Automatic sliding gates are increasingly specified for industrial premises needing rugged, reliable and secure gates that project the right image and are easily operated for access by authorised vehicles. Given the high forces that can be generated by a powered gate when opening or closing, it is also vital that gates meet the safety requirements laid down in relevant regulations, standards and guidelines from bodies such as the HSE (Health and Safety Executive). Procter Automatic Gates works closely with customers to ensure its electric gates, whether they are manufactured to standard or bespoke designs, fulfil all of these needs while still being cost-effective.
Sliding gates come in many formats and styles, so it is important that the optimum configuration is selected for each application. If requested, Procter Automatic Gates can discuss the options with customers at the earliest stages of a project. For example, cantilevered gates are preferred to tracked gates where it is desirable to avoid having a guide track laid in the roadway due to the likelihood of blocking by debris, where there is uneven or sloping ground, or where operating noise is an issue. The access width and space available will determine whether a single-leaf or double-leaf gate is better; for applications where space is very restricted, telescopic sliding gates can be installed. However, if all types of sliding gate are unsuitable, Procter Automatic Gates also offers powered swing gates and bi-folding gates. In addition, the company can install various types of barriers, bollards and turnstiles to control site access by vehicles and pedestrians.
Standard infills for Procter's sliding gates are heavy-duty welded mesh, palisade or vertical bars, while alternative infills range from timber to laser-cut sheet steel and decorative steelwork – though standard infills are usually adequate for industrial premises. Procter also offers customers the option of adding branding to the gate leaf and/or support structures. At the non-opening side of the gate, or beyond the gate leaf runback area, a matching personnel gate can be provided to ensure pedestrians are segregated from vehicles. Where there are particular functional or aesthetic requirements, fully bespoke gates can be designed, manufactured and installed.
A thorough risk assessment is always required to establish the safety measures that are necessary. Typically powered sliding gates are equipped with pressure-sensitive strips on the leading edges of the gate leaves and the faces of the support pillars, together with force limitation and infrared beams to detect pedestrians. Physical guarding and fencing prevents access to the gate leaf runback area and other points around the gate where contact with the moving components could result in injuries.
The risk assessment needs to take into account the controls that will be fitted, which may range from a hold-to-run switch to full automation using, for example, automatic number plate recognition. Procter Automatic Gates can either install the gate controls or work in conjunction with a contractor appointed by the customer.
Because of the safety-related issues, powered gates are classified as machines and therefore have to be CE marked in accordance with the European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This process can only be completed once the gate and associated safety measures have been installed, so it is easier – and more likely that the CE marking will be completed properly – if the installer is also the designer and manufacturer of the gate. Another way in which customers can ensure that gates will be safe is to select a supplier that is Safety Assured by the Powered Gates Group of the Door and Hardware Federation, and a Gate Safe Aware installer.
Procter Automatic Gates, unlike other manufacturers and installers of powered gates, benefits from in-depth knowledge and experience of machinery safety through a sister division of the same company, Procter Machine Guarding.
Another sister division, Procter Fencing Systems, offers a turnkey service for perimeter fencing, which is often required at the same time as powered gates. This service covers site surveys, design, specification and installation of fencing and associated security measures, which may include CCTV, electrified fencing and electronic intruder detection systems. Customers requiring both fencing and gates have just one senior point of contact, which simplifies project management considerably.
Procter Automatic Gates has published a number of detailed guides that explain more about powered gates, the safety of powered gates, and legislation and standards relating to powered gates.
These, as well as a gallery, videos, case studies, brochures and CAD drawings, are available free of charge from the website at www.automatic-electricgates.co.uk or on request by telephoning 02920 855 756 or emailing [email protected]