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Rapid roller or strip? Choosing the ideal traffic door

Supplier: Remax Products
20 February, 2014

There are numerous factors involved in selecting the right traffic door for your facility and if you are buying new doors for a whole facility it is a considerable investment. This comparative overview of two popular high-traffic doors will help you invest wisely.

Rapid roller doors

While speed of operation is often a major driver for considering high-speed doors, reliability, a tight seal when closed and in some doors, self-repairing features are also crucial. Unfortunately, in many industries, rapid roll doors have become a byword for exorbitantly high maintenance costs and downtime, due to selection of cheap, poor quality doors.

In many cases, the total-cost-of-ownership of the equipment is many times more than the initial purchase value. That's why it's critical to consider the potential on-going costs associated with each high speed door before you make your decision.

The operational benefits of rapid roller doors (speed, hygiene, energy and temperature control), can quickly be eroded by high cost of operation, downtime and production loss if a poor choice is made at the time of selection. 

However a well-informed rapid door selection decision now stands to provide your business with tangible operational improvements, with potential energy and productivity SAVINGS that could soon repay your investment.

Here're a few considerations to help with your selection process and capital expenditure justification:

  • Are you selecting a door for a high traffic use area? (i.e. 20+ cycles per day)
  • Does your traffic comprise of vehicles? (i.e. forklifts, trucks)
  • Is this doorway to provide a barrier between two zones?
  • Do you need to keep doors closed to meet hygiene requirements?
  • Do you need a tight seal between the two areas the door segregates?
  • Do you have a capital budget allowing $11,000 + per door?

If you have answered yes to all these questions then a rapid roller door is the obvious choice for your doorway.

Rapid roller doors are designed for high traffic areas that demand minimum open time, automatic closure, 'touch-free' operation and a tight seal when closed. The next step is to ensure you select the right high speed door for your application.

Here're a few further considerations:

  • Is it fast? High speed doors need to be able to operate smoothly at speeds of 2.0m/sec +
  • Is it low maintenance? What will the service requirements be? (High speed doors should provide at least 30,000+ cycles between service checks.)
  • What will happen if the door is impacted by a forklift or vehicle? (Insist on a soft-edge curtain design that will relocate automatically after impact.)
  • Does it have a tight seal? The door roll should be covered by a fascia and rear hood and guides should tightly seal to the curtain.
  • Will it function in your environment? Make sure the door is made for the conditions of your warehouse environment. For example: if you need it for cold storage make sure it is designed for that, if it is being used in a hot climate make sure it can handle the heat.
  • Will your supplier provide local service and support? Ensure all parts are available locally, and that your own operators and maintenance team will be provided operational and service/fault training. (Many high speed door suppliers demand costly service call-outs for all service fault finding.)

With these two checklists in mind you should be able to choose the right roller door for your facility. If you answered no to any of the questions above, you may wish to consider a strip door as an economical alternative to high speed doors.

Strip doors

Strip doors are an economical option for high-traffic areas that don't need a tight seal. They are robust and a cost effective way to control airborne pests and moderate temperature. They also come in different strip types, giving them the versatility to be manufactured in an exact fit to each doorframe.

Here is a checklist of considerations to help decide whether strip doors might be the best option for you:

  • Strip doors can be made to fit any size of doorway. Whilst door size may limit some Rapid Roller Doors, by contrast strip doors can be fitted to any opening; large or small.
  • A high traffic doorway. Strip doors are a cost efficient option for many types of traffic. Beware that if personnel are using them, incorrectly specified strips swinging may cause irritation or even harm to those using them.
  • A robust barrier that does not need to be airtight. Strip doors create a barrier against airborne pests and also help with temperature control but won't keep a completely airtight seal.
  • Low cost. If budget is a restraint, strip doors are a fraction of the cost of automatic doors. Consider however, that they're like tyres on your car – the more you use them, the sooner they'll wear out and require replacing.

If those criteria fit your demands then strip doors are worthy of your consideration.