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Industrial flooring for high risk production areas.

Industrial Flooring for High Risk Production Areas

Never has there been such a demand for hygienic economical flooring as now. The dramatic increase in the production of ready-meals has lead to an enhanced awareness of the required flooring standards.

At a time when methods such as modified atmosphere packaging and the use of controlled environments have become the norm, Datum Industrial Flooring can offer the industry a total package of design, supply and installation of no-odour, moisture tolerable systems.

The selection and specification of industrial flooring finishes varies enormously, depending on whether the environment is new-build or the refurbishment of existing premises. However, the final results must always achieve the desired standards, based on the specific needs and the budget available.

Industrial flooring is expensive but so is failure both in hygiene and revenue terms, therefore time spent in the appraisal and selection of details and materials is essential and never wasted.

The key ingredients for successful hygienic flooring for high risk areas are:

1) Low odour products

2) Ability to be installed in damp conditions

3) Steam cleanability

4) Products capable of horizontal and

vertical installation

5) Installation by a materials supplier

with trained and directly employed

labour

6) The installing contractor must have

extensive experience within the food

processing industry.

To provide the required specification, a sound understanding of the manufacturing process must be gained.

The following list provides some of the major items to be assessed:

1) Nature of product being processed

2) Method of processing

3) Spillages of either products or cleaning

solutions and their concentrations

4) Whether the area is a 'wet' area

5) Loading conditions - fork lifts, trolleys

and storage

6) Whether the floor is ground floor or

suspended

7) Surface texture required

8) Cleaning method

9) Type of structure on which finish is

to be applied

10) Thermal shock considerations

11) Life expectancy of installation

12) Time available for installation

All flooring installations are dependent on subfloor preparation, correct material specification and installation by well equipped professionals. It is essential to provide the correct falls to suit the operation and in extremely wet areas, such as utensil wash areas, down falls of 1 in 60 are quite normal for the rapid removal of large volumes of liquid. However, in say a cutting room, falls of 1 in 80 up to 1 in 100 would be more usual. Many articles have been written regarding falls but the precise selection must be determined by the end-user. Floors can be laid to a gradient of 1 in 100 or 1 in 120. However, while these may suit manufacturing processes, they must be considered as gradients where assisted removal of liquid will be necessary. Also at these gradients, some local ponding is possible.

The floor to wall intersections and internal and external angles must be adequately coved and, in some cases, protected by kerbing and dressed and coved, allowing a hygienic bacteria-free junction between the wall and floor finishes.

All floors, either suspended or ground slabs, require some jointing, this being dependent on the method of construction, the loading regime and temperature. All jointings should be made of food-safe compounds.

The investment in industrial flooring need only be a small part of the cost of a high risk processing area but the cost of inferior selection and suspect installation can be costly and disruptive. The solution is to identify the need, specify the solution and get it installed by professionals.

PHOTO : A Datum floor - note attention to wall/floor margins
COPYRIGHT 1991 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Mar 1, 1991
Words:583
Previous Article:New trends and end use-markets for controlled/modified atmosphere packaging.
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