Kool Shield Thermal Barrier
CreatID displays engineering and vendor sourcing abilities to develop a retractable thermal barrier that solves refrigerated trucking issues.
Kool-Pak, an LTL (Less-Than-Load) refrigerated trucking and logistics company in Portland, Oregon came to CreatID after a driver expressed an idea that would improve Kool-Pak’s service.
The idea addressed a common issue with refrigerated trucking: trailer doors remaining open at the dock during deliveries. Many reefer trailers, as they are typically known, have swing doors. Drivers have to open up them up to the outside air before backing into docks. Trucks can sit anywhere between 20 minutes to 3-4 hours waiting to be unloaded, with doors wide open.
The trailer’s refrigerated air pours out of the back while hot humid air barrels in. Refrigeration units often go into defrost mode because the ambient humidity condenses on the reefer coils, which causes the unit to burn fuel 60 percent faster than normal operation.
Meanwhile, the truck company is held responsible for the temperature of the product they are hauling. If the load is out of spec—meaning it is warmer than required on the bill of lading—it is rejected, a potential cost of thousands of dollars to the trucking company.
Designed by CreatID, Kool Shield is a retractable thermal barrier which allows the load to stay sealed in the back of the trailer until the exact moment when a forklift can unload. Kool Shield is then triggered, rocketing up and out of the way, allowing pallets to be unloaded with limited loss of refrigerated air.
When unloading is complete, Kool Shield can be rolled down into place with little effort. This reduces the time of an open trailer to just minutes. Many products attempt to limit cold air loss, but none compete with the Kool Shield’s ease-of-use and overall effectiveness.
Through the CreatID design and engineering skillset, a solution with many benefits was developed:
- Break away release and roll up to prevent damage during impact
- Incredible ease of installation at under 2 hours
- Light-weight, ease of use, and ergonomic to protect users from injury
- Designed, engineered, and made inexpensively in the USA
- Patent support, currently Patent Pending
- Near 100% sealing of the trailer doorway to eliminate cool air interaction with outside air
- Fully retractable to allow loader equipment to access freight without interference
- Optimized for new installation or retrofit
- Can be designed into new trailers by any manufacturer
- Accessible and usable from both the ground as well as the dock
CreatID evaluated Kool-Pak’s initial design requirements, researched the use-case scenarios, and found additional engineering opportunities for the product that were not previously considered. After several design iterations, performance attributes were addressed, design for manufacturing engineering was executed, and a final product was agreed upon.
Domestic manufacturing of the Kool Shield was appointed to Humboldt Specialty Manufacturing. CreatID continued to manage the manufacturing, prototyping, testing, quality, and performance considerations, highlighting the ability to keep a “Made-in-the-USA” product cost effective.
Humboldt Specialty has taken their commitment to the product a step further, as the sole manufacturer, distributor, back end sales and advertising support for Kool-Pak. CreatID brought the client together with the vendor to create a win-win for both parties.
Humboldt can focus their efforts on what they do best—create a great product with pride in the USA and solve a problem that has been in the food industry for ages. Kool-Pak can focus on their core competency: LTL refrigerated transport.
Kool Shield is another success story for CreatID. We go above and beyond to provide service to our clients while bringing an idea to life.