SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): What do waste transfer stations have in common with mining operations? Up until the early 1980s, mining operations struggled to find a door solution that could effectively close the extremely large openings that are typical for that application while withstanding the concussion effect of nearby blasting. In 1980, inventor Glenn R. Palmer established the Copper Cliff Door Manufacturing Limited and produced a patented rubber door design (early 1980s) that was the predecessor of modern high-speed, high- performance rubber doors as they are known today. This was the birth of the rubber door as the doorway solution for the intensely demanding mining industry. Within a few short years, Glenn Palmer formed a business partnership that evolved into M & I Doors, the first official manufacturer of rubber doors.1 Shortly after, rubber doors began making their way into other extremely rugged applications such as pulp and paper operations, transportation and railway service, and waste management, for many of the same reasons the mining industry adopted them.
Left: High performance rubber doors are a time-proven solution for high-traffic, and
Right: Fast operating speeds minimize the escape of emissions to the
What Classifies a Door as a High-Performance Door?
According to DASMA (Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association International), doors that are power-operated rolling, folding, or sliding non-residential doors, generally characterized by either 100 or more cycles per day or having an opening speed of 20 or more inches per second, may be classified as high-performance doors.
Typically, they are made-to-order, designed for higher durability, and designed to break away upon equipment impact. In addition, high performance doors include safety features and activations, which make the doors safer for people, equipment, and products to pass through. They are designed with breakaway and self-repairing features for minimal maintenance.2
Why High-Performance Rubber Doors for a Waste Transfer Station?
The fast-operating speeds offered by high-performance rubber doors is the number one reason they are successful within waste transfer station applications. With that, lower maintenance and energy costs along with a reduction in operational downtime fall into place. Let’s hit the main points.
#1: Fast Operating Speeds Promote Odor Emission Control and Energy Cost Savings
Waste transfer stations are usually required to follow government mandates that prevent odor emissions from escaping into the surrounding area where businesses and residents can smell it. Waste transfer station operations could face fines if complaints about odor emissions are filed with the local authorities. High performance rubber doors can open as fast as 64 inches per second as compared to conventional doors at 8 to 12 inches second. This means the door is open just long enough for trucks to enter, then closes quickly to minimize the escape of emissions to the surrounding properties. For heated operations, the faster the door opens and closes, the greater the impact will be on energy cost savings. In addition, rubber doors have, by design, a tight perimeter seal between the rubber curtain and guide tracks, which makes the entire door system more effective for emission and energy control. Most rubber doors come with a lifetime warranty on the rubber curtain, so worries about wear and maintenance on that aspect of the door are eliminated.
#2: Impact-Ability Reduces Operational Downtime
For bustling waste transfer stations, downtime in any aspect of the operation is unacceptable. Amazingly, high-performance rubber doors are impactable by way of a breakaway bottom bar system. If the door is hit, the facility maintenance staff can reset the door in an emergency eliminating a service call to their local service provider, so operations are delayed only as long as it takes to re-set the door, resulting in minimal downtime. If a conventional metal door is hit, it could be inoperable for as long as a few weeks while waiting for repair parts and service to install them. Reduction of downtime alone is a big motivator for specifying products that will support that goal.
#3: Simple Design Supports Minimal Maintenance Requirements
High performance rubber doors are known for their simple, rugged designs and heavy-duty components that withstand the abuse of dirt, dust, rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. The robust nature of these doors allows for maximum “up” time. By design, they have very few moving components, eliminating possible failure points, service calls, and maintenance costs. There are no hinges, cables, drums, rollers, or sections that can trap waste and cause a mechanical failure or eventually wear out. Some models are available with a direct drive, springless design for the very minimum of moving parts. Let’s not forget about the obvious start of the product in the first place: the extremely tough, reinforced ¼” thick SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber) curtain material. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), and MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration approved) self-extinguishing rubber curtain materials are also available as options by most manufacturers. Even where wind load and pressure differential are concerns, high-performance rubber doors are highly stable on their own. For locations where higher wind load/pressure resistance is needed, a weighted bottom bar or even a wind bar are options for added stability.
And for safety, a reversing edge on the bottom bar automatically reverses the door if it contacts an obstruction while closing. Optional windows are usually available if visibility is desired while the door is in the closed position. For door activation, many options such as pull cords, remote control, induction loop detectors, and laser/infrared sensors may be incorporated with a high-performance rubber door system to fully automate operations.
High-performance rubber doors are impactable and may be re-set quickly to avoid downtime.
A Proven Solution
High performance rubber doors were invented just in time to be allies with extreme industrial applications. These products are a time-proven solution for high-traffic, challenging doorways, while fast operating speeds and clever repairability contribute to greater productivity, reduced energy expenditures, and significant maintenance cost savings. When combining these desired benefits with their rugged, no-nonsense appeal, you will find high performance rubber doors for waste transfer stations are well worth consideration.
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