ESD Checklist: Operational Considerations
There are several operational considerations involved with ESD flooring. Here are some of the questions you should be asking:
If in an existing operating environment, can you shut-down during installation?
If you are thinking about a glue down surface, you must think of all the steps involved, especially if it’s an existing factory. First, you must rip out the existing floor. To do that will require disconnecting all the equipment from power, water, air and electric and then removing all the equipment. Then comes prepping the floor, gluing down the new floor, waiting for it to cure and that usually takes a few days. After that, you will have to move back all the equipment and then reconnect to air, water, electric, etc. and re-level everything. From a business standpoint, you must ask can you retain some level of functionality with all that going on. Most businesses can’t, and a shutdown is the only way if you want to glue down your new flooring.
What is the cost to shut-down the area per day? Relate this to cost/day/square foot.
What is the area that will be shut down worth to your business per day in terms of output? Do you want to undertake that kind of loss? For example, a 10,000 square foot facility that produces $30,000 profit per day or $3 per square foot. If you choose to glue down the new floor it could mean two weeks of downtime. For this example, $30k per day over two weeks is a lot of money to most businesses, especially those that run three shifts, 24/7. That’s why many customers opt for the interlocking floor to minimize or avoid shutdowns altogether.
Do you require the floor to be portable for re-configurations or future moves?
Some types of facilities require flooring to be portable. Expansions, downsizing or relocation to a new facility are just some of the reason why companies want a flooring they can move. When you choose a glue-down option for flooring, you sacrifice portability. Glued down tiles can’t and shouldn’t be removed and used again. Again, many of our ESD customers choose the interlocking floor tiles for this very reason. Interlocking floor costs more than glue-down. Many clients feel that one move justifies the extra cost.
Is the floor for a clean room? What are the VOC and particulate requirements of the room?
Some floors are better for clean rooms than others. Epoxies and vinyl’s work well in clean rooms. Clean rooms will have standards that have to be adhered to and that’s something we review with customers. For example, vinyls generate particulates when you scrub. This requires a sealant to be applied to prevent that from happening. Again, this is part of a review conducted with customers to ensure the flooring meets the requirements of the clean room properties.
In the next e-newsletter, we will address aesthetics and maintenance and how that influences the selection of ESD flooring.