Sweet success for full service airlock loading bay provider

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An airlock loading bay at one of the world's leading chocolate companies has been completely refurbished and upgraded by loading bay specialist sara LBS.

The whole of this project was undertaken by sara LBS, including the design, installation, and on-going service, a level of capability that very few suppliers can provide. With the company's technical, office and field teams working together, lead times for the project were kept to a minimum during the design and build stages, and ongoing, world-class expertise will be available throughout the working life of the bay.

After 25 years of trouble free service, the incumbent loading bay – which was also from sara LBS – had reached the end of its service life. The company approached sara LBS to design and install the new bay having been pleased with the quality and performance of the original solution.

Put in its simplest form, an air lock loading bay has doors at both ends which work in tandem so that the interior of the production hall or warehouse is always protected from the outside environment. This reduces loss of heated or cooled air to the outdoors and also provides a high level of bio-security. Of course the quality of the package is reliant on the components, so it's important that doors are specified which match the requirements of the applications. The optimum solution will also allow free yet safe access for personnel and vehicles so that loading can be carried out quickly and efficiently.

Alan Ryder, who worked on the project for sara LBS, says: "In this case we installed our Sprint 3000 doors externally and Sprint 355 at the internal side. Sprint is our high speed range of rapid roll doors, which offer quick opening speeds and improved safety for both internal and external applications. As such they are particularly suitable for food industry applications where hygiene is always a primary concern."

The Sprint 3000 high speed security roller shutter door is based on an extruded aluminium curtain that is designed for rapid opening and closing, along with high frequency usage and maximum security. Sprint's vector frequency control system ensures accuracy of movement and stopping during the high speed high operation. In use Sprint 3000 is very quiet because the curtain profiles wind onto the barrel without touching each other, a design detail that also reduces wear and improves efficiency.

"The low maintenance this enables ensures Sprint 3000 is reliable even after long-term and frequent use," says Alan. "In fact there are many options available so that Sprint 3000 can be customised to each application. For instance the curtain can be thermally insulated and/or include transparent sections."

A dual height feature maximises bio-security and minimises energy loss. A Bowden lever is provided for emergency opening, while all Sprint doors are fitted with the sara non-contact travelling safety beam, which provides unparalleled safety for personnel and equipment.

The Sprint 355 at the interior end of the loading bay is a roller shutter door designed for frequent operation and providing reliable high speed, high frequency opening and closing. It includes an ultra-clear transparent curtain, which along with the safety beam enables fast, safe operation while minimising draughts and energy loss. Importantly in food related applications it has proved an effective barrier to vermin and other animals.

"As a total package provider sara LBS can design and install loading bay solutions, from single products such as dock levellers, scissor lifts and loading doors, through to complete loading docks," explains Alan. "Once installed, our dedicated after sales support team provides nationwide repair and maintenance network."

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