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Door and Gate Systems

Energy savings and efficiency using high speed doors



The best to ensure you lose heat from your warehouse and rack up fuel bills is to make sure your building has a nice big hole in the side, points out Nick Cox, one of the sales team at loading bay specialists sara LBS. But, if you are greener or trying to run a profitable business – or both – you might like to look at the latest in thermal management for roller shutter doors.

Most industrial and warehouse buildings have at least one level access door for moving goods in and out of the building. This door is usually quite large, often four metres wide and up to five metres high, thus facilitating free flow of people and materials. Such large doors easily allow the passage of a forklift truck

, which is pretty much a standard requirement these days as the majority of goods are palletised for transport – but they also allow heat to pour out.

A generation ago, little consideration was given to matters such heat loss, energy efficiency or employees’ comfort. Often loading bay doors were left open for long periods, possibly for entire shifts. Traditional external doors were heavy and manually operated, so options for opening and closing them quickly and frequently were limited, restricting their use for heat retention.

By the 1990s enlightened employers were starting to install automatic, high-speed roller-shutter or curtain doors to retain heat and improve the working environment of employees operating in the vicinity of the goods entry/exit doors. Roller shutter doors are normally fitted with a PVC curtain, which in itself offers little thermal insulation but serves to reduce the movement of air between the building and the outside environment.

Using a high-speed secondary door minimised the time the door opening is clear, thus preventing heat loss and protecting employees from freezing blasts of wind and rain. Unsurprisingly, the result of this normally increased productivity and reduced absenteeism due to coughs, colds and other winter aliments.

It is also notable that over the last 20 years energy costs have rocketed, environmental concerns have come to the fore and many new health and safety laws have been introduced.

Employers have found that installing a secondary high-speed curtain-door does not disrupt loading operations. A typical sara LBS high speed curtain opens and closes at 2.5m/sec, so with doors that are 2.5m high the opening/closing time is one second, while a 5m tall door can go from fully open to fully closed in two seconds. This means the loading bay door can be closed the vast majority of the time and energy savings alone will give a payback time of under 18 months. Additional benefits include increased productivity and reduced wear and tear on the external primary door.

While reducing heat loss in winter is a major benefit of high-speed loading bay doors, there are also a number of secondary benefits that can also be very important. For instance in the cold weather wildlife and birds are just as keen on finding warmth as humans, so may be tempted to enter a loading bay in search of shelter. This would be a nuisance in most situations and could seriously compromise biosecurity in food and beverage, medical, pharmaceutical and other hygienic facilities. A high-speed door that only opens momentarily will reduce the likelihood of this. It will also block the view into the loading bay, which will help discourage potential intruders, as well as helping to keep out snow, rain and surface water that penetrates overhead canopies and porches.

Taking these advantages to the next level, sara LBS has recently introduced a new curtain-door, the Sprint Spiral, which combines automatic high-speed operation with an insulated aluminium curtain. This blocks air movements, insulates against heat transfer and reflects heat back into the loading bay. It is available in a range of colours and can be fitted with vision panels and other options.

It is also worth noting that the thermal performance of the main roller doors can be enhanced substantially by insulation of the main panels and adding weather seals and draught excluders between the door and the frame. This will be very effective when the main door is shut, which is typically overnight for up to 16 hours at a time.

sara LBS offers decades of experience in design, specification, installation and aftersales support for industrial door and loading bay solutions. Working with an expert sales engineer such as Nick Cox allows warehouse managers to calculate potential energy savings prior to installation and will ensure that the door continues to operate effectively for years to come.

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Door and Gate Systems

KONE introduces solutions for healthier and safer people flow environments




KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry

, has introduced a range of people flow solutions to help make buildings and cities safer and healthier places to live, work and commute. The solutions are built on KONE’s deep expertise and knowledge of people flow, which is vital when addressing the challenges of adapting to a new way of life in the face of the current pandemic.

As facilities gradually begin to open, people’s health and well-being is a major concern, considering physical distancing measures as well as the need for people to be able to move around in shared spaces. The KONE People Flow Planning and Consulting service has been tailored to better support planning a safe return to offices and other buildings, in light of these kinds of measures. By using data, simulation tools, and expertise from KONE’s interior architects and data scientists, customers can quickly see how to reduce crowding and bottlenecks and enable people to move around safely. In addition, other new solutions improve air quality in elevators, help disinfect escalator handrails and reduce the need to touch surfaces.

The experience of using residential buildings and public premises such as metro stations, shopping malls or offices is changing. For KONE customers, a key benefit of the health and well-being focused solutions is that improvements can be introduced easily, in an era when hygiene and physical distancing are vitally important.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the way people move and interact in cities and buildings. All buildings now have different people flow challenges, from door to destination. As a pioneer in people flow, we want to help our customers with a holistic approach to health, well-being and safety as restrictions on both the movement of people and businesses begin to ease in different countries,” says Hugues Delval, EVP, Service Business, KONE.

“We play a vital role in keeping society running during these unprecedented times. Elevators, escalators and the related maintenance are crucial in enabling people to carry out essential activities. Solutions like KONE 24/7 Connected Services can be a great support in business continuity, especially in today’s environment, so that our customers’ operations can be restarted quickly, equipment can be managed in real time and premises can be made safer for people to move around,” added Delval.

Several existing KONE products and services are more relevant than ever today.

KONE 24/7 Connected Services brings increased safety, transparency, and intelligence to elevator and escalator maintenance, at a time when usage is critical, even when physical distancing measures are in place. The service enables faults to be predicted before they happen, and equipment status can be monitored around the clock. KONE DX Class elevators include anti-microbial surfaces for elevator car walls and handrails to protect against indirect contamination. With KONE DX Class elevators, built-in connectivity means new digital services can be introduced quickly and features can be upgraded in order to adapt to new needs.

The new KONE health and well-being solutions being introduced are:

  • KONE Elevator AirPurifier to improve air quality in the elevator car by destroying most potential pollutants, like bacteria, viruses, dust and odors. It uses Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) technology developed by NASA for removing contaminants from spacecraft cabins.
  • KONE Handrail Sanitizer uses ultraviolet light to gradually disinfect escalator handrails. Continuous chemical-free cleaning happens inside the escalator, with no risk for passengers. Exposure to ultra-violet radiation helps remove and inhibit the reproduction of micro-organisms such as bacteria or viruses.
  • KONE Elevator Call lets people call an elevator from anywhere nearby using an app on their smartphone. It works together with the KONE Flow app as well as selected social messaging apps on different mobile operating systems, completely removing the need to touch elevator buttons and screens. 

The health and well-being solutions will be launched globally now. Local introduction in different countries will depend on the availability of features, solutions, and services in each area. New solutions will be continuously introduced to different areas.

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