Monday 24th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Accessing all areas

Having to have four walls and a roof on a warehouse is a needless expense – or it would be if it was not for bad weather and criminals. If there was some other way of protecting goods from those two problems, ProLogis would not bother with the building envelope. We would rent companies just the land and the infrastructure. Having accepted the importance of walls and a roof, there is another consideration – how to let tenants’ in and out through the walls while stopping both thieves and rain.

That is where Hörmann UK’s doors come into play. Coalville-based Hörmann supplies the loading bay equipment and level access doors for all of ProLogis’ distribution centres nationwide. Hörmann makes various components for doors and loading bay equipment. It also makes its own operators and control boxes.

With security on everyone’s minds, Hörmann’s standard anti-theft measure is a mechanical latching device – a ladder rack. Anyone trying to lift the door with a crowbar when it is in the “down” position will lock the door tighter as the teeth dig in to the ladder rack. Doors also have shoot bolts: horizontal latching devices that lock into the frame.

Money is a great test of mettle and Hörmann’s doors receive an excellent insurance rating. Hörmann learnt from its work in the residential market. Security in house-building is more in the forefront of designers’ minds than it is in shed builders’ minds – household garages house more expensive items than they used to, such as washing machines, expensive bicycles and even their fine wines.

Hörmann’s steel hinged doors are difficult to break into because of the rebate around the door, the security bolts that latch into the frame and also their multi-point panic latching systems. Fire doors have an ordinary panic bar – the one that often comes with the amusing notice “This door is alarmed”. More than that, Hörmann’s doors are thermally insulated, keeping heat in and cold out. Hörmann’s sectional doors come with double-skinned, hot galvanised steel panel sections that are either 375, 500, 625mm or 750mm high and are thermally insulated and in-filled with CFC-free PU foam. The overall thickness is 42m.

Another bonus against bad weather is that the doors are polyester prime coated. They can include acrylic double-glazed panel windows 16mm thick complete with aluminium extruded framework as standard. And they have a control system that has a circuit board integrated in the motor, which is ready to plug in with an Open-Stop-Close membrane keypad. For emergency access, they come with a hand chain. As well as making its doors weatherproof and burglar-proof, the company also has to make reliable, easy-to-use and easy-to-maintain dock levellers to allow lorries to load and unload at the bays.

Hörmann supplies all of ProLogis’ dock levellers. These are the Dynaseal brand which Hörmann amalgamated with in 2004. Hörmann’s UK commercial director Alan Jenkins maintains that Hörmann chose Dynaseal for quality of build and thickness of material used. They are also easy to maintain and require a periodic inspection of the hydraulic reservoir and checking the hoses.

Our ProShed build process promises sheds in just 50 working days. Hörmann can meet the ProShed schedule because of its efficient and flexible manufacturing process. Hörmann also produces its own pre-cast concrete, which is tailor-made to suit ProShed.

As well as the doors, Hörmann provides an exclusive maintenance deal. It is a three-year, free maintenance period for ProLogis tenants. For us, it means a single source supply and, for the tenants free maintenance for three years. The single source supply also avoids the need for talks with contractors on alternatives. However, the deal with Hörmann is not restrictive. If we get customers with their own specific needs and with other suppliers, then we are quite happy to incorporate those.

Ken Hall is senior vice president at ProLogis Developments. T: 0121 224 8700.