In the highly competitive industrial door market, EFAFLEX’s product range stands out as the ultimate leader in terms of speed, safety, performance and reliability, offering a whole suite of doors tailored for sector, application and budgetary requirements.
EFAFLEX have built an enviable global reputation for their high-speed spiral doors, with the EFA-STT® being the first of its kind launched in the early nineties. The company’s heritage stretches back as far as the seventies, when industrial door manufacturing first started in Bavaria, where their Head Office remains today.
EFAFLEX high-speed doors are available with spiral, roll-up, and folding designs, with sub-sector variants for numerous commercial trades including manufacturing, clean room, cold store & freezer, machine protection and car parking doors.
Darren Turrell, Managing Director at EFAFLEX UK Ltd, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
Warehouse & Logistics News – First of all, Darren, what does your role as MD involve?
We have a first class team who are very dedicated and passionate about providing the optimum door and after-sales solutions, be it for new or existing customers. My role is to coordinate activities, directly overseeing sales, marketing and back office functions.
WLN – Who else is in the senior management team?
Our Operations Manager Dave Timson looks after the necessarily very flexible arrangements for installation and service scheduling, along with technical support. The UK team work incredibly closely with our head office and other group subsidiaries, sharing commercial and technical information, ensuring shared global customer relationships around the world are seamless.
WLN – When was EFAFLEX founded and what were the first products you offered?
Founded in 1974, EFAFLEX was the first company in the world to focus exclusively on high-speed door design and technology. Our high-speed spiral door, the EFA-STT®, gave us the edge on our competitors from day one. Today, more than 20 years on, the technology remains unrivalled and we hold the accolade as the world’s fastest vertically opening door!
WLN – What is the latest news on the spiral doors front?
The world’s changing; there are always new models and developments but right now the focus is on activation and monitoring methods, easily integrated control systems and advancements around the sealing of the doors.
WLN – With winter coming soon, what are your doors like on insulation?
As the global leading manufacturer of this technology, EFAFLEX offer thermally separated EFA-THERM® insulation laths for the EFA-SST® as standard, achieving a heat insulation of between 0.66 and 1.52 W/m2K depending on the door size. The door leaf is exceptionally durable, creates a secure seal, and offers up to wind class 4, providing incredible sound insulation.
WLN– What would your advice be to someone looking at industrial doors?
Consider what you want them to do, now and in the future. They are a part of the building and a considerable investment so key considerations should include location, application, method and frequency of use. It still surprises me how many enquiries we receive for insulated doors, when the building itself isn’t insulated!
WLN – What colours do your doors come in?
Frames and laths can be supplied in all standard RAL colours, while fabric curtains are available in complementary colours. Increasingly customers are choosing to colour coordinate their door to blend with the cladding or mirror corporate branding.
WLN – What about window panels?
Depending on the client’s requirements, for increased natural daylight to improve working conditions for example, EFA-CLEAR transparent laths can be incorporated into the door blade or window panels in fabric curtains.
WLN – How big is EFAFLEX now and where is its world HQ?
The company turnover is in excess of 200 million Euros annually, employing more than 1,200 staff globally, while proudly remaining a founder family owned and managed business. EFAFLEX’s headquarters are located in Bruckberg in the heart of Bavaria, from where they coordinate and support subsidiaries and agencies in more than 50 countries worldwide.
WLN – When did you open in the UK and where are your offices here?
We’ve been based in the UK for 17 years, relocating to Telford in 2014, near the motorway network, to service our UK clients more effectively.
WLN – Which companies do you work for?
Due to our extensive product range, our client base is diverse too. Industries include food and drink processing and production, automotive, clean room, manufacturing, car parking, logistics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and the recycling industry, with customers ranging from prestigious brands such as Rolls Royce, Nestle and AB InBev to smaller privately owned independents.
WLN – What are your latest products?
At this year’s BAU exhibition in Munich we premiered the new MTL (Material-Transport-Logistics) highspeed door, which offers a series of drive options, along with individually configurable and combinable modules intended to safely optimise logistics process integration.
WLN – How do your doors compare with your competitors in terms of cost?
There will always be less expensive alternatives around. We encourage customers to look at the door’s serviceable life as an end-to-end investment, taking into account the performance, durability, maintenance and impact on energy costs. We’re proud to say the majority of customers who try us just once, return time and time again.
WLN – What maintenance do your doors need?
Our doors often need far less servicing than our competitors. Our patented spiral option for example uses a virtually wear-free design, allowing up to 250,000 operating cycles between maintenance visits.
WLN – How safe are your doors?
Extremely! All premium doors are supplied with integral light grids as standard, protecting the opening when the door is in use. The other doors in the range are fitted with a photocell and/or bottom safety edge. Amongst the optional accessories are various radar/laser activators and monitors, external light grids, induction loops, remote controls, an array of buttons, pull cords, indicator lights, warning beacons and klaxons. In short, we can configure most door systems to match the client’s individual needs.
WLN – At the end of their working lives, can your doors be recycled?
Yes, they are more than 90% recyclable. Most of the structure is steel and aluminium: even the transit packaging is recyclable.
WLN – Do you offer a repair and maintenance service?
We have a fully supported SAP link to the manufacturing plant, which provides inventory and configuration of all the doors we have supplied. Our team of directly employed, factory trained field technicians working from fully equipped mobile workshops, which equips them to handle inspections, repairs or full new door installations as required.
WLN – What recent investments have you made in the business and your people?
Relocation and the implementation of SAP were considerable steps forward for the business, both in terms of mindset and cost. Our biggest investment always will be in customer facing staff, be it the commercial team or field technicians to ensure we maintain our standard of pre sales, through to ongoing post installation support.
WLN – What developments can we look forward to from EFAFLEX next year? Are you at any trade shows?
Globally EFAFLEX support around 50 exhibitions every year and in the UK have already committed to Foodex and PPMA in 2018. There’s also some really innovative technology launching shortly, which is unique to EFAFLEX. As far as the products go, the R & D team in Bruckberg has been busy this year with some new models and exciting developments for some existing door models, so watch this space!
WLN – Finally, where do you see EFAFLEX going from here?
EFAFLEX UK has been on a massive journey during our last 17 years. We have expanded our profile, developed our product range and continually invest in our staff to ensure we deliver an exceptional customer experience. The relationships we have with many of our customers is closer than ever, and the team we have to support them is the strongest yet. Our product offering remains one of the most comprehensive in the industry, and our after-sales activities are continually evolving to reflect the ever-changing needs of the market.
All told, I am confident that with the support of our Head Office, EFAFLEX will continue to expand, strengthen our global reach, and remain the product of choice for our evergrowing number of customers.
EFAFLEX UK LTD
Tel: 01952 582 641