the Gap Mind By thorsten Mauritz of Rite-hite europe I

n a world of constant change, one of the few certainties is that the cost of energy is only heading one way.

And with the issue of sustainability now firmly fixed on the boardroom agenda, logistics businesses are not only incentivised to seek ways of reducing wasted energy and maximising energy efficiency on the grounds of cost, but also to meet their environmental responsibilities. Tax hikes in relation to

CO2 emissions are also acting as a catalyst for change. Costly energy losses are hiding

around every corner in an industrial facility. At the loading bay, for example, inefficient exterior doors, trailer door hinge ‘gaps’, and dock leveller ‘gaps’ let valuable energy escape. While each of these ‘gaps’ may appear small in isolation, cumulatively they represent a significant ‘hole’ which, if left unsealed, costs money through increased energy consumption. Further inside the facility, excessive

energy is consumed by an abundance of ineffective floor and ceiling fans. Reducing the number of fans while improving the effectiveness of air

movement can have a major impact on heating and cooling costs. If cold storage is part of the facility, inefficient freezer openings are also a major drain on energy use. The costs can be significant:

estimates vary, but the relatively simple act of sealing the gaps at the loading bay and an exposed leveller pit could mean a potential annual energy saving of anything up to €4,000 per dock position. Proper exterior doors with effective seals and cycle time speeds could save anything up to €6,000 per opening, so the stakes are high. Significant cost savings can also be

realised beyond the loading bay and into the facility itself. Effective interior air movement has a huge impact on heating and cooling, especially in a large facility, and the potential annual energy savings can be anywhere between 20-30 per cent. Freezer/Cooler doors that do not require extensive steps or equipment to help eliminate frost and minimise air

leakage could also save as much as €15,000 per opening! In many cases, the solutions are

simple. Every chink of daylight you see

though the loading bay seal when a vehicle is unloading is costing you money and impacting the internal environment. Poorly installed or maintained insulation on your loading bay doors and pedestrian walkway doors can also be a problem, whereas tracking the efficiency of any refrigerated areas or cooler/freezer areas over time so seals, panels, doors, or units can be flagged when issues arise is also essential. High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) fans

are typically thought of as devices for keeping a facility cool in the hot summer months, but they also play a critical role in maintaining heat in winter. When the air moves in a conical shape, heat not only gets forced back down to where employees and products are, but it also keeps air flow steady throughout the room. Large-bladed fans have the power to move stagnant air approximately 85 ft. in every direction, helping to ensure even temperatures in every corner of a facility.



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