Upgrading Floor Flatness for VNA Warehouses in China

March 2, 2013

VNA RackingWith today’s challenges to secure land for logistics use and the ever increasing expectations for Warehouse Efficiency, the use of VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) Materials Handling Equipment is becoming increasingly popular.

However with advances in Forklift Technology – the latest VNA trucks can now lift up to 17 m high, are moving faster and using more sophisicated computer systems, plus the use of Wire-Guidance systems becoming more common, Floor Flatness is becoming more critical to the successful operation of a VNA Warehouse.

Imagine a VNA truck having a left to right wheel spacing of 1.2 m and lifting to a maximum height of 13.0 m. With a typical traditional floor construction method the difference in level over 1.2 m would be typically 5 to 10 mm. At 5 mm this would mean that the VNA truck would lean by around 54 mm at full lift height – when stationary. If moving at full lift height this ‘Dynamic Lean’ becomes 3 times more at approximately 162 mm which means there is a possibility of it hitting the racking. If the difference in floor level is 10 mm, quite simply the VNA trucks need to be slowed down or have their maximum light height limited, meaning the warehouse efficiency and safety drops significantly.

Benefits of a Flat floor

The benefits of having a flat and level floor constructed to the correct specification for VNA Warehouses are well recognized in China now. To remind readers these benefits include:

  • An increase in Pallet Throughout and Warehouse efficiency
  • An increase in Health & Safety and morale of Warehouse Operatives
  • A reduction in maintenance costs for the MHE
  • A reduction in maintenance costs for the floor

Obviously if the warehouse is newly constructed it is preferable to construct the floor to the correct specification, which CoGri China has the expertise to do. Unfortunately with many warehouses constructed speculatively and frequently changing hands between owners and users, the floor is often not constructed for use with VNA warehouse systems and requires extensive upgrading. If this sounds familiar to you the good news is that the CoGri Group has Proven Solution for you – the patented ‘Laser Grinder ® system. As the world’s leading specialist in the upgrading of VNA Warehouse floor flatness the CoGri Group believes that every Distribution Centre can have an operational floor surface that will satisfy the Users demand for the efficient throughput of Stock.

The CoGri Laser Grinder ®

The Laser Grinder ® , manufactured and operated worldwide by the U.K based CoGri Group is the most technologically advanced floor grinding system in the world. First developed in the early 1990’s the patented Laser Grinding system has a globally proven track record of upgrading floor flatness in Very Narrow Aisle Installations. Today the CoGri Group operates a fleet of 15 Laser Grinders ® which are based at its main offices in the U.K, China, Australia, mainland Europe, Singapore, Korea, the Middle East and the USA. To date more than 30,000 linear metres of VNA aisles have been successfully upgraded by the Laser Grinder ® in Asia Pacific. The Solution is endorsed globally by the leading VNA truck suppliers including Linde and Jungheinrich and recommended in Warehouse Flooring technical reports such as the UK Concrete Society’s TR-34.

Although the Laser Grinder ® itself is a hi-tech and complicated machine which is continuously developed and improved by a team of Engineers in the CoGri Group UK head office, the Laser Grinding principle is quite simple to understand. The Laser Grinder ® uses one of the worlds one of the world’s cleanest diesel engines to power the hydraulic system which in turn drives the grinding equipment. By applying the very latest technology in laser leveling and specially developed diamond grinding blades, up to 25 mm depth in concrete can be removed in a single pass – grinding through Dry Shake hardeners, Epoxy and even Rebar is simple and fast.

The Laser Grinder ® was developed and purpose built for upgrading VNA floor flatness while causing minimal disruption to the ongoing warehouse operations. When compared to traditional methods of improving floor flatness such as manual grinding and overlays such as Epoxy, the numerous benefits are clear including:

  • Only 1 or 2 aisles are required at any time during the process meaning negligible disruption to the ongoing warehouse operations.
  • The machine includes its own on board wet vacuum system meaning minimal mess and dust.
  • The Laser Grinder ® is a self sufficient system therefore has no power cables or water pipes trailing across the warehouse.

Various Grinding Solutions

The Client can select a variety of grinding solutions depending on its budget and type of VNA truck used. However if aesthetics are important rather than just grind the wheel paths, Whole Aisle grinding can be done from rack leg to rack leg.
The amount and depth of grinding required to meet the necessary specification can be varied to only correct errors in the floor rather than repairing the whole floor – a cost effective solution which competitors cannot offer.
Most importantly CoGri China can guarantee that the Laser Grinder ® can achieve the most stringent floor flatness specifications including EN 15620 DM1, TR-34 ‘Superflat’, the American ACI Fmin100 specification and DIN 15185.

We know this because most CoGri upgraded floors are tested using the latest digital floor surveying equipment such as the Face Digital Profileograph – after all there is no point the Owner investing money to improve the efficiency of the warehouse if it doesn’t check and confirm the quality of the work!

Another advantage is that once the floor grinding in each aisle has been completed, the floor can immediately be used. This unique floor grinding process is so clean that it has even been used in numerous operational warehouses for sensitive industries such as Food or Pharmaceutical – it can even be used in Cold & Freezer Warehouses. In addition to the floor grinding and Compliance Testing, CoGri China can provide a total floor upgrading solution including Joint Repair – using CoGri Rapid Mender and the CoGri Joint Stabiliser if needed, Joint re-sealing and application of a Liquid Hardener if required – although normally grinding the concrete produces a more Abrasion Resistant surface than the original power trowelled one.

Superflat Fastrack Floor Construction

An increasingly popular use of the Laser Grinder ® in Europe and the Middle East is to provide the required specification in large ‘new build’ VNA Warehouses – where minimizing construction time is critical. By constructing the floor by Laser Screed to a good standard of floor flatness – typically TR-34 FM2, then correcting isolated areas of the floor in the aisles to the required VNA tolerance with miminal grinding depth by Laser Grinder ®, a unique Superflat Fast-Track floor construction method can be provided for VNA Warehouse floors – the CoGri Group is the only company in the world able to offer this modern total solution in house.

Clients concerned about grinding of newly built floors for VNA applications should consider that the Laser Grinder ® system has been proven around the world for more than 20 years with repeat business from some of the worlds leading Logistics companies such as DHL, UPS and Schenker Logistics in addition to global companies which value highly efficient Distribution Centres such as:- Intel, Hewlett Packard, Sony, Proctor & Gamble and BMW.

CoGri China is a Specialist in the Design, Construction, Upgrading and Repair of Concrete Floors for the Logistics Industry and part of the Global industry leading CoGri Group of companies.

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