Visit to Montagues New Cold Store at Truganina outside Melbourne, Australia

NEWS & MEDIA | 30 June 2015

Visit to Montagues New Cold Store at Truganina outside Melbourne, Australia

Montague Cold Storage has been in business for over sixty years. Family owned, Montague’s started life as a supplier of fruit and flowers before becoming one of the largest cold store operators in the states of Victoria and Tasmania with over 140,000 pallet spaces available.

Phase 1 of Montague’s new Truganina store was commissioned at the end of 2014 and has a capacity of 30,000 pallet spaces. I was delighted to be shown around the facility by the Facilities Director, Glenn Edwards.

The facility has a separate entrance and waiting zone for trucks. Only a third of the available area has been utilised in phase 1
The facility has a separate entrance and waiting zone for trucks. Only a third of the available area has been utilised in phase 1

 

LOADING AREA

A 20 metre wide loading dock
At 20 metres wide the loading dock has ample space to make up loads. Pedestrians are encouraged to use the elevated walk way. There is also a demarkated walk way next to the loading bays, with pedestrian gates at each bay to prevent fork truckpedestrian accidents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A well protected pallet conveyor
A well protected pallet conveyor allows picked pallets to be shrink wrapped and then returned to the freezer to await dispatch. It can also shrink wrap incoming pallets and take them into the freezer.
High Speed Doors
The high speed doors for the conveyor in and out feeds have fans which prevent a build up of frozen condensation.
Ammonia detector
Ammonia detector and alarm situated on the elevated pedestrian walkway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double leafed insulated and forklift proof doors
Double leafed insulated and forklift proof doors have been used. Note the special replaceable tiles on both sides of the door in this heavy use area
Freezer door entry protection is substantial and far more than would be normally seen in South African stores.
Freezer door entry protection is substantial and far more than would be normally seen in South African stores.

LOADING DOCKS

The loading docks at Truganina have been designed for maximum efficiency and in line with Health and Safety legislation. After entering the site through a special entrance, the trucks wait at a marshaling point until directed to a particular loading bay. Backing up to the loading bay is assisted by ground guides which make sure that the rear of the truck is correctly placed. Then the trailer’s rear protection bar is locked in position. Until the lock is in place, the internal loading bay door will not open nor can the dock leveler be activated. The lock prevents the truck from moving away from the loading dock with a forklift inside. The driver then enters vestibule of the loading dock through the door and opens the truck doors. The air seals activate to prevent the ingress of warm moist air, the dock leveler is put into position and the internal door opens.

While waiting for the truck to be loaded/offloaded, the driver has access to bathroom facilities and a canteen. He is observed by the cold store staff as they must sign off that he is fit to drive the truck to its next destination. As his load is processed, the driver stands on an observation platform in the loading dock to check the pallets. When the doors are sealed and the paperwork completed, the lock is released and the truck leaves via a gate that only opens when the cold store staff have checked that everything is in order.

Loading dock showing ground guides and driver entrance
Loading dock showing ground guides and driver entrance. The traffic lights show when the truck is free to leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driver entrance from inside showing door to viewing platform.
Driver entrance from inside showing door to viewing platform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internal door to loading dock area
Internal door to loading dock area. Note the light to assist with loading, the viewing window and the door protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensors to prevent unauthorised actions
Extensive use is made of sensors to prevent unauthorised actions in the loading bays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rear protection bar locks are in use at most Australian cold stores.
Rear protection bar locks are in use at most Australian cold stores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trailers which are processed without a prime mover must be supported.
Trailers which are processed without a prime mover must be supported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dispatch gate.
Dispatch gate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The truck schedule in the control room resembles an airport departure board.
The truck schedule in the control room resembles an airport departure board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREEZER ROOMS

The freezer rooms are constructed from PIR panels. The local fire authority required that the freezer ceilings be fitted with sprinklers. Had the cold store been placed on the other side of the road, it would have fallen under another fire authority making sprinklers unnecessary. Hitting a sprinkler head will not in itself activate the system. Excessive heat must also be picked up by sensors.

The freezer rooms are equipped with double deep racking. Case picking is an important aspect of the business and takes place inside the freezer. Product is supplied to the pick faces via roller beds. Stackers are not allowed in lanes where case picking takes place. Racked picking bays have been made wider than normal to allow for better access to the cases. Space has been created underneath the roller beds to allow room for the picker’s feet.

