Galician Cold Laboratory, placed in the premises of the PTI Station of Espíritu Santo (Sada), is the only official testing station of vehicles for the transport of perishable goods in the north of Spain. It will mainly benefit Galician manufacturers and lorry drivers since it will help them obtain the homologation and maintenance in service of these vehicles, reducing travel costs and streamlining processes. The facilities include cutting-edge technology within SyC - Applus commitment to innovation with the Galician Inspection Model. The commissioning of the laboratory meets and old requirement of the sector, allowing the lorry drivers to undertake the tests included in the International ATP Agreement at the premises in Espíkritu Santo. This results in the efficiency and quality of the temperature control systems of the vehicles moving across Galician roads. Galicia has one of the most important fleets of vehicles used for the transport of perishable goods in Europe, estimated in about 15.000 vehicles.
Galician Cold Laboratory, placed in the premises of the PTI Station of Espíritu Santo (Sada), started its activity with the first testing of vehicles
for the transport of perishable goods. It is a new commitment to innovation, competitiveness and cutting-edge technology by SyC-Applus, in line with the Galician vehicle inspection Model. It is related to another important benchmark of Galician PTI concession holder, that is, closeness. So far, both manufacturers and lorry drivers had to move to Madrid, where the closest cold laboratory from our Community is located. In fact, there were only two premises of this kind in Spain –in Madrid and Andalusian Community- until the opening of the one in Espíritu Santo, granting certification with international coverage. In addition to this, another installation of this type has just been opened in Castilla La Mancha.
The fleet of vehicles for the transport of perishable goods is very important in Galicia mainly because of the weight of the food sector. Therefore, this initiative, with a complex process of legal formalization for the designation as an official ATP testing station by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad, will benefit different fields of activity within a sector with a fleet of around 15.000 vehicles.
Thus, Galician Cold Laboratory becomes the only official station in the north of Spain certified for undertaking the tests included in the International ATP Agreement, fulfilling the regulations that guarantee the suitability of the new prototypes of vehicles or check the ones in use.
During their life cycle, the vehicles for the transport of perishable goods must be subject to strict controls either by the OCA (inspection authorities) or even by the periodical technical inspection of vehicles itself. The Cold Laboratory undertakes the needed tests to review the state of the containers of regulated temperature needed for their certification, so that they can be installed in the vehicles with all the guarantees. Once in the roads, these vehicles must undertake another inspection in six years, and then every three years. When they are 21, the vehicles must come back to the laboratory to verify the correct state of the containers containing the perishable goods. Furthermore, imported vehicles with more than six years old must undertake the same test.
One of the most positive elements of the completion of the laboratory is that from manufacturers to lorry drivers will take advantage of it, since either the tests or the periodical inspections can be undertaken in the premises of SyC-Applus in Espíritu Santo. Not only results this in the efficiency and quality of the temperature control systems of the vehicles but also in the comfort of the users. As well as avoiding the travel costs in case they had to go to Madrid, they can also save the costs of maintenance and stay, since owing to the complexity of the tests the laboratory controls usually last for two or three days. In addition, the objective is also to benefit with the same advantages to the professionals from the bordering communities. In fact, although the first vehicle to be tested in the Galician Cold Laboratory comes from our community, the second one that is going to enter in our premises comes from Asturias.
Galician Cold Laboratory settled within the highest quality and cutting-edge standards in the field of the control systems for vehicles for the transport of perishable goods, whose main aim is to guarantee that the cold chain will be maintained and thus, hygiene, security and quality so that they reach the consumers in the best conditions possible.
The system consists of a test camera of 26 metres length in which the insulating capacity of the isotherm units is analyzed, including from the climate control systems of the space to the cooling of the engines, the wind resistance and the insulating capacity of the isothermal vehicles. Furthermore, the laboratory implemented a technological system that allows the automation in the data capture and the results. This also will streamline procedures to issue the ATP Certificate and the test records on a more reduced term.