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Taking loading logistics to new levels

13 May 2019

Loading bays are an area where significant improvements can be made for any business looking to improve the overall efficiency of its operations, whilst also improving thermal performance and ensuring the highest standards of site safety and security, Here Phil Clark, industrial service manager at Hörmann UK, explores the key features professionals should be focussing on in order to successfully manage the increasing demands placed on warehouse and storage facilities. 

It is imperative to a company’s bottom line that the functionality of their warehousing unit is optimised at all times. Maximum productivity and efficiency can be achieved through careful consideration of the overall design and usability of the space, combined with high quality products constructed to meet the individual requirements of each commercial space.

To optimise traffic flow, improve air conditions and save energy, high-speed doors can offer the ideal solution when used both inside and outside of a warehouse, accelerating the logistics process to increase operations. An optimum opening time of 2metres per second and 0.5metres per second closing time can be achieved through a frequency converter control, which takes the stress away from the entire door mechanism, providing the fastest possible door-travel, without compromising on safety and product life. 

Hörmann UK’s high-speed doors are up to 20 times faster than conventional industrial doors, which is why the intelligent operator and control technology is designed for reliable and continuous operation for the great efficiency. The addition of optional glazing also provides a permanently clear view, with Duratec glazing guaranteeing maximum scratch resistance, despite heavy use in industrial environments. Various track applications also enable businesses to capitalise on all available space within the unit, eliminating any potentially wasted areas. 

However, as these doors take up a considerable proportion of space within a warehousing unit, they offer a substantial area for potential energy loss, if the correct technologies and designs aren’t implemented. That’s why Hörmann UK’s high speed doors feature sturdy steel sections that have PU-foamed thermal breaks, offering U-values of up to 0.64 W/(m2.K), for improved thermal performance.

Minimising potential energy loss and providing a comfortable working environment for employees within a warehousing environment is one of the most challenging tasks due to the very nature of the working space. When the loading bay is open to allow goods to load or unload, its potential U-value of the door itself may be decreased to zero if the correct technologies and approaches aren’t implemented. 

This is why it’s vitally important to take a pragmatic approach to the design of the warehouse and loading bays, without hindering its overall functionality and usability. In response to this, Hörmann UK has developed its unique energy savings compass, a modular planning tool that supports sustainable construction by identifying energy saving potential throughout new and renovated warehouses.

This is achieved through the specification of high quality and innovatively designed products, such as energy-efficient loading houses, that allow for the building’s opening to be sufficiently sealed. As the loading house acts as the door to the building, energy loss is kept to a minimum, particularly when no loading is in process, as a complete seal can be achieved.

By installing the loading houses in front of the building, this also offers greater space saving as the entire interior of the building can be used, right up to the exterior walls. Potential heat loss is also combatted as the building door extends to the building floor, behind the dock leveller, rather than on top of it. This ensures the door opening is optimally insulated, particularly outside of loading times where the bay is in use. 

Dock first – open doors later systems also provide an ideal solution for companies looking to reduce their energy costs. Hörmann UK’s DOBO system can be installed in conjunction with a loading house, whereby the lorry can dock with its doors closed. Once the vehicle is in position, the dock seal is inflated and seals the vehicle from three sides, minimising any potential energy loss due to the powerful blower being in constant operation throughout the entire loading process.

These types of systems also offer greater theft prevention and safety as the vehicle doors are not opened prior to docking. This prevents any unauthorised individuals from accessing the contents of the vehicle or gaining potential access into the inside of the warehousing unit.

This year warehouse owners can take a proactive approach to improving the overall efficiency of their operations by working backwards to first understand the requirements of the space, to then identify which products are best suited to meet each individual need.