The racking is of high quality and well protected. The upper levels have guides to assist with placing the pallets.

 

 

Ceiling shot showing the sprinkler pipes.
Ceiling shot showing the sprinkler pipes.
Pallet racking is 8 levels high
Pallet racking is 8 levels high with all pallets being 1200mms in the height. The Australian pallet base is 1165mms by 1165 mms and has slots into which the load beams fit. Cold store lights are operated by movement sensors and are LEDs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glenn Edwards, Montague’s Facilities Director
Glenn Edwards, Montague’s Facilities Director, shows how the extra space in the picking bays assists the case picking process. Note the protective fencing above Glenn’s head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pallet location information is on the rack frames
Pallet location information is on the rack frames. This particular frame spans a floor joint hence the larger slots and bolts in the load beam to allow for movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rack frame protectors.
Rack frame protectors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rack frame protectors are anchored with M20 bolts.
Rack frame protectors are anchored with M20 bolts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goal posts and rack end protection are welded to plates cast in the floor.
Goal posts and rack end protection are welded to plates cast in the floor. The welding is designed to fail before the plate is ripped out of the concrete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MATERIALS HANDLING EQUIPMENT

Stackers with extendable forks are used to place and retrieve pallets in the double deep racking. Their front wheels must be able to go under the bottom level of pallets. Cases are picked via man on pallet movers. Stand on forklifts are used in the trucks. The stackers have no heated cabs and the fork lifts/pallet movers are all of the stand-up variety. High quality freezer clothing is worn by all cold store employees.

The battery bay is well thought out including intelligent chargers which include automatic maintenance of battery water levels. The pallet movers have inbuilt printers and the scanners are attached to the machine with extendable restraints. Every machine has a driver control device, which limits who can drive what, and also sends information regarding impacts to the responsible manager.

 

 

Scanner attachment
Scanner attachment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New narrow mast stacker with camera to assist with high level pallet placings.
New narrow mast stacker with camera to assist with high level pallet placings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driver control unit on every machine.
Driver control unit on every machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLDSTORE CONSTRUCTION FEATURES

Some cold store construction features are attached for interest.

 

Cold store outer cladding
On lower levels, cold store outer cladding is made from perforated IBR sheeting. The holes allow for ventilation but prevent direct sunlight on the insulation panels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cable support bracing is insulated to minimise temperature transfer.
Freezer ceilings are angled to allow moisture to run off. Cable support bracing is insulated to minimise temperature transfer.
Main columns are not insulated inside the freezer but only at the top with insulation and electrical heater cables. The column base rests on a wooden block.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The freezer box is constructed from PIR Panels.
The freezer box is constructed from PIR Panels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A heated glycol/water mixture is used when necessary to keep the subfloor above zero degrees Celsius. Each circuit has its own shut off valve.
A heated glycol/water mixture is used when necessary to keep the subfloor above zero degrees Celsius. Each circuit has its own shut off valve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water is collected from the roof of the freezer and stored for use in the condensers.
Water is collected from the roof of the freezer and stored for use in the condensers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The switch room is air conditioned.
The switch room is air conditioned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside lights can be easily serviced from the roof space.
Outside lights can be easily serviced from the roof space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside a “penthouse” evaporator.
Inside a “penthouse” evaporator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Despite the repeal of the Australian carbon tax, direct electricity and supply charges are a cold store’s highest individual cost.  Apart from 250mm thick PIR panels, LED lighting with movement sensor activation and strict freezer door control, the compressors, condenser and penthouse evaporator fans have all been fitted with variable speed drives. A prominent member of the RWTA’s (Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association) energy efficiency committee, Glenn has strenuously promoted the use of energy saving technology. Although still in a start-up phase, energy usage is 50% less when compared to other cold stores in the Montague Group. Average energy  usage is a fantastic 1.3KWhrs per M3 per month. The Powerstar Voltage Optimiser has not yet been commissioned.

 

 

The engine room has been built to accommodate future extensions.
The engine room has been built to accommodate future extensions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Powerstar Voltage Optimisation System
Powerstar voltage optimisation system waiting to be installed. It will match the incoming supply to the needs of the equipment and return any excess to the grid. A12 to 15% energy saving is expected.