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Monmouth’s new community meals delivery system

6th May 2011 - 00:00
When Monmouthshire wanted to replace its ageing fleet of community meals service delivery vans, it asked E & R Moffat to design a streamlined on-board regeneration system for the new ones.
Pauline Batty, manager of Monmouthshire's Community Meals Service, explained: "By owning our own vehicles we were able to switch from the old system that relied on gas bottles to integrated electric regeneration ovens which are cheaper, safer and easier to use." Batty, who has been with the Community Meals Service for six years, said: "We have been using Moffat CR ovens here as a contingency back-up for many years and know how reliable and efficient they are. It seemed a logical step to incorporate them into our new fleet. "We contacted Moffat with the brief that the new 'Van Gen' system had to be cheaper to run than its predecessor and that there could be absolutely no compromise on the quality of the food and service we deliver." Representatives from Monmouthshire subsequently visited the Moffat factory in Bonnybridge, Scotland, to discuss both the feasibility of the idea and the design parameters. In turn, Moffat engineers went to Monmouthshire to study the meals service operation, so the vans and equipment could be customised to fit in with working practices. The decision was then made to incorporate a modified version of Moffat's CR range electric regeneration oven into the vans, plus a fridge and freezer for transporting cold desserts and frozen meals for recipients who want to heat up their own meals later in the day. The Moffat CR oven, which runs off a specially designed inverter, sits at the back of the van and when the doors are opened a rack of frozen meals can be simply wheeled into place on a dolly. The meals on the dolly have been picked, loaded and stored overnight in a freezer at the Bettws Newydd depot ready to be loaded ready-racked onto the van in the morning.The ovens are switched on as the driver sets out to the furthest point in the delivery run, so the meals will be perfectly regenerated and ready to be delivered on arrival. The oven then holds the food at a controlled temperature throughout the rest of the run. Because it is regenerating en route, the Moffat system allows one vehicle to serve more customers over a longer period of time, saving staff time and costs. "The staff love it. It has made life so much easier for them. They no longer have to load outside as the racks simply slot straight into the oven. It has saved time and is a much more efficient way of working," said Batty. "Plus we don't have to worry about gas cylinders anymore." Batty is impressed with the way Moffat took her ideas on board and thinks the project is a good example of operator/manufacturer co-operation. "As far as I know the 'Van Gen' is a unique system," said Batty. "Moffat worked with us to develop a bespoke solution which does exactly what we want it to do rather than us just having to accept a package off the shelf. "From the initial conception of the idea to getting it on the road, Moffat managed it in just eight months. We are very pleased with the service and commitment we received from Moffat," said Batty.
Written by
PSC Team