Flour Mill, Lincolnshire

Contractor: Secure Entry Systems, R.F. Welding & Fabrication
Type of works: Installation of one of the largest cantilever gates in Britain using a FAAC operator.

One of the largest sliding cantilever gates in Britain has been installed at a flour mill in Lincolnshire and automated using a FAAC operator. The 18m cantilever gate, and a pair of outward opening swing gates, have been built and installed by Secure Entry Systems of Spalding, working with R.F. Welding & Fabrication.

Throughout its 80 year history, the mill, situated on a corner site, has not previously required gates, but the activities of joy riders and homebound revellers using the mill yard as a shortcut resulted in a need for secure gates.

The yard operates a one way system. On the 'in' side there was room to accomodate inward swing gates, but on the 'out' side there was no room for gates to swing into the yard, and as the exit leads directly onto a public highway, there was no possibility of using gates that swing outwards.

The best solution was a sliding gate across the 18m exit. 'The trick was to find a gate that didn't take up any yard space,' says Malcolm Gower of Secure Entry Systems. 'We've designed a gate that, when it's fully open, disappears into a hole in the factory wall.'

A cantilever gate solution was selected, with no ground track or exposed wheels making contact with the ground. Malcolm Gower went on to explain, 'The condition of the ground at the mill meant we couldn't put down a track, because it would have been quickly damaged by the heavy traffic. The outer wall of the building had internal space that was not being utilised. So, we mounted inside the building a frame to hold a 2m-high cantilevered gate, with additional support for the gate when it is fully opened, and fully inside the building, as the gate's total length is 18m.'

The gate is automated with a FAAC 844 three-phase operator, which has been designed to provide the most cost-effective solution for moving heavy commercial or industrial sliding gates. Constant oil bath lubrication of the mechanical components, together with the use of a single high strength die-cast aluminium casing, ensures a long life. The electronic control board is fitted remotely, allowing for more flexible installation options.

An additional innovation on this installation is the use of a 'dead man's handle' key-operated mechanism to control the opening and closing of the gate. Because of concerns that vandals may damage the normal safety sensors fitted to this type of gate, it now can only be moved when the gate operator holds the key against a spring-loaded FAAC T10 key switch in the opening or closing direction. A strobe light above the key-switch warns of gate movement.

FAAC is a world leader in gate and door automatation. Its operators and full-gate systems are available through a UK national network of over 700 approved installers, all trained to FAAC's exacting standards.

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