More than any other part of the warehouse, the floor is where the strains of working life really show, but too often it’s taken for granted until problems occur. Cracks, worn joints, floor dust and surface abrasion are all signs that attention is needed. There’s no escape, in today’s 24/7 operations, minor flaws have a major impact on performance. Forklifts working at height will tilt if floors aren’t flat enough: damaged floor joints make warehouse vehicles jolt and have to slow. In addition, with increasing adoption of robots and AGVs, the demands for precision in flooring are even greater.

RCR Industrial Flooring offers solutions for every stage of a warehouse floor’s lifecycle. In the design phase RCR’s Monofloor flooring consultants work with contractors to ensure objectives are met to international standards. RCR’s various products maximise new floors’ longevity and performance. Permaban’s armoured joint, Permaban Wave, has a triple-curve design providing impact-free transit for vehicles. Rocland’s surface hardeners shield against surface abrasion and impact, while RINOL’s resin flooring systems protect challenging and vulnerable areas such as battery charging zones.

Rather than put in a new floor, when a warehouse floor shows wear and tear, the obvious preference is to repair it, but then the problem is minimising business interruption during work. The Permaban Signature AR joint arris repair system delivers joint repairs in just a few hours. RCR’s Floor Dynamics solution offers ‘HD’ floor mapping, revealing the surface in detail, to inform decisions about repairs.

Another flooring specialist, CoGri Group’s operations include repair experts CG Flooring Systems and Face Consultants, the independent industrial concrete floor testing organisation. In a recent project, Esterform Packaging, the UK’s largest producer and supplier of PET bottles, set CG Flooring the challenge of repairing their floor during operations, within a oneday window. Esterform had upgraded to AGV’s but were unable to run them at full speed due to the floor joint’s poor condition. CoGri completed 70 linear metres of floor in a day shift, using CoGri Rapid Mender, CoGri’s fast curing, industrial repair mortar, which can be opened to traffic within an hour of application. Once repairs were complete, the floor opened to traffic and the AGV’s were soon running at optimum speed, with a quiet and smooth ride over the new joint repair.

Spare a thought for the people cleaning the warehouse. Sweeping floors with a broom takes forever and even when you’ve finished, you’ve still got that horrible gritty feeling underfoot. Michael Williams Engineering’s Big Brute Warehouseman Industrial Vacuum cleaner, with its frontmounted brush, cleans up the dust without stirring it up into the air.

Staying with cleaning, KAIZEN Industrial Group’s concrete refurbishment experts use the BECOSAN system, which restores concrete flooring’s appearance, resistance and durability. The BECOSAN densifier and BECOSAN protective sealer penetrate the concrete to harden and seal it, leaving a very hard, abrasionresistant surface.

Finally, the skylight is the limit for today’s warehouse floors! As pressure mounts on space, mezzanine floors are increasingly attractive for warehouses looking to make maximum use of room overhead. United Storage Systems have been market leaders in mezzanine floor design, manufacture and installation for over 40 years and are well placed to advise.

CHARLES SMITH

Feature Writer