Most gate automation drive units are manufactured in Italy and European standards require sliding gate operators to only open and close a gate at around 200mm/sec (or less).
This might be fine for gates which are 3 or 4 m long, but what about gates that are say 8m long?
A simple calculation will show that a 8000mm long gate that opens at 200mm /sec will actually take 40 seconds to fully open !
If this gate happens to be an entrance off a main road and a truck is waiting for it to open, this can be quite dangerous
Are there other options ?
Yes! ‘Gate Drive Systems Australia’ is an Australian gate operator manufacturer who make a range of high speed sliding gate operators.
The standard speeds are 450mm/sec or 630mm/sec or 940mm/sec.
In most cases the 450 or 630mm/sec is more than adequate to open a gate at a safe but respectable speed to allow trucks and vehicles to enter premises in a reasonable time.
Are high speed sliding gate operators safe ?
Like any ‘machine’ precautions always have to be put in place.
As a minimum ‘Gate Drive Systems Australia’ would recommend the following :
Signs, warning the public of an ‘Automatic gate’ which can open at any time
If the gate is ‘open bar’ then 50 x 50 mesh or Perspex mounted on the bars for the first 1m of each end (to stop any arms etc being placed through the gate)
2 sets of photo electric safety beams mounted between the gate posts to protect the gate from closing on a vehicle or person.
Certainly other forms of protection are also wise:
‘Bump strips’ mounted on the front of the gate
Induction loops installed in the roadway to detect for vehicles near the gate itself
Flashing lights and sirens, to operate before the gate moves and for its full travel
What is the difference between a fixed speed slider and a high speed slider?
A fixed speed slider can only have an on or off function, meaning the gate will go from 0 to full speed, almost instantly. A high speed slider will actually ramp the gate speed up from 0 to full speed, normally over about a 5 second period, allowing the gate to therefore open at a much faster speed than a fixed speed operator. The high speed slider will also not stop instantly, but rather ramp down, from full speed to 0 normally over a 2 second period.
So the gate will always smoothly ramp up, run along at a fast speed and then ramp down again, taking all the shock loads of the gearbox and drive system.
Other advantages of High speed automated sliding gate systems
Utilizing variable speed drive systems also provides the flexibility to adjust the open and close speeds to suit the gate, normally the gate may open at 600mm/sec but can be set to close at 300mm/sec, making it a safe and convenient system to operate an electric gate.