Collaboration Rolls Open Doors That Set the New Standard
Design Meets Expectations of World’s Leading Truck Door Manufacturer
ATHOL, MA (March 22, 2011) – Durable, light weight and color customizable truck and trailer roll-up door panels from Pexco are helping Whiting Door launch an innovative transportation product category. The solution is the result of a collaborative design and development effort between Pexco, a leading plastics extruder, and Whiting Door Manufacturing Corporation of Akron, NY, the company credited with developing the first overhead roll-up door for trucks and trailers in 1953.
The challenge for the Pexco engineering team was to create a custom product that would meet strict tolerances, withstand harsh weather and operating conditions and lighten the weight of a 190 pound roll-up dry freight door by 20 percent.
In place of traditional sheet metal over plywood exterior, Whiting specified that the new panels should be coextruded and made from an Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) since it combines strength and rigidity with toughness. Pexco engineers developed a coextruded product to bring together the ABS with an outer layer of automotive grade polymer. The polymer replaces the need for paint since it can be fully color customized at point of manufacture. Further, the color won't fade because the coating polymer is UV protected for color and gloss.
To provide a weather tight seal, the panels are contoured along the edge during the extrusion process and provide a tongue and groove channel that accepts a joint seal during door assembly.
The panel’s interior houses unique integral tensile steel inserts that replace the traditional plywood core and serve as a webbing to provide stiffness, stability and a solid backing for standard hinge fasteners. Since the inserts are affixed to the interior of the door using pop rivets, the exterior face is completely smooth. This clean exterior is a big advantage for customers who want to fully customize the door with graphics. Additionally the pop rivets have been tested and have a high pull out rating.
The tensile webbing design requirement was a key challenge for Pexco since it could not be displaced or dislodged during repeated roll up and down of the finished dry freight door and the design did not include exterior stiffeners that are used in competitor applications.
Engineering teams from Pexco facilities in Yakima, Philadelphia and Athol, MA came together and worked with Whiting to identify and deliver the best solution.
To make this an achievable extrusion product, Pexco’s team with support from Sales Manager Ed O’Brien in Athlol, MA provided options and worked with Whiting to enhance the design, from top to bottom.
“This product innovation required a focused team effort and ongoing dialogue between our engineering team and Whiting Door. The result is an achievable extrusion product that is 20 percent lighter than traditional doors and meets the requirements for an industry-leading roll up door that is sturdy and able to carry custom colors or graphics,” said Jim Widhalm, vice president of sales and marketing, Pexco.
The Whiting SHIELD series I all-weather truck and trailer roll up door is now on the road on hundreds of installations and withstanding the rigors of transportation in a variety of climates. The finished ¾” panel allows easy retrofit of standard Whiting Premium dry freight doors, creating a wider base for use.
The company expects the new SHEILD series I doors will be a key product line addition for 2011 and are offering the product through its nationwide network of sales representatives.
Based in Atlanta and with seven plants in the United States and Mexico, Pexco is a North American leader in the design and fabrication of extruded plastics products. It provides standard and custom parts and components to manufacturers and end-users in the aerospace, retail, traffic safety, medical, lighting and fence industries. Pexco's Davidson Traffic Control products include Type I, II & III barricades, channelizer posts, curb system lane separators, work zone pavement markers, flexible delineator posts, reflectors for barrier walls and guardrails and snow poles. Pexco also offers a full range of custom design, engineering and fabrication services. Pexco meets the requirements of ISO 9001:2000, holds ISO 14001 registration for all of its manufacturing operations and operates two class 100,000 clean rooms. For more information, visit www.pexco.com.
Janette Baxter, Mintz & Hoke