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October 09, 2017

A PVC Manufacturers Tips for an Efficient Cold Store

As PVC Curtain Manufacturers with years of experience in producing strip doors for warehouses, we are well aware of the importance of temperature control in an industrial environment - especially when forklift trucks are involved. In a cold store environment, it can be hard to ensure that the vehicles are operating at peak efficiency as there will be more energy consumed and the battery life can be reduced by up to about 35%. This is then going to impact on productivity and costs which can be hard to swallow.

There are, however, a few things you can do to overcome the challenges associated with cold stores:

Use the Right Equipment

To make sure your forklift is operating at peak efficiency the best place to start is to ensure that you choose a truck that is specifically manufactured to use in a cold environment. These freezer specification vehicles will be produced with motors specifically designed for cold temperatures, low viscosity hydraulic oils to trap moisture, and anti-corrosion coverings.

Park Cleverly

It's common sense really, but when the forklift is not being used in the cold store environment, it should be parked in normal, ambient temperatures. Another tip we have picked up as well is to ensure the truck drives through a low humidity temperature zone when leaving a cold store area, as this will ensure condensation does not build up and turn to ice when the truck re-enters the cold zone.

Battery Size

If you are using a normal forklift truck in a cold store area, the battery will run at a lower capacity than usual - so to compensate for this make sure the battery you use is the maximum capacity for the type of truck you are using. This will help to extend the battery life during normal operation.

Charge Battery Regularly

To ensure that battery life is if possible, the battery should either be in use in the truck or on a charge - and each battery should undergo a full battery recharge before each shift. It is also important to remember that the temperature that a battery should be charged at should be 10 degrees Celsius or above.

Regular Maintenance

If you are using your forklift truck in a cold store environment, then it should undergo a more frequent maintenance programme than usual to ensure any potential problems are caught before they become serious.

Pre-Check and Check Again

The moisture that is created by the cold room environment can cause havoc to the electrical components of a vehicle, and so regular pre-use inspections are vital.  It is essential that any forklift truck drivers employed to work in the cold store environment are trained to be able to undertake checks like these in order to ensure downtime is kept to a minimum and truck damage is limited.

These are just some of the things you can do to ensure your forklift trucks work well in the cold store environment, where temperature control is all important. We also offer a range of polar grade PVC strip curtains that are ideal for cold storage, and these are available on our website. If you would like any more information, then you can call us on 0333 999 7171 or send us an email to sales@stripcurtainsdirect.co.uk

September 25, 2017

PVC Roll Can Help Lessen the Risks in your Loading Bay

Our years of supplying PVC roll have shown us that loading bays are one of the riskiest places in warehouses. This comes as no surprise when you consider it is one of the main places in a warehouse where both pedestrians and vehicles need to access.  Research has shown that one in four workplace transport accidents happen in loading bays, and these accidents can be devastating to workers. The even more devastating thing is that many of these accidents could have been avoided through simple procedural and structural changes to your site.

Assess the Risks

As a warehouse owner, it is your responsibility to minimise as many workplace risks as possible. Doing a risk assessment, yourself means that not only can you identify the risks but can start thinking about sensible measures to minimise them. One easy way to do this is to do a traffic analysis of your loading bay, keeping track of how vehicles and pedestrians are using the area. You could do this in person, which can be time-consuming or another option is to use video footage. From this, you can determine both current practices and also identify any potential issues.

Who or What?

Research that has been done in the past has shown that 57% of all serious injuries that occur in warehouses occur to pedestrians. This is an important statistic to keep in mind whatever your role in the warehouse is. It can also help you to decide on what areas of safety you need to improve.

