Refrigeration for the real world: cabinets and counters

Monday 04 July 2016

Williams’ upgraded cabinets and counters go beyond improving energy efficiency: British manufacturer raises the bar for food safety, reliability and practical benefits, too

Williams Refrigeration has launched a series of improvements across its range of reach-in cabinets and counters. The product lines incorporate a variety of new features and benefits, ranging from advanced castors, which enhance manoeuvrability, to a radical rethink of the internal airflow, which improves efficiency and food safety.

While the new designs have been launched in time for the introduction of energy labelling and MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards) in July 2016, Williams is underlining the fact that the upgrades are not purely about energy efficiency. “The ethos behind the R&D programme was to enhance all the other characteristics of Williams fridges that our customers love,” says Malcolm Harling, Williams UK Sales and Marketing Director. “There’s no point in gaining energy efficiency if you compromise reliability, performance, food safety or robustness.”

For example, many of the products have thicker insulation. “As well as improving the energy efficiency of the product, the thickness of the insulation also adds further strength to its build,” says Harling. Two key benefits of Williams’ designs are their ability to fit into a standard footprint, and to fit through a standard doorway without tipping.

“Our R&D team overcame the age-old conundrum of fitting a quart into a pint pot!” says Harling. Not only is the insulation thicker, the majority of new cabinets and counters also have the same footprint, plus they actually have a larger internal capacity.

The feat was engineered using several different advances. For example, the castors are 20mm shorter – although their manoeuvrability is actually superior to larger, conventional designs. In addition, redesigning the condenser and compressor housing also reduced the space needed. “All of these ‘marginal gains’ has increased the usable storage capacity, even with the thicker insulation,” says Harling.

Many of the new Williams products feature an enhanced airflow design, developed to provide ever greater food safety. “Conventional designs have fans drawing the cold air back up through grills mounted in the centre of the cabinet ceiling,” says Harling. “We’ve mounted the grill at the front of the cabinet, so that air is drawn through the whole cabinet and cooling is uniform, with no potential ‘warm spots’.”  

Other advances include new, tougher hinges; a more robust self-closing door system; and an energy-efficient mullion heater that prevents condensation. A new gasket and thermal break for doors saves energy by providing an even better seal than previously.

Whilst some models in Williams’ upgraded ranges boast an ‘A’ rating for energy labelling, Harling has no doubt that customers will be just as interested in the fact that the characteristic qualities of a Williams-built fridge have also been enhanced. “Our customers value robust reliability. They want to be able to slam the doors when they’re under pressure and need to know that the food inside, as well as their business reputation, is safely protected. Of course they want energy efficiency but also functional, practical designs that will work in the kitchen.

“This is refrigeration for the real world.”  

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