Industrial gas company A-Gas has launched its Rapid Recovery aftermarket service to combat the flood of sub-standard refrigerants in disposable cylinders in the food and beverage industry being imported from many global suppliers.
The inferior products hamper the cooling capacity of systems, which do not cool efficiently as a result. In addition, it is also raises a red flag for environmental issues such as leakage from poorly maintained systems, and subsequent venting into the atmosphere, which adversely impacts on global warming.
The fact that the food and beverage industry deals with perishable goods means it is critical that its refrigerant systems are up to date, A-Gas South Africa sales representative Werner Terblanche comments.
“The main aim of Rapid Recovery for the food and beverage industry, in particular, is to ensure it complies with all necessary local and international regulations and requirements. It is both a local and global requirement that all refrigerant gases be recovered owing to the potential adverse environmental impact,” Terblanche points out.
A-Gas has applied its Rapid Recovery model with great success in Europe and the US, and has now extended this service offering to Africa, where there is not only a great need for the service itself, but an increasing demand for quality products and technical expertise.
“In this way, we can assist both end-users and contractors in being fully compliant, at minimal cost and in the fastest time possible,” adds Terblanche.
The service can recover 700 kg of refrigerant in as little as an hour, as opposed to days with traditional methods, which represents a major cost saving for the food and beverage industry, where any downtime has a huge implication for both productivity and the bottom line. The Rapid Recovery service is also ideal to assist technicians who are either effecting essential repairs, or decommissioning older systems.
Another important service offered to the food-and-gas industry is Gas-Trak Online (GTO), an Internet- or smartphone-based program that allows end-users to monitor and control their cylinder fleets.
“Companies acquire cylinders from multiple suppliers, which they can then centralise for optimal distribution and tracking purposes,” Terblanche elaborates. It also allows for increased transparency as to the total quantity of refrigerant consumed.
All refrigerants supplied by A-Gas South Africa comply with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers standards. This is a global professional association that advances heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration system design and construction globally.
“However, there are suppliers importing inferior product into Africa, and end-users have to be fully aware that this is not in accordance with the necessary regulations and requirements. Therefore, we have seen a marked increase in customers from Africa enquiring about the latest advances in both refrigerant development and regulatory compliance,” Terblanche comments.
As both an ISO 9001- and IS0 14001- accredited company, clients can rest assured that A-Gas South Africa supplies only the latest ‘green’ refrigerants and technology. “Our refrigerants are not only tested prior to being exported, but are retested upon arrival at their destination by independent laboratories,” Terblanche stresses.
In this regard, A-Gas South Africa’s Cape Town refrigerant filling plant is the most sophisticated of its kind on the continent, with the flexibility of being able to fill 5 kg returnable cylinders all the way up to 1 t drums.
“Africa is a growth hub at the moment, with growing populations and increasing urbanisation rates. This means that the food-and-beverage industry in Africa itself is expanding, which has also resulted in increased demand for our advanced products and services,” Terblanche concludes.