In the drive for greater efficiency and energy savings the design of loading bays has been evolving, however when it comes to warehouse safety, the loading bay still represents one of the greatest areas of risk.
The combination of external vehicles, lift trucks and other materials handling equipment, plus doors and dock levellers mean there are many variables in the loading area that need to be considered at the design stage.
Not only does the loading area need to be well planned, it needs to work with operational practices and procedures, which could be site specific. Planning the two elements together can add considerably to the overall safe operation, an approach that applies equally to both new builds and refurbishment projects.
In response to the demand for improved environmental and operational performance, industrial doors and loading equipment have benefitted from numerous technical advances. Understanding these newer options and how they can affect safety and operational activity requires in depth knowledge of both the technology and the real-world needs of individual sites.
Hörmann is ideally placed to offer a complete range of equipment but more importantly the capability to provide a complete service from initial consultation through to design, installation and long term maintenance support. This whole encompassing approach sets Hörmann apart and also ensures the company has a vested interest in ensuring that the best possible options are selected to meet safety, operational and budgetary needs.
The evolution of the logistics industry is also impacting design. As an example, internet retailing has led to the greater use of smaller trucks and vans for local deliveries. This has created demand for loading bay equipment that can safely work with a greater variety of vehicle types. The use of longer dock levellers has proved an effective option that allows bays to safely work with a wider range of vehicle heights but with vans, in particular, width can be an issue. To address this, Hörmann has developed the HTLV 3 dock leveller with three part telescopic lip.
In normal use, the entire width of the lip can be continuously extended and to all intents and purposes is a conventional dock leveller. However, a simple switch
on the control panel lets you extend only the centre section of the lip, making it ideal for smaller vans.
Safety can also extend beyond procedure and equipment to include how the design impacts on the workforce. For instance, the inclusion of glazed panels in loading bay doors has the twin benefits of allowing natural light in and giving operators visibility of external activity, improving safety.
Understanding individual needs is always the starting point. This is why Hörmann's project team work onsite, to devise and develop new ideas that meet the changing needs of the logistics industry.
The advances in technology have also driven a requirement for manufacturer backed maintenance programmes and service support. Hörmann has, once again, taken the lead by introducing multibrand servicing and real time reporting.
Importantly this system will keep records of all actions and recommendations in one place, creating a simplified audit trail and ensuring that the correct data is always on hand for insurance and risk assessment purposes.
High quality preventative maintenance also leads to reduced downtime, improved safety and improved equipment life cycles. Extended warranties and a single point of contact are additional benefits of working with Hörmann.
Good planning is the key. Whether you are considering a refurbishment or new build, Hörmann has the knowledge, expertise and experience to work with you to develop the right solutions to suit your