Thumbs Up for Fast Track Floor Replacement!

Thumbs Up for Fast Track Floor Replacement!

24 Nov 2014

  • Average downtime costs vary across industries.
  • The entire area received vacuum assisted shot blasting.
  • Minimising loss of revenue was essential.

At first glance, Flowcrete UK and UltraSyntec’s partnership on floor renovation works for Thumbs Up’s manufacturing facility in Bury may not seem the most interesting of projects, but it is one where time, client satisfaction and minimising loss of revenue were of the essence.

Thumbs Up represents an age-old story when it comes to maintenance and refurbishment in heavy industry. With manufacturers under pressure to ensure plant assets operate at maximum capacity and efficiency levels at all time, setting priorities for maintenance and preventative measures can be a challenge.

Average downtime costs vary across industries and can be dependent on the scale of the business. For a medium sized business, the exact hourly cost of production outage may be lower, but the impact on the business much greater.

Faced with production downtime and financial losses, it can be tempting for manufacturers to delay renovating a failing or damaged flooring surface or alternatively choose poor quality materials that are unable to meet long-term outcomes.

Representing a very real, and very common scenario faced by industrial clients, the project at Thumbs Up demonstrates how innovations in resin flooring technology coupled with the skill and expertise of the flooring applicator can work in tandem to address this problem and help to alleviate the headache associated with looming production outage.

Based on Dumer’s Lane since the company was founded in 1978, Thumbs Up (Bury) Ltd manufactures and supplies plastic housewares and storage products to major supermarkets and high street retailers throughout the UK, Ireland and its growing export territories including Germany, Italy, France & Spain.

The manufacturer employs over 250 staff, carries over 20,000 product lines and operates at an annual production capacity of 73 million pieces per annum running the plant around the clock 365 days of the year, meaning any downtime required to carry out routine maintenance and refurbishment works could result in significant financial losses.

It was for this reason that the client, after initial consideration, rejected UltraSyntec’s original specification of Flowcrete UK’s time-proven Flowcoat SF41 system. Despite meeting the necessary strength, durability and resistance criteria, the system simply did not offer the swift return to service required by Thumbs Up Managing Director, Richard McGuiness.

Armed with the knowledge that a scheduled maintenance day in May 2014 offered a 12 hour window in which to carry out all substrate preparation, priming and system application works as well as deliver a trafficable surface across 1,300 square metres of production space, UltraSyntec recommended a second system, Flowfast Rapide Topcoat.

The specification called for the entire area to receive vacuum assisted shot blasting to prepare the substrate with diamond grinding at all transitions between the floor and walls.

This was followed by a priming layer, one coat of Flowfast Rapide Topcoat in Dark Grey with bauxite aggregates broadcast over the product whilst still tacky in order to achieve an anti-slip profile, before applying a second coat of Flowfast Rapide Topcoat.

Based on methyl methacrylate (MMA) chemistry, Flowfast Rapide Topcoat offers the same performance characteristics as Flowcoat SF41with the addition of an accelerated rate of cure (typically between one to two hours).

In many instances, there is no need to remove the existing floor covering in refurbishment scenarios as MMA can be installed directly onto old or new concrete as well as asphalt, tiles, metal or wood, ensuring additional timesavings.

In late 2013, UltraSyntec installed a 10 square metre trial area in the middle of Thumbs Up’s production hall. Witnessed by Richard McGuiness, the client was fully satisfied that in just three hours the trial surface area had undergone all steps outlined in the specification and had been successfully returned to service.

A six-month trial period served only to demonstrate that the material’s profile offered the necessary strength, durability and resistance needed to withstand the heavy demands of Thumbs Up’s daily and relentless processes including frequent fork and pallet truck traffic, heavy machinery and impact.

The project was finally carried out in conjunction with the client’s routine maintenance day in May 2014, taking a total of 9 hours to fully complete the 1,300 square metre area.

“We were impressed with how quickly the trial area was installed and fully operational. The six-month testing phase demonstrated the strength and wear resistance of the material. We are very happy with our new floor." Richard McGuiness, Thumbs Up

Satisfied with the install and on-going performance of the material, Thumbs Up are working with UltraSyntec and Flowcrete UK to install a second phase representing 4,000 square metres in its production hall before the end of the calendar year.


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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

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