The potential consequences of not properly maintaining industrial doors and shutters can be disastrous. The Door & Hardware Federation’s campaign to encourage regular maintenance was triggered by a near-fatal warehouse accident in 2012 after a roller shutter failed.

The ensuing investigation blamed this on a lack of regular and proper maintenance of the roller shutter and the victim’s employers were fined £30,000 after being prosecuted under health and safety legislation.

One of the few UK door manufacturers offering in-depth maintenance training for employees and customers, Hörmann is taking its dedication a step further by launching its new Training Academy at its Leicester HQ. Industrial training sessions include servicing, maintenance and fault finding for Hörmann’s industrial doors, shutters and dock levellers. Hörmann’s engineers check 30-40 different areas in their services, ensuring damage is spotted and every aspect is functioning correctly.

Excluding contaminants from clean areas is an important job for warehouse doors. Union Industries recently provided Xtrac, who build gearboxes for motorsport and highperformance cars, with a solution to segregate various areas of its new factory extension. Union Industries designed, manufactured and installed a Picadoor and two static partitions, creating two isolated sections. In another ‘clean room’ project, Union Industries’ bestselling Bulldoor is helping improve operations at the Hartlepool warehouse of RAVATHERM UK. RAVATHERM’s Bulldoor is operated automatically by sensors monitoring forklift traffic.

Doors are also important in making business premises thermoefficient. In a major development for the retail sector, Waitrose & Partners is introducing an ‘invisible door’ which could save stores in general £1.5bn in energy every year. Wirth Research’s AirDoor concept prevents warm air being lost during colder temperatures and cold air being lost during warmer temperatures as customers enter and leave.

The AirDoor provides an archway that sits outside the store, around the frame of the existing entrance. Sensors detect airflow in both directions, which is then counteracted by an opposing, selfgenerating wind. The result is an invisible, active ‘barrier’, preventing unwanted outside air flowing in and inside air escaping. There is minimal disruption to the customer and it negates the need for revolving doors or lobbies. Launching at the supermarket’s Berkhamsted store, if successful, there are plans to roll the AirDoor out to more Waitrose shops.

Finally, doors are also a key component of modular docks, AKA dock loading pods or loading houses, which are sealed to buildings around the outer edges of existing doorframes, enabling efficient loading bays to be retrofitted in otherwise unpromising locations. On our cover you can read sara LBS’ case study about a solution to a problem which flummoxed the architect. The client wanted to expand its production floor into the previous goods in and goods out loading bays, but did not think they had space onsite for new loading bays.

There was also the need to maintain hygiene barriers between the super-clean interior and the outside. The architect later admitted his initial misgivings had been unfounded and the new pods actually enhanced the building’s appearance, lending it an air of modernity and industrial efficiency.

BILL REDMOND

Features Editor