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Beauceron innovation serving a better carbon footprint in transport | In solution mode

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan29,2024

The Manac company believes it has accomplished a “revolution” in the world of transport.

Beauceron innovation at the service of better carbon footprint in transport | In solutions mode

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We apply the coatings to the interior and exterior of the panels polyurethane once they are cut and assembled.

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IN SOLUTIONS MODE – Life is not always easy for a refrigerated semi-trailer truck traveling on the icy and damaged roads of the American continent. Over time, water seeps in, the van loses its insulating capacity, and the heat pumps consume more diesel to refrigerate the cargo.

[The trailer] absorbs water because often there are impacts in the walls, there is water on the roads , which will enter through the floor. Water collects in the insulation.

A quote from Rodrick Levesque, vice-president of engineering and innovation at Manac

As the truck thus becomes heavier, it is then necessary to plan more trips to transport the same quantity of fresh or frozen products, in order to respect the weight limits permitted on our roads.

To remedy the problem, the Manac company called on its engineers to develop innovative technology.

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Spray urethane, the insulation previously applied, is being replaced by polyurethane panels, much like those used in the construction industry. The density they must have is calculated to offer optimal mechanical resistance and insulating capacity.

The effectiveness of the new technology also depends on how the panels are cut, assembled, glued and applied, according to Rodrick Levesque, vice-president of engineering and innovation at Manac. The joints, the way the panels are placed together, the way each material is integrated also play into the equation. Solutions are found at each stage of product development to limit heat loss from each thermal bridge.

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Polyurethane panels have replaced urethane sprayed in Manac's refrigerated vans.

The built prototype was put to the test by a carrier that travels back and forth between Quebec and Labrador City once a week. From the start, we note gains in energy consumption. The driver appreciates the solidity and rigidity of the trailer which holds the road better.

We were looking to develop a product, then the more we progressed in the project, the more we realized that we had a revolution on our hands.

A quote from Rodrick Levesque, vice-president of engineering and innovation at Manac

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Canada's largest trailer manufacturer aims to improve the environmental performance of its refrigerated vans.

Manac has in its hands an independent analysis carried out by the International Reference Center on Life Cycle Analysis and Sustainable Transition (CIRAIG). It was partly financed by the Ecoleader Fund of the Quebec Action Fund for Sustainable Development (FAQDD), which encourages businesses to adopt better eco-responsible practices.

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The interior of a refrigerated trailer on the assembly line of the Manac factory, in Saint-Georges .

The analysis makes it possible to evaluate the environmental performance of the product over its entire life cycle and to compare the old insulation process and the new one. It is in its use phase that the gains on the carbon footprint are the most significant.

At the start of life and in winter , when the need for refrigeration is less, the gains are modest. The differences are of the order of 2 % explains Flavien Binet, analyst at CIRAIG. On the other hand, when we go to freezing mode in summer, and after around ten years of life, we arrive at differences of 40 to 45 %.

Source: FAQDD

According to the ideas running through the head of engineer Rodrick Levesque, trailers will continue to contribute to improving the carbon footprint of the transportation industry. They will be intelligent by providing, live, more data on the performance of their different components. Solar panels will be installed on the surface of the roofs and side walls of the vans to power the refrigeration systems or the electric propulsion axles.

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Rodrick Levesque, Vice-President, Engineering and Innovation at Manac.

Could refrigeration in the front of the truck be 100% electric?asks Rodrick Leveque. We could refrigerate fruits and vegetables from California to Montreal without diesel in the refrigeration unit.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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