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Preventing crisp snow stopping production for Walkers

28 October, 2016

A Heat Mat roof heating system has recently been installed at the Walkers Crisp factory in Leicester.

Scraptoft Electrical Services Ltd (SES) approached Heat Mat’s project department to specify a heating system compatible with the existing roof that will prevent the roof becoming overloaded with snow and risk collapse.

Walkers Crisps has been based in Leicester since the 1940’s and their site in the city is the biggest crisp factory in the world. The factory processes tons of potatoes every day to make millions of packets of crisps, so keeping the plant open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is essential. In order to prevent the weight of snow disrupting production on the roof directly above the ovens, Walkers commissioned SES to install a Heat Mat roof protection system.

We originally carried out survey work in October 2015 on the roof with SES and produced an initial specification. Plans were then manipulated in CAD and modified to reflect splitting the roof into 11 zones before installation commenced in September 2016.

Robust exterior roof heating cables have been installed in each zone along with Heat Mat’s Scandinavian designed moisture and air temperature sensors. The roof heating was split into five separate systems with independent controls. The size of each section ranged from 31.7sqm to 155sqm with power requirements of 8,529 Watts to 41,645 Watts.

The surface of the factory roof is made from a triple layer mineral felt coated with Kemperol. Heat Mat obtained a sample of the roof material for testing to ensure the proposed adhesive and 7mm cable would be suitable. The cables are attached to the roof using fixing strips and external high-grade weather-proof adhesive.

The roof heating system will prevent the risk of snowdrifts and snow loading on the roof, ensuring production can continue round the clock. Each of the five zones can be activated independently when required, depending on snowfall.

Heat Mat has extensive experience in heating industrial and commercial roofs so this made us the ideal choice for SES and Walkers Crisps.