The Dairy Crest National Distribution Centre in Nuneaton is the hub of the company’s logistics network. Receiving finished goods from 14 production sites across France and UK, the £33 million centre has storage facilities for 47,000 pallets of goods. The 24/7, 364 days a year site employs 400 staff and has an annual throughput of 65 million cases, supplying leading brands such as Cathedral City cheese and Country Life butter to retailers and food service industries across the UK.
When operating such a large site, dust can become a serious nuisance. It requires regular cleaning, at an on-going cost, and can cause health and safety implications for employees by affecting the air quality. The dust itself is generated by production processes, fork lift truck operation and general working practices across the facility. Additional environmental dust particulates are also blown in from fields and roads to exacerbate the problem.
In the case of Dairy Crest, the introduction of an air filtration system was crucial to the efficient running of the site by helping to eliminate the dust and reduce employee absenteeism. The ‘nuisance’ dust also amounted to an annual cleaning bill of £35,000. The high levels of dust needed to be removed safely and with the least possible disruption to the day to day activities.
The Flimmer® Filtration System
For both efficiency in operation and convenience of installation, Dairy Crest selected Zehnder Clean Air Solutions to implement its patented Flimmer® Filtration System.
Warehouse Operations Manager Brandon J. Moss explains “The Company has always strived to have first class hygiene standards, but I think it is fair to say that the installation of this system will make them world class. The Flimmer Filtration System is, in my opinion, the only product on the market that will do the job as we want it done. We felt that it would be ideal for our kind of environment and asked the Zehnder Clean Air Solutions Technical and Sales Support team to provide a bespoke system for us”.
How does it work?
Simple – it filters the particles of dust from the air like a continuous vacuum cleaner. In contrast to conventional industrial systems, the Flimmer® filter consists of thousands of electro-statically charged, fine polypropylene fibres which attract and catch the dust. This unique filtering technique provides an extremely high level of dust and particulate removal and the large surface area prevents clogging, frequent filter changes and pressure loss.
The Zehnder solution
Zehnder offered a complete tailor made service, including a premises survey and dust level monitoring, to ascertain the precise measurement of airborne particulate and how this was affected by Dairy Crest’s working practices.
Following this, a bespoke solution to meet the site requirements was presented and a total of 64 machines were hung and wired into four different areas, making this the largest installation of a Flimmer® Filtration System in the UK.
Graham Cadman, Contracts and Security Manager at Dairy Crest said, “I was surprised at the speed and efficiency that the installation team showed and flexibility to overcome some installation difficulties. They managed to install all 64 machines in a 2 week period without any disruption to service or the operation.”
The Dairy Crest team are delighted with the effectiveness of the Flimmer® units. By weighing the filters at the beginning and end of a 12 month period, the units have successfully removed over 70kg of dust from the Dairy Crest warehouses and have also helped to reduce absenteeism by 0.5% over the same period. Brandon J Moss affirms “We are extremely pleased with the results we are achieving from the installation of the Flimmer® units. We are making efficiencies in all areas; cleaning costs, staffing costs and reduced down time, if only we had known about this system sooner. Now both humans and machines can breathe easy!”