Maximizing Efficiency and Safety with Automated Doors in Commercial and Industrial Settings

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Business owners and facility managers know they must prioritize efficiency and safety while still finding ways to remain competitive. Many companies today turn to automated doors as a way to achieve this goal. They are becoming very common in commercial and industrial settings. Customers will see them in retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing plants, and warehouses. When an organization opts for automated doors, it sees improvements in workflow, energy savings, and risk mitigation. How do the doors accomplish these goals?

Improved Workflow Efficiency

Automated Industrial Doors streamline workflows while improving overall efficiency. Workers won’t need to free up their hands to open or close doors. Retail stores and office building managers find workers aren’t the only ones who benefit from the addition of these doors. Customers and visitors find it easier to move between spaces when they are installed. Manually opening and closing doors can lead to bottlenecks and slow the movement of foot traffic.

Automated doors have either motion sensors or door activation switches. They allow people to transition between areas with less effort. This means there will be fewer disruptions and people can accomplish more in less time. Very few industries see the benefits of automated doors as clearly as warehouses.

Warehouse owners and managers often integrate automated doors with material handling systems, production lines, or other automated processes. When they do so, people can easily move throughout the facility. Nobody will need to get down from a machine to open a door or call another worker away from what they are doing to open the door for them. Employees can quickly transfer goods throughout the facility with no interruptions linked to manual doors. Product cycle times decrease dramatically when the warehouse installs automated doors, throughput improves, and the overall productivity of the organization increases. 

Energy Savings

When workers leave doors open, they disrupt the climate of the building. Installing automated doors may lead to significant energy savings. The building interior will remain at the desired temperature, the humidity level will be kept in check, and the air quality of the facility will improve. Organizations with ample foot traffic see the biggest savings when installing these doors, as manual doors would often be left open or ajar. Conditioned air would then escape the building, forcing the HVAC system to work harder. 

Install advanced sensors and control systems along with the doors to see greater savings. Certain door systems today are designed to monitor foot traffic in an area and adjust the door movements accordingly. For example, when foot traffic is high, such as when there is a shift change and many workers are moving around simultaneously, the door would stay open more often, allowing the workers to move about unimpeded. When foot traffic slows, the system could then close the doors to conserve energy, only opening them when someone approaches.

Many doors on the market today incorporate energy-efficient features. Automated doors, for instance, often have motors, sensors, and control components designed to use minimal energy so a company can save even more. When added to the energy savings seen with improved climate control, a company will find it sees a significant reduction in its overall energy consumption, which means its bottom line will improve. 

Improved Safety

However, efficiency gains are only part of the equation. Installing automated doors also increases safety in a facility. Manual doors put humans at risk of collisions, slip-and-fall accidents, and more. Anyone who has ever had their hand caught in a door knows how painful this can be. Automated doors reduce the risk of that happening and come equipped with many other safety features today.

One safety feature found on most automated doors today is motion sensors or presence detectors. Either device will detect when a person or object is in the door’s path and alter the door’s movement. If a person or object is trapped in the door, the door will open to allow them to enter or exit. When the door is closing and a person or object is detected, the door stops until the path is clear. However, this is only one safety feature a person might wish to consider investing in. 

Consider purchasing a door with a soft-close mechanism. This device adjusts the door’s closing speed so there won’t be a sudden impact. A warehouse or facility owner might choose to purchase doors that will separate hazardous or environmentally controlled areas from other parts of the building. Doing so helps to prevent contaminants from spreading throughout the building. It also helps contain any risks. A facility manager or owner can program the doors to close automatically in the event of a fire, chemical spill, or other catastrophe. Shutting the doors will seal off the affected area while helping protect workers and the company’s other assets. 

Selecting an Automated Door

With so many automated door options today, it can be difficult to know which one is right for a building. There is no single door that will work for every facility or store. Before looking at door options, learn the specific requirements and characteristics of the building. Characteristics and requirements to know include the layout of the building, the size, and operational demands. If there are any specific safety concerns, these need to be known before shopping for a door, as well.

Talk with automated door vendors and installation professionals to help narrow the available choices. They will be of great help in determining the best solution. Door size and weight play a role in the choice as do safety features. Learn the opening and closing speed of each door and whether these speeds can be adjusted. Ask about energy efficiency features and whether the door will integrate with other building automation systems.

Don’t overlook maintenance requirements when choosing a door as well as operational requirements. Doors need to be regularly inspected to confirm they work properly, and a maintenance schedule needs to be established and followed. If any problems are detected, they must be addressed promptly to guarantee the door works when needed.

Automated doors provide many benefits. However, the right door must be selected to see these benefits. Ask for help if needed to ensure it is, and you will have a safer, more productive environment for all who use the building.

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