Monday, September 21, 2020

Rise in sanitisation requests during COVID-19 leads to substantial partnership

Sheet metal firm Salamander Fabrications has teamed up with a market leader in room sanitisation and odour removal to supply products which store a natural gas that can eradicate harmful bacteria.

Biofresh was established to focus on modifying the atmosphere in fruit storage facilities – controlling mould and bacteria through a safe substance called Ozone, which stops food from spoiling as quickly.

However, following the Coronavirus outbreak, the business began to receive more requests for the immediate supply of its sanitisation products to help stop the spread of disease – from sectors including leisure and tourism, hospitality, and education.

That led to Biofresh bringing in specialist manufacturer – and fellow Huddersfield business – Salamander Fabrications to swiftly cut and produce metal boxes that could be placed in a range of facilities. These units store and release high levels of Ozone safely before the substance is reduced down and destroyed at the end of the cycle. This so that people can re-enter rooms after treatment without harm.

Biofresh was previously receiving around 200-300 enquiries for the boxes per year, however, is now taking around 250 orders a month from premises throughout the UK, Italy and France.

“Our focus had always been on fresh produce storage – it’s what our business was built on. But we were getting so many requests for our sanitisation products that demand for our supplies were going through the roof,” said Jeremy Barraclough, director of operations at Biofresh.

“Being based in Huddersfield, we needed a local supplier that could meet this vast interest. We required help to turn these boxes around swiftly and to a professional, high-quality standard – and that’s when we were introduced to Salamander.”

Since March 2020, the Yorkshire manufacturer has been creating Biofresh’s ‘Cubo’ range, which uses no harmful chemicals and has Wi-Fi controlled remote access. These boxes have been supplied to hotels, care homes, offices, schools, and public transport operators.

Following the initial roll-out, Salamander has produced cabinets for Biofresh which sanitise clothes. These have been sent to 38 UK go-karting facilities to enable workforces to clean helmets and overalls before they get used again.

The next step includes supplying cabinets to schools and libraries for book returns, which currently must be quarantined for 72 hours before they can be read again. However, Biofresh’s product means that in 15-30 minutes, they’re ready to go back onto the shelf.

Michael Haskell, managing director of Salamander Fabrications, said: “This is such an exciting project to be a part of and just goes to show how swift evolution – and the ability to diversify product offerings even during the toughest climates – can really help to meet current customer demand.

“It’s been a whirlwind since we first started only a few months ago, but Biofresh’s forward-thinking ambitions match ours, so there is so much more to come. We’re keen to help even more premises to stop the spread of harmful bacteria.”

Speaking about the Yorkshire partnership, Jeremy added: “Salamander has been very proactive to get everything sorted – from the design to the prototyping and delivering boxes in a timely manner. They’re extremely professional and a fantastic firm to work with.”

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