“For many of us a floor is just a detail in a bigger picture. Nonetheless, an industrial floor is an important aspect of hygiene, especially in the fresh produce sector”, says Ton van Wijnen of Bolidt, which specialises in floors for companies in the fresh produce sector”. Technical characteristics, such as skid resistance, chemical resistance, resistance to intensive loads and hot liquids, and the aesthetic aspect all play a role when choosing a floor.
Ton cites the new floor of a new-build project in Rilland for Scelta Products, which produces frozen vegetable snacks such as breaded mushrooms, onions rings and other vegetables, as an example of how intricate the process of choosing the right floor can be in fresh produce processing. “We are building a new, 14,000-sqm facility there, doubling our production capacity in the process. The new production facility will be up and running in Q4 of this year. The building must comply with the requirements of the BREEAM 2020 outstanding rating, which also sets requirements for floors. This production site will have the most modern production lines and fully-automated production processes”, says Wilco Boone of Scelta Products.
“At Scelta we receive fresh raw materials daily, which are immediately washed and cut (wet process), after which they are prepared for the next (dry) process step: coating and breading. The products are then deep-fried, frozen and packed, to be shipped and transported to the end customers”, says Wilco. “This means we have wet, warm, cold and dry flows. In all four of these phases, the floor - preferably one and the same floor type - must meet the safety requirements in terms of skid resistance, in addition to being thermally shockproof given the variable temperatures.
Hygiene is important at every stage of the process. During the deep-frying phase, there is always the possible, incidental risk of hot oil leaks. The production facility is intensively cleaned, using chemicals. The floor must also be able to withstand this.
In the dry, packaging phase, the floor must be able to able to withstand the use of transport equipment, such as a forklift and pump trucks, as well as footfall. We can offer a floor that matches the requirements in terms of hygiene and skid resistance for all three phases”, Ton adds. Ton explains that gutters and drains are necessary in the wet phase because of the production process. “This is a very important aspect of a floor. The details make all the difference, including for a gutter. Instead of sealed joints - which can come easily undone - we use detailing in the floor, in which stainless steel gutters can be integrated, ensuring a homogeneous connection between the floor and the stainless steel.” Wilco also indicates that the aesthetic aspect was a factor, in addition to the technical features. “We regularly receive customers, which is why we want our production facility to look spick and span.”
Hygiene is another important aspect for Scelta Products, which holds BRC AA+ certification, Wilco adds. He explains that the company needed an antibacterial floor that was easy to clean in order to comply with the applicable NEN norm. Ton says the cleaning aspect is very important when choosing a floor. “Cleaning costs money, which is why it’s such a decisive factor when choosing a floor. In Scelta’s case, where the production process includes a wet process, the floor needs to be cleaned daily. If this can be done in under three hours, whereas other floors can easily take five hours to clean, this can be a dealbreaker.” This also explains why Bolidt oversees the cleaning process of the floors, with a cleaning consultant, who draws up a cleaning protocol. “Because cleanability can be a dealbreaker, we keep up with the latest developments”.
“Industrial floors can’t be too porous if you want to clean them quickly and properly”, Ton explains. “That is why we choose to use floors that are completely impermeable across their entire thickness, unlike many other floors where often the only guarantee for the floor’s impermeability is the sealant top coating. If this seal is damaged, however, penetration may give rise to mould in the floor, for example. A problem you won’t have with a fully-
“Choosing an industrial floor means selecting a tailor-made solution, precisely because so many aspects play a role and each production process comes with different requirements”, Ton explains. “That is why we spend so much time on developing and giving advice on floors. We also take care of sales and installing the floor on site. Bolidt does everything in house. Another aspect that Wilco took into account when making his choice. “The company runs like a well-oiled machine, e.g., for the communication of the planning schedule, but this also allows for flexibility throughout the process. The timing and preparation are crucial to the success on the construction site.”
Article AGF Primeur - Text Martine van der Wekken
Request a brochure
P.O. Box 131
3340 AC Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht
Bolidt Innovation Center
3341 LW The Netherlands
TEL +31 (0)78 684 54 44