Controlled Environment Solutions – a new blog series

Part 1 – Inventors and innovators

In this, our latest blog series, we bring you all you need to know about controlled environment insulated panels from the company that invented them. We start at the very beginning…

Hemsec – the family business that invented the concept of insulated panels

A whole new way of preserving ice cream was invented when Cyril Hemmings met with established businessman, Bill Walker and as a result, in 1928, Cyril invented the UK’s first insulated cabinets. They were used for Walker’s ice cream and refrigeration business, and the firm we now know as Hemsec was born. So began what has continued to be a tradition of innovation, enabling Hemsec to quietly establish itself as one of the largest composite insulated panel manufacturers in the UK.

We are proud to be the company behind the conception of fused PUR metal-faced sandwich panels, that led an industry for nearly 20 years. We also pioneered in the UK with the introduction of the cam-lock joint system, which proved ideal for standard cold room designs. When Hemsec moved into larger projects such as distribution centres, and it became difficult to match the joints up over longer lengths of panel, we created our own tongue and groove joint design allowing panels to be pushed together and enabling a quicker build process.

Fast forward to 2020 and technology continues to evolve, allowing Hemsec to use its composite insulated panels to create solutions for every imaginable type of controlled environment. And some things do not change: Hemsec remains a family-owned company, valuing both the skills and loyalty of its employees and its long-term relationships with its customers. Achieving the goal of carbon neutrality in the built environment is crucially important to us all, which is why our focus shall continue to be on developing new products, reducing energy consumption and maximising temperature control.

What makes Hemsec insulated panels the best you can buy?

The general concept behind the composition of insulated panels for cold rooms – two facings with an insulated core – has not altered. However, ensuring that our composite insulated panels meet the very highest levels of safety and thermal performance remains critical to us. That’s why our metal faced panels are made from the best quality materials, and undergo rigorous testing for fire resistance, acoustic and air leakage. Our manufacturing supply partners include some of the best known in the business, blue chip companies such as Tata Steel and BASF.

During this blog series we will be looking at what differences there are in the market, and helping you to understand which is the best type of panel for you.

What are the types of application that insulated panels can be used for?

One of the most exciting developments in recent years is how the market for various applications of insulated control panels has grown immensely. Controlled environments have traditionally focused on the food and drink industry with applications for chilled storage, food processing and preparation, storage and warehousing as well as retailing. Heightened environmental awareness (combined with improved energy efficiency), improved hygiene standards and intelligent building systems have all contributed towards an increasing demand for Controlled Environment Solutions. Examples include data rooms, clean rooms, pharmaceuticals, spray rooms, ripening rooms and large scale distribution centres. Indeed, our controlled environment composite panels can be used in practically any building you can think of, in ways that were unimaginable 20 years ago.

Continuous improvement drives creativity

The work undertaken by Cyril Hemmings all those years ago has stood Hemsec in good stead, having created a blueprint for continual innovation. Of course, as the needs of our customers change and advance, so do we; a central element of the company’s philosophy is the importance of continually keeping in contact with our customers, helping to shape our agenda and programme for research and development.  If you have any ideas we would also love to hear from you. Please get in touch to talk through your requirements and projects.  Our team can provide you with technical information as well as advice and guidance on which of our products best suits your application.

Contact: Phil Montgomery, Account Manager 0151 432 7567.


An internal controlled environment, large warehouse with roller doors for loading wagons. Insulated wall panels like those made by Hemsec


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