AS functional pieces of equipment, new advances in industrial doors don’t reinvent the wheel.
However, there is one crucial capability the industry is increasingly demanding from its access systems: automatic, high-speed functioning.
Compared to standard industrial doors, including roller shutters, plastics curtains and swing models, automatic high-speed offerings are becoming a popular choice for manufacturing and logistics companies who require high levels of ‘opens and closes’ throughout the day.
According to Albany Doors national products manager, Andrew Bykersma, industrial doors are becoming faster, safer and more flexible.
Speaking to Manufacturers’ Monthly, Bykersma said the company’s Rapid Roller 3000 was designed for manufacturers who require a door that can cope with up to 200 cycles a day, with open and close speeds of up to three metres per second.
According to Bykersma, development of new compliance regulations, specifically in the food manufacturing sectors, has been one factor spurring growth in demand for high-speed doors.
"Contamination control and compliance are some of the reasons why manufacturers consider speed to be a main requirement when it comes to choosing the right door," Bykersma said.
"Obviously, a door that also offers security is a bonus, but keeping unwanted traffic from entering the facility remains the key consideration for manufacturers when looking at the basic ‘opening and closing’ functions of doors."
M.T.I Qualos national sales manager, Mill Lozanovski, says high-speed roller shutters are becoming more popular as roller-door technology improves.
"Industrial high-speed roller shutter doors have been around for a couple of years, but their technology has improved dramatically," Lozanovski said.
Customers now demand toller shutters with three-fold benefits: speed, safety and security.
"Previously, manufacturers were looking for doors which were very quick-acting and cheap. One of the main reasons for the change is efficiency and simplicity," said Lozanovski.
Lozanovski explains that new models can help businesses reduce costs by taking-on functions previously provided by a combination of doors in a warehouse.
"Why use two different doors for one application, when you can use one door that can do both jobs?" he asks.
Assessing your options
There is a number of key considerations manufacturers should take into account when choosing doors, including traffic frequency, purpose and weather impact.
DMF International export director Stephen Fell says understanding the level of traffic flow as well as frequency of movement through the doorway is the first step in determining which door option is most appropriate for the application at hand.
This involves working out the number of times the door is required to go ‘up and down’, and at what speed. Knowing the frequency required will also help point manufacturers to the best type of activation for the door – for example, remote control or sensor detection.
Other considerations should include the door’s purpose, such as temperature or dust control, or security, in which case these features should be a focus.
"Safety is always a paramount requirement when it comes to door design and operation and this extends to wanting to not only protect the personnel using the high speed door, but also protection of the investment in the door," Fell said.
Lozanovski from M.T.I Qualos says that while door investment is usually a long term purchase, maintenance and aftercare service should still be a consideration for every manufacturer.
"Depending on the number of cycles, we would generally advise companies to have their doors serviced between every 300,000 to 400,000 cycles. This translates to about every four to six months, which is about two-to-three services per calendar year," Lozanovski said.
Bykersma from Albany Doors agrees that manufactures should consider after sales service.
"While most manufacturers have an in-house maintenance team, access to 24-hour maintenance and after sales service can be useful if there is any issue with the doors," he said.