HIGH SPEED: Rite-Hite’s FasTrax FR High Speed-High Performance Door is the energy efficient way to handle tough cooler and freezer applications.
New doors can pay for themselves in two years.
Warehouse managers have a myriad of choices when it comes to choosing dock and interior doors. Selecting the right door depends on environmental factors such as the temperature, humidity and pressure of where the door is intended for, as well as the traffic volume and size of the equipment moving through the doors.
Milwaukee-based Rite-Hite Doors Inc. has designed a door it says will meet the needs of almost any application. By choosing the right accessories, FasTrax doors can be configured to easily match virtually any interior, exterior or cold storage industrial door application.
Basic components of FasTrax include a 2-HP motor, unique drive system and powder coated aluminum side frames. From there, users choose options to customize it.
Among the options is a selection of upper track configurations, including a radial lift, which puts the door header directly above the door; a standard lift for low ceilings; a high-lift for routing over obstructions; and a vertical lift for routing the door directly above the door opening.
With its highly customizable features, the FasTrax is an ideal candidate for applications where unique installation challenges exist.
An air door works well in high traffic zones because there is no physical door between the two areas. Instead, it uses recirculated air to maintain the temperature on either side.
Ray Stahnke, account manager for Randall Mfg. of Elmhurst, IL, explains how the Insul-Air cold storage air door works.
“The door is engineered with a horseshoe shaped square ductwork that goes around the door opening,” says Stahnke. “One of the side columns discharges air, while the other column intakes. It creates a plane of air current.”
The InsulAir door is 80 to 84 percent efficient at separating the two temperature zones.
“You can argue a solid door is more efficient, but that’s only when it is closed,” says Stahnke. “When the door is open the efficiency is zero because when forklifts drive through, they drag tailwind behind them. In an application where one room is 54 degrees and the other is 40 degrees, this system will cost more to chill the 40-degree side. But the air door is always running, providing a barrier, which seals up as the forklift passes through.”
Air doors require minimal maintenance because there is no surface for forklifts to collide with and there are no moving parts other than the motor that spins the fan.
When selecting the right door for you application, it is important to consider the maintenance required. Downtime equals money lost, so it is imperative that the door be reliable and durable.
“The only thing on an air door to break down is the motor, and if that happens it is easily replaced,” says Randall Mfg.’s Stahnke. “And no matter what the door is always open, allowing traffic to flow through, whereas if a physical door breaks, you may not have any access to that part of the warehouse.”
Jon Schumacher, director of marketing for Rite-Hite Doors Inc., says Rite-Hite looked at what made high-speed doors complicated and took most of those moving parts out.
“The only maintenance required with the FasTrax is lubricating the side frame twice a year,” says Schumacher.
Interior doors often fall victim to forklift collisions. Kurt Angermeier, vice president of marketing for Rytec Doors, Jackson, WI, says if longevity is a priority, look for doors that take impact without costing a lot to repair. Rytec was the first to introduce the breakaway bottom on its interior rolling doors.
With this feature, if the door is hit the bar breaks free, fabric flexes, and the operator motor automatically shuts off. The bar is easily reset without tools, and the door is restored within minutes.
Today’s motorized door manufacturers are committed to helping their customers achieve environmental sustainability. Many energy providers give rebates to companies that install equipment that pays for itself in energy savings within two to four years. Rytec offers a variety of doors that meets that window.
Rytec’s Angermeier says most of the energy saved comes from how well the freezer is sealed off. Rytec’s Turbo-Seal Insulated has a 1-inch thick insulated panel with a Rilon inner core, closed-cell foam outer layers and no heat-sealed pockets, stitching, spun insulation or quilted pads.
“The door saves so much energy, it’s virtually free,” says Angermeier. “In two years the door will pay for itself. It’s alarming when people find out how much they’ve wasted with their current doors that allow cold air to go down the dock and right out the window.”
The cold storage and food distributor sector can greatly benefit from energy saving doors, and all the major door manufacturers can help you calculate the ROI.