Flowcrete - Industrial Strength

SEVERAL flooring solutions from Flowcrete were chosen by the Ford Motor Company when it undertook a comprehensive renovation of its large-scale Romeo Engine Plant.

The facility in Romeo, Michigan has been a critical part of Ford’s industrial muscle since the early ‘70s and it has recently embarked on a $150m program of upgrades with general contractors Walbridge to enhance its capacity and prepare the plant for the future.

As part of this process, the iconic plant required a new floor that would meet the site’s exceptionally high standards - and that would continue to do so in the face of the complex, demanding and intensive operational activity. Failing to meet this benchmark wasn’t an option for a facility tasked with making engines for some of the world’s most renowned vehicles, such as the Ford Super Duty, E-Series and Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang.

The Romeo Engine Plant’s commitment to high standards is exemplified by the fact it’s achieved awards and accreditations for quality, environmental efficiency and manufacturing excellence. The scale of the 2.2m sq ft operation is illustrated by the fact that a workforce of more than 1,000 employees work on two production lines, with one 4,000-foot line producing a breath-taking 140 engines an hour.

To create a floor area that would be up to the task at hand, Flowcrete provided a turnkey flooring service that included the delivery and application of 200,000 sq ft of its specialist flooring solutions.

The chemical resistant epoxy floor coating system Flowcoat OP was applied across a wide, 160,000 sq ft area of flooring in the main production zone.

Flowcoat OP is suitable for large expanses of flooring within manufacturing facilities, as its durable nature will withstand the impacts, substances, traffic, temperatures and deteriorating factors to which it will inevitably be exposed. Additionally, the seamless and impervious properties of this system facilitates a quick and effective cleaning regime, as it leaves grease, dirt, spillages and contaminants with nowhere to hide.

For the spaces that would be faced with more challenging demands, 40,000 sq ft of the highly durable epoxy floor mortar Flowtex was installed. This system has enhanced abrasion, wear, scratch and chemical resistance, making it suitable for even the most heavy-duty processing environments.

Flowcrete’s resin flooring solutions allowed Ford to create a colourful floor area, with important safety and navigational signage incorporated into the finish.

An attractive light grey was chosen for the main floor area with a darker shade used to designate forklift truck and pedestrian routes around the site. Yellow and red line-markings were added to clearly mark out specific spaces and to highlight key hazards around the site.

Using this specification, a floor fit for the modern automotive industry was successfully created in the project’s 12-week schedule. During the application, Flowcrete Americas and its approved contractor partner had to ensure compliance with the new Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standard on crystalline silica dust, which affected multiple parts of the process. This important health and safety criteria was properly adhered to throughout the project.

Once laid down, the floor’s slip resistance was tested to ensure it would provide a safe platform underfoot for the site’s many employees.

Testing was undertaken every 5,000 sq ft to check that the coefficient of friction stayed in the acceptable parameters. Core samples were also taken every 25,000 sq ft to confirm that the floor’s thickness and strength met the required levels.

Owing to what Flowcrete describes as its expertise, specialist flooring materials and attention to detail, the Ford Motor Company’s Romeo Engine Plant renovation was put on a firm footing with a reliable floor that would support the site as it transformed for the future.
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