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High-speed doors for efficiency

With 15 million slaughtered pigs and 400,000 cut beef in 2010, the family-owned and -operated Tönnies Lebensmittel company is the market leader in Germany and number 3 in Europe. Optimized internal logistics is essential for efficient company operations as well as the prerequisite for the company’s success.

The Tönnies plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany is considered to be Europe’s most modern meat processing plant. Integrated, seamlessly documented inline production under one roof enables Tönnies to produce meat products of the greatest quality and freshness. From slaughtering to cutting and production all the way to sales-ready packaging in one place, the refrigeration and hygiene chain is never interrupted. Achieving such high quality and freshness demands immense discipline as well as powerful technical equipment that works reliably, economically and in compliance with all hygiene regulations. To act efficiently and rapidly, the company’s internal logistics must function completely smoothly. Fast, safe transport of persons and wares from hall to hall plays a decisive role.

To reliably separate or link individual production areas and different temperature areas, numerous high-speed doors are built into the entire building complex. They are also integrated as well as possible into the company’s internal traffic flow in order not to obstruct individual work processes. Reliable opening and closing is just as important as coordinating the doors to meet food industry requirements and guidelines.

Short opening times

When one moves through the different production areas at Tönnies, one crosses through individual halls that are separated by high-speed doors made by Butzbach. The “Novosprint Hygiene” high-speed door was developed especially for the needs of the food industry. Like all Butzbach high-speed doors, the Novosprint Hygiene is based on the horizontal opening principle. Because the two door leaves open laterally, the door opens twice as fast and the entire door height is available to Tönnies employees. This enables rapid, safe through-traffic. “In our company, we must have efficient processes and economic equipment – the doors we have installed to separate the individual hall areas must be reliable and above all, must open and close quickly and safely. Employees should be able to pass through the doors as fast as possible,” says Josef Tillmann, Managing Director of Tönnies, about the challenge. “The Butzbach high-speed door is especially practical because it opens laterally. Employees don’t have to wait until the door has risen to the top,” he continues. Various control options enable the door to be coordinated to the exact requirements of the corresponding area and integrated as well as possible into the company’s internal traffic flow. In some areas, for example, automatic opening and closing via radar motion sensor is essential; in other areas, doors are manually opened through the pushing of a buzzer or pulling on a hand chain. Afterwards, they close automatically.

Particularly when doors separate different temperature areas (e.g. storehouse and processing areas), they may only remain open for as short a period of time as possible: the temperature exchange between the two separate room units and any unnecessary loss of energy must be reliably prevented. Only in the last year were two Butzbach hygiene doors installed in such a sluice area. This has guaranteed reliable operating processes ever since.

Hygiene problems solved

The lateral opening principle of the Butzbach high-speed doors provides a further advantage in hygienically sensitive areas, like here at Tönnies: vertical openings would result in the closing edge of the door having floor contact, which would elevate dirt or splashed water from the floor. Even at the smallest vibration, this residue could be released and fall on the through-traffic, i.e. sensitive goods and/or unpackaged wares being transported through the door. When designing its internal operational processes, Tönnies wanted to prevent this danger from the outset and thus decided on the Novosprint Hygiene high-speed doors. Both door leaves open laterally and allow through-traffic to pass without any danger of contamination. Through their stainless steel construction and closed-pore sealing with other connecting parts, the doors fulfill all applicable food industry guidelines – and are simultaneously unaffected by cleaning agents. The intelligent door construction, including inclined covers that are available in various angles, prevents dirt from accumulating. All covers are easy to dismount for cleaning purposes.

Every Butzbach high-speed door is precision-manufactured down to the millimeter. Various sizes can just as easily be realized as can cutouts for crane tracks or individually opening door leaves. The reduced space needed for the doors (on the side as well as in the lintel area) enables easy installation even in difficult settings as well as optimal use of the room opening. The self-supporting door frame guides the weight over the side door stands into the floor, ensuring that the building statics are hardly affected at all.

Fast, safe opening

Tönnies does not only use the Butzbach high-speed doors in its sensitive meat processing areas. Numerous Novosprint doors can also be found in the company’s conventional warehouse areas, where cartons and other packaging material are stored. This is where Tönnies warehouse employees drive around on platform trucks or forklifts almost every minute. Especially in these highly frequented areas, the horizontal opening principle of the Butzbach high-speed doors is excellent: in contrast to vertically rising doors, fork lift drivers have the entire door height available immediately as they pass through the laterally opening door leaves. The transparent panels at eye level enable continual visual contact even when the door is closed – when the door begins to open, the view extends to the entire door height. Especially in warehouse areas, this enables fast, safe traffic of goods without the danger of collision or running into a door.

Butzbach has already installed over 50 high-speed doors at the Tönnies plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. Fast, safe opening ensures a smooth flow of traffic.

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