Greg Clark and his RapidShield team at Quality Marking Services (QMS) have been working with a leading supermarket chain to revolutionize the way chiller room storage lines, pedestrian safe routes and safety symbols are applied, providing massive operational cost savings.
The efficient and safe distribution of chilled goods plays a major part in the success of any food retailing business. Every chiller room includes marked pallet bays, walkways, and floor safety signs – and in this fast moving environment these need to be clearly defined especially when bay configurations are altered or new walkways added.
The usual practice at many distribution businesses is to use epoxy floor coatings and sealants to create new lines in chiller rooms. However, the extremely low temperatures cause particular problems, resulting in rooms being out of service for anything up to 48 hours during the material curing process.
The odours given off by some of these coatings require the chiller rooms to be completely emptied of produce prior to application to prevent contamination of the contents. In addition, the doors need to be kept open to allow ventilation. This resulted in massive disruption to work patterns and increased energy costs.
Devon-based Quality Marking Services (QMS) is a Certified Flooring Contractor for RapidShield – a UV-curable floor coating system with no VOCs that can be applied at low temperatures. In a series of field trials Operations Manager Greg Clark was able to prove to one of his customers – a leading UK supermarket chain – that RapidShield would minimise disruption and slash the cost of line replacement in its chiller rooms.
Once applied to a prepared, clean floor, RapidShield is cured instantly by a portable unit that emits UV-light, turning the coating into a solid film which creates a strong bond to the substrate. A durable, non-slip, gloss or matt finish with excellent chemical resistance is produced, which thanks to the fast cure can be used again within minutes. Most importantly for chiller room applications it can be applied and cures at low temperatures.
RapidShield is odourless, contains no solvents or isocyanates or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The system is fully compliant with VOC and HAP regulations, allowing normal work to continue while the floor coating is applied, minimising disruption to the busy warehouse environment.
Trials immediately proved that instead of the two or three-day shutdown required to create new lines and safety symbols, RapidShield could be applied to the floor of a typical 25,000 sq.m. chiller room floor overnight, without the need to completely empty the area of produce.
A variety of colours are available to conveniently create stop signs, pallet bay lines, and safety markings with all of the visibility, performance and cleanability properties required.
A best practice document was finalized and QMS was awarded a contract to apply lines to chiller rooms at five of the customer’s distribution depots. When this application was completed, feedback was excellent and results confirmed that all the benefits of RapidShield promised during the trials were enjoyed.
Said Greg: "Our customer is delighted with the results achieved with RapidShield and amazed by the speed in which we are able to hand back their chiller rooms. The hard, high gloss lines resist lift truck tyre marks much better than epoxy coatings and their ability to keep the new floor clean is also a major benefit."
"Our promise that the RapidShield lines will be harder wearing and guaranteed for up to five years made it an easy decision for our client to award the internal chiller room line marking contract to us. When RapidShield’s new Freezer Equipment Range comes on-line shortly we will also be able to apply instant-cure safety lines within freezer storage areas at – 25°C."