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The changing landscape of loading

01 March 2019

HSS editor Simon Duddy visited Hörmann’s iconic headquarters in Steinhagen, Germany, and sat down with Hörmann UK’s projects director, Tom Langley, to discover the latest developments in loading bays.

According to latest research from property research firm CBRE, demand for UK warehouse space has almost doubled over the last 10 years, with 60% of properties occupied by retailers. This can be attributed to the substantial increase in online shopping.

To put this demand into perspective, around 235 million sq ft of warehouse space was either purchased or leased between 2007 and March 2018, a huge advance on the 130m sq ft purchased in the previous decade.

Double deck

To aid businesses in successfully fulfilling this increase, the logistics sector must continuously adapt and evolve to provide clients with the most proficient and cost effective solutions. One way this is currently being achieved is through the specification of double deck loading bays, which are being chosen by developers to be installed alongside single level solutions in their vacant properties as standard.

By specifying a percentage of bays as double deck as part of the construction of a warehousing unit prior to the occupation of a specific end user, it enables the developer to widen its potential client base as it can easily and sufficiently meet the needs of both single and double fleets.

The use of double deck vehicles continues to increase as companies look for economical ways to transport greater quantities of ambient & chilled/frozen stock, with Hörmann UK experiencing a year-on-year increase in the amount of double deck loading bays being chosen and installed by developers.

Hörmann UK’s projects director, Tom Langley explains: “Hörmann UK has developed the perfect solution for the best flexibility, by specifying a 3500mm long telescopic lip dock leveller, which provides a good working range above dock for standard & container vehicles and below dock for double deck vehicles.

“If the developer/architect specifies the concrete dock wall to 4800mm height, this future-proofs the warehousing unit as no structural elements are required to be changed to allow simple swapping of dock shelters from single to double deck shelters. This also offers the flexibility and opportunity by adding above dock buffers to cater for container vehicles, if required. The dock door size would remain the same at 3000 x 3000 for all options.”

With this in mind, manufacturers must work closely with developers and end users to constantly evolve and develop their product range to ensure each warehousing unit meets the ever-changing needs of retail and logistics businesses, while also offering impressive longevity and durability to minimise downtime and maximise operations.

Tom continues: “This is why Hörmann UK takes a unique approach to each individual project, as seen in its relationship with Europe’s largest industrial developers. As a preferred supplier to the developers, Hörmann UK’s Projects team works closely with the teams on each individual development, to ensure the most effective products are specified in line with each property’s individual design.

“To ensure it continuously provides the highest standards in products and services, Hörmann UK now offers certified loading houses, CE-compliant with overall construction resistant to working stresses in accordance with the requirements of the Construction Products Regulation. The loading houses offer lean design inside and outside, while also being designed for roof load bearing capacities up to 1 kN/m² or 3 kN/m² as standard.”

This is also supported by Hörmann UK’s Architects program, which includes BIM models for all products and features an interface from the UK web page. The Architects’ Programme facilitates smarter real-time collaboration between architects, developers and contractors. Planning can be easily achieved using the modern interface, providing tender specifications, images and drawings in both DWG and PDF formats, for more than 850 Hörmann products. It provides access to a vast amount of CAD, technical drawings and BIM models, which can then be transferred into additional architectural software. 

Brexit preparation

Looking ahead, manufacturers must also ensure they are taking a proactive and realistic approach to Brexit and its potential impact. Hörmann UK has worked closely with its German Headquarters over the last year to take a number of important steps to ensure it can continue to help grow businesses throughout 2019. 

Hörmann UK has acquired an additional 12,500 sq ft of warehouse space in Coalville, which has the capacity to hold a substantial amount of stock to the value of £1.3 million. This will also be supported by the creation of a two week contingency plan, where appropriate, to ensure in the unlikely event of any unforeseen issues, the products will be delivered and installed on site within their allotted times.

Hörmann UK has launched a spiral door for tight spaces

The leading door provider has unveiled the new HS 5012PU 42 S spiral door, which features a 215mm narrow side element, which allows for quick and easy installation, even in the tightest of spaces.

Its counterbalance without springs construction also provides a service-friendly and virtually wear-free design, without comprising on the maximum speed of 1.2 m/s for opening and an impressive 0.5 m/s for closing.

The door can also be operated by Hörmann UK’s innovative BiSecur radio control elements, providing safe, secure and convenient operation through its encryption protocol.

The latest HS 5012PU 42 S model is also supported by Hörmann UK’s new SmartControl system, a service offering that is compatible with all Hörmann UK high-speed doors manufactured from 2015. 

Providing technical door analysis at all times, the SmartControl system is an online portal where professionals can access important door information, such as error messages or updates on door cycles and overall performance.

The programme is designed to provide cost-savings by aiding a reduction in the frequency and duration of service and maintenance visits by providing a platform that allows for proactive and proficient service planning. 

The easy-to-use software also enables parts to be ordered and replaced before a breakdown occurs, significantly minimising any potential downtime that may occur due to faults or breakdowns. Faster troubleshooting can also be achieved due to online access of the door’s control, streamlining the servicing process for professionals as no software installation is required. 

Phil Clark, industrial service manager for Hörmann UK, said: “Continuous development of high quality, innovative products and services is a central focus for the business. We are committed to providing the most innovative solutions available to the European market and our latest high speed door and servicing offering further enhances this for both existing and potential customers.”

The latest HS 5012PU 42 S spiral door and SmartControl system is available to the UK market from March 1.