We chat with Lena Le Roux, managing director at Staycold – SA’s leading manufacturer of self-contained commercial fridges and freezers ahead of Africa’s only dedicated heating, energy, refrigeration, ventilation & air conditioning event, FRIGAR Expo where the company will be exhibiting. The event will take place from 01 June – 03 June 2022 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Lena tells us about the Staycold story, the role of IoT in the commercial refrigeration space, how manufacturers can contribute to the race to net zero, and what expo visitors can expect to see from the company.
Lena, briefly tell us more about the Staycold story and the company’s innovative product offering.
LLR: Staycold started as a small family-owned business in 1979. We initially manufactured only domestic fridges and freezers with larger holdover capacity servicing outlying farming communities with limited access to continuous electricity supply.
During the late 80’s, this landscape changed with Eskom installing infrastructure to service this sector. The decision was made to change the product offering to a commercial beverage solution with a value proposition that serviced the African market requirements and conditions.
Today, we are the preferred B to B partner for most of the well-known FMCG’s, bottlers and industry distributors. We also have a foot print in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda with an export marketing office based in Wales.
What sets Staycold units apart other brands in the industry?
LLR: Our aim is to support and promote the customers product, served, or displayed, to their consumers, to its full potential. We enable the customer to best serve their product, to their consumer.
We can only achieve this by using quality components from trusted partners in combination with sound refrigeration designs and manufacturing principals.
What role does IoT currently play in the commercial refrigeration space, and what opportunities exist because of it?
LLR: IoT and refrigeration, a combination very few people will put together. The beauty lies in the detail of what IoT and more specific telemetry can offer the customer at a very competitive pricing structure based on specific requirements.
This can vary from only an asset location requirement to a full-service detailing:
• Quantity of door openings
• Temperature reading
• Periods switched on/off
• Turn light on/off
• Send alarms to indicate a condenser temperature out of parameters
• ….the options are endless…
In your opinion, what role should manufacturers play in the Race to Net Zero and how can they increase the energy efficiency of units?
LLR: The race to net zero is an industry relevant drive and manufacturers have a two-pronged responsibility in my opinion. Firstly, as manufacturers the responsibility to design and manufacture with efficiency and reduction in emission lay with us.
Secondly, the responsibility of educating the different market sectors on taking ownership of the importance and value contribution of buying and maintaining an energy efficient cooler, also lies with us as manufacturers.
Managing a cooler need not impact on the day to day core functions of any store manager or business owner, but the value to be gained from understanding the benefits and implementing small basic steps add value and contributes overall to the race to net zero.
What specification checks should retailers perform when selecting refrigeration equipment?
LLR: UNDERSTAND YOUR REQUIREMENT AND CHOOSE A SUITABLE SOLUTION TO MEET THAT REQUIREMENT. CHALLENGE THE DIFFERENT OPTIONS AND THE VALUE PROPOSITIONS OFFERED. Be specific about:
• EE levels (energy efficiency levels)
• Approvals and the relevance of those approvals
• Quality and Safety Measurement Systems
• Life span of components and what factors impact on that indicative life span.
What can visitors expect to see from Staycold at the upcoming FRIGAIR Expo?
LLR: At FRIGAIR, Staycold will proudly display two newly launched products and of course the HD1140HC double door cooler listed in the London based Environmental Investigation Agency’s Pathway to Net-Zero.
We will gladly engage in conversation re the role and benefits of IoT in our industry as well as the relevance of safety approvals in support of the Race to Net Zero.
By Jessi Wesson