Modular enclosure keeps the loading dock in its place

Sliding curtain walls provide temperature control for warehouse and workers.

By ·

Cradles to Crayons (C2C) is a non-profit organization serving homeless and low-income children in Boston and Philadelphia. When C2C Boston relocated its “Giving Factory” warehouse and operations center to a new building, they encountered challenges in the loading dock area. Used for truck deliveries and customer drop-offs, the loading dock was open to the rest of the warehouse, creating weather and temperature problems.

In the warehouse, volunteers and staff inspect, sort and package all the donated materials. To keep workers comfortable and productive during the Boston winter, C2C wanted to enclose its loading dock area to help keep the snow, sleet and cold temperatures out. However, C2C also wanted the flexibility to open the area when the weather was nice.

Working with an equipment supplier (Zoneworks, and facilities consultants, C2C decided to install a loading dock enclosure consisting of flexible, insulated wall panels constructed with layers of industrial vinyl fabric wrapped around anti-microbial polyester batting.

The loading dock curtain walls have helped C2C keep its volunteers and staff comfortable year round. “We like our cool purple curtain wall more than a traditional wall,” says Sally Sharp Lehman, C2C’s director of operations. “It gives us the flexibility to close off the loading dock area during really cold or really hot days, but also allows us to open the warehouse for the beautiful days, which is great since our warehouse doesn’t have air conditioning. The insulated loading dock curtains do an excellent job and provide a noticeable temperature difference that has helped us to save on winter heating costs.”

The fabric curtain walls are made of 5-foot wide panels interconnected with Velcro to span the width of a given space. It can be installed as a stationary system or, as in the case of C2C Boston, walls that slide open and closed. A portion of the warehouse’s enclosure also included semi-permanent traffic doors that provide access for pedestrians, pushcarts and forklifts.

About the Author

Josh Bond, Contributing Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Hydrogen, the Future of Materials Handling
Large, successful organizations are integrating hydrogen fuel cell technology into their lift truck fleets and benefiting from lower operational costs, reduced emissions and improved reliability.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order fulfillment process and increased throughput with near 100% accuracy.
System Report: Brownells new DC is flexible and responsive
Pallet Usage Report: Pallets Remain Critical in the Modern-Day Warehouse
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Pallets: Supporting Product, Processes and the Enterprise
The smallest leak in performance or cost can bring a lean, nimble and speedy supply chain to a halt. During this 30-minute webcast we'll examine how Modern's readers use pallets to keep the wheels turning as they maneuver a road filled with sharp edges and potholes.
Register Today!
Brownells: Designing for Efficiency and Growth
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order...
Industry celebrates National Manufacturing Day
Fourth annual Manufacturing Day is a grassroots effort by U.S. manufacturers to improve the public...

American Eagle Outfitters’ omni-channel journey
The fashion retailer has used warehouse execution software and automation to create a true...
The data-driven lift truck
Now that manufacturers and distributors are using the data from their automated systems to drive...