n 22 MAY 2015 | PHARMACEUTICAL PROCESSING
nFACILITY MAINTENANCE ■ PHARMPRO.COM
and dock bumpers which present another challenge to industrial hygiene and sanitation.
Installing a seal under the leveler can offer a barrier
against the elements on the facility’s exterior. Inside, lip corner seals, filler pads and other components keep the inside
of the dock protected. In essence, anywhere there is daylight
visible at a dock door opening when a trailer is in place,
a gap exists which must be filled to prevent infiltration of
contaminants and loss of heating and cooling energy, and a
product is available to fill it.
Sealing under and around the leveler will help keep dirt,
debris and refuse out of leveler pit and close gaps that allow
dirt, dust and insects into the building. Sealing these gaps will
also help reduce heat transfer through the steel leveler deck
and – as on the other three sides of the dock opening – will
help prevent heated or cooled air from escaping the building.
Experts estimate that pharmaceutical warehouses and other
industrial facilities can save up to $1,000 per year per dock position in total energy savings, depending on climate, by using
Vertical storing dock levelers provide another option for
control of the fourth side. Considered the gold standard environmental protection of dock openings, vertical levelers differ
from pit-style levelers in that they allow the loading dock door
to close directly onto the pit floor, rather than onto the leveler.
This minimizes outside air infiltration, helps reduce contami-
nants from entering a building and also helps protect the dock
door from damage.
Additionally, vertical dock levelers improve security by minimizing points of entry at the dock. Additionally, their vertical
design makes it easy to clean or wash down the pit floor when
the leveler is in the upright and stored position, which is critical in the pharmaceutical industry.
PROPERLY SEALING THE DOCK
A dock seal or shelter creates a unified, seamless connection between the back end of the semitrailer and the inside of
the loading dock in forming a crucial environmental barrier to
keep wind, rain, dust, bugs, and other contaminants outside
the building – and valuable conditioned air inside.
Today’s leading seal and shelter products can also guar-
• Protection against burning from the heat of trailer marker
• Provide state-of-the art materials for the longest wear.
• Offer custom designs to match the specific, unique needs of
However, regardless of site specifics, facility managers
should mandate an effective dock sealing system that takes all
four sides of the opening into account, thus protecting and securing the integrity of the product as it moves into and out of
a facility during manufacturing, processing and shipping. n
Thousands of dollars in HVAC energy can escape the building
and contaminants can enter it through the dock doorway. Dock
seals close up the gaps between the truck and the door frame.