Established for nearly half a century, EFAFLEX is the only company worldwide to specialise in the design, manufacture and installation of high-speed industrial and commercial doors. Designed to improve user safety, drive performance and significantly reduce energy costs by as much as 50%, their portfolio of over 90 models includes a solution for virtually every application.
The unique spiral design remains the world’s fastest vertically opening door with speeds of up to 4 meters per second and up to 250,000 operating cycles per annum.
They have become the product of choice across many sectors including warehouse and logistics, loading bays, clean room, transport, pharmaceutical, automotive, and food production due to their whole life cost savings, operating speed, and safety features.
Whether they are chosen to improve user safety, increase logistics performance, or drive energy efficiencies, EFAFLEX are the orange brand that can help your business become ‘greener’ and safer. Darren Turrell, Managing Director of EFAFLEX UK Limited spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What are your best-known products and services?
It’s got to be our unique spiral door. Even though it was originally designed over 25 years ago, it remains the world’s fastest vertically opening door, operating at an impressive 4 metres per second. We actually have over 90 types in the portfolio, but we’d be best known for our spiral design.
What new products/services will you be launching next year?
Next year we will be launching a couple of new product lines. We can’t say too much at this stage, but all will be revealed soon.
Tell us about your business highlights or a project you have recently completed?
This year is looking like our best ever. It’s difficult to discuss specific projects, as most clients are quite secretive about our installations, maybe because we give them a competitive edge? There hasn’t been one specific highlight, the whole year has been one massive highlight with a huge variety and complexity of projects across most industry sectors.
What challenges will the business environment offer to your industry in the coming year? How will you turn these challenges into opportunities?
Our doors are ‘top quality’ and therefore often perceived as over budget, but once customers calculate the purchase price, and factor in the reduced energy bills, less frequent service and maintenance costs, and reduced downtime, then they can see the real whole life benefits. It’s a case of being given the opportunity to have these discussions prior to the buying phase so we can explain how we can reduce costs, improve user safety and add value for the user.
What industry sectors do you see offering you the most potential next year?
Goodness. That’s a tough one to answer as our doors solve so many ‘problems’ which make them appealing to virtually every industry sector; our clean room range uses easy to clean material to reduce the risk of cross contamination, our car parking range can cater for reduced head clearance, our machine protection doors have a range of activation methods to safeguard users. I think we will continue to add value to virtually every industry sector not just for next year, but for decades to come.
Are you investing in new premises over the next 12 months? What about recruitment, staff development and training?
Our UK office has room for growth, but we will be recruiting in several areas including service engineers and project managers for sure. Our Head Office in Bruckberg has a purpose-built training facility where staff receive ongoing personal development.
How do your products help businesses become cleaner, recycle more and reduce their carbon footprint?
Our brand may be orange, but we are the greenest orange you will see in terms of our environmental ethos. Every aspect of the business is ‘green’ from the recyclable packaging we use. The doors are manufactured using over 90% recyclable material. Our products can perform up to 250,000 operating cycles per year meaning that they don’t need replacing or servicing as frequently. They are so well insulated that they can help reduce energy costs by up to 50%. Maybe we should change the company brand to green instead of orange thinking about it!
How have business conditions changed and how have you reacted?
We are operating in a faster paced world, where businesses are demanding more for less. We have improved our efficiencies in most aspects of the business such as order processing, quicker response times from engineers, and expanding the team here in the UK and in our manufacturing and design facilities in Germany. As a business, we continually ‘horizon spot’ to ensure we use the very latest technology, materials and engineer USPs that are beneficial to our clients.
Are you involved in any major trade shows or other industry events next year?
Globally we exhibit at approximately 50 trade shows each year. People need to see our doors operate to fully appreciate their performance. The two main exhibitions for us in the UK next year are Foodex and PPMA.
Do your solutions reduce manual handling and physical lifting?
It’s tricky to describe to people what is meant by a ‘high-speed door.’ People are familiar with roller shutters, but our doors are automatic, high-speed, and use a variety of activation methods all to reduce manual handling. Forklift truck operatives can use remote controls from the comfort of their cabs to open on approach, or they can be fitted with scanners to detect people or machinery and open automatically. So many of our projects are to replace the heavy, roller shutter style doors with a high- speed alternative to reduce manual operation and increase the speed and safety of operations.
How do your solutions help customers increase the level of automation in their business?
We have over 90 models in the portfolio including folding, roll-up and spiral designs that can be installed throughout a facility. They are automated but automated specifically for the client’s needs. For instance, we install a lot of doors into warehouse and loading bays where there is a high volume of traffic. Here we consider what is the most appropriate method of activation which can include a remote control or fitting an EFA- SCAN to the door that will automatically detect movement. Our doors are designed to speed up logistics while minimising the likelihood of incidents.
How do you help customers make optimum use of their existing warehouse space?
Our doors are so well constructed that they can help client’s zone off areas of their warehouse to optimise space, so that one large area can be sectioned off, say to create a machine protection zone. Our insulated doors use a near hermetical seal or can create a chill or deep freeze area using a single door solution rather than having to install two.
How much do your solutions and products contribute to warehouse safety?
Improving user safety is one of the key drivers when we design any new product. Whether that’s to automate the door opening or inserting transparent door laths to increase visibility.
To what extent are you drivers of technological change?
We are a company of firsts. We designed the first spiral high-speed door and the first company to incorporate laser scanners. We employ literally generations of families where knowledge is passed down and shared. Whether that’s our new sales app or using BIM, as technological advancements occur, we embrace the challenge!
What big news can our readers look forward to seeing in Warehouse & Logistics News from you in 2020?
Ah – now that would be telling! The two new products we will be launching are exciting, and of course Warehouse and Logistics News readers will be the first to hear!
And finally, if you had to sum up your company in a hashtag what would it be That’s tricky without sounding conceited but I’d have to say #globalleaders
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