ACR Journal

STARFROST SPIRAL SOLUTION BOOSTS COOK CAPACITY COOK Trading has increased production capacity of its frozen ready meals with the addition of another spiral freezer frommechanical freezing specialist Starfrost. With three production kitchens in the south of England, COOK produces over 30 million meals per year which are sold in 90 of its own shops and more than 900 independent stores. Established 25 years ago and inspired by the taste of great home cooking, the business has experienced significant growth in the past three years following the acquisition of new premises and the development of new product ranges. Having decided to invest in new freezing equipment to support that growth, COOK turned again to cooling technology partners Starfrost following a previous expansion project in 2019. Starfrost engineering teams custom built a mechanical freezing system designed to integrate with COOK’s processing line. Since installation earlier this year, the additional Helix spiral freezer has boosted COOK’s total production capacity by 30% across all production kitchens located in Sittingbourne, Kent. Ben Walker, general manager at COOK, said: “Choosing the correct freezing process for food products is essential to maintain high manufacturing standards. The freezing process has an e ect on processing time and consequently impacts profit margins. It is also key to deliver the consistent product quality we require.’’ NEWS 06 February | March 2023 Volume 9 No.2 Swegon moves into new UK factory HVAC manufacturer Swegon has moved into a new 6,400m2 factory near Maidstone, Kent. The plant will manufacture products adapted to the local needs of the UK market and will also feature a customer experience centre. Swegon acquired Waterloo in 2020 and the new Vantage Point site started production in December 2022, with the migration of manufacturing from Waterloo’s traditional facility in nearby Aylesford. The Waterloo employees have now moved to the new site, which is in the process of scaling up to full capacity and will eventually house up to 160 people. Swegon says it is investing heavily in the new manufacturing centre to improve lead times, handle greater capacity and increase production e ciency. The factory boasts a range of sustainable features including a solar roof, electric vehicle charging points and the latest energy e ciency measures. “This is a major step change in our production capabilities and great news for our people,” said Swegon UK&I managing director Robin Vollert. “We are entering a new modern era for manufacturing while remaining close to one of our most important heartlands in Kent where we have a rich technical heritage. “We are also practicing what we preach by creating our customer experience centre, which will demonstrate best practice and showcase a first-class indoor environment. These are exciting times and the latest demonstration of our deep commitment to manufacturing in the UK and Ireland, which are hugely important markets for our global group.” WOLSELEY GROUP TO BUY KOOLTECH Wolseley Group has signed an agreement to buy Glasgow-based air conditioning and ventilation distributor Kooltech. A statement from Kooltech said the decision follows a detailed search since the end of 2021 for a business partner that can help the company fuel further growth and reach even more customers. Kooltech will remain a standalone business and brand. There will be no change to its operation and the company will remain headquartered in Glasgow. In agreement with Wolseley Group, a 10-year lease extension on the Kooltech premises in the city has been signed. Kooltech’s senior management team will continue to lead the business and the company has confirmed the opening of a branch in Cambridge in the coming months, as well as continuing to recruit an additional 20 new roles. Jonathan Brown, commercial director of Kooltech, said: “We’re really excited about the opportunity and the benefits that this deal will bring. Kooltech is a business that is performing well and experiencing exceptional growth. Wolseley is a great business that aligns with our culture and ambitions. Wolseley and Kooltech are complementary businesses that will be stronger together.” Simon Oakland, chief executive of the Wolseley Group, said: “Wolseley is continuing to bring together the UK’s best in our aim to be the most complete specialist provider of plumbing, heating, cooling and infrastructure products. Kooltech joining our group will enable us to extend our o er to customers further across the sector and create new opportunities for Kooltech as part of a broader business.” The deal is expected to complete in mid-2023.

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