Future-Proofing Food Industry Floors
20 Aug 2018
- Longevity is important for each element of a food production plant and the floor is no exception!
- Flowcrete UK’s Lifecycle Cost Considerations formula helps facilities understand long-term flooring expenditure.
- Robust floors designed for the food industry keep sites running smoothly.
Each element of a food and beverage processing facility needs to be finely tuned to ensure that the production lines and conveyor belts keep on rolling despite the intensive workload, large quantities and complex operations.
The floor is imperative to making sure that a plant is able to reliably keep on running for year after year. Failing floors are a sure-fire way to slow down activity by causing trip hazards, making the site more difficult to clean and incurring long periods of unprofitable downtime while the finish is being repaired or replaced.
Flowcrete UK developed its HACCP International certified Flowfresh range to provide the food industry with coatings that provide ultra-hygienic, high performance floors. With an average life-span of approximately 15 years, food producers that have installed a Flowfresh finish know that the facility is protected for the long term against the costs and concerns of a failing floor.
The initially higher cost of installing a thicker, fit-for-purpose flooring solution can lead F&B businesses to opt for a cheaper alternative, however this logic often backfires and ends up costing the company more money over time.
This point was exemplified by a formula on lifecycle cost considerations devised by Flowcrete Group Ltd.’s Technical Director, Grant Adamson. The equation takes the initial expense of a floor and adds annual maintenance costs such as cleaning, repairs and upkeep as well as the price of replacing a failed floor, including the costs incurred by shutting down production. The formula is:
Lifecycle Cost Considerations (LCC) Formula
- LCC = C + MPW + RPW
- The capital cost (C) of a project includes the initial capital expense for engineering, products and installation.
- Maintenance (M) is the sum of all yearly scheduled operation and maintenance associated with floor repairs.
- (R) is the replacement cost of a failed floor, including the financial impact of shutting down production.
When you take a 15-year view of flooring, the longevity of polyurethane makes it one of the cheapest materials available. On average a 100 m2 polyurethane floor will cost approximately £8,400 over 15 years, whereas epoxies are typically £9-10,000, carpet comes in at £15,000 while vinyl flooring and linoleum can cost in excess of £19,000.
In some circumstances, the cost of a floor failure can exceed even what the above formula is able to calculate. For example, when a food borne illness outbreak starts out as contaminant build-up in the hard to clean gaps and cracks of a deteriorating floor and from there goes on to infect produce.
Additional beneficial assets that are useful in these environments can be incorporated into a Flowfresh floor, including slip resistance and antibacterial additives that can work to improve the overall safety and hygiene of the facility. Specifying flooring that contains all of the desired attributes can reduce a site’s lead-times and costs, and result in a ready-to-use, fully optimised facility.
The reliability of this time-proven flooring solution is clear to see from the brands that have utilised it. McVitie’s installed a combination of Flowfresh floors when a robust, hygienic finish was required in different textures throughout a busy production room in its Glasgow plant.
Flowfresh RT in bright yellow was applied across the main thoroughfares of the plant’s Line 14, providing a sanitary, slip-resistant surface for this busy, contamination-sensitive area of the site. The floor directly underneath the production line needed to be smoother than the rest, to ensure that this hard to reach spot could be easily cleaned. The smoother finished Flowfresh MF system was used here to create a floor with the required profile.
Similarly, Bawnbua Foods applied Flowfresh HF in its UK manufacturing plant in 2010. With some of the world’s largest food retail brands as customers, including TESCO, ALDI, Ocado and Sainsbury’s, the quality of produce from sites such as Bawnbua Foods is central to the food chain and so its facilities must conform to the very highest food production standards.
Getting the floor right is essential to guarantee the operational effectiveness of a modern food and beverage processing plant. Get in touch with a member of Flowcrete UK’s expert team today to learn more about specifying food-safe solutions that will provide safe, clean (and budget friendly) flooring well into the next decade!
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Notes to Editors
Flowcrete UK has its headquarters in Sandbach, Cheshire and is part of Flowcrete Europe & Middle East, one of the four divisions that make up Flowcrete Group Ltd.
Flowcrete Group Ltd. is a world leader in the manufacture of seamless industrial and commercial resin floor, wall and coving solutions as well as other specialist coating technologies. Flowcrete Group Ltd. has international manufacturing facilities in Europe and Africa as well as Central and South East Asia.
Flowcrete supplies world-class seamless flooring solutions to transform environments across the globe including; decorative seamless resins, waterproof car park deck coating systems, seamless resin terrazzo, durable antimicrobial flooring, corrosion protection, self levelling underlayments, underfloor heating and now underfloor acoustic insulation.
Flowcrete's ambitious and dedicated team is inspired by excellence in people, products and service, as well as continual innovation and sustainable growth. Flowcrete continues to use its global expertise to introduce environmentally friendly, hygienic and aesthetically attractive floors to create a better and more sustainable world.
For further information please contact 01270 753000 or visit us on the web at www.flowcrete.co.uk.