A strong durable floor is integral within a heavy duty manufacturing plant due to the large amounts of pressure applied by bulky machinery and the damage which can be caused by products such as oils being used.
Leading global manufacturer of diesel engines, Cummins, required a flooring solution for their UK manufacturing plant. This type of heavy duty manufacturing environment, which supplies engines for trucks, construction, mining, agricultural and material handling equipment, requires a flooring solution that provides high levels of impact resistance. To put this in perspective some of the finished engines in the plant weigh over 5 tonnes and are moved across the floor on metal skips so durability of the floor is paramount.
Furthermore engine manufacturing uses oils & lubricants, this means that the floor has to be resistant to chemicals, and all contaminants need to be removed from the existing floor in preparation for the new surface.
As part of upgrading the floor, demarcation walkways and forklift areas were required to support a pro-active health & safety culture and it is also important to make it easier for customers and other visitors to clearly identify safe areas and production areas throughout the large manufacturing workspace.
RSL’s epoxy resin Resuflor was chosen because it is a self-smoothing, seamless floor which combines outstanding wearing properties with chemical resistance as well as providing an attractive finish.
Typically in a manufacturing environment time is money therefore it was important to the client that the floor could be installed in phases to minimise shut down times which leads to disruption of production. A seamless epoxy resin was the ideal choice because it was easy to marry up each section of flooring and still ensure a smooth seamless finish.
Surprisingly for an environment which deals with heavy diesel engines a white floor finish was chosen. This has worked well to create a brighter working environment and has also helped to support a rigorous cleaning regime. A clean environment is essential to ensure staff safety as well as to limit damage caused to the engines being built. The choice of a white floor proves how important a clean floor is to these manufacturers.
Mechanical scabbling & blasting was carried out across the 2000m and 1500m areas; preparing the original worn flooring surface for installation. Scabbling takes away a thin layer of concrete to remove any surface contamination ready for the installation of a new system. Oil contaminated floors can cause major problems if the preparation of the area is not undertaken correctly, resulting in problems such as an unstable bonding of the resin to the sub floor.
In contrast to the white floor, walkways were laid in black and suitable warning signs were installed at key junctions to advise both workers and visitors of ‘safe’ areas.
Martin Wroe Commercial Manager at RSL said “heavy manufacturing environments require a durable industrial flooring solution but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want something that looks good too. A white seamless floor such as the one supplied for this project ‘lifts’ the working environment & ambience without sacrificing any of the other essential properties. This type of environment is subject to heavy impacts on small surface areas which undoubtedly may cause floor damage at some stage, resin floors are a versatile product whereby sections can be removed and replaced and a seamless good as new finish achieved. This is a critical factor for manufacturers dealing with heavy machinery. They need a long lasting flooring solution which works well for their demanding environment and enhances the production area.”
The end result of this project was a bright white, long lasting, repairable flooring solution floor with clear demarcation lines for walkways and production areas which is also easy to keep clean.