Retrofit kits for dock levelers control temperature, dust and cost

End-user qualified for energy rebates after installing improved seals around leveler and pit.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
April 01, 2013 - MMH Editorial

What began as a small women’s fashion shop in Duluth, Minn., in 1931, is now Maurices, a clothing retailer with more than 800 stores in 44 states across the country. The heavy dock traffic at its air-conditioned Iowa distribution center made it difficult to control temperatures. After installing dock leveler equipment designed to prevent the transfer of heat at dock doors, the company was able to save energy, improve worker comfort, and even take advantage of energy rebates from the local utility company.

The company’s 365,000-square-foot DC in Johnston, Iowa, is a hub serving stores across the country. The facility is air-conditioned, but keeping the cold air inside during the summer and outside during the winter was a challenge. Although brush weather seals were installed on the sides of dock levelers, air movement into and out of the facility was still a problem.

Retrofit kits (APS Resource, apsresource.4frontes.com) were deployed at each of the facility’s 33 docks to improve the seal between the dock leveler and the pit wall. The kits’ design closes off the gaps between the sides and rear of the dock leveler and the concrete pit walls that are typically missed by traditional weather seal or under-leveler seals attached to the front of the dock leveler. By preventing the mass flow of air, the kits minimize the transfer of heat and energy into and out of the facility.

In addition to helping prevent energy loss, the kits help block dirt, debris and pests that may enter the facility through the leveler gaps. Designed to fit many brands of dock levelers, the kits installed easily and require little to no maintenance. “It’s easy to use and it keeps the department cleaner,” says Tom Rupp, manager at the Johnston DC. “Once it’s installed, you don’t even have to think about it.”

In addition to temperature and dust control, the dock levelers helped the company take advantage of energy rebates totaling $300 per dock position, making the return on investment even quicker than anticipated.



About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


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!

Recent Entries

Process improvement leads the way for understanding how automation can reduce human effort and intervention. Yet 39% of companies have not performed process reengineering in the last year.

New division to provide turnkey material handling systems for warehousing and distribution, post and parcel, and industrial markets.

The year 2015 marks a major milestone for the industry, MHI is celebrating its 70th anniversary at ProMat 2015, held March 23-26, 2015.

Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation's monthly confidence index at 66.3 in February, up from 66.1 in January.

Actuators and mechanical systems had a strong year, increasing 12% to $467 million.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA