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 measure 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 damaged floor or alternatively choose poor quality materials that are unable to meet long-term outcomes.
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.
Thumbs Up runs its plant around the clock 365 days of the year, which means that any downtime required to conduct routine maintenance and refurbishment works could risk significant financial problems.
Armed with the knowledge that a scheduled maintenance day in May 2014 offered a 12 hour window 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 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 a high performance flooring system with the addition of an accelerated rate of cure (typically between one to two hours).
In late 2013, a 10 square metre trial area was installed in the middle of Thumbs Up’s production hall. 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 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, which include frequent fork and pallet truck traffic, heavy machinery and impacts.
The project was then carried out in conjunction with the client’s routine maintenance day, taking a total of 9 hours to fully complete.
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.