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Doors to Safety

WITH an increasing emphasis on improving processes and quality of product food and beverage manufactures are going to greater lengths to eliminate contamination from within the manufacturing area.

This has placed emphasis on examining closely the materials that are used to make high speed doors, making sure there is no possibility that components of the door will contaminate the product, according to Albany Door Systems sales and marketing manager Les Davies.

“We’re seeing more stainless steel, door blade fabrics that repel moisture and construction that eliminates dust catchers such as sloping roofs on top roll and motor covers,” Davies told FOOD Magazine.

Durability is another key factor. Users of PVC swing doors sometimes require the durability of the PVC panels and the aesthetics to be enhanced, according to DMF International export director Stephen Fell.

“PVC strip door users may also desire longer life of the strips,” Fell told FOOD Magazine. “A new solution in this area is a door that allows the strips to automatically concertina into an open position.”

High speed roll doors at more affordable prices is now possible, says Fell, with large doors now offered at half the price of a few years ago, and custom solutions are available.

Paul Rees of Nergeco Australia highlights a trend away from high-speed rapid doors made of metal.

“Products made of composite material are becoming more in demand in the food and pharmaceutical industry,” Rees told FOOD Magazine.

“Doors made of composite material are, rust proof, waterproof, non-porous, extremely strong and, aesthetically, blend more into the environment, as opposed to a heavy steel door.”

Demands

Reliability, efficiency, service and return on investment are the key demands from manufacturers when it comes to industrial doors, according to Davies.

Fell agrees, and adds that custom solutions are important because requirements differ according to environment.

“Some manufacturers desire a basic door that will satisfy HACCP requirements at minimal costs, while others might desire a heavy duty door able to withstand high traffic flows, and potential accidental impacts, and are willing to pay extra,” Fell said.

Food and beverage manufacturers also want a reliable product that is easy to maintain and service, can be washed down on a daily basis if required and is inexpensive to repair due to vehicle impact damage.

“Vision in high speed rapid doors is a very big factor these days due to OH&S regulations,” Rees said.

A flexible rubber rail fitted to the bottom of a door is attracting strong interest, according to Mil Lozanovski of M.T.I. Qualos .

“This new safety edge design, complete with an integrated anti-crash system, makes this roll-fast door much safer and economical. People are better protected, and damage and downtime are almost completely avoided,” Lozanovski told FOOD Magazine.

Another demand, says Lozanovski seems to be temperature control, which can be overcome by using interlocking systems within the control panel to each high speed door.

Solutions

One of the biggest trends for beverage manufactures, says Davies, is greater use of stainless steel in the door construction.

“It doesn’t shed like aluminium, or chip like powder coated steel,” Davies said.

“It can be washed down to eliminate residual contamination and is impervious to most ingredients and chemicals used in the process. This helps keep the processing environment contamination free.”

Another new solution is the way in which doors are activated.

“For a long tome in the clean room environment, it was either push buttons, or radar,” Davies said. “The radars had to be set so sensitive that only those that wanted to go through the door would activate it and push buttons had to be touched.

“Now we can activate the door with non-contact microwave switches mounted besides the door thus eliminating the need for the operator to touch anything.

Just by waiving your hand in the general area - adjustable between 10cm and 50cm - will activate the switch and operate the door.”

Waterproofing is another feature sought after in industrial doors.

“Doors should allow maximum vision in the door curtain and have the least amount of moving components,” Rees said.

Rees said high-speed, rapid door manufacturers must have the capacity to: provide insulation to production areas and the like; allow unimpeded traffic flow; provide safe and reliable products; and confirm to customers’ activities, as well as the size, the use and the environment of each project.

Les Davies - Albany Door Systems

(02) 4323 2386 les_davies@albint.com

Mil Lozanovski - M.T.I. Qualos

(03) 9450 1900 sales@mtiqualos.com.au

Paul Rees - Nergeco Australia

1300 130 386 prees@nergeco.com.au

Stephen Fell - DMF International

(02) 9636 5466 sfell@dmf.com.au

23-Feb-2005