When it comes to food safety there is no room for slacking. No matter how complex of a supply chain you operate product safety and quality standards need to be followed to perfection. Serco can help you by sealing your loading dock and sheltering your resources.
There has been quite a bit of chatter lately and the acronym BRC has been thrown around between trade shows, news articles and the like.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) was set up in surprise surprise…Britain, back in 1998. This global standard is a benchmark program by which entry is based on certification; the program was in response to industry needs. BRC stands tall at the head of the product safety table, being that it is the world’s largest quality standard certifier.
So what has Britain and global standards got to do with your loading dock?
Aha! This is where things get interesting. You see loading docks can be either the beginning of a very beautiful supply chain story or, well quite frankly, a nightmare. If you have everything in order at your cold storage facility and you use the correct equipment you are sure to participate in a successful supply chain that meets high standards of quality. Of course the latter is ever more important where food is concerned.
Why a Serco dock seal is your loading dock’s cup of tea.
To get your loading dock in shape and up to those high standards required to achieve certification, you need to ensure that the elements and white light stays outside. This means sealing your loading dock with a system that works consistently.
Look no further than the Guardian Foam Dock Seal from Serco.
- Two piece moveable head pad system with sliding front pad increases durability.
- Galvanized steel backing and 25 oz vinyl.
- The unique design enables the seal to move vertically with a vehicle, ultimately extending the life of your dock seal.
- It can slide up to six inches, shifting with the vehicle up or down depending on the various weight loads on each trailer.
- Only the strongest materials are used to design this dock seal.
At Serco, our engineers seek out solutions that will increase operational efficiency and energy-savings; some might say it’s our forte. While others suggest they have similar or even equally durable seals, this is just not the case. Features like ‘Galvanized Steel Backing on Head and Side Pads’ reduces pressure on the building wall yet offers extreme strength and resilience. Hence, offering customers a means of choosing a product that lasts much, much longer than a regular run-of-the-mill seal.
This Serco seal also offers self-drilling screws that go through washers to provide an absolutely secure attachment of the sliding wear pleat system.
Just as the Brits know good Bangers n’ Mash, Serco knows good Seals n’ Shelters.
So before jumping into the BRC certification process, pick up the phone and call 1-800-933-4834 or shoot one of our seal guys or gals, an email. Our Dock Seal and Shelter Specialists have the experience and know-how to help you equip your facility adequately so you can be on the road to BRC Global Standard 7th Heaven.
“Where the heck do you think you’re off to?” said the loading dock to the trailer.
Loading dock ramps come in a variety of sizes and designs with varied capacity and capabilities depending on the application. Most loading dock ramp designs are a slope. The slope is generally a ratio of 1:12, rise: run or in other words a right angle so it is highly likely that your loading dock needs trailer restraints.
Visualize this, a large trailer, a ramp and wet slick conditions, sounds like a recipe for a serious disaster, right? Unfortunately when a trailer is not tightly secured during loading and unloading at the loading dock, the trailer can ‘creep’. Creep refers to the movement of the trailer away from the loading dock. This is extremely dangerous and has the potential to cause serious accidents.
Traditionally, wheels were ‘chocked’ which meant small pieces of rubber were placed in front of the trailers wheels somewhat like a wedge in order to prevent the wheel from edging forward or creeping forward. Now as you can imagine, a little rubber wedge isn’t going to stop a massive moving trailer from taking off should its driver decide to do so.
Restraining your vehicle with confidence.
Serco offers its customers a variety of options when it comes to restraint systems and dock safety equipment. Just take a look at the PitBull® Safety-Loc® Vehicle Restraint, these popular and effective truck restraints engages a trailer’s rear impact guard and secures it to prevent creep and early departure and increasing safety at the loading dock. This loading dock restraint is available in a variety of options (powered and non-powered) so it can be configured to suit any application.
The Serco Safety-Loc SLP Restraint is controlled hydraulically and this truck restraint is recessed inside the dock wall, making it the perfect restraint for colder climates. It is installed under the dock leveler in the pit and when it is retracted the front of the loading dock is clear so say for example, it was snowing, cleanup by snow plows and the like would not be impeded buy this restraint.
