Many food plants in Poland have to face problems that often affect the continuity of production processes. One of these problems is sometimes degraded and poorly designed and constructed floors, which can result in the accumulation of water, grease or food and semi-finished product residues on their surface and cause many logistical problems. This creates an environment conducive to the growth of bacteria and fungi, which is a threat to the food produced and the health of personnel, and consequently exposes the plant to costly renovations and downtime.
What can we do to avoid risks when designing a new plant or renovating it?
PROPERLY DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED CONCRETE SUBSTRATES
Concrete floors must be designed and constructed with the appropriate class of floor concrete with a minimum compressive strength of 25 MPa (C20/25) and in accordance with DIN 18202 tab.3, line 3. Also important is the pull-off strength of the concrete measured by the pull-off method, and in this case it should be min. 1.5 Mpa. The thickness of the concrete substrate and the type of reinforcement must be based on the magnitude of the anticipated imposed loads and the calculations of an authorized constructor.
In particular, when we are talking about meat, poultry or fish plants, we need to pay special attention to the proper design of appropriate slopes and drainage technology elements. This plays a key role when washing surfaces, as it allows for proper drainage of water and cleaning agents into the sewer system. This results in hygienic surfaces without stagnant water, which can be an ideal place for bacteria to grow. The absence of stagnant water also has a direct impact on the safety of moving personnel. Slopes should be profiled already in concrete substrates.
OPTIMAL SELECTION OF FLOORING SOLUTIONS
In order for us to talk about an optimized design, we need to select appropriate and effective solutions for the finishing layers, i.e. resin floors taking into account zoning, the purpose of the rooms, planned static and dynamic loads, temperature conditions, exposure to chemical agents, pressure washing, or thermal shocks caused by hot water discharges. Only such an analysis can predict risks and select the right methods and materials to minimize the risk of future failure.
LOW-EMISSION AND ODOR-FREE PRODUCTS
Manufactured food and semi-finished products have the ability to absorb odors from the environment. Therefore, it is very important that the flooring materials used have the highest A+ rating for VOC/VOC emissions and are odor-free. Only some polyurethane-cement flooring solutions on the market have such a feature and provide a guarantee of food safety.
DEVELOPMENT OF MICROORGANISMS AND FUNGI
The environment in food plants is particularly prone to bacterial and fungal growth, so the flooring solutions that are used should prevent their development. Polyurethane-cement systems are an excellent solution in this case because they are bacteriostatic, and therefore inhibit the spread of microorganisms and affect food and personnel safety.
HACCP CERTIFIED PRODUCTS
The solutions we use should also have the appropriate HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System) certification. The HACCP certificate that an organization obtains strengthens its image in the eyes of customers, employees and shareholders, and indicates that the organization meets legal requirements above the legal minimum.
MAINTENANCE OF CLEANLINESS AND WORK SAFETY
Flooring systems should be monolithic, non-absorbent and easy to clean, and in wet and temperature-restricted areas they should be suitably rough and provide adequate slip resistance to minimize falls during work.
DURABILITY AND QUICK RETURN TO OPERATION
Floors in food establishments should be resistant to wear, strong impacts and durable, guaranteeing long and trouble-free operation. At the same time, through the speed of the setting process, they should allow the investor to quickly start or resume production in the renovated areas.
In order to maintain proper hygiene and enable effective cleaning, the interface between the floor and wall should be finished with an appropriate pedestal/curving, which, properly designed and executed, definitely facilitates the maintenance of cleanliness in the plant. Where pallet and forklift traffic takes place, provision should be made for the installation of bumpers to prevent damage to the walls.
SELECTION OF A VALUABLE PARTNER
When choosing the right partner to design, deliver and execute flooring systems in a food plant, it is worth paying attention to several factors and asking ourselves why this is the company we should choose. Here are some questions we should ask a potential partner:
- whether it takes full responsibility for the product and service and provides a single, comprehensive warranty
- whether it provides design and valuable advice on the selection of solutions
- whether it has state-of-the-art know-how and proven expertise in industrial flooring
- whether it has worked with brands that, in addition to the most favorable price, also expect the most valuable solutions on the market
- whether he knows the specifics of his client's business and what values he is guided by, and is able to act quickly but above all professionally
- whether its actions actually provide a guarantee of security for the customer in the future
- whether the company provides a comprehensive service including concrete substrates which avoids confusion if concrete and resin floors are made by two other companies
- whether the team at the company's disposal are definitely people with the right qualifications and authorizations
- whether the solutions it proposes allow the Investor to optimize costs and save his money, while maintaining the quality of the product and service
- whether the company will provide adequate after-sales support and service in the future
Every project, whether large or small, requires the right commitment, knowledge and capabilities, which are a guarantee of the investor's success and its further stable development, and, consequently, reaping real benefits and securing its resources.
If you are looking for support in the field of industrial flooring and are wondering which solution will be the best in your case, take advantage of the experience and expertise of the TURKUS+LAINER™ group of experts and schedule a free consultation with our expert here
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