Floor Flatness Surveying and Testing

An industrial floor needs to have an appropriate flatness in order to provide a suitable surface for the operation of materials handling equipment (MHE), and an appropriate levelness to ensure that the building as a whole, with all its static equipment and MHE can function satisfactorily.

Flatness and Levelness

Diagram showing the difference between levelness and flatnessThe difference between flatness and levelness is illustrated in Figure 3.1.

Kevin Dare, Managing Director of Face Consultants Ltd and a member of the Concrete Society Technical report 34 working group on floor surface regularity puts forward some important views on producing the best floor surfaces.

“Floor flatness has a significant impact on the efficiency, performance and safety of materials handling equipment especially fork lift trucks. The Concrete Society Technical Report TR34 first published in 1988 and now on its 4th edition was a pioneering step and indeed today contains the principal standards used to determine floor flatness in warehouses.”

In warehouses, MHE is classified in two distinct areas of traffic movement, these are Defined Movement and Free Movement.

Defined Movement Area

Dust Free Cutting

Floors in very narrow aisle racking systems have materials handling equipment that run on defined movement floors and fixed pathways between the racking.

The floors are measured with Face Profileographs of slightly differing configurations

A high standard of floor flatness is an essential requirement for the safe and efficient operation of a narrow aisle forklift truck.

Free Movement Area

Applying CoGri Rapid Mender

Free Movement Surveys are carried out in any area where MHE traffic is free to move randomly in any direction such as transfer aisles or block stacking and wide aisle areas.

When assessing surface regularity in FM areas it is not possible to survey an infinite number of points, therefore a representative sample of the floor is surveyed on a 3 metre grid.

Why Flatness is important

static lean table

Correct floor flatness is essential for the following reasons:

  • Operations are more efficient if lift trucks operate at Maximum speed.
  • Poor surface regularity will cause excessive vibration on a lift truck and increase down time and maintenance.
  • Health & Safety and reduced driver fatigue
  • Reduced damage to stock.
  • Gives control on the general quality of a floor when constructed.

Undoubtedly the most important category of industry where flatness is essential is within aisles of high density warehouses where defined path, very narrow aisles (VNA) trucks operate.

The static lean table shows how the potential for truck lean is increased by the lifting height.

Face Consultants use the latest in digital floor flatness testing equipment to check both Defined and Free Movement floors to either TR34, DIN or the American F number specifications.

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FLOOR MEASURING TECHNOLOGY

Floor flatness testing equipment including profileographs, DINmeters and F-Speed reader

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