50 % degradation.
5. Ensure Employees’ Safety
It’s crucial to ensure that your employees have proper protective equipment to guarantee their safety and the smooth operations of the facility. Therefore, you should provide your employees with insulated pants, coats, gloves, and other gear to keep them warm.
You also need to train your employees to familiarize themselves with the cold environment of the storage facility, minimize health risks, and ensure they don’t compromise the operation’s productivity.
6. Maintain Proper Records
The products you store in your cold storage facility are at risk of damage due to sudden temperature changes. Therefore, you need to keep an accurate record of their temperature details. Luckily, technology has made it easier for you to maintain your cold storage facility. You can install temperature sensors to monitor temperatures, identify potential lapses, and trigger alarms.
You can use sophisticated databases to allow you to link your collected data with products through radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking. This can help you track your products without scanning every single carton, as well as ensure the transparency of records to any person in the supply chain needing access.
The supply chain industry is gradually appreciating the relevance of cold storage facilities. Such types of facilities can deliver many advantages, especially if you’re able to maintain them properly. With the guide above, you can maintain your cold storage facility, yielding you many benefits in no time.
Amanda Nelson is currently a professional content writer.