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The functionality of doors is underestimated, experts in the food industry know this. When building a conditioned room, Beko Groothandel therefore made an analysis of the new doors to be used.
Nothing is produced in-house at Beko Groothandel, but it is a dynamic place: a dozen trucks load and unload their goods on any Monday morning, the office is busy negotiating batches of bakery raw materials, and employees drive around with forklift trucks to move bags of raw materials. "All outgoing goods are collected on this square," says Alex Verhoef, branch manager of the Beko Groothandel branch in Central Netherlands. He continues: "We take care of the large-scale purchase, storage and distribution of raw materials for our 2,000 customers: bakers, pastry chefs, chocolatiers and ice cream makers". In addition to this branch in Utrecht, where the head office is also located, the company also has distribution centres in Veghel, Meppel and 's-Gravenzande. Beko Groothandel is a subsidiary of Beko Coöperatie, which also includes a consultancy, engineering and packaging branch, as well as an import company for southern fruits and nuts from abroad, and more.
By far the most raw materials come from the Netherlands or surrounding countries. In addition to all kinds of flour (baguette flour, patent flour, almond flour), these include chocolate pellets and drops, butter, whipped cream, egg and yeast. The company also sells semi-finished products such as cream powders, croissant dough and ice cream mixes, and end products including muffins, biscuits and ice cream cones. Alex explains: "More and more, bakeries are also lunchrooms where, in addition to a loaf of bread, you can buy sandwiches and ice cream. However, the most commonly traded products are still close to the original baker's craft: "Flower, sugar and yeast, hundreds of tonnes of these products pass through here every year".
With such quantities, efficiency is not a luxury. At Beko Groothandel, for example, there was a lot of profit to be made by relocating the refrigeration system. Verhoef: "It was located at the very back of the building, far from the shipping square. Previously, our warehouse staff collected all the orders on the roller container and the drivers had to take the ordered goods out of the cooler at night just before departure, which was very time-consuming. Completing the orders earlier was also not an option because the forwarding area had not been cooled and thus food safety would be compromised".
From left to right: Bart Hultermans, Farid Boudchichi and Alex Verhoef
Beko therefore brainstormed a lot about potential solutions. Eventually, the company decided to move the cooling and turn the shipping area into a conditioned environment with a constant temperature. When the wholesaler approached Roma, a specialist in conditioned and food-safe construction and a Beko partner for some time, the renovation plan was already ready to go. "It was well thought out," says Bart Hultermans, architectural sales consultant at Roma. Among other things, the company produces and assembles insulating sandwich panels and all kinds of doors for the food industry. Bart: "From pear storage to high-care production areas and from modest cold stores to cold stores 50 metres high".
For Beko, the company recently built the desired cold store on the shipping square. The square was also insulated, by installing some 2,000 m2 of sandwich panels, and foodcare company doors, windows and two 2010 type refrigerated sliding doors, which close off the refrigerated shipping area at night and keep the temperature constant. "Doors are crucial for conditioned areas and determine the speed of the production process, but they are often perceived as hindering. We have the right solutions for this," says Bart.
At Beko, they also know that doors are of fundamental importance. That's why they made a complete study at the company of the possibilities for the doors between the storage and the conditioned space. In the end, they ended up with the Dynaco High-speed doors from Alsta Nassau, the partner that took care of all the maintenance of the doors at the Beko Wholesale DC Midden location. The company supplies and produces overhead doors, and more, for a wide range of industries. Alex: "The new doors had to be not only insulating but also shock resistant due to the large amount of activity that takes place around them. Speed was also important to us. The functionality of Alsta Nassau's high-speed doors proved to be simply the best". The wholesaler had thirteen dynaco high-speed doors installed. Farid Boudchichi, service account manager at Alsta Nassau, adds: "These doors are soft and if an employee or forklift truck comes into contact with them, the door automatically falls back into its guides, thanks to a wireless reintroduction block. They open and close in 1.2 metres per second. They are also equipped with a radar so that the door opens without physical contact and closes again automatically after passing through - very hygienic!
The combination of Alsta Nassau and Roma turned out to be a great success for Beko. Alex Verhoef: "Thanks to the new, relocated cooling system, the conditioned expedition yard and the high insulation value and speed of the high-speed doors, the temperature on the expedition yard remains low. The time gain is also enormous, we assumed 50%, but secretly I count on as much as 75%".
Pictures: © James Media
Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2020