Possibly the Flattest Floor in the World!

June 1, 2012

“Operation of our STILL narrow-aisle forklifts and all their functionalities can now continue without any restrictions whatsoever. The driving behaviour and resulting level of comfort, the obvious improvement in safety and the velocities that can now be achieved, even at great heights, confirm our opinion that the grinding work will lead to a sustainable reduction of operating costs.”

Following extensive development and testing, Concrete Grinding Ltd’s recently launched and ground breaking Laser Grinder® XPT, has successfully completed its first two very narrow aisle floor grinding projects in Germany with astounding results. Staying true to its ULTRAFLAT floor grinding feature, the Laser Grinder® XPT achieved possibly the World’s flattest floors!

Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) trucks are moving faster and lifting higher than ever before and this puts greater demands on the platform on which these trucks operate. That platform is the concrete floor. Recognising and adapting to clients’ changing needs are what CoGri does best. The CoGri Group has spent the last few years developing the next generation of the Laser Grinder®; the Laser Grinder® XPT (Xtra Precision Technology), which is now the most technologically advanced floor grinding system in the world, built specifically to work in a fully operational warehouse.

The two projects were completed in collaboration with BS Bodensysteme, Concrete Grinding Ltd’s partner in Germany. The first client, a publishing and distribution company based near Stuttgart, were experiencing problems with their BT Toyota VNA trucks bumping and shaking as they travelled down the aisles. The poor standard of floor flatness meant the trucks had to be operated well below their designed speed, consequently slowing down productivity and increasing truck maintenance. Having instructed BS Bodensysteme to carry out a Profileograph survey to assess the current state of floor flatness within the aisles, the cause of the problem was not immediately obvious as generally the aisles complied with the DIN 15185 specification (widely recognised in Germany as the required flatness standard for VNA operation). However, it was quickly determined that the short wavelength characteristic of the floor was the underlying issue (how much the floor ‘ripples’ over a short distance). This characteristic is not controlled in the DIN 15185 specification, nor is the rate in which the profile of the floor is allowed to change over a short distance (known as rate of change) hence these issues were not evident in the survey results. This is not to be confused with the micro wave length of the floor described as Fx numbers in the VDMA Guidelines.

Clean and Dust Free

See below:
1. The Laser Grinder® XPT hard at work in a fully stocked aisle. Stuttgart, Germany.
2. One of the finished aisles in Stuttgart, Germany.

Laser Grinding

The Laser Grinder® XPT
1. The Laser Grinder® XPT

The client wanted a solution that would guarantee the flattest possible aisles whilst ensuring ongoing warehouse activities were not interrupted and chose Concrete Grinding Ltd’s new Laser Grinder® XPT technology to carry out the project. Each of the 4 aisles measuring 83 metres in length (332 metres in total) were ground in 2 tracks to suit the wheel footprint of the BT Toyota trucks.

Finished Aisle

finished aisle by XPT
2. One of the finished aisles

As the Laser Grinder® system is clean and dust free, no existing stock had to be removed from the racking. This meant the client could begin using each aisle immediately after works were completed. In addition, the Laser Grinder® XPT is completely self-contained therefore there was no disruption caused by trailing pipes or cables in adjacent aisles, and it is powered by one of the World’s most advanced Euro V engines. In fact, the engine is so clean it has virtually zero emissions so warehouse staff could continue working in the immediate vicinity.

After Grinding

See below:
3. Before and after grinding with the Laser Grinder® XPT.
4. The Laser Grinder® XPT grinding graph: VDMA Guideline after grinding- Stuttgart.

Before and After Grinding – Stuttgart

before and after grinding with the Laser Grinder® XPT
3. Before & After Graph

After grinding the aisles were re-surveyed to both the DIN 15185 >6m specification and VDMA Guideline, where results confirmed that a truly outstanding level of flatness had been achieved. See DIN 15185 >6m before and after grinding; and VDMA Guideline after grinding graphs with the Laser Grinder® XPT.

The Laser Grinder® XPT grinding graph: VDMA Guideline after grinding- Stuttgart

VDMA Guideline after grinding with the Laser Grinder® XPT
4. VDMA Guideline after grinding

As the racking in Stuttgart was 12 metres high, the VDMA Guideline states the Fx numbers should be above 450. As can be seen from VDMA graph example above, the results achieved by the Laser Grinder® XPT far exceeded this requirement.

Second Project

See below:
5. View from behind the Laser Grinder® XPT – clean and dust free, Hannover, Germany.
6. A completed aisle in Hannover – now possibly one of the flattest in the World.

Whole Aisle Width

View from behind the Laser Grinder® XPT
5. Behind the Laser Grinder® XPT

As soon as the works were finished in Stuttgart, the Laser Grinder® XPT went straight to its second project for an abrasives company in Hannover where the client was also having problems with the operation of their Still VNA trucks. The Laser Grinder® XPT was used to grind whole aisle width to 1 aisle at 38 metres in length and 1 aisle at 90 metres in length (128 metres total), in a fully operational warehouse. After grinding the aisles were surveyed to both the DIN 15185 >6m specification and VDMA Guideline.

