Super Flat Floors
Floors which support vehicular traffic along defined paths and remain intact during their lifetime are normally referred to as Superflat floors and are also known as defined traffic floors. Defined traffic floor is normally used in very-narrow-aisles (VNA), ware-houses in which VNA forklift trucks travel the same path, in the same direction every day. This type of advanced material handling system requires the installation of a flat (non-wavy and level) floor with controlled accuracy and much tighter tolerances in comparison with conventional slabs. Tolerances for conformance are measured using specially built floor flatness / level measuring instrument.
Importance of floor flatness
Flatness is an essential requirement especially for Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) applications in high density warehouses where fixed-path material handling equipment (MHE) operates. The global logistic industry is undergoing several transformations frequently, in order to keep up with the demand whilst facing challenges. Material handling equipment (MHE) suppliers have developed trucks with higher lift heights which call for serious attention to floor flatness.
To arrive at precise measurements, defined traffic floors are surveyed with a FACE Dipstick Floor Profiler. This state of the art equipment is capable of being configured to meet many global standards such as:
The UK Concrete Society TR34 Chapter 4 and Appendix C
The ACI F min number system
To meet the growing demand in today’s logistics industry, warehouses are being equipped with taller racking in order to maximize storage capacity. Material handling equipment (MHE) manufacturers have also developed lift trucks with increased lift height that can travel at faster speeds along the aisle; this makes floor flatness an extremely critical element for both safety and productivity. Flat floors play a big role in the overall effectiveness of a warehouse or distribution center. Operating the MHE on floors that are not level and flat is a major compromise to operation safety. Uneven floor tolerances can result in high static and dynamic lean in MHEs which may cause the MHE to collide with a rack, thereby bringing about a domino collapse of the storage racks due to impact.
Benefits of floor flatness
* Operation of lift trucks (MHE) are more efficient as they can travel at maximum speed.
* Poor surface regularity can cause excessive vibration on the lift truck (MHE) which results in the greater wear & tear, increased equipment downtime and higher maintenance costs.
* Flat floors reduce and/or eliminate vibration felt by the MHE operator, whilst minimizing static and dynamic lean, which in turn improves safety in warehouse operations.
* Reduced damage to stocks being handled due to lesser vibration.
* Gives control on the general quality of floor when constructed. Floor flatness is especially essential for the aisles of high density warehouses where trucks operate in defined path, very narrow aisle (VNA).