Westgate were asked by Getrag Ford Transmissions to provide a partition solution to divide off a large redundant area within their open plan manufacturing plant. This would reduce the energy usage for heating and lighting and have a positive impact on their carbon footprint.

Due to the numerous high-level services/penetrations and the active and clean nature of the surrounding gearbox production line, a conventional rigid partition system would have been too disruptive to build, too permanent and too expensive. Furthermore, future take down would be even more disruptive with disposal implications.

Getrag Ford Transmissions came to Westgate upon recommendation and as we are a first tier contractor on their supplier database.

The Flexiwall partitioning system supplied by Westgate was chosen as the best solution for the situation.

The overall size of the wall installed was nearly half a kilometre long x 7.5m tall in 11 interconnected runs. Two Flexicurtain access points with lock facility were also included.

Flexiwall is made up of flexible, reinforced PVC material and can be rapidly installed with very little dust. Its ability to absorb impact and the way large sections can be temporarily released makes this the No.1 solution for partitioning in factories/manufacturing plants. Extra doorways can be added when required and when the wall is no longer needed, it is quick and simple to take down and relocate or compacted to store/dispose of. New services can easily be inserted through if necessary.

The majority of this wall was made using a translucent material which effectively screened and protected the area whilst still allowing light penetration. An added benefit is that this will also act as a dust screen later on when a new production line is put in. This would involve replacing the floor, screed etc making the screen essential.

Ford have checked and approved the fire and toxicological ratings for this material.

The top 2mtrs of the screen was made using a black material to conceal the services it was fitted around. The lower 1.2m was a blue, heavy duty material to hide dirt scuffs and for added durability. Although the Flexiwall system absorbs minor impact with no damage, there is a row of ‘unpunched’ eyes at 1.2m high so in the event of major damage, the bottom can easily be cut off below and a new panel provided to fit the eyes quickly and efficiently without special access ensuring a smart, fresh look is maintained throughout the life of the wall.

The Flexiwall was fitted by two of Westgate’s specialist teams in spring 2013 within the required timescale of six weeks. The finished result is a smart screen with very few interruptions below truss level. Thanks to the black material, the interrupted top 2metres is barely noticeable to the eye. The client is very pleased with the finished job and it has been approved globally by the Ford Fire Department. Due to the effectiveness of the screen in controlling heat and light energy, they estimate the pay-back period will be only 1½ years.

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