Elta Fans Bring Benefits of Modern Living to Traditional Bakery

Fans from Kingswinford-based manufacturer Elta have helped modernise a Scottish bakery which prides itself on its traditional production and nostalgic appeal. Anderson Mechanical Services Ltd installed the units at family business Thomas Tunnock Limited, in the village of Uddingston, near Glasgow. The company produce chocolate-coated biscuits and confectionery for worldwide distribution.  Its well-known and well-loved speciality biscuit range includes Tunnocks’ Caramel Wafers, Snowballs, Caramel Logs and Teacakes.  The distinctive foil wrappings – cartoonish, art nouveau design with a rosy-cheeked boy on the front - are still the same as when they were originated back in 1952.

A total of 28 Elta Skyflow SSFV roof unit fans were supplied during the refurbishment of Tunnocks’ roof directly above the ovens and caramel department in the busy biscuit plant.  The Skyflow units were delivered quickly from stock on the Pensnett Trading Estate, Kingswinford, West Midlands, through Elta distributor Fans & Spares in Glasgow (shortly to be opening a new branch in Edinburgh), to replace the old, down-discharge units which were noisy and depositing debris directly onto the roof which was then causing problems as it collected in the guttering.

The Elta SSFV range comprises vertical discharge axial flow roof extract units, which are designed to discharge the air at higher velocities away from roof levels, balancing the need to satisfy architects’ aesthetic demands against a vertical format. 

Tunnocks’ bakery in Uddingston is situated in a very exposed location in South Lanarkshire, on the north side of the River Clyde, approximately seven miles to the south-east of Glasgow, so it was important that the roof-fitted fans are durable and robust.

The Skyflow vertical top cowl and fan support housing is manufactured from UV-stabilised, GRP for a hardwearing product, finished in goose wing grey. The fans are of a long-lasting and robust construction from mild steel - suitably treated to ensure corrosion protection - the inlet guards are bright, zinc-plated and the fan plate and motor are powder-coated, epoxy paint finish. Air operated shutters are fitted as standard to stop any discharged (dirty) air from re-entering the building, as well as offering protection against the weather.

Just as importantly, the Elta Skyflow SSFV roof unit fans also have good performance and noise characteristics. Staff at Tunnocks’ bakery are extremely pleased with the quiet running of the fans and say that their installation has made for a more pleasant working environment.

Thomas Tunnock Limited was started in 1890 by Thomas Tunnock whose father had been a cabinet and coffin maker. Thomas wanted to try his hand at running a bakery and bought out an existing baker on Bellshill Road in Uddingston and the company has been family-run ever since. In 1947, the business erected the current factory on 34 Old Mill Road and underwent a big expansion in the 1950s when its caramel wafers were introduced. More than three million teacakes, which were first created in 1960, are now being produced at the bakery each week. In 2009, Scottish author Craig McGill wrote a poem dedicated to Tunnock's Snowballs: "Wee, mallow, rounded, choccy biccy,O, what a panic's in my tummy! One needs tae eat ye hasty Wi bickering brattle! I wad be laith to rin oot of thee, An hae to eat a tattie."

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