Relying on rubber wheel chocks which depend heavily on trusting loading dock procedures and safety measures are always adhered too, is not fool proof. While wheel chocks rely on gravity and friction to create an obstruction, restraints such as the ones mentioned above provide strong, reliable security every time.
Communicating engagement between the trailer and the loading dock operators.
Serco Restraints feature visual communication systems, LED lights that identify whether or not the trailer is engaged. This system alone increases loading dock safety by keeping communication between the trailer and the loading dock workers open at all times during loading and unloading.
As of January 1, 1998 and thanks to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration all semi-trailers must be equipped with rear impact guards following these guidelines:
- Maximum 22” off of grade
- Minimum 4”x 4”
- Must be capable of 5” inward flex for energy absorption
Protect your loading dock workers from avoidable accidents caused by trailer ‘creep’ and early departure today with a vehicle restraint system!
Contact one of our loading dock specialists at: 1-800-933-4834 or simply visit our Website to request additional information.
- On average Americans lose 214 minutes of power every year
- In 2006 and 2007 there were a total of 160 major power outages
- The cost associated with these outages range as high as $157,269 in the Primary Metal Industry
What happens when the ‘juice’ is out at the loading dock?
Just look at what happened in August of 2003. According to CNN, millions remember this historic blackout. It is estimated that 50 million people lost power in Canada and eight of the northeastern states in the U.S. The effects power outages have on residential areas is devastating enough, but think about the damage loss of power takes on businesses, particularly businesses in the supply chain.
The loading dock is the beginning of many supply chains. The loading dock leveler is therefore an extremely important piece of equipment. If the power goes out and your dock levelers do not operate, loads are sure to build up fast. This can cause a ripple effect on supply chains and end up costing huge amounts of money in lost time.
Stock up on reassurance with plan ‘B’
You know who laughs when you try to plan for plans, right? No one, no one who knows anything about supply chain management and logistics that is! Smart supply chain managers know you should always have a plan in place. It should be thought of as your go-to tool in the event of a power outage. Warehouse equipment and the type of dock leveler you install should also be a well-thought out decision.
Take a look at this dock leveler.
The Serco PAL® Power-Assisted Dock Leveler is absolutely ideal for those of you who want extra reassurance. The reassurance of knowing that a power outage will not stop your supply chain dead in its tracks is priceless. The PAL Serco dock leveler uses two types of technology, mechanical and hydraulic. During a power outage, you can continue to operate the dock leveler mechanically, so that you can complete the loading cycle and secure your facility or continue to operate, though at a slower pace, regardless of weather disturbance, power interference or any other externality that contributes to power loss.
While experts continue to stress that the nation’s grid is growing more and more unreliable every day, supply chain managers should stock up on reassurance.
For more information on the Serco PAL POWER-ASSISTED LEVELER call one of our dock leveler specialists today at 1-800-933-4834 or click here
to request further information
Automating a process involves an electronic device or a mechanical device replacing human labor. Automation hype and robots taking over human jobs are popular topics in the media. Whether you’re an early adopter or a “what the heck is this new gadget” type of guy or girl, one thing we can all agree on is improving a process. When the improvement can be proved, of course! Like fan automation.
Picture this: a 15,000 sq. ft. warehouse in mid-summer, humid conditions. You need to keep your warehouse cool enough so employees can work safely. You want to achieve these results without running your HVAC unit overtime and guzzling energy. So you purchase the most energy efficient large fans available, 30 High Volume Low Speed fans. HVLS fans are a great addition to any large facility or warehouse, they move air far more efficiently compared to other industrial fans. Serco’s Velocity HVLS large fans are an energy efficient supplement to expensive HVAC systems and support sustainability efforts.
Perfect, so you are on your way to a more comfortable and efficient environment. Now just imagine how much time, how many labor hours it requires for you to manage each fan’s settings on a daily basis. What if I said you could control your network of fans through a touch screen computer?
