Learn how A-SAFE and Katoen Natie collaborated to implement polymer safety solutions with proven return on investment, improving safety and efficiency in a logistics setting.
Katoen Natie, a global logistics service company with operations in 39 countries throughout five continents and 50,000 employees worldwide, wants to safeguard its personnel, property, and facilities at its Belgian headquarters in Ghent.
With approximately 1,000 employees and a multi-customer site with 1.1 million square-feet of warehouses and facilities, Katoen Natie worked with A-SAFE, a leading supplier of safety solutions, to ensure complete peace of mind for safety in their operations.
The partnership between Katoen Natie and A-SAFE began in 2018 through a tender process. A-SAFE emerged as the preferred partner, and since then, they have continued to cooperate closely. According to Dimitri Raman, Operational Director at Katoen Natie, "A-SAFE was selected because we did, what we call, a tender, but also we tested the products ourselves and, in those tests, together with the proven already A-SAFE tests, they came out as the best in class." This collaboration allowed the implementation of effective safety solutions to enhance security and improve operations at Katoen Natie’s facilities as well as calculate a return on investment between one and two years after installation.
At the Ghent facilities, we have approximately one kilometer of A-SAFE, different range of products, but all A-SAFE barrier solutions, and I think we are one of the best-protected facilities in Belgium.
Dimitri Raman states, "At the Ghent facilities, we have approximately one kilometer of A-SAFE, different range of products, but all A-SAFE barrier solutions and, I think, we are one of the best-protected facilities in Belgium". The installations include iFlex Single Traffic Barriers – a versatile and robust safety solution that protects Katoen Natie’s buildings, machinery, and equipment from vehicle collisions while guiding drivers and preserving vital assets; iFlex Single Traffic Barriers+, comprehensive protection for pedestrians, assets, and infrastructure by effectively separating and guiding pedestrians and drivers, while also delivering robust impact resistance against low vehicles in dynamic and high-traffic settings; iFlex Bollards, reliable protection to structures and equipment against vehicle impacts, serving as a strong physical barrier to prevent access or guide vehicles and pedestrians, making them versatile and essential components in various industrial, commercial, and public environments.
These A-SAFE solutions have been strategically placed throughout the warehouses, with Warehouse 35, housing the company's automation systems, featuring the most extensive installation. Additionally, numerous iFlex Pedestrian 3 Rail Barriers in configuration with ForkGuard Kerb Barriers have been installed to protect specific packing stations and desks, as well as to separate employees from the machinery, ensuring enhanced safety and security within the facility. Moreover, the Single RackEnd+Kerb Barriers, with its integrated ForkGuard, were purposefully deployed in Katoen Natie's facility to effectively protect the ends of warehouses’ racks from impact damage and prevent fork breaching. Likewise, iFlex Swing Gates, supplied to Katoen Natie's facilities, provide safe access and exit points for pedestrians, encouraging them to pause and ensure safety before crossing.
Katoen Natie's need for safe access openings for pedestrians and vehicles within barrier sections led to the implementation of Slide Gates, which act as physical stops to ensure hazard checking, making them compatible with all A-SAFE safety barriers and suitable for vehicle entry and exit.
"We have most of the A-SAFE centralized in Warehouse 35, where also our automation is located, (…) and then we have several other installations of A-SAFE spread around the other operations on the warehouses to protect the desks, specific packing stations, to protect the people and to separate them from the machines that are driving around." - Conan Engels-Janssens, Operations Manager at Katoen Natie. Conan confirms that the A-SAFE products’ installations are much harder to break than Katoen Natie's previous barrier installations, resulting in a reduction in maintenance and repair costs. Additionally, the barriers enhance the protection Katoen Natie's employees from the machinery that drives around the warehouses.
We have most of the A-SAFE [solutions] centralized in Warehouse 35, where our automation is located, and we have several other installations of A-SAFE spread around the other operations in the warehouses to protect the desks, specific packing stations, to protect the people and to separate them from the machines that are driving around.
Katoen Natie is a company that values driver safety and recognizes the importance of providing drivers with a designated area to check on the loading or unloading of goods. To achieve this, Katoen Natie uses iFlex Perdistrian 3 Rail Barriers with Sign Post and ForkGuard Kerb Barriers, specifically for the application of Blue Spots, placed at each of their docking gates. The Blue Spots create a specific zone with A-SAFE protection that is reserved for drivers to enter and monitor the loading or unloading of goods. By utilizing A-SAFE products, Katoen Natie ensures that their drivers are protected and can safely perform their job duties.
Since the collaboration with A-SAFE began, Katoen Natie has experienced significant cost reductions, including a reduction in maintenance and repair costs "With every project we do, we calculate return on investments and with A-SAFE products, we see that the return on investment is between one and two years compared with steel or other barrier solutions. This is mainly driven by lower maintenance repair costs, but also taking into account cost and sequential damage like repair on rolling materials, downtime and concrete repairs and etc." Dimitri Raman says. A-SAFE's barrier solutions offer increased durability compared to Katoen Natie's previous products, resulting in a longer lifespan. Moreover, these barriers provide enhanced protection for Katoen Natie's employees against the vehicles in operation within the warehouses, leading to improved safety standards.
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