Cost and price are two separate factors, and with increased pressure on the purchase price specifiers of floor grating are purchasing material at the expense of structural integrity and loading capacity.
Elaine van Rooyen, marketing manager at Andrew Mentis, has raised the important issue that when it comes to floor grating material, the quality of the product underpins both its safety and ultimate performance.
Andrew Mentis, the largest single producer of floor grating in southern Africa, has been manufacturing Rectagrid RS40 floor grating for more than 40 years. The company operates from its well-equipped facility in Elandsfontein and van Rooyen says its Rectagrid products have long been the benchmark in floor grating in South Africa.
“Industry should be concerned, however, that with increasing pressure to cut costs specifiers are taking the short-sighted approach of opting for sub-standard products. These may be cheaper in the short term, but do not offer the same benefits in terms of quality and durability. Health and safety is also compromised by the use of inferior products,” van Rooyen says.
Rectagrid floor grating is manufactured using a pressure locking system pioneered by Andrew Mentis. Quality control during the manufacturing process ensures that close tolerances are maintained, and that the round transversal bar fits tightly through the pierced bearer bar. This not only guarantees the superior structural integrity of the product, but also eliminates its vulnerability to corrosion, which, in turn, ensures the superior locking characteristics. Rectagrid RS40 is formed through a process of compressive locking of bearer bars and transversals to form an exact pitch with openings of 35.5 mm by 32.4 mm.
“In an effort to cut costs even further, specifiers are even reducing the number of bearer bars and round bar transversals on each section of grating. This reduces the loading capacity of the grating, as well as weakening it and, in some cases, even rendering it unsafe,” van Rooyen cautions.
“An added problem of such short-sighted cost cutting measures is that the safety implication is only apparent after installation, when it is clear that the compromised floor grating is unable to perform according to the original specifications.”
Rectagrid RS40 is a highly engineered product that has been tested extensively in the field. Van Rooyen says the company’s main challenge is to continue to produce world class products without sacrificing on either materials or quality.
“It is also critical to educate the end-user market, as well as ensuring that specifiers make informed purchase decisions that take into account the full ramifications of cost versus price,” she concludes.