Completed Grind

A completed aisle in Hannover
6. A completed aisle in Hannover

The Concrete Grinding team worked tirelessly on both projects to ensure the new Laser Grinder® XPT lives up to its name and the results speak for themselves – the Profileograph surveys taken after grinding revealed the aisles are now possibly some of the flattest in the world! The clients and truck operators were amazed with the results.

Results

See below:
7. The Laser Grinder® XPT grinding graph: DIN 15185 – before and after grinding – Hannover.
8. The Laser Grinder® XPT grinding graph: VDMA Guideline after grinding – Hannover.

Grinding Graphs

DIN 15185 before and after grinding with the Laser Grinder® XPT
7. Grinding graph: DIN 15185

The Construction Dept of VSM – Vereinigte Schmirgel- und Maschinen-Fabriken AG commented, “The floor surfaces in our buildings were not sufficiently flat and level to allow swift and safe operations in the narrow-aisle warehouses. After comparing a variety of options and proposals, we decided to commission your company* to carry out grinding work in two lanes each of our 38 m and 90 m narrow aisles. The height of the top shelf is 10 m. The narrow-aisle forklifts we use are guided along lateral tracks.

DIN 15185 before and after grinding with the Laser Grinder® XPT
8. Grinding graph: VDMA Guideline

Prior to commencing the work you had referred to your new product, the Laser – Grinder® XPT, and suggested grinding the entire width of the aisle instead of only the travel tracks for the same price.** We agreed to this.

You commenced your work on the date agreed. Apart from the preparatory measures to be carried out by us prior to the commencement of your work, such as the provision of a mobile crane for unloading/loading operations due to the lack of loading ramps with dock levellers in the halls, as well as the provision of a 220-V power supply, a ¾” water connection and a waste skip, no other activities were required of us.

It was very helpful that the stored materials could remain in the storage shelves and that our production processes would not be inhibited.

The work was completed within the timeline agreed; in one of the warehouses it was necessary to work on Saturdays and Sundays as well.

The Laser Grinder® XPT created an automatically computed latitudinal floor profile that was calculated by an on-board computer system based on the measurement of the existing floor heights. With the exception of one particularly uneven spot in the original floor surface, the grinding depths were less than 10 mm. The original substantial difference between the heights of the forklift truck wheels was ground down to the smallest tolerances by an evidently highly sensitive laser in combination with a jolt-free hydraulic system.

During the grinding process, the sludge that was generated by the regulated addition of water to the concrete dust accumulating in the encapsulated tools was continuously vacuumed off. The diesel motor of the Laser Grinder® XPT did not emit any perceptible unpleasant odours during its use; no complaints about cold exhaust odours were received from the employees in Hall 65 when work began on Monday morning. According to the information in your quotation, you use a EURO-5-compliant diesel engine. For this reason, in our opinion and also from the perspective of today’s state-of-the-art health and environmental aspects, there are no reasons for concern regarding the use of the Laser Grinder® XPT in the interior of buildings.

Operation of our STILL narrow-aisle forklifts and all their functionalities can now continue without any restrictions whatsoever. The driving behaviour and resulting level of comfort, the obvious improvement in safety and the velocities that can now be achieved, even at great heights, confirm our opinion that the grinding work will lead to a sustainable reduction of operating costs.

We are glad to confirm that we are more than satisfied with the way in which the grinding work was performed, the technology used and the resulting flatness of the level surfaces.”, VSM AG, Construction Department, Germany

* BS Bodensysteme is Concrete Grinding Ltd’s partner in Germany.

** At this time the central grinding head of the Laser Grinder® XPT was still in production so a separate centre track could no be ground. It was for this reason that the entire aisle width was ground for the same price as track grinding.

Being able to operate within a live warehouse environment is one of the key features of the Laser Grinder® system and this also forms part of the Laser Grinder® XPT’s many pioneering qualities. Other XPT innovative attributes include:-

  • ULTRAFLAT floor grinding
  • Guaranteed to achieve all international defined movement specifications; TR34, ACI Fmin, DIN 15185, EN 15620 and VDMA
  • Reduced emissions which meets the latest Euro 5 standard
  • Lower noise levels < 84 DBA
  • Curve computer control – allows minimal depth of grinding required to meet the specification by only correcting errors in floor surface regularity, rather than grinding the whole aisle from end to end – a cost effective solution which our competitors cannot offer!
  • Enhanced operator control system
  • Total flexibility to suit all VNA forklift trucks; 2 tracks, 3 tracks or whole aisle width
  • A completely self sufficient machine, with no trailing high voltage cables or water pipes – ensuring very safe working practices are maintained
    No requirement for three phase power or generators – therefore no hidden electricity charges
  • Each path is ground flat across its width to ensure that each VNA forklift truck wheel makes full contact with the floor surface
  • Laser guided and constantly checks and maintains the correct path during the grinding process – accurate to within fractions of a millimetre
  • Suitable for use in operational food and pharmaceutical storage facilities – even in sub-zero temperatures
  • Can grind through bolts up to 12mm thick and metal joints that fall within the required ground path

The addition of Laser Grinder® XPT to the CoGri armoury enables CoGri to offer ultraflat floor profiles that far exceed the limits of current international standards. If all that is needed is a floor to a given floor flatness standard then the Standard Laser Grinder® is the machine for the job. If a project requires something special – an ultraflat floor to exceptionally tight tolerances, the Laser Grinder® XPT is now available.

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