Segregation

The easiest way to improve health and safety within a loading bay environment is to segregate pedestrians and fork lift trucks. This can be done in lots of different ways, depending on your budget, including:

  • Implementing a one-way system which will reduce the need for vehicles to reverse
  • Installing elevated walkways to ensure pedestrians are kept well out of the way of vehicles.
  • Installing a light system on doorways or trucks so that pedestrians are well aware when vehicles are entering the area
  • Installing proximity alarms on vehicles so that they alert the driver if they get too close to pedestrians or other vehicles
  • Installing waiting areas or pens for vehicle drivers during the loading/unloading process to separate the vehicles from people
  • Installing PVC strip curtains to act as separators for pedestrian and vehicle traffic
  • Roll curtains that are see-through yet durable, so that pedestrians and vehicles have a clear view of anyone or anything coming the other way
  • Using paint or raised kerbs to mark out separate paths of pedestrians and vehicles on the floor of the loading area 

A quick way for managers to improve the safety aspects of a loading bay is to introduce such standard practices as:

  • Excluding pedestrians from the loading bay area as much as is possible
  • Enforcing a strict speed limit for any vehicle working near pedestrians
  • Prohibiting the use of mobile phones within the loading bay environment
  • Regular safety awareness training courses for all employees on site
  • Using a supervisor to oversee and direct vehicle and pedestrian movement

Whatever changes you decide to make, keep in mind that it is vital that you restrict the areas where vehicles and pedestrians could meet to as few as possible, and stick to these areas consistently. Doing this will install a message of safety comes first and constantly reinforce this message. Every warehouse loading bay is unique and so likely to present employers with a different set of potential hazards and risks. However, a well-designed and maintained loading bay with a clear definition of vehicle roads and pedestrian pathways, that is well policed by supervisors, will make a significant difference to the safety of your warehouse operations. 

If you require more information about our plastic strip curtain offerings, including installation and maintenance, then please give us a call on 0333 999 7171 or email us directly at sales@stripcurtainsdirect.co.uk.

September 19, 2017

Strip Curtains Direct Proud to Appear in the Prestigious 2017 Parliamentary Review

Strip Curtains Direct shares best practice alongside Prime Minister Theresa May in The Parliamentary Review

Strip Curtains Direct appears alongside Prime Minister Theresa May in the 2016/17 Parliamentary Review

Established by former minister The Rt Hon David Curry in 2010, The Parliamentary Review’s September release is now a key fixture in the political calendar. 

Strip Curtains Direct features alongside the Prime Minister and a small number of outstanding organisations in a document that looks back on the year in industry and Westminster. The main aim of the Review is to showcase best practice as a learning tool to the public and private sector.


 
Across all policy areas, The Parliamentary Review is sent to over half a million leading policymakers. The articles in the Review act as both a blueprint for success and a template for reform.

The Prime Minister commented that ‘this year’s Parliamentary Review follows a significant year in British politics’ and this is reflected in the articles from leading journalists and best-practice representatives alike. 

The PM’s former cabinet colleague, Sir Eric Pickles, who was recently appointed Chairman of the Review, said ‘it has never been more important for government to hear the views of business and the public sector in a constructive forum. It is also a vital time to share best practice and progress.’
 
The Parliamentary Review’s director Daniel Yossman concurred, saying ‘Strip Curtains Direct and other hardworking organisations from across the country have come together to make this year’s Review possible. 

Sharing knowledge and insight with both peers and government is essential work and I am delighted that this year’s Review will reach every corner of the British economy.

It’s always a real joy to hear from policymakers who tell me that something they have read in the Review has had an effect on their thinking. 

It is my belief that innovation is contagious, if only it is given the platform to spread. It is the Review’s purpose to provide this platform and I am confident we are fulfilling it.’

An e-copy of The Parliamentary Review can be viewed here, and we are on page 45 to 47: 

https://www.theparliamentaryreview.co.uk/editions/business-industrial-strategy/business-and-industrial-strategy

September 13, 2017

Crash Doors for Hospitals

As you can imagine hospitals demand the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene, but equipment for modern hospitals also needs to be efficient, and cost effective.  These are some of the things that we had to keep in mind when designing our new range of crash doors, as well as the following design requirements:

Durability

For most domestic and commercial applications, the weight of doors is not that important. However, when it comes to hospital PVC crash doors weight is really important as they need to be robust enough to deal with the frequency of people travelling through the door, the speed at which they are moving through the door and the way that the door is opened. For example, a door that is within an Accident & Emergency Department will have to deal with high speed and high-frequency traffic at all hours of the day and night and the door should open quickly as well.

