The supply chain industry has witnessed major changes in the years gone by and has grown to become a driver of modern commerce and growth. As the industry developed, the diversifications just came coming, and pretty soon, the supply chain industry became a pretty specialized one, and the cold chain became a spoke in the supply chain wheel, and that is what we will be discussing here, and how coolrooms and insulated wall panels are revolutionizing the industry as we speak.
So what exactly are cold chains? Well, they are a component of the logistics and supply chain industry that deals with frozen and perishable items. Often, cold chains are misunderstood as exclusively handling food items, but that is not the case. Medicinal supplies like vaccines are heavily reliant on cold chains for their distribution. The industry took off during the mid-20th-century, once faster ships entered the scene, and air transport became a reality. Suddenly, international commerce boomed like never before, and perishable goods could now be transported over long distances and stored effectively as well.
At the largest levels, cold storage warehouses are constructed out of a variety of materials, like concrete, insulated wall panels, clay, etc. Nowadays, coolroom panels are one of the most common cold storage construction items, and their versatility is something that makes them that much more special. Now, let us take a look at the factors that make coolroom panels and insulated wall panels the best options when it comes to creating an effective and efficient cold supply chain.
So, what exactly are coolroom panels? Also referred to as sandwich panels or insulated panels, these are specially constructed panels that are a layered collection of several insulating and protective materials and can be fabricated in factories, rather than having to construct them on-site. These walls help create an impermeable barrier and keep the outside elements where they are. These barriers are available in a wide variety of configurations and sizes and can be fabricated to order as well. This ensures the factory finish with the flexibility of custom fabrication.
The advantages that coolroom walls bring to the table are as follows.
They are durable.
When it comes to the supply chain industry, ruggedness is much desired as they might need to be moved around, and the nature of the job that they face daily entails collisions, nicks, dents, etc. Hence, being durable is extremely important. These panels are a collective sandwich of a wide range of insulative and protective materials, wherein the outer panels are constructed out of metals and other hard materials to defend against these sorts of calamities.
Insulated panels are designed to be extremely lightweight, and that is a conscious decision since that enables portability and space maximization. Depending on the requirement, these panels can get pretty massive, and moving around a heavy wall of insulation would be a logistical nightmare. The materials that are used to construct these panels prioritize fluff over density since that provides for better thermal efficiency, and this inherently reduces the overall mass of the panels.
There was a time when cold storage units were constructed out of concrete and wood since they were abundantly available, and were pretty cost-effective as well, but that isn’t the case anymore. Moreover, the thermodynamic properties of wood and concrete aren’t the best anymore. Nowadays, these panels are constructed out of a wide range of items, including steel, insulating foam, primer, etc. These panels can be custom-fabricated to suit various applications. Everything from small walk-in freezers to massive warehouses uses these panels in some way or the other. This flexibility and versatility come in handy since the requirements can vary widely from one user to another.
They are strong.
Although this may seem counter-intuitive, these panels are much stronger than concrete or wood and can weather disasters better than the other materials that were used earlier. Be it resisting roaring flames or taking on storms, these storms can do it all, and pretty effectively at that. Since these are meant to be used in a wide range of environments, some of which may not be that hospitable, they are crafted to be extraordinarily strong.
They are easy to clean.
Running a cold storage facility isn’t the cleanest of jobs, and there may be situations where a clean-up might be mandatory. For facilities storing perishable meat and fish, the juices that they might secrete would need a quick clean-up. In such situations, concrete and wooden storage units weren’t suitable since they would absorb these fluids, and make clean-up a nightmare. When it comes to coolroom panels, they are designed to be impermeable, therefore they can just be hosed down, and they would be as clean as new.
Final take: Insulated wall panels and coolroom walls are essential constituents of cold chains, and their popularity is on the rise. If you are looking to get one, it is advisable that you do your proper research before purchasing and installing one.