Irish OEM Novum has opened a new 100,000ft2 (9,290m2) manufacturing facility for its patented LEAP refrigerated plug-in cabinets that use propane (R290) as the refrigerant.

The facility, located in the Clonshaugh neighborhood of Dublin, was opened by Novum CEO Jim Greene on November 2 in the presence of Leo Varadkar, Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; and Tom Kelly, Manager of the Innovation and Competitiveness Division at Enterprise Ireland.

The new facility has been built as a response to increased demand in Europe and North America for Novum’s LEAP R290 cabinets. It will double the company’s manufacturing capability and create 50 new jobs.

“Today is a proud day in the 62-year history of Novum,” said Greene at the launch. “I would like to commend the Novum team and thank our customers who have been loyal to Novum for decades, such as Picard Surgelés, Iceland Food, Northwest Canada and Dunnes.”

“We are delighted to be in a position to double production to meet the growing demand for our ground-breaking technology,” the CEO added.

“It’s wonderful to see an Irish company do so well,” said Deputy PM Varadkar. “I’m also really happy to see the success the company has had in making its products more sustainable. All companies must prepare their business for the future, which will be must less reliant on fossil fuels. The technology Novum has developed will no doubt make them much more resilient and successful into the future.”

“Novum’s success proves how innovative Irish companies are gaining a unique market advantage by planning for a low-carbon future, where energy efficiency and sustainability are foremost in customers’ minds,” said Kelly during the opening. “The expansion of Novum’s manufacturing capacity today proves that there are great opportunities for Irish companies in the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

High-efficiency units

Novum’s R290 LEAP cabinets, like the Grand Cayman and Panama Green series, boast high energy efficiency. This typically gives a 20% reduction in energy consumption compared to HFC units, according to Eoin Lennon, Novum’s Chief Technology Officer.

The cabinets are equipped with “thawless” technology, meaning easier defrost cycles and no thaw cycles at all. This promotes a stable freezer case temperature, reducing food loss. “It keeps your packaging dry, and there is no moisture in the cabinets,” explained Lennon.

The Grand Cayman units feature hermetically self-contained cassettes with 65g (2.5oz) of refrigerant. This reduces the risk of leaks in store and also allows easy maintenance without costly downtime.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Novum developed “anti-microbial coatings” for the lid handles of refrigeration units, as well as for chest frame points where people make contact, and sensor-operated automated refrigerator lids, meaning shoppers don’t have to touch any shared surfaces.

““We are delighted to be in a position to double production to meet the growing demand for our ground-breaking technology,”

Jim Greene, Novum

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