Refrigeration that Recycles the Curtain: Williams launches a sustainable merchandiser
New ‘air curtain’ system improves energy efficiency; plus advanced temperature controls and ‘display-maximising’ design
Williams has launched a Sandwich Chiller as part of its Gem range for the Grab and Go sector. The open-fronted, self-service cabinet features an innovative new ‘air curtain’ system, developed by Williams, which recycles the cold air that is normally wasted in conventional designs. This, combined with several other energy-saving features, makes the Gem Sandwich Chiller the most sustainable on the market, the company says.
‘The Sandwich Chiller is an extension to our Gem range of front of house, ‘Grab and Go’ products, which includes the market leading Multideck merchandisers,” says Martin Laws, Marketing Manager of Williams. “It’s a very attractive unit that maximises retail display space and enhances food safety. It also has a robust construction that will deliver a long service life – it’s a practical and sustainable alternative for the Grab & Go sector.”
Many open chillers use an air curtain refrigeration system, whereby a wall of cold air cascades down the front of the unit. This protects the food and drink by maintaining temperature while offering customers easy access and an attractive display. However, traditional designs have been energy-hungry, since much of the cold air curtain is lost into the environment.
Williams’ R&D team developed the new air curtain system as part of the company’s Greenlogic initiative. Careful angling of the ‘curtain’ ensures that, once it has done its job, nearly all the cold air is recycled, either into the cabinet, helping maintain temperature, or by being drawn through vents and grills to cool the refrigeration system itself and thus reduce energy consumption.
Other energy saving features include LED lighting and an integral night blind. Again, Williams has set new standards by ensuring its LEDs are protected from the inevitable knocks associated with a self-service merchandiser and are easily changeable, should one fail. The night blind is self-retracting and has a magnetic catch.
The trick of getting more display space from the same footprint is accomplished by a variety of clever design features. For example, the night blind is positioned in such a way that it leaves the whole of the top shelf clear for display, which is often not the case with standard designs. Meanwhile staff can use the full depth of the Chiller’s shelves to display product. With most designs, there needs to be a gap between the food product and the cabinet’s back wall, to ensure airflow passes through. The Williams Chiller’s air wall means product can be loaded right up to the rear of the cabinet, with no gap and no risk of compromising food safety. This feature also makes life easier for staff restocking the unit, and avoids the risk of customers inadvertently moving stock and blocking the airflow.
In any food storage unit, food safety is paramount and the Williams Chiller sets new standards in the Grab and Go sector here, too. The combination of effective refrigeration and high performance insulation means that temperature pull down times are very fast – so that the cabinet temperature is always within set parameters (2 to 5°C), even in ambients of 25°C. This is further helped by Williams’ hot gas defrost system, which means the unit is only in defrost for a short period, compared to traditional electrical element defrost systems.
The unit’s polyurethane insulation not only minimises temperature loss but also makes the Chiller very strong and robust. The stainless steel body and tempered glass sides and shelves add to this durability and make the unit easy to clean.
The Gem Sandwich Chiller is part of Williams’ range for the Grab & Go sector, which includes a variety of merchandisers, a dedicated pastry chiller and a choice of back of house refrigeration cabinets.
Williams Refrigeration offers a comprehensive range of solutions, from commercial refrigeration to bakery equipment and including a market-leading choice of gastronorm cabinets, modular storage and reach-in and roll-in blast chillers.