Walking around an industrial estate in any large town, and the most impressive technology in use may go completely unnoticed to most people.
You’d probably notice the CCTV systems, and maybe the security gate would have some neat opening and closing mechanism that makes the site secure, but other than that, you’d be hard pushed to notice the series of sensors and lasers that are making sure the whole place runs efficiently.
Take, for example, a warehouse that has lots of traffic running in and out daily or maybe a distribution centre that needs 24-hour access or a research centre that has to move sensitive equipment between units every few minutes.
For each of these to operate efficiently, your humble roller shutter door won’t suffice.
You’ve no doubt seen them, if not in real life, but in the movies where someone manages to close one just in the nick of time before the bad guys can drive into the garage.
Usually operated by a huge controller dangling to the side of the door, they’re generally extremely slow and certainly not easy to use.
If you need to get things in and out of a large room quickly, then an old-fashioned roller shutter door isn’t going to cut-it.
No, enter the world of the High-Speed Spiral Door.
Safety, Speed, Efficiency
The main point of any kind of door is to close off a particular area, and usually for a good reason.
If it’s security, then it’s important the doors are strong and can’t easily be opened, but if the reason is for one of cleanliness, there are other things to keep in mind, one of them is speed.
A clean room with an open door can quickly become contaminated, so it’s important doors are only opened for the amount of time necessary to get objects and people in and out.
Any longer and dirt, bugs and other particles can begin to affect what’s going on inside, which could have catastrophic consequences.
So how do modern doors help?
Well, take the EFA-SRT CR from EFAFLEX, this door has an opening speed of 1.0m/s, and a closing speed of 0.5m/s, but importantly, they feature air-tight seals meaning they can be used for clean rooms and other places where contamination could pose a problem.
But it’s the safety of these doors that shines, and it’s where all those amazing sensors and lasers come in.
As you’re approaching a high-speed door, it can sense as you’re near and open in good time so you can continue through with the minimum of fuss.
This is where efficiency improves – you’re not waiting around for the doors to be opened by someone else.
And then, when they close, the entire door area is monitored to make sure that there are no obstructions, and that none are likely from objects already moving towards the door.
Again, this technology is there to improve safety but also increases efficiency by reducing the amount of time the door is open, while eliminating delays.
But what if it all goes wrong?
Other doors also have some extremely neat features to handle problems that occur when someone does manage to drive into one when the door is opening or closing.
As we’ve already noted, many of these doors have sensors that allow them to sense when something or someone is about to hit the door so they can stop immediately, but there’s no accounting for human error, and we can mess up in some quite spectacular ways.
One of the most common “door crash” scenarios is when someone goes into the door as it’s rising or falling and knocks some of the slats out of the housing.
In the old days, a door might simply carry on, causing damage, however, modern doors are different.
The door can roll up and repair themselves, pushing the slats back into place, ready to start working straight away with no human interference.
The future, today?
There’s no doubt that high-speed roll-up doors are already efficient, safe and fast, the only thing you have to ask yourself now is, why doesn’t everyone use them?