Cold storage facilities are a beehive of activity, with material-handling vehicles and workers keeping raw materials and finished foods continuously moving through them, 24/7. Doors that separate refrigerated from non-refrigerated areas are where people and equipment come together hundreds of times per day – and that’s why high-performance door safety is critically important.
Here are some key safety and singling features that you should consider when specifying high-performance doors for your cold storage facilities:
Standard safety features
Door activation sensors
Door activation sensors detect people and equipment in or near the doorway and signal the door to either start or stop opening or closing or activate a visual or audio warning to stay clear of the door. They are available in several formats, including in-floor loop, motion and presence detection sensors.
Rytec offers LZR®-WIDESCAN to enable facility owners to customize the detection areas adjacent to the doorway. This helps to ensure that foot traffic near the door is consistently detected.
Safety light systems
These systems provide visual indicators near the door – such as a flashing amber light or flashing red strips projected onto the floor across the threshold – that warn nearby workers that the door panel is about to move.
The Rytec Pathwatch® and Pathwatch® II Safety Light Systems are customizable safety communication platforms that are designed to increase both door activity awareness and threshold safety. Unlike conventional warning lights, they are designed to attract attention from multiple angles or directions of travel — critical for busy cold storage facilities with frequent door open/close cycles.
Flexible bottom edge
Doors equipped with this feature can easily flex around obstructions and help prevent potential entrapment. It also reduces the chance of worker injuries and damaged loads. A flexible edge also means that the bottom edge of the door moves out of the way if struck by a material-handling vehicle or worker, without damaging the door.
Reversing bottom edge
When sensors located along the bottom edge of the door detect an obstruction, the door automatically reverses to prevent accidents and injuries.
Break-away bottom bar
Some high-performance fabric doors can take a hit from a forklift or other equipment and break away to reduce damage to the door, equipment and workers. Instead of absorbing the force of the impact, the door panel lifts out of the door tracks and moves out of the way without being damaged.
Rytec fabric doors equipped with its proprietary Quick-Set™ Break-Away™ tabs allow the bottom bar to separate from the side columns undamaged. The door can also be reset without tools in just seconds, helping to minimize costly downtime.
In addition to these features, which are standard on Rytec doors used in cold storage environments, these options can help you to further increase safety for your material handling equipment and workers:
Warning lights alert forklift truck operators and pedestrians that the door is in motion and that they should stay clear of it. The Rytec System 4® controller includes a wide variety of configurable signaling outputs that cold storage operators can define based on their specific traffic interaction needs. Options supported include:
- Traffic lights: red/yellow/green
- Traffic lights: red/green
- Strobe lights
- Rotating lights
This adjustable timer alerts nearby traffic to the amount of time that remains before the door begins closing. Like a street pedestrian crosswalk with a countdown timer, it helps nearby workers to make better-informed judgments about the door’s status.
One popular option for the high-performance doors of cold storage facilities is heated blowers. They help minimize temperature exchange while the door is open and keep the door running smoothly by reducing the likelihood of frost build-up.
Audible alert system
An audible alert system stores and plays back pre-recorded or user-created messages that can be played during various door activities, such as “Attention: this door is about to close, please clear the doorway.” Nearly any caution or warning message is possible.