The way that people are navigating through the crash door is a significant thing to consider as well. In a hospital, you will see lots of nurses and porters wheeling beds, trolleys and wheelchairs around and using their heels, shoulders or even backsides to open doors so they can steer the patient through successfully.  Trying to open a heavy door while pushing, towing or carrying something is quite hard to do and can cause strain on employees and affect the effectiveness of the hospital overall. 

Material

Timber doors are now a thing of the past, thankfully, with PVC allowing us to create one piece doors which are lightweight yet strong. Our crash doors also contain thermal insulation which can help hospitals save on heating bills and air conditioning, on top of increasing efficiency and safety.

The other significant benefit of PVC crash doors to hospitals is that they are more hygienic than other options, and we all know how important hygiene in hospitals is. The panels we use in our doors have no joints or gaps, and so don't allow moisture to pass through. This is crucial in hospitals so that the doors do not harbour undesirable pathogens which can cause Surgical Site Infections.

Speed

As we have touched on before, speed is essential in a hospital environment as every decision taken needs to be lightning fast as response times can often make the difference between life and death. The speed that a swing door opens at depends a lot on its weight and the force applied to it. By keeping the weight of the door to a minimum by using PVC you can immediately increase the speed at which it opens meaning traffic is unimpeded whatever direction it is travelling in.

If you would like to find out more about our range of crash doors, please give us a call on 0333 999 7171 or send us an email to sales@stripcurtainsdirect.co.uk

 

August 07, 2017

Keep Bugs at Bay this Summer

The food industry is a huge global industry with food trade being valued at around £400 billion annually, and this has an enormous impact on both economy and the health industry in the UK. Large organisations, such as the national Government, world trade bodies and even the UN are concerned with the food industry as they believe that every human has the right to expect a high standard of food. But what has this got to do with door plastic curtains?

Well, pests such as flies present a huge problem to the food industry and this is something we can help with. Flies can easily contaminate food at various stages through the food supply chain, which can cause harm to a food businesses reputation. Whenever a fly lands on equipment, food or a work surface it causes contamination through the bacteria that it carries on its feet, its body hairs and in the saliva, that it passes when it is eating food. Even if the fly does not leave bacteria on food, it may still cause contamination by falling into the food - no one wants a mouthful of fly, do they?

There are several different types of flies, including common house flies which tend to breed in rotting vegetable and food waste. There is also the lesser house fly which tends to prefer manure, and so is a significant problem on farms. Blowflies breed in carcases, and scrap meat and so are often found in food production areas and slaughter houses. Fruit flies don't just like fruit; they also like to breed in areas where there is poor kitchen hygiene such as rotting fruit and vegetables, beer, milk and vinegar of all things!

As you have probably gathered, it is much easier to stop the flies getting into your food preparation area that it is to get them out once they are in there. This is where we come in. We now offer a wide range of fly screens for both doors and windows. This allows you to open doors and windows to allow fresh air to circulate while keeping flies and other pests out. 

There are also other things you can do to prevent the spread of flies, such as keeping food covered as much as possible and making sure that waste is dealt with correctly in order to avoid the attraction of flies. Having a clean-as-you-go policy in all areas of the food supply chain is also a good idea. 

For more information on our range of fly screens or any of our other door plastic curtains or bulk roll, please call us directly on 0333 999 7171 or drop us an email to sales@stripcurtainsdirect.co.uk

July 13, 2017

New Product Launch - Fly Screens

standard fly screenWe are delighted to be able to announce that we have expanded our plastic curtains range to include fly screens. With all the hot weather, we have been enjoying recently, most of us have been flinging our windows open and throwing open the doors to get some much-needed air into the place. While this is fine within the home environment, it is not always so easy to do in an industrial establishment - especially if there is food involved. Open windows or doors means that not only can air get in, but flying insects can get in too.

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June 13, 2017

7 Things About Crash Doors Your Warehouse Manager Wants to Know

As one of the world's leading manufacturers of flexible PVC products, we have recently added PVC crash doors
to our product range as we feel they are a great complement to our strip curtains range and are very often used in the same buildings and by the same customer. They are as practical and economical as strip doors and are really versatile to use as well. Here are seven reasons why you should think about investing in some PVC crash doors for your warehouse or industrial unit.

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