I bet you wouldn’t mind handing that responsibility over to the world of automation.
iFAN™ by Serco® can take you out of the business of managing fans and put you back into doing what you do best, managing your facility.
The 23-inch touch screen computer allows users to easily monitor and adjust all large fan operations. Navigation buttons provide access to operating parameters, temperature or time settings and fan diagnostics. Being technology driven, iFan by Serco can be installed on your iPad or other tablets which can then be used as remote controls in conjunction with the main screen with similar functionality.
Talk about automating your way to simplicity.
- With iFAN you can control one fan, a zone of fans or a selected group of fans.
- Using a centralized interface and built-in web view software you can manage multiple fans from a remote location.
- Fan operation can be programmed to react to date and time, temperature setting/variance and also interconnect to fire suppression systems.
The system also boasts reporting tools:
- Performance metrics for each fan, zone and facility.
- Metrics can be archived and reviewed for trend analysis and adjustments.
Okay so iFAN doesn’t look or sound like a bot but it has got automation down. The only problem you will be left with after installing the iFAN system to control your HVLS fans is what to do with all of your (new) free time.
In the spirit of the manufacturing industry, I suppose you could go manufacture something.
Get the ‘how-to’ on controlling your HVLS fans with iFAN here or talk with one of our ‘human’ iFAN experts at 1-800-933-4834
Sudden turbulent weather begs the question, what’s with the forecast? One minute we’re expecting rain or snow and the next thing you know, the sunroof’s open and you’re taking off your sweater. Never mind all the bugs that seem to go hand-n-hand with unpredictable weather, another factor for concern, employee comfort. In large facilities that house heavy, next generations machines it can be a challenge to keep workers comfortable without racking up energy bills due to HVAC units working overtime. Serco® High Volume Low Speed Fans significantly improve employee comfort, while also reducing energy costs.
Kelley VELOCITY fans move more air for less.
By working to increase sustainability initiatives and reducing energy consumption, these large fans make existing HVAC systems more efficient. Serco VELOCITY fans can help to regulate your facility’s temperature year-round from floor to ceiling. Allowing for a 3 and 5 degrees increase or decrease in thermostat temperature setting without any negative temperature change to the facility. Managing the internal temperature creates an opportunity to increase energy savings by 4 % per degree change.
At Serco, it’s not just about engineering a fix, something that merely gets the job done. No, our engineers work tirelessly to produce the best solutions so that our customers can enjoy the best results. One such customer was delighted to report back to Serco that his facility had experienced a 30 percent increase in breeze compared to their earlier HVLS fan.
Read more about this happy Serco VELOCITY HVLS fan customer.
Freeman Exhibit Services prides itself on creating one-of-a-kind environments for conventions and expos throughout the country. A few years ago they decided to add a High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) fan to their facility in Dallas, Texas, to help regulate the temperature and keep workers comfortable. When the time came to add more fans to their 85,000 square-foot distribution center located in Dallas, Texas, Operations Manager Bill Carmickle did his research. Although, he was happy to go with an HVLS fan again, he wanted to know if there was a more efficient version available compared to the one he was currently using in his facility. He had one main objective:
Cooling down his facility efficiently and cost effectively. The Freeman distribution center was constantly active and full of workers. Combine this energy with heavy operating equipment and the sweltering heat of a Texas summer, and things heat up fast. Carmickle visited Serco’s manufacturing facility in Carrollton, Texas to see how their HVLS fans measured up to the competition. After demonstrating the fan’s effectiveness using smoke testing and airflow analysis, Carmickle was able to see for himself the science behind the Velocity’s design. He returned to his office to justify his new purchase to upper management. Again, it was the “horizontial floor jet” and benefits such as its ability to efficiently cool large areas, which sealed the deal for Carmickle and his team.
- Move more air. Freeman stated a perceived 30% increase in breeze compared to their earlier HVLS fan. The breeze is mainly due to the horizontal floor jet as it creates a slow-moving air mass which effectively circulates air in large areas.
- Move more air for less. The HVLS fan reduced Freeman’s energy consumption by working with the HVAC system, allowing the facility’s thermostat to be raised by three to five degrees. Creating a potential energy savings of four percent per degree change.
