Cold Storage Facilities and Dated Glove Technology
By Jay McNeil
We visited a large locally owned sausage manufacturer that processes live pigs to finished product. After the pig passes through the Kill Floor, it continues onto the rest of the refrigerated facility. The cold facility creates condensation on most items like crates, forklifts, hand jacks, door knobs, etc. Workers also have to handle smaller parts like keypads, pens, bolts, latches, etc. The current glove in use was an insulated leather palm glove by North.
The North Product had several flaws for their applications.
1. Too Bulky to handle smaller items
2. Lack of water repellency caused glove to saturate and lose insulation efficiency
3. Lifetime of glove was too short
Each employee was able to choose gloves from the storeroom if they did not prefer the North insulated glove. Others choose to use basic string-knit gloves under an unsupported glove. This eliminated the water repellency issue, but was not warm enough for all day use and often made hands perspire causing the inner lining to saturate. The outer glove also created a slick grip when grabbing metal objects with condensation.
Three items were tested in the facility and two were accepted for use.
1. 34411L – This eliminated the saturation of moisture into the insulation and had a good grip on items with condensation, but did not improve dexterity compared to the North glove in use now.
2. N9690FC – The Ninja Ice HPT was the best of all worlds. The HPT Coating created a great grip on all items, with or without condensation. It had enough water repellency to keep hands dry. When handling smaller objects, they no longer needed to remove their gloves. The HPT coating performed better when handling metal crates than the leather palm.
3. 926 – This glove was only tested due to extended delivery dates on the N9690FC, but proved to be a viable option. Its waterproof bladder kept moisture from getting onto the hand. The dotted grip worked with grabbing crates, even with condensation.
In this facility and all other cold storage facilities, the glove technology is dated. Most facilities settle with insulated leather and rarely try anything new. Most have tried an insulated latex dipped glove (Like Atlas) that has zero grip on wet objects and now assume all “Rubber Coated” gloves will be too slick. We overcame this mentality by explaining the HPT coating in detail and helping them realize that it is NOT made of Latex. Once they try the Ninja Ice, they will have overwhelming employee acceptance.
Time from initial opportunity to implementation:
* - Backorders on Ninja Ice F.C. delayed actual implementation of product. Decision was made within 1st month.