Westgate has seen continued growth in recent years and has significant strategies in place for further development across three main business areas, warehouse and factory partitions, temporary construction hoardings and solar control protection.
As the UK experiences increasingly hotter temperatures, heat reduction in the form of Easipanel is in growing demand from Westgate’s customers. Easipanel, a reflective roof light cover, is designed for buildings such as factories and warehouses which have a requirement to reduce heat, glare and UV from entering via rooflights, but also a need to maintain natural light. Cliff Cane, Westgate’s warehousing and logistics Sector Manager, speaks to Warehouse & Logistics News.
Warehouse & Logistics News – As Westgate’s sector manager for warehousing and logistics, do you work with customers to develop tailored solutions? Who else is in the team?
Yes, each customer’s requirements are individual. Although what we deliver derives from standard products, the final solutions can be to overcome any number of issues including dust, temperature, product tainting, cross contamination, health and safety and so on, so we work with customers to develop tailored solutions.
Westgate has close to 90 employees, covering operations, sales, marketing, product development, administration and warehouse team. In the warehouse and logistics sales team alongside me are an estimator, key account manager, sales admin and internal sales executive, who assist with our projects’ day to day running.
WLN – We talked before about your factory and warehouse dividers. This time we’re talking about Easipanel, your first to market roof light covers, drawing on your experience in warehousing, logistics and manufacturing. What materials are Easipanels made of, and what do they do?
Easipanel is a 25mm multiwall polycarbonate sheet, which we securely install over existing roof lights using bespoke aluminium brackets. The Easipanel is designed to reduce heat, glare and UV from entering via the existing roof lights, helping prevent product spoilage, ensure employee comfort and reduce health and safety risks.
WLN – Are Easipanels supplied in standard sizes, or made to measure?
Westgate can do both, we have a standard panel size one metre by two metres, but as many roof light configurations are different, we also supply bespoke sizes. Site surveys are available to help determine customers’ requirements.
WLN – What heat reduction levels do Easipanels achieve? How much UV light do Easipanels cut out?
Easipanel can reduce up to 53% of transmitted heat and stop up to 99% UV light. It achieves this due to the multiwall design, consisting of coextruded, dual tinted sheet. By deflecting sunlight, the heat controlling outer layer is effective in reducing solar heat gain through the roof, whilst the attractive inner opal layer provides a soft diffused natural light, giving a comfortably cool, naturally lit interior space.
As each site is different, from the type of roof light in place to geographic location, we can offer potential customers a trial installation, to assess the achievable results. Readers can contact the team for a no obligation budget quote. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01785 242181.
WLN – How easily can Easipanels be retrofitted to buildings with existing roof lights?
Very easily, the system is designed to ensure the customer receives a costeffective solution bespoke designed to the building’s existing roof light configuration. It’s then simply a case of selecting the correct panel and size, and positioning the brackets to suit the current roof light screw holes. We have created a short animation showing this: search ‘Easipanel animation’ on google and it’s the first video that pops up.
WLN – Besides the obvious benefits of heat, UV and glare reduction, what other benefits are there to this system?
Westgate have designed Easipanel to be easily removed without causing damage to the building, essential for leased buildings that must be returned in their original state at the end of an agreement. The panel is guaranteed for 10 years to provide longevity in the investment and finally Easipanel will maintain up to 50% natural light once installed.
WLN – How did you come to develop Easipanels? What was the story?
As a valued partner to many large 3PL companies, we were approached by a customer looking to reduce heat from their roof lights. The original request was to install window film over corrugated roof lights. On reviewing this solution, Westgate and the customer deemed it was too expensive, and also impractical as it couldn’t be easily removed. Westgate’s in-house product development team came up with a new solution to overcome this, and Easipanel was born.
WLN – How long were Easipanels in development?
From inception to launch Easipanel took 18 months to develop. We had to prototype different types of fixings and panel specifications to accommodate different roof profiles before perfecting the final product.
WLN – How many Easipanel installations have you done so far?
Since its inception and including the job mentioned above, we have completed five installations. The official sales and marketing launch started in March and since then we have secured three Easipanel projects.
WLN – With warehouses busy stockpiling and increasing the number of high bay racks, what is the risk of increased damage to sensitive goods caused by heat from roof lights?
Westgate is finding that for temperature sensitive goods storage such as food, beverage and pharmaceutical this risk is very high, as these products require a stable temperature to prevent spoilage. The Met Office has already predicted that the world will reach record breaking temperatures in 2019, expecting around 1.1C above pre-industrial levels, and this year we have already seen the second hottest day on record for the UK at 38.1C. These spikes in temperature put a lot of extra load on cooling systems, Easipanel helps to lower and create a more consistent temperature, which helps with such fluctuating temperatures.
WLN – As companies install mezzanine floors, presumably there are increased heat and light effects from sunlight. Do Easipanels help there too?
Yes, a mezzanine floor by design places products and employees closer to the heat gain from roof lights, the HSE highlights the potential dangers of employees working with heat stress. Whilst there is no set upper limit for working conditions, the HSE states that employers should ‘take action where necessary and where reasonably practicable’ to maintain thermal comfort for employees.
Easipanel as mentioned can help to reduce up to 53% heat gain and create a more comfortable environment for employees working on a mezzanine floor.
WLN – What other products do you supply and install?
Our main product range centres around partitions, screens and curtains, with Flexiwall being the most recognised brand on the market for industrial floor-to-ceiling fabric partitioning. Other products in this range consist of Flexiscreen; a temporary building and dust screen used during extension and construction work, Flexicurtain; a retractable curtain for use internally as a partition and externally as a curtain on canopies and Hoardfast; a modular panelling system available in a number of fire, sound reduction, size and fixing options. Our full range can be found at westgateuk.co.uk
WLN – Finally, you’re at IMHX in September. What products are you exhibiting?
We will be exhibiting for the second time around after a successful 2016. We will be mainly showcasing Flexiwall as this is a very popular product for temperature, dust and contamination control within the intralogistics sector.