The installation of Thortight Inflatable Dock Seals, supplied by leading loading and unloading specialist Thorworld Industries, has provided ventilation systems manufacturer Fläkt Woods UK with a means of restricting unwanted loading bay draughts at its Colchester premises.
As one of the world’s leading suppliers of ventilation solutions and air climate systems, Fläkt Woods’ portfolio includes products from 315 mm to 3.2 metres, therefore requiring a large and flexible work space. The company currently operates out of an open-plan warehouse the size of four football pitches. The downside is that, with no internal walls, any draught entering the building via the loading bays would impact on all of the company’s employees, as well as leading to increased energy costs.
When Fläkt Woods determined that its three loading bay doors did not provide a snug fit to docked trailers, the company was quick to act. Roger Smith, Site Maintenance Manager at Fläkt Woods UK, explains: "As experts in ventilation, we understand the implications of an unwanted draught, not only to the well-being of our employees but also to our operational cost-efficiency in terms of the requirement for extra heating to offset the chill factor."
It was for these reasons that Fläkt Woods turned to Thorworld to devise an appropriate solution, and the company recommended the use of its Thortight Inflatable Dock Seals, which provide a virtually airtight sealed insulation around docked vehicles between internal and external environments.
Extremely effective and easy to install, operate and maintain, Thortight Inflatable Dock Seals are fitted around the sides and top of each loading bay. The vehicle simply reverses up to the dock as normal and, once in position, the Thortight seals are then inflated – which takes around 30 seconds – to create a tight seal before the doors are then opened and loading/unloading can proceed. Curved sides guarantee that an effective seal is maintained even in high winds.
By maintaining a consistent internal temperature, Fläkt Woods stands to benefit from reduced heating bills as it can avoid the additional energy required by climate control systems to stabilise the temperature. It also helps to prevent ingress of dirt, dust or insects to minimise the potential for contamination of the company’s predominantly galvanised parts.
The installation is complemented by the provision of Thorworld Alignment Curbs, ensuring that trailers can be quickly and correctly positioned at the loading bay to minimise the time the dock door remains open before the seal is inflated.
Roger Smith confirms the effectiveness of Thorworld’s solution: "The Thortight Inflatable Dock Seals looked to be a robust answer to our problem, especially in terms of the speed with which the seals can be inflated. With things up and running within a minute, we can maintain uptime for a swift and efficient turnaround.
"Since installation, the system has delivered everything we expected in terms of convenience and comfort, ensuring that the only airflow we need worry about is that of our customers."
Thorworld is firmly established as one of the foremost designers, manufacturers and suppliers to the loading bay and materials handling sectors and is recognised as both a market leader and innovator in the supply of quality engineered equipment.
The company provides a one-stop, single source for what is claimed to be the UK’s most extensive range of high quality loading bay and materials handling products, safety aids and accessories, including dock shelters and seals, dock levellers, modular loading docks, dock plates and boards, dock and vehicle bumpers, wheel chocks, vehicle restraints, traffic lights wheel guides, alignment curbs and mobile yardramps (available for purchase or rental on a sale or return basis through the company’s RentARamp© operation), together with the Truckloada© mobile yardlift and the Dockloada© scissor lift platform.