According to Carmickle, the HVLS fans “help keep the guys cooler and help keep us working longer hours during the hottest parts of the day.”
Keeping ‘the guys’ cooler. Essentially, this should be any facility manager’s main goal. Keeping employees’ cooler will certainly cut back on the potential for heat stress. Consequently, it will increase your employee’s production levels.
The HVLS fan was designed to create a comfortable work environment while keeping facilities running as energy efficiently as possible. Serco VELOCITY large industrial ceiling fans can increase employee comfort and reduce costs. The term ‘turbulent’ is now commonly used to describe not only the weather but also our economy. It is up to management to ensure our workplaces are safe and comfortable. In doing so, it is an added bonus to realize an additional benefit, or a savings or two.
For more information on the Serco VELOCITY series of HVLS industrial large fans contact one of our fan experts today at 1-800-933-4834
There is an adage that goes like, ““Life is 10% of What Happens to Me and 90% of How I React to It,” Charles R. Swindoll. This is also very true of supply chains. Increases in demand cause sudden impactful changes that ripple through the supply chain. Hydraulic equipment offers customers strength, safety, durability and the ability to react efficiently to increased activity at the loading dock. With technology rapidly evolving and digital consumerism on the rise, supply chain managers must invest in their ability to react. Rather than be left behind and face falling into the ecommerce shadows.
There is a new supply chain model around town that demands same day delivery, drop shipping, operates with multichannel retailers and would cause any out-of-date loading dock to shake in its boots. Amazon continues to grow, earlier this year announcing plans to build three new distribution centers in Texas, generating 1,000 new jobs in that state alone. It looks like the Seattle-based firm will continue to build massive distribution facilities to reach local online shoppers.
Other large retailers are sure to follow in Amazon’s footsteps as a result of this global e-commerce boom. So how does one retool the insides of distribution centers to meet the heightened demand, custom to this new supply chain model?
Start at the onset. The dock leveler can be the beginning of a beautiful story or an unraveling mess.
Yes, this is a key point in supply chain management. The moment a product is loaded from a warehouse into a trailer and passes over a loading dock is pertinent to its success. If something goes wrong here, it can, and will have a disastrous domino effect on your entire chain. Instead, choose a dock leveler that you can trust, time and time again. Choose the latest technology, from the dock leveler frame to dock leveler parts so you can rest assured you are ahead of the game. Serco hydraulic dock levelers are installed in thousands of high-volume loading docks worldwide, delivering outstanding performance for strength, safety, and durability.
HL Series Hydraulic Dock Leveler
This is Serco’s base model featuring HYDRA MAX® a powered out and powered in lip, this dock leveler can be activated with a single-push button. Automating a process increases efficiency and improves loading dock safety. Other features include regenerative Hydraulics, button control, safety velocity fuse, the exclusive SafeTFrame® design and much more.
HFC Hydraulic Dock Leveler
This HFC hydraulic dock leveler takes automation a step further. It’s a pit-style leveler with CLEAN FRAME® design, weatherseal and grease fittings. The control panel offers a mushroom-style stop button for increased safety. This is hydraulic automation at its best, with the added benefit of the quick-cycle lip’s ability to extend and automatically return-to-dock. It’s hard to beat this hydraulic dock leveler when it comes to performance.
HD Series Heavy Capacity Hydraulic Dock Leveler
This HD Series leveler also comes with CLEAN FRAME and HYDRA MAX. If you are moving large, heavy product then you need this dock leveler. From the auto industry that ships and receives heavy parts to the paper industry that can deal with heavy and unusually wide loads, this leveler is ideal. This dock leveler is also capable of handling high volume. So it can keep going well after you are ready to clock-off. It’s available with two main and lip hydraulic cylinders, five-position rear hinge with steel bushings and velocity fuse safety system. The full control panel has a mushroom-style stop button boasting a quick-cycle lip extend and auto return-to-dock.
