Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Older plant floor gets new shine.

Husqvarna's HiPERFLOOR® rises to the challenges an over 600,000 square foot floor presents. Discover how by clicking for more.

Background

PG 820 planetary grinder with DC 5500 vacuum
A large automotive supplier in North America purchased an existing production facility in Michigan to manufacture automotive parts for vehiclese assembled in Detroit. The plant, originally built in the 1960's, would be renovated, making it more efficient and providing a brighter work atmosphere. The renovation would continue for several years, even as the plant continued its operations "as usual." Along with several other initiatives, the plant's concrete floor was slated for an upgrade. The floor had seen years of use along with many applications of epoxy and other floor coverings. The now dull floor was showing its age and patch scars.

Challenge

There were four main challenges to re-finished the concrete floor:

•  No Production Interruption - First and foremost, plant production had to continue without interruption while the floor was being upgraded. No production "downtime" was going to be scheduled for the re-finishing. No employees were to be displaced.

•  Clean Environment - The floor re-finishing would take place while the plant was in production, with employees nearby and machines in operation. The re-finishing, therefore, could not generate excessive noise, dust or vapors.

•  Productivity - With over 600,000 square feet to re-finish, there were two important productivity issues. The process had to be both cost-effective and time-productive. The company would not spend "years" upgrading the floor.

•  Low Maintenance - The finished product had to be low maintenance. The company knew they did not want a high maintenance epoxy floor that needed to be re-surfaced every few years.

The general contractor initially hired one sub-contractor to perform the work, but the process used was extremely slow and unproductive. The results obtained were not acceptable. The general contractor had to find a better solution.

Solution

A sample of an industrial floor finish
The general contractor contacted Uretek Great Lakes, a concrete flooring specialist.  Mike Bogues, Uretek's foreman, suggested using the Husqvarna HiPERFLOOR® system and its proven process for concrete floor finishing. After receiving positive interest from the general contractor, Bogues contacted Mark Scheuerlein at Ace Cutting Equipment & Supply, a local Husqvarna Construction Products' distributor.
 
After discussing the potential project, they decided the best way to demonstrate the HiPERFLOOR® system was to arrange a "sample" re-finishing project at the plant itself so the customer could see the HiPERFLOOR® system used on its own floor. After this demonstration was completed, everyone could see that the Husqvarna HiPERFLOOR® was just what was needed to overcome the four challenges of the project. Uretek was immediately hired to begin work.

Result

The plant owner and its general contractor are both extremely pleased with the results. "My customers rave about how good the floor looks - how bright it is," stated Bogues. "The like both the finished product and how unobtrusive our work is. Our Husqvarna machines do the cutting and re-finishing much more quickly than the previous company's equipment. Our vacuum systems keep the dust to very low levels and our noise levels are low. The Husqvarna HiPERFLOOR® system provides us with a very efficient way to re-finish a very large area of old concrete flooring. It literally changes the whole plant environment when we are done."

The owner is also very pleased that the HiPERFLOOR® system reduces the environmental impact of the plant. It reduces material waste because, unlike epoxy floors that end up generating a cycle of tearing up and reinstalling, there is no need for re-applications of topical coatings to maintain a desired finish or to prevent the concrete from wearing. The expect a sizable reduction in yearly maintenance expenses because the absence of a surface coating reduces costs traditionally associated with flooring installations.

Uretek Great Lakes is using the HiPERFLOOR® industrial finish process. This is a low-gloss finish customized for industrial floors. This process is used for large areas such as warehouses and department stores where flooring functionality is of primary concern. It produces a hard-wearing floor that offers a safe and clean environment. Two other finishes are also available - a commercial finish for retail and a premium finish for showrooms and high-end real estate.