Backing Up Peace Of Mind

Sommers generator guarantees refrigerator keeps running for temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals

MISSISSAUGA, ONWhen the power goes out and the building goes dark, business comes to a screeching halt. However, if the flow of electricity is disrupted, it is business as usual, thanks to a newly installed generator housed inside its building at a pharmaceutical operation in Mississauga.

Sommers installed a backup generator that will provide power to the company’s walk-in refrigerator in case of a power outage.

Located in Mississauga, Ontario, this is a privately held, pharmaceutical company specializing in the development, production, marketing and distribution of essential hospital and retail pharmacy products to the Canadian healthcare market. The company produces several pharmaceuticals, which are temperature sensitive and must be stored in a refrigerated environment of 2-8 degrees C.

The product is manufactured off-site and is delivered to this distribution centre in Mississauga where it is reshipped inside temperature controlled trucks and from there it goes straight into the refrigerator. It is then sorted and packaged into styrofoam containers for shipment, while still inside the refrigeration unit.

Since the 1990s, this organization has dedicated itself to the maintenance, promotion and reinvigoration of niche evidence based pharmaceutical products that are essential to the Canadian healthcare system. As such, it is equally dedicated to supplying its products to the people who depend upon them… no matter what. This was the motivating factor in the company’s decision to invest in a backup generator for its building.

Sommers Motor Generator Sales Ltd. to provided a turnkey package including assessing the company’s needs today and for the future prior to setting up the generator.

Three years ago, the company purchased a 12x12x14 walk-in refrigerator manufactured by Foster Refrigeration to store this sensitive product. Prior to that, it was using small sliding door refrigerators.

A company that provides specialized products and services to companies working in the life sciences, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and industrial research sectors, sourced and validated the walk-in refrigerator. However, more importantly, it recommended that the company should also complement it with a backup generator. “The power doesn’t go out that often, but if it ever did happen, we would need power backup for the fridge and that was the purpose of getting the generator.”

A Confidence Generator

The company’s referral led to Sommers Motor Generator Sales Ltd., a manufacturer of generator systems up to 2000 kW for stand-by and prime power applications. Sommers was recommended to them by the company that installed the fridge. After the walk-in fridge was installed, it was then decided that they needed something to back it up if the power goes out.

Although the job was tendered with three separate bids vying for it, other factors needed to be considered in addition to price quotes. “A lot of it is based on how confident I am that they will support whatever our needs are after the generator is installed,” said a representative of the company. “There were some companies that just want to sell you a product, whatever that item is, but afterwards you might find that they don’t have the best service. However, after speaking with Chris McGregor from Sommers and the people that he works with, I was confident that they would be there for us. That was very important in this situation, especially for an item that needs to work the way that we need it to work.”

An exhaust vent cut out of a garage bay door was the only modification the company needed to make to the building to install the generator inside. The generator can be moved if the company relocates.

Sommers provided a turnkey package, part of the process to assess the company’s needs prior to setting up the generator. “There were a lot of key details that were discussed, for example, they lease this space and if they ever moved, they would want to take the fridge and generator with them,” says McGregor. Additionally, there were other details that needed to be considered. “Originally, they thought they needed to place the generator outside, and that would have been fine because we can provide an enclosure that would protect it from the elements, but they were better off with it inside since they had the space for it,” he says. “So it was ideal for them to have it inside where it they can monitor it.”

While the generator’s primary application is to backup the walk-in refrigerator, it will also provide power to the rest of the building in case of a power outage. “The generator is actually a little larger than we need, but again the purpose of getting a generator of that size was that if we moved to a larger building, we can still use that generator without scaling up. And that was one of the details that we discussed with them as well.” As it was explained by McGregor, “Moving to a space twice as large doesn’t mean they will need double the energy”.

Not everything the company produces needs refrigeration but that too might change in the future. Its refrigerator is designed to be expanded so the generator was also sized to provide backup power to a larger refrigeration unit when the company’s product line offering increases. “These are just some of the things that were brought up during our discussions.”

Business As Usual

Although blackouts are few and far between, McGregor says the generator has empowered the company to take control of a situation that is otherwise uncontrollable. If the refrigerator malfunctioned, a repair technician can be called in to fix it. If the power goes out, there are no other options but to wait for it to come back online. “Prior to getting the generator, their backup procedure would be to ship the product to another facility for storage until we could resolve whatever the issue was here.”

Unlike larger companies and laboratories where there are staff in the building around the clock to intervene, this is not a 24/7 operation and their employees wouldn’t know the power went out after business hours until the next morning.

“They are a small company. There is nobody there during the evenings or on the weekends. That was another reason for their getting a backup generator. If the power goes out over a weekend or even a long-weekend, we know that the generator will kick in. The generator is hooked up to the alarm system so when it does kick in, the alarm system notifies them,” explained McGregor.

Ultimately, having a backup generator is providing more than just emergency power. “It gives them peace of mind and a great deal of confidence. That’s what it comes down to, you want to be able to carry on with business as usual. Nobody knows when a black out is coming and you don’t know when it will be over,” says McGregor.

About Sommers

Sommers is located in Tavistock, Ontario, and has been a trusted name in generating, delivering and applying electrical power for more than 70 years. Generator systems are their only business and, today, Sommers is the leading Canadian manufacturer of packaged generator systems for residential, commercial and industrial applications and has the largest privately held inventory of generators for sale or rent from 3 kW to 2 MW.

Along with the Sommers Signature Series, Sommers offers a complete range of customized standby, PTO and off-grid generator power solutions. As a generator specialist backed by proven technical experience and the country’s most extensive aftermarket service and parts facilities, Sommers is the “Power House” to depend on in Canada.

For professional service, contact the authorized Sommers Generator Systems specialist in your area at 1-800-690-2396 or visit us online at