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Specifications are an essential part of the design process, but not the most glamorous. It was said by Charles Eames that the details are not the details, they make the design. If the specification is unclear or lacking detail, it will often result in the wrong product being installed. In the case of high-performance door products, it can mean costing a company time and money. Don’t fall for these top five myths related to specifying a high performance commercial overhead door.
Fact: Door and Access Systems Manufacturing Association (DASMA) defines a high performance door as one that can meet the minimum requirement of 20” per second opening speed and 100 plus cycles per day. When you specify a “high-performance” door, chances are, it will either not meet or drastically exceed your needs. Think ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ - If the application requires an opening that operates at 24” per second a door that operates at 20” per second will be too slow, an overhead door that operates at 32” per second will be too fast but a coiling door that operates at 24” per second will be just right. Defining the desired commercial overhead door opening speed in inches per second will eliminate any doors that aren’t quite the right fit for your application.
Fact: Whoa…. Pump the brakes! Faster is NOT always better. The best approach when specifying a high performance door would be to determine the minimum speed required in conjunction with your activation device for a seamless experience. If you need a commercial overhead door that operates at 24” per second why specify a roll up door that operates at 32” per second or more? Buying more than is needed will not only cost more initially to buy the door, but can also increase operating costs depending on the increased operator voltage and phase requirements that come with faster doors. A BMW 5 Series costs more to service than a Ford Taurus.
Fact: Putting 100K cycle springs on a standard rolling door and calling it a high-performance door is equivalent to putting an emblem from a luxury car on an economy car and calling it a luxury car. Just because you added that one high- performance or high-end item, it does not change what it really is. When specifying a high-performance door, it is best to look at the entire construction of the closure to ensure that all components of the commercial overhead door are durable. It is also a good idea to look into a springless version if a true high performance door is required because a springless garage door will last a lot longer without any concerns of the springs breaking.
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Fact: Peak cycle times are much more important than lifetime cycles. Defining peak cycle times and ensuring that the coiling door can handle your specific needs is the number one priority. For example – instead of specifying a 200,000 cycle door, it’s more helpful to state that the peak period of cycling is 75 cycles per hour from 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm so you can be sure the roll up door that is installed is able to handle the peak times appropriately.
Fact: Maintenance concerns may not always be at the forefront of a specifier’s mind, but it's crucial for a building owner or facility manager. A true high performance overhead door will require virtually no maintenance outside of daily checks. No maintenance means no down time, which is hugely beneficial for many operations. Yes, the initial cost may be higher, but the benefit of virtually no maintenance costs and resulting downtime that you would have with a standard roll up door makes it worth it to many owners.
Simply avoid these pitfalls when specifying a high performance garage door, and you will ensure that you are choosing the right commercial overhead door for your application.
Siva Davuluri serves as director of product strategy for high performance doors at CornellCookson Inc. He has been in his current role for five years at the Mountain Top, PA based company, which is the largest coiling door manufacturer in the USA. Davuluri has more than ten years of experience in design, development and commercialization of new products. He graduated from North Dakota State University with a Master of Mechanical Engineering degree and completed his Master of Business Administration degree from Cornell University. He is also a member of the technical committee for high performance doors at DASMA, North America’s trade association for manufacturers of garage doors, rolling doors, high performance doors and access systems.
Cookson continues to lead in innovations in roll up door, security gate and closure products. To inquire how Cookson’s experts and customer service can help you with your next roll up door project, call 1-800-294-4358.