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 door options 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, cleanroom, 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 logistical performance, or drive energy efficiencies, EFAFLEX are the orange brand that can help your business become ‘greener’ and safer. Darren Turrell, EFAFLEX UK Limited, Managing Director spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What products or services does your company offer?
EFAFLEX design, manufacture, install and service a range of high-speed doors, each of which have been developed to safeguard users, minimise incidents, reduce energy costs, and speed up logistic processes. Although we have hundreds of variants, put simplify we have three key product types, fabric, folding and spiral door options that can be used across interior or exterior applications.
Which industries do your customers operate in?
Our customers operate across diverse industries which include pharmaceutical, cleanroom, warehousing, logistics, food, beverage, manufacturing, automotive, retail and car parking. You name it, and EFAFLEX has a high-speed door that has been specifically designed to overcome each industry’s bespoke challenges.
Has your company celebrated any milestones this year?
Celebrations of our 21st year in the UK had to be muted due to restrictions earlier in the year, but we’re looking forward to celebrating properly in 2022.
Do you have any examples of a project you have recently completed?
When we look back over the year, we have been staggered by the array of projects where our doors have been used, with installations across the whole of the UK for customers that range from providing food to the high street supermarkets, pharmaceutical companies involved in groundbreaking medical science, and logistics companies that are having to work smarter and safer.
How did your company react to the Covid-19 outbreak and consequent lockdowns?
During the early stages of the first lockdown, like many companies, we reduced our physical engineering presence in the field focusing attention on the key sectors, while back office and customer support were able to maintain the normal high levels of customer support remotely.
As the year progressed the field-based teams were ‘bubbled’ to support installation and service requirements. Once we made the necessary adjustments to our offices in terms of social distancing and sanitizing, the administration, finance, and accounting teams were able to return safely. Collectively the team did an excellent job ensuring we continued to meet customer requirements throughout the disruptions.
Over a year on from the start of Covid-19, what lessons has the company and the industry learned from the pandemic?
The pace of change forced by the pandemic was incredible. We quickly had to adapt to new ways of working, both in the field, manufacturing, and the office-based team to ensure staff and client safety. We noticed that customers began to focus on ‘activation’ methods i.e. how the doors could be opened in a safe and hygienic manner, with our contactless and laser scanners becoming more popular. I think the pandemic taught us all not to take anything for granted. It certainly strengthened many customer relationships, and despite the many new and different challenges, by truly working together we always found a solution.
Energy saving, safe, high-speed doors for virtually every industrial application.
Do you think some of the trends that began or were accelerated during Covid-19, such as the increase in e-commerce, will become permanent?
For sure the trends and pace of change we have seen will continue. This year more than any, has seen a significant increase where customers have been upgrading from their older or more conventional roller shutter type doors, and now seek more energy efficient door solutions. This trend has also spread to include integrating or upgrading the door automation systems. Clients are increasingly looking for ways that they can automate and integrate systems. For our customers safe, high-speed doors have defiantly moved up the agenda, whether they are looking to control airflow, minimise contamination or adopt more energy efficiencies. There’s also been increased interest in contactless activation methods, which can help reduce the risk of contamination.
What products or services will you be introducing in the next year?
You know us, there’s always something new or different on the horizon! We are always striving to remain global innovators in our field. There’s certainly more planned for 2022, with further improvements to our new website, smart phone app-based service tools and further improvements to our Sales App and BIM portals to boot!
In what areas are you making technological advances?
EFAFLEX never stands still. In our near 50-year history, we have always been at forefront of high-speed door technology, with constant advances in our integrated control systems, safety, and activation devices. Watch this space!
What training do you provide for your staff?
The field based and engineering teams are factory trained, with periodic refreshers and updates on new products and other innovations as they’re launched. With restrictions now easing travel to our European headquarters and production facilities is simpler, ensuring a gradual return to using our purpose-built training centre in near Munich.
Are you helping customers boost the level of automation in their business?
We are! And this is one of the reasons why we have become the product of choice for many of our customers. We have a range of smart machine protection doors that combines form with function. It’s a range of compact high-speed roll-up doors that have been designed to integrate into manufacturing processes to safeguard users around machinery. Also, our many activation devices such as our remote control, or intelligent laser scanner can speed up logistics by automating door movements.
In car parking applications, we have seen companies replace entrance and exit barriers with our high-speed doors. These can open on approach and close quickly to improve the user’s safety in higher risk areas.
Do you help customers maximise the use of their existing warehouse space?
We have seen companies using our high-speed doors in a wider application since the pandemic. With increasing demand for manufacturing sites and warehousing there’s a growing number of clients optimizing existing space. Customers are using our slim-line compact doors to create flexible working zones, or self-contained working spaces. With energy prices likely to increase throughout the year the importance of optimizing the balance between thermal performance, operating cycle times, and door insulation is more critical than ever.
Will you be exhibiting at any major trade shows in 2022?
It was great to return to exhibitions. Watching a video of our high-speed doors in action is never the same as fully appreciating their speed by seeing them in the flesh. The build quality and performance really is second to none. We had a very successful PPMA exhibition in September with new business secured already. We’ll certainly return to PPMA Total Show in 2022 while looking at other options too.
What industries do you believe offer your business the most potential over the next year?
We expect the trends in 2022 to be similar to those experienced this year. With more shoppers reverting to online purchasing, we predict a further increase in our logistics sector. Likewise, we anticipate seeing continued activity levels in the pharma and medical industries. With manufacturing now improving it’s hoped sectors such as automotive manufacturing and supply chain will improve shortly.
How future proof is your business?
EFAFLEX is a global organisation that never stands still! As one country sleeps, others will be working on our new technology, pioneering high-speed doors of the future. With over 50 years in the industry, no other company can boast our credentials and expertise.
How would you sum up your company in three words?
High-speed door solutions!
01952 582 641