Here at Pro Floor Design, we offer engineered industrial flooring solutions. Drawing from founder Tom Wolski’s deep engineering background, our team tackles industry-specific challenges with customized flooring plans tailored to each project. In that vein, we decided to highlight our approach to different industries in a series of blog posts. This month, we’re focusing on light manufacturing projects for companies like Turfcare, QSR Rubber and Alacriant who all face unique challenges with their flooring.
Industrial manufacturing operations are “light” if they are shaping materials into specific parts for assembly (versus processing raw materials). Good examples of light manufacturing include plants producing medical devices, electronics, automobiles, and more. The plant’s infrastructure faces many demands from heavy point loads, chemical exposure, near constant up-time and traffic, and more. Infrastructure specifications, like flooring, are crucial to optimal production capability for a multitude of reasons.
Here are some insights into our engineered flooring solutions for light manufacturing projects.
The Playing Field
We spend a good deal of time working with our customers to understand their specific requirements and functionality expectations. The key is to ask the right questions to ensure we know as many potential issues – both with installation and with floor function – as possible before beginning the install. This rigorous questioning process informs us on comprehensive needs for industrial flooring solutions. For example, we typically ask for a facilities audit – or something similar – to identify structural issues that could result in a faulty floor. One such issue is a leaking roof. If water drips on the floor during installation, it could cause significant damage and delays. In this instance, we would either work with the client to patch the roof or construct an alternative barrier if patching is not possible.
The Game Plan
Once we have a detailed list of specifications, we analyze the best options available. When more than one approach exists, we provide transparent guidance to the customer as options will typically vary in costs, durability, and features like slip-resistance and cleanability. We use samples to show the differences and give the customer room to choose which option works best for them.
The One & Only
Occasionally, a project has only one feasible flooring solution. When we run into this situation, we walk the customer through our reasoning. For example, a project’s main specification is that the flooring must be resistant to an active chemical – like sulfuric acid. In this instance, the only flooring that is resistant to sulfuric acid is the Novolac system.
We are both sensitive and aware of the significant consideration that scheduling merits to our light manufacturing clients. The flooring solutions that we engineer are designed to limit interruptions to our client’s manufacturing operation. The trick is applying the right system (which can involve several coats and cure times) while limiting the time an area is shut down. We work with the customer to consider options that best suit them. An example of mitigating downtime is starting a few hours early on a Friday and using a fast-cure system. In most circumstances, the floor is serviceable first thing Monday morning.
Because many customers have strict sanitation policies, we take a great deal of care working to understand sources of contamination on each project. Contamination concerns are a two-way street. We need to understand the customer’s process to ensure that our flooring solutions’ chemicals won’t contaminate their product or facility. Secondly, we need to ensure to identify potential sources of contamination in the customer’s process that may affect the quality of the coating. Silicone is a good example a contaminating component which severely damages floors. Only when we are aware of all existing contaminants, can we engineer an optimal system.