How Plastic Swing Doors and Plastic Strip Curtains Increase Efficiency and Productivity in Coolrooms

13 December 2019

Already covered in past articles, plastic swing doors prevent cross-contamination risks from causing major problems in food-safe facilities. Plastic strip curtains perform just as well, they’re simply built to permit passage between factory zones in a slightly different manner. Now, with this hygiene-centric feature set clearly demonstrated, let’s see what these flexible plastic thresholds can do for a factory floor’s productivity scores.

Maximizing Mobile Equipment Workflows

It’s not hard for a walking warehouse worker to pass between two contrasting work areas in a meatpacking factory. The chillers are pumping cool air into the central work zone, and employees can gain entry by peering through the plastic door or curtains. A pause takes place while someone waits to see if traffic is coming in the opposite direction, then the safety-conscious employee steps gingerly through the threshold. Slowing things up, normal doors prevent forklift trucks and pallet jacks from following as swiftly. The equipment operator, having loaded up his mobile lifter with stacks of meat or fish, has to come to a full stop. Long seconds are wasted while the roll-up door or sliding panel is mechanically unsealed. Back with a wide-doorway plastic door, the equipment pushes through the abrasion-resistant fabric, all while the operator keeps a wary eye open for traffic coming from the opposite direction, traffic that can be clearly seen through the translucent plastic panels.

Clearly Demarcating Different Work Zones

Workers are comfortable and consequently more productive when they’re in workspaces that don’t require coolroom-type conditions. For their part, the plastic strips or door panels prevent cross-contamination, insects’ invasions, dust and dirt, and heavy energy losses. Effectively, worker efficiency is up, just as the cost-cutting measures introduced by a floor manager are also yielding good results. The doorways between these different food processing zones lack job-flow impeding bottlenecks, yet they’re still classed as zone cut-off points. Fine-tuning the performance gap between plastic doors and plastic curtains, factory bosses can even swap out thinner curtains for heavier panels. As long as the material doesn’t rip, doesn’t fly up and outwards when struck by a forklift truck, then cross-contamination risks and energy loss issues won’t become a source of concern.

In coolrooms, plastic thresholds promote an interruption-free workflow. That’s the case in smaller cold rooms, with the solution then scaling to include large warehouse floors. Replacing sliding metal panels and flexible roll-up entranceways with abrasion-proof plastics, productivity bottlenecks fade away. Meanwhile, cross-contamination problems are handled, health and safety regulations are complied with, and there’s no reason to believe there will be any rise in energy losses after that mechanized passage-strangulation point is swapped out for a thermally insulated set of plastic panelling.

Mark Connelly
C&M Coolroom Services
Mobile: 0412 536 315

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