VERSADOCK™ Hydraulic Dock Leveler
Serco’s VERSADOCK is the big dog around town. It is THE leveler for handling conventional loads in addition to high-cube, below-dock also known as low-boy loading. Thanks to air-ride suspensions, high-capacity “low-boy” trailers and the increasingly popular low-profile tires, truck bed heights are extended beyond the 12” reach of most other levelers. This can make unloading/loading impossible in some cases. Same applies to the wider trailer widths that are becoming more and more common. Averaging 8’ 6”, compared to the conventional 7’ 0”. Wider levelers make it near impossible to maneuver a forklift and when handlers attempt to "cube out" the trailer, loads are often impossible to end-load without the use of dedicated docks or expensive truck-leveling devices. This level goes above and beyond the norm to move your product efficiently without any interference.
So give the “90% reaction” 100 percent of your devotion by nurturing your supply chain from the early phase. By ensuring that your loading dock is equipped with powerful modern equipment such as Serco dock levelers you’re sure to save on possible loading dock holdups. Holdups that could cost your supply chain in lost time and other damages.
To find out about more about Serco and Hydraulic Dock Levelers click here.
Valentine’s Day may well have come and gone but love is still in the air on the loading dock and it comes in shape of a vertical dock leveler and a TKO Dock Door. As you may well know, relationships that work best are the ones where both individuals are most compatible. Funnily enough, this is also true of your loading dock equipment. Take, for example, VERTICOOL® by TKO. Designed to match perfectly with a vertical dock leveler, some might say, a match made in heaven.
To understand the inn’s and outs of this fitting pair, first we must take a look at the vertical dock leveler, individually.
The VSL Vertical Storing Dock Leveler was designed by Serco engineers to meet the biggest challenges that face companies in industries such as food, beverage and pharmaceutical. These industries come with the highest requirements for cleanliness at the loading dock and inside the warehouse. Sustaining a clean, energy-efficient warehouse environment is paramount when the product is something as sensitive as food or pharmaceuticals.
It is imperative for the dock doors in these facilities to close snugly and tightly against the floor. Leaving no gaps or open spaces under doors this not only accounts for energy savings but it also works to keep rodents and other harmful debris outside where they belong.
That’s why thousands count on the Vertical Storing Dock Leveler for unequalled environmental control along with safe, secure performance, day after day. The very fact that this leveler is stored inside the building means dock doors can be closed securely against the warehouse floor.
Now we move over to the other half of this perfect duo, the VertiCool dock door.
This VertiCool dock door was specifically designed with a vertical dock leveler in mind. It answers the demand for a cost-effective and energy-efficient dock door for use in Vertical Storing Dock Leveler applications. It is more effective than a standard sectional door and less expensive than a Vertical Rise Freezer Door.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty, though, the benefits of this door are endless. The 4” thick closed cell XEPS foam panel boasts an R-23 for superior thermal protection. With 48” panels compared to the industries 24” standard, there are a reduced number of panel joints. A reduced number of panel joints mean greater than a 50% increase in protection against energy loss compared to that of a regular standard panel door. The best in class calls for the most efficient seals, so dual compression side seals are mounted to the door panel rather than the door jamb. Therefore when the door is in a raised position, the seals are out of the impact zone and harm’s way. By avoiding seal damage you are ensuring a tight continuous seal every time your door is closed. This feature alone adds to the potential life of your dock door and reduces the cost of ownership. There is also an additional equally durable seal at the base of the VertiCool door. This double-loop compression seal makes for a tight, secure seal on the warehouse floor and helps to prevent the door from freezing shut.
The patent-pending door track of the VertiCool door is unlike any other and for good reasons. This door boasts a heavy-duty full opening height polymer thermal break track with 14-gauge galvanized steel guides. With this polymer track, strength and perseverance are in. As is energy efficiency, thanks to the energy reflective foil fabric that is wrapped around the track. While the VertiCool track tells energy loss to hit the road, it also prevents the accumulation of moisture on the dock that can cause mold buildup and make the dock floors dangerously slippery.
It is no wonder that Plant Engineering named the VertiCool a finalist in their ‘Product of the Year’ 2011 awards. The benefits of this door are invaluable especially when dealing with a sensitive, cold storage application.
