Radiation-shielded Bifold Door designed specially for industrial x-ray system firm
This specially designed door is a feat of engineering that is common to Schweiss Doors, who always make their doors to order.
The creativity of customers continues to be a driving force for many
manufacturers. Take for example North Star Imaging, Inc., a Rogers,
Minnesota manufacturer of industrial x-ray systems which are enclosed by a
radiation shielding cabinet and access door and used by manufacturing firms
in the aerospace, military, automotive, medical device, electronics, even
the genetic seed industry and many more.
As more and more companies realize the benefits of X-ray inspection, the
size of various products needing x-ray inspection continues to expand as
well. And this often means bigger doors to access these larger component
parts into the x-ray system of these companies bigger doors with a
built-in lead radiation shield to be more specific.
“To my knowledge this is the first time a door of this type has been used in a radiation shielded enclosure. I have been in the x-ray business for 17 years and can tell you that this door coupled with the radiation enclosure is a very impressive system.”
- Lou Ortega
Director of Engineering
North Star Imaging
For example, North Star Imaging had clients in Texas and Connecticut, both
needing an extra large access door to their new NSI X-ray system. A 40'
wide door to be exact. But a lead-filled door of this size potentially
presents a lifting challenge. The Internet to the rescue!
"We first learned about Schweiss Doors on the Internet. Their web site is
loaded with information," relates Lou Ortega, Director of Engineering, North
Star Imaging, Inc. "We saw that Schweiss offered two choices, bifold or
hydraulic. Bifold doors were new to us. But when we checked out the specs,
the opening and closing mechanism, plus the fact that the bifold door
essentially opens straight up, we could readily see the mechanical advantage
of a shielded bifold door," said Ortega. (www.bifold.com)
As the name implies, a radiation-shielded door has to be precisely
engineered to provide protection during x-ray procedures. Yet this door also
has to meet specific specs at each installation location. As NSI engineers
analyzed their challenges, a Schweiss bifold seemed to be a perfect answer.
Before and after images of the Schweiss bi-fold radiation door being installed.
Said Ortega, "To my knowledge this is the first time a door of this type
has been used in a radiation shielded enclosure. I have been in the x-ray
business for 17 years and can tell you that this door coupled with the
radiation enclosure is a very impressive system."
The two units installed were both 40' wide and 9' high providing a 7'
vertical clearance. The 'protective' lead liner was 1/8th inch diameter
thick and weighed 5,000 pounds! Sandwiched with metal siding on both sides,
total weight of these doors was 9,300 pounds. Schweiss provided a heftier
framework plus equipped each door with seven of their patented lift-strap units.
"The lift-strap mechanism is what makes this door so functional. A
single-piece hydraulic with lead liner would simply be too heavy," explained
Ortega. And because of safety considerations of a door this heavy, Schweiss
constructed a special 'Dead Man' switch, which requires both hands of the
door operator when opening and/or closing the door.
The first half of the specially made bi-fold door arrives at the North Star facility, ready to be installed.
Rod Meyer, National X-Ray Sales Manager, North Star Imaging, said initial
reactions to this unique concept of a leaded bifold door for radiation
shielding has been very positive. "Clients have been very surprised by the
looks of the door, the smoothness and quiet operation, and the overall
functionality. They were impressed and recognized this as a great
Special customized doors are nothing new for Schweiss Mfg., a Minnesota firm
with 34 years designing and building doors for clients around the world.
Schweiss created the concept of 'Designer Doors' and works with architects
and builders to provide either bifolds or 1-piece hydraulic units. "We
truly do custom manufacture every door. We design and build around the
customer's needs," said CEO Mike Schweiss.
"Because we had a customer doing x-ray inspections on a 38' long component
metal product, we knew we needed a special door," related Meyer. "When our
engineering team found the Schweiss bifold, they could see that this was a
special door package that would be big enough, yet conveniently fit the
closure space required for this particular x-ray facility. We decided to
move forward with the Schweiss system. They responded efficiently and
professionally. We now confidently look ahead to more markets with existing
clients and potential clients throughout the world."
North Star Imagining, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of industrial X-ray
systems in the USA. NSI also has clients in China, Singapore and other
countries around the world. Industrial X-ray inspection has many uses; some
applications consist of detecting even the most minute imperfection in a
metal or weld. Other uses are taking internal measurements of a critical
product to creating a 3D model for use in reverse engineering and much more.
Size of bifold apparently is not an issue, at least not for Schweiss. The
biggest Schweiss bifold to date is a 130' wide x 36' tall monster door at a
New Jersey based aviation company.
The creativity of customers continues to be a driving force for many manufacturers. Take for example North Star Imaging, Inc., a Rogers, Minnesota manufacturer of industrial x-ray systems which are enclosed by a radiation shielding cabinet and access door and used by manufacturing firms in the aerospace, military, automotive, medical device, electronics, even the genetic seed industry and many more. Read More And See A lot More
How do you make the loading dock area for your store secure, yet still easily accessible and stylish? This Target store in North Carolina found the answer with two 39' x 17' bifold gates for their loading area. Give us your idea and we will get you the door. Read More And See A lot More
What looked like a near impossible situation without some totally new engineering design instead turned out to be a remarkable solution to an extreme challenge. The challenge? How to fit a "roof door" over a 20' by 30' sandblasting chamber used by SMS Millcraft, Oil City, PA. This firm specializes in refurbishing component parts for various Pennsylvania steel mills. Read More And See A lot More
It is rare that an Air Tractor dealership changes hands. It cant be done without an approval from Air Tractor, Inc. This requirement became all too apparent to Bill Taylor of Farm Air in Fairfield Illinois. Bill was starting to think about retiring from the business he formed in 1976. Shortly after forming Farm Air, Bill saw a need for Air Tractors in the Midwest, and approached Air Tractor about becoming a dealer. Over thirty successful years later, Bill decided it was time to sell Farm Air with its Air Tractor dealership intact. Read More And See A lot More