DESIGN FOR PRODUCTIVITY: Automatic Doors Make Facilities More Productive

CLEVELAND, OHIO – In industrial settings, it is surprising how much valuable work time is wasted opening and closing doors, especially when employees are continually carrying materials, wheeling carts or driving forklifts through doorways. Time and motion analysis show productive time is eaten up when workers need to stop and open and close doors throughout the workday. Architects can bring value to their facility designs when they specify automatic doors at key locations.

Automatic doors have shown to be huge time savers in warehouses and other facilities.  Think about the forklift operator who has to stop, get out, open a door, drive through, stop and leave the vehicle again, and shut the door. Imagine the time wasted when a worker slows and pushes a door open with his backside while maneuvering a heavy cart.  Or, think of the wasted time when one employee holds the door open for another.  Minutes can add up to hours of non-productive time. The time saved over a year can easily justify the cost of automatic doors.

Automatic doors not only allow personnel to get from point A to point B more quickly, they are safer, too. Injuries are more likely when doorways become congested with workers who have their hands full and reach for door handles, push doors with elbows, or kick doors open. Everyone passes quickly and easily with an automatic door.

Automatic doors also prevent the problems associated with propping doors open. Where forklifts and large rolling carts are in-use, large doors are often left wide open to make it easy to enter and exit. But wide-open doors can lead to dirt transfer from one area to another, such as from the factory to the warehouse. In other situations, open doors allow outside air to enter the building, which can make the temperature in the building uncomfortable and possibly unsafe. An automatic door opens and closes allowing easy passage without the problems caused by doors that are continually left open.

Optimizing traffic flow through a facility is part of good design and can be greatly enhanced with automatic doors, improving efficiency, productivity and safety. Clients will appreciate the foresight in the design and will quickly see how the investment in automatic doors can be recouped in little time

For more information about automatic doors and advice in choosing the right door type for your design, visit the American Association of Automatic Door Manufactures at

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