Andy Burns and his RapidShield team at ASG Services were tasked to lay down safety line markings whilst the movement of fresh fruit – stored at low temperatures -continued to work around them.
The efficient and safe distribution of fresh fruit is key to AG Thames – a major supplier of globally sourced fruit to blue chip UK retailers, food service and wholesale markets. Each of the companies cold stores include 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 conventional epoxy floor coatings and sealants to create new lines in chiller rooms. However, the 0°C – 5°C temperatures cause particular problems, resulting in rooms being out of service for anything up to 48 hours while these coatings cure. In addition, the odours given off has meant that cold storage areas have to be completely emptied prior to application to prevent contamination of the contents and doors kept open to allow ventilation. This results in massive disruption to work patterns and increased energy costs.
Warrington bassed ASG Services is a Certified Flooring Contractor for RapidShield – the UV-curable line marking system that can be applied at low temperatures. In a series of field trials Sales Manager Andy Burns was able to prove to AG Thames Central Services Manager Colin Ormerod, that RapidShield would minimise disruption and slash the cost of line replacement in its chilled facility.
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 finish with excellent chemical resistance is produced, which thanks to the fast cure can be used again within seconds. Most importantly for chiller room applications – it can be applied and cures at low temperatures.
Furthermore RapidShield is odourless, contains no solvents or isocyanates and complies with VOC and HAP regulations, so normal work can continue while the floor coating is applied and cold storage doors can remain closed.
Trials immediately proved that instead of the two or three day shutdown required to create new lines and safety symbols with conventional coatings, by using RapidShield, these could be applied to the floor of a typical 25,000 sq.m chiller room floor overnight. The room could therefore be handed back within hours of closure, without the need to totally clear food products out of the room.
A variety of colours is available to create stop signs, line stripes, and safety markings but on this occasion the standard white gloss system had all the visibility, performance and cleanability properties required.
A detailed method statement and RISK assessment was finalized and ASG was awarded a contract to apply lines to the Cold Storage and Distribution Facility at AG Thames distribution center in Crayford, Kent. When this contract was completed, feedback was excellent and results confirmed that all the benefits of RapidShield promised during the trials were enjoyed.
Said Andy: "Colin is delighted with the results achieved with ASG and impressed by the speed in which we are able to hand back each area within their chilled distribution facility. The hard, high gloss lines resist lift truck tyre marks much better than standard coatings and their ability to keep the new floor clean is also a major benefit."
Andy also commented ”We are also able to apply and instantly cure safety lines within live freezer storage areas at – 26°C. We continually invest heavily in the latest equipment so we can offer new solutions to meet our customers’ strictest requirements.”
Derek Saville – Quaker Chemical Limited
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