What to Consider When Selecting an Industrial Door Solution

Neil Stott

April, 2020

Your warehouse manager comes into your office and says, “you’ve got to come out to the warehouse and see this!”

A group of fork truck drivers is looking at one of your dock doors that is laying on the floor. A truck was backing into your dock and the wind blew one of the swing doors on the trailer open and it speared all five sections of your dock door. You need to get your building secured and get a new door now!

When a Robert Dietrick Company service technician or sales representative comes to your facility to assess the damage and measure for a new door, it’s fairly obvious what you need, since there are thirty or forty other dock doors of the same size and lift configuration. But what if the door you need to be replaced is an interior door?

This will require us to ask several questions which will help us suggest the best possible type of door:

  • What type of traffic goes through this opening?
  • People, pallet jacks, fork trucks?
  • What is the frequency, or how many cycles per hour?
  • Is there a need for temperature separation, security restrictions from one side of the door to the other?
  • Is a fire rating required?

There are some key differences to know between various doors. Both a motor-operated standard sectional door or a rolling steel door move at between 8” to 12” per second. This means a 10’ high door will take 10 to 15 seconds to open, and 10 to 15 seconds to close. For safety reasons, no door or motor operator manufacturer will recommend speeding the door up by changing to a different sprocket. There are some rolling steel door manufacturers that offer a “higher-speed” door, but they come with a much higher price tag.

High-Speed Fabric Door Solution

 Alternatively, there are “high-speed fabric doors.” These doors travel at between 40” to 100” per second. Most are impactable, and some will repair themselves by re-feeding the curtain back into the guides automatically on the next cycle. These doors typically cost significantly more than a standard sectional door, but ROI will show short payback time periods. In cases where separating temperature is critical, getting the door open and closed in the least amount of time will impact the cost of cooling the space.

 Another topic to consider is activation. How do you want to get the door open? There are simple push buttons, pull cords and radio controls for the sectional and rolling steel doors. There are, also, motion detectors, photo eyes, and lasers that can activate a door. Most high-speed doors close with a re-close timer. There are many options available, and RDC is here to help you make the best possible decision.

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