Four things you probably didn’t know about your automatic gate

There is more to an electric gate than meets the eye. It is a complex machine that is carefully designed, manufactured and tested. In this blog post, we give you a glimpse into the world of gates, as well as the requirements your gate needs to meet. And, we take a look at the future of gates.

If you have an electric gate on your premises, it must be safe. In other words: the gate should work as intended. How do we ensure this happens? Through risk assessments, extensive analyses, accurate measurements and other tests. This is because the European Union requires that we certify the safety of each and every gate we build, be it the first or the hundredth. We will explain in four steps how we ensure that every gate is of the highest quality.

1. Gates have to pass endurance tests, just like top athletes

Top athletes go through endurance tests to find out how consistent their performance is over time, and how their bodies respond under stress. Your gate is subjected to similar endurance tests, which provide us with answers to important questions like: How susceptible to wear are the gate’s components? Which components are subject to the most physical stress? Where could deformation occur? Armed with this information, we can determine the lifespan of the various gate components and how often they will require maintenance.

2. Gates have a speed limit

A speed limit for gates? Yes, you read that right! A gate is a moving object through which traffic passes daily. The last thing you want is for the gate to hit a person or vehicle. That’s why we set a maximum speed limit for your gate. We do this by determining the force at which the likelihood of injury or damage would be minimal. Through accurate testing and calculations, we know exactly what forces come into play when a gate opens or closes, as well as how long these forces endure. We set the speed limit based on this information. This allows us to reduce the risk of your gate causing any permanent damage.

3. Gates are at the mercy of the elements

Come wind, rain or sun, your gate needs to keep working properly whatever the weather. For example, a gate in the centre of Cambridge is subject to different requirements than a gate on the Shetland Islands. This has to do with the wind force the gate has to withstand, as well as corrosion caused by salt in the sea air. That’s why we subject your gate to tests for temperature, wind force and other variables. Based on this information we will decide what coating system your gate needs and how to anchor your gate so that it can withstand whatever the elements throw at it.

4. Electrically powered gates of the future will tell us when they need maintenance

Currently, our policy is to schedule regular maintenance for gates. But this is set to change dramatically in the coming years: for example, using systems like Heras Connect we can read out how often a gate opens and closes. In the future, we will be able to use this information to forecast maintenance requirements. But that’s not all. The gates of the future will come with sensors that provide round-the-clock information about their components. If certain values exceed or fall below set ranges – e.g. if a component is producing more heat than usual –an alert will be sent. Based on that information, we will know precisely what action needs to be taken.

Maintenance is not without risks

Despite all the craftsmanship that is put into your gate – now and in the future – any installation will always require scheduled maintenance. As the owner, you are responsible for ensuring your gate is in good working order. Not only to secure access to your premises, but also to guarantee the safety of all users. Maintaining a gate is not without risks. There are moving components and procedures that you need to take into account. So be sure to always have your gate inspected by Heras or by one of our approved partners.
To find out more about maintaining your gate, visit: heras.co.uk/service