For the temperature controlled dock of cold storage facilities, the most cost effective solution is most definitely the VertiCool door with a Vertical Storing Dock Leveler.
The benefits of the Vertical Storing Dock Leveler:
- Stored upright inside the building rather than down in a concrete pit
- Allows dock door to close tightly against the warehouse floor
Combined with the benefits of the VertiCool TKO door:
- 48” panels compared to the industries 24” standard
- A reduced number of panel joints
- Dual compression side seals are mounted to the door panel
- 4” thick closed cell XEPS foam panel boasts an R-23 for superior thermal protection
Equals a recipe for increased energy savings at your loading dock…
As mentioned, the compatibility of this pair is evident in the savings that you will experience.
The Vertical Storing Dock Leveler stands to protect the VertiCool door from damage. When the door is in a raised position it acts as an additional barrier against forklift impacts and the like.
In addition to showing you all of the positive reviews, the increased energy-savings felt by our customers who chose this solution for their cold storage facility, TKO offers customers something more personal. With an Energy Efficiency Analysis by a TKO Dock Door expert you can see just how much money is falling through the cracks. Although, you may not be able to see the energy loss now, TKO’s experts have the tools to show it to you.
Each Energy Efficiency Analysis includes:
- State-of-the-art thermal imaging to identify gaps and energy loss
- Site-specific energy loss calculations
- Statistical review of each dock opening’s energy loss
Click here to find out more about TKO Dock Doors and the Vertical Storing Dock Leveler
The recent ProMat Expo seemed to have ignited a lot of chatter regarding the automation of current processes in the material handling world. From talk of gamer-type controlled forklifts, to using image capture to find orders on the warehouse floor, technology is clearly in. One concept, though, that has not been abandoned or granted the out-of-date stamp, is training. Every product, no matter how technologically advanced still requires some form of human interaction. In fact, if your end goal is a safe, productive workplace, it would be fair to say that training is the most critical step.
Of course, some products make it easier for employers to train staff. Likewise, for workers certain products are far easier to operate. The overall goal of the relationship between product function and worker is to increase productivity while reducing costs. However, loading docks are busier than ever before. As workloads increase, the task of controlling a variety of dock equipment becomes overwhelming and challenging.
So what if I told you that you could control your dock leveler, vehicle restraint, overhead door and other dock equipment from one central loading dock control panel?
With Serco’s Master Control Panel you can simplify your loading dock. One loading dock control panel verses three or more separate panels, makes things more straightforward when it comes to training your staff. Workers will most definitely appreciate the ease of functionality.
Other than the obvious benefit of integrating your loading dock equipment into one accessible system, there are other advantages:
Increase dock safety.
- You can control your vehicle restraint via the Master Control Panel so that the trailer must be securely locked in place by the restraint before any other equipment will operate.
- The dock leveler is also interlocked with the other dock devices. This prevents operation until all the safety systems are operational and your dock doors are open.
- Dock lights can be programmed to turn on just before the dock equipment begins to function. Ensuring that your dock is well lit at the time of operation.
Increase dock security.
Exterior dock doors can be easily controlled and monitored. This feature also serves as added insurance and prevention against accidental door damage.
Some further beneficial features include:
- Single power source saves field electrical labor and hard-wiring costs
- Centralized equipment controls simplify operations
- Compact panel size optimizes wall space and provides an organized appearance
Technology works to increase efficiencies beyond the dock.
Inside your facility, HVLS fans are designed to create a comfortable and energy efficient environment. These fans produce a massive cylindrical column of air to effectively circulate air in a variety of spaces. This gentle movement of air also works to regulate the temperature of large facilities.
With iFAN™, fan automation goes further than the loading dock. Allowing the maximum level of performance from your HVLS fans, a standard iFAN system configuration can accommodate up to 30 or more networked HVLS fans. You can easily monitor and adjust your network of fans using a 23-inch touch screen computer. Thanks to built-in web view software you can do all of this from a centralized location. You can use a tablet as a remote control to adjust temperature or time settings. You can adjust settings specifically per ‘zone’ of fans or collectively adjust the entire network. You even have the ability to program the system to automatically respond to time and date, temperature setting/variance and even, connect to fire suppression systems.
