The Andalusian company Liderkit and the American one Morgan Corporation will be working together for three years in this ambitious project called REEFERKIT, whose goals are to develop a new range of isothermal bodies for road freight, manufactured in kits to be assembled in destination. These units will be lighter and able to accept higher payload, keeping the same cooling capacity of the body and producing a reduced carbon footprint in manufacture.
This is a bilateral project based on R&D and technological cooperation between Spain and the US, funded by CDTI (Centre for Industrial Technological Develoment), and aimed at encouraging business exchange and knowledge sharing between both countries.
For developing and manufacturing these new panels for isothermal bodies, a variety of new recycled materials will be chosen. Moreover, a new assemble structure and system will be determined for preventing fixation only by screwing; in this way, assembly times will also decrease. This line of action is intended to prove a significant reduction of the environmental impact created by materials involved in manufacturing these bodies.
REEFERKIT Project focuses on four key aspects:
- Weight reduction. Thickness of the panels is intended to be reduced up to 30 mm for panels of a standard isothermal body and up to 35mm for reinforced units. This is a significant reduction, taking into account that current isothermal panels are 70mm thick on average.
- Less CO2 emissions. When we reduce weight and heat transfer coefficient due to the new materials, we also achieve important reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. This is true because, in a thousand-kilometre journey, a vehicle with a 35mm panel body may suppose 10.000 grams less emission, with current thickness of panels these emissions would reach up to 13.300 grams.
- Less power consumption. When designing more efficient boxes, with a lower heat transfer coefficient (called K or termal conductivity), we also reduce energy in use. Consequently, as less energy is required for refrigeration, the isothermal bodies resulting from the REEFERKIT Project will have lower fuel consumpltion. This will bring about less polluting emissions and greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere.
- Recycling potential of materials. Achieving 100% recycling of materials is a main goal in this project, solving current issues of waste processing with components in insulating panels.
Compliance with ATP norm and action field
In addition, this program ensures compliance with the prescribed temperature range for food transportation in reefer containers, according to food security regulation. This is one of the most complex and demanding aspect regarding this project due to strict requirements of the European ATP (Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs and on the Special Equipment to be Used for such Carriage).
On the other hand, the REEFERKIT project will develop researching and testing for vehicles between 3.500 y 5.000 kilos GVW aimed at road freight, although it could be applied to the rest of isothermal bodies, even in sea freight, as containers’ weight and refrigeration capacity is more and more important to improve competitiveness in the sector.
Towards efficiency in a strategic sector
Nowadays, road freight transport, a sector which is essential in almost all productive processes made by human beings, faces the challenge of reducing polluting emissions. For this reason, and given the critical nature of this issue, the join between two leading companies at international level like Liderkit and Morgan Corporation, in this REEFERKIT program, will make the ambitious goal of reducing carbon footprint possible at the end. Innovation technology and a brand-new automatic assembly system will be key aspects to reach proficiency.