According to Material Handling and Logistics (MH&L) magazine, this past October, The Automation Alliance of Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) released an Automation Reports titled Operational Performance and Investment Plans In Warehousing, Distribution and Manufacturing. The response totaled 383, with 254 of those responses coming from the material handling industry. The report churned out some interesting data. For example, 74% of respondents indicated that they are planning/considering an automation project.
Improved efficiencies and cost reductions will definitely act as strong drivers when considering whether or not to automate or integrate a process. Nevertheless, with anything new comes fear of change. Being that we are creatures of habit, new processes can be daunting. Undeniably, trends suggest that more and more warehouse owners are trusting technology, and evidently they are reaping the rewards. After all, increased productivity is very attractive to all those in supply chain management.
For more information, please visit sercocompany.com
In today’s material handling world, every facility must be concerned with their bottom line. Wasteful and inefficient areas of the loading dock can be found in many different places and must be addressed. Some are easy to spot, such as damaged or open doors or worn dock seals and shelters, however, others may not be as obvious. A good place to start is learning how much energy is escaping through the gaps around the side and rear of your dock leveler.
Using thermal imaging, Serco can determine the areas around the dock leveler where hot or cold air is transferred through perimeter gaps. In order to combat these gaps, Serco offers the superior weather seal, ENERGY GUARD. ENERGY GUARD closes off the gaps between the dock leveler and concrete pit walls, spaces typically missed by traditional weather seal or under-leveler seals attached to the front of the dock leveler.
As an example, assume you have a dock door with a pit leveler. It is 40 degrees outside, and 70 degrees inside. If the 70-degree inside air is mixing with the 40-degree outside air, the space around your loading dock could be quite a few degrees colder than the rest of your facility. That requires the HVAC in your facility to work overtime, costing you more money on your heating bill. For each dock door with this same situation, you’re losing more money.
ENERGY GUARD is factory-installed with your new dock levelers, or can be retrofitted to
existing levelers. It’s strong, durable, and doesn’t require any components to be installed under the leveler, reducing installation, maintenance and energy costs. For more information, visit sercocompany.com.
Facilities develop plans to control most aspects of their operation. They control the hours of operation, the amount of time employees spend at work and general operation costs. There is one thing, that facilities have no control over, power outages. These can strike at any time, for any reason, such as storms or accidents and have the potential to cripple your loading dock operations.
Dealing with power outages can drastically affect your bottom line, especially if you don’t have a Plan B in place. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans lose about $150 billion every year due to power outages. Whether a power outage is due to environmental factors or inadequate grids and networks, the average American loses over 200 minutes of power each year. Translate that time into lost productivity at your dock, and the cost of power outages adds up.
How can you prevent your facility from suffering major losses during power outages? Having backup generators can help, but they can often times be very expensive. At the very least, you should have a backup plan for power outages that can help you reduce down time and money lost. A simple backup plan could be to install a few Serco PAL Power-Assisted Levelers in your facility as a supplement to your regular dock operations. The PAL is designed to maintain an efficient operation, no matter the condition of your power. If there’s a power failure during loading or unloading at the dock, the PAL has a manual activation device that lets workers secure the building or continue with loading and unloading.
The PAL acts as a hybrid leveler that providing you flexibility and operational efficiency, more so than mechanical levelers while also eliminating the extra costs associated with mechanicals due to the frequent adjustments that are required.
So what about your vehicle restraints if you experience a power loss but need to release trailers so they can get on down the road? Serco has that covered too. The powered PitBull Safety-Loc® restraints are available with an auxiliary power down capability to allow speedy, safe release of trailers in the event of a power loss. Giving facilities yet another means of staying productive in the event of a power outage.
When it comes to dealing with circumstances out of your control in your facility, like power outages, it’s important to have your contingency plan, so your productivity doesn’t go down with the power.