What sort of maintenance work is required for an automatic gate?

Like all new purchases designed to simplify our lives and make it easier to get around and do things, the installation of a gate, door, garage door or automatic up-and-over door fills us with enthusiasm and makes us feel like we have solved a problem!

Which we have, of course. Automated systems are extremely convenient! After the initial excitement has worn off, though, what we don’t want to end up saying is: “Great!! But now, what?”

Once our gate has been properly installed by specialists, we must make sure that the situation is always under control and that we know exactly what to do in order to keep our automated system in perfect working order.

One thing that must always be uppermost in our minds is that safety is of paramount importance!
Because children often face the greatest risk and can fall victim to accidents caused by malfunctions or damages to the automation systems. Unfortunately, newspaper accounts are sadly all too full of such examples.

When to get in touch with customer support

To avert any such danger, here are some basic rules on how to keep our gates, doors or sliding garage doors open. We will explain what main checks have to be run and who we should turn to in order to get the job done.

Basically, this is a practical guide to help you find your way around the tricky world of gates, doors and automatic garage doors.

So, let’s begin by looking at who can do what and how.

– For obvious safety reasons, the private user (who has no specific expertise) should not try
to carry out any work on automated systems.

Private individuals must adhere to the instructions provided by the installer, but they play a fundamental role because it is their job to promptly report any episodes of non-compliance, poor functioning or troubles that may limit in any way normal opening and closing operations. And the emphasis is on the word promptly. Never wait until the situation has deteriorated or the problem has got worse.

– Now, let’s talk about the role of the installer.

First of all, it must be pointed out that all preventive maintenance work must be carried out by specialised technicians so as to avoid any risk of dangerous accidents.

The regulations governing the installation and maintenance of automatic gates are set out in Directive 2006/42/EC, also known as the “Machinery Directive”. Under this Directive, automatic gates are likened to machinery, which is why they are subject to a series of safety and maintenance rules that will ensure their efficient operation.

The Machinery Directive specifies that maintenance work on automatic gates must be carried out on a yearly basis and that the firm in charge of the work must provide compulsory certification by attaching a label on the piece of equipment after a check.

Therefore, the EC declaration of conformity protects the owner of the automatic gate and guarantees that the work has been carried out in accordance with the law.

The firm which installs and maintains the automation system must provide a document that contains:

– the EC declaration of conformity;
– the circuit diagram of the gate;
– a drawing of the whole piece of equipment;
– instructions on how to use it properly;
– a technical installation and maintenance manual;
– a declaration of conformity for the single component parts;
– a maintenance logbook recording all the work carried out on the piece of machinery.

Overview of routine maintenance on automatic gates

Now that we have looked at regulations and legislative aspects, let’s go into more detail and see what maintenance work an installer/maintenance person has to complete in order to guarantee the utmost efficiency and safety standards for the automation system.

Preventive maintenance must be carried out both on the mechanical structure and the electronic parts.

Checks on the mechanical structure include:

– making sure that the hinges are well lubricated and stable, so that the opening and closing mechanism works properly.

– Running checks on all the mechanisms that move the gate or door – there must be no signs of wear and tear, rust or dirt. It is recommended to carry out cleaning work on the brackets and pistons in order to get rid of any dust, leaves and insects.

– After the structure has been cleaned, all the mechanisms and moving parts should then be well lubricated.

Before doing that, always make sure that the motor is switched off!

As far as the electronic parts are concerned, the maintenance person must run checks on the photocells to make sure that they work properly.
In order to do that, a brush could be used to remove dirt, leaves or insects that might compromise the sensitivity of photocells. The same goes for their supports.

On the other hand, the surface of the photocell glass must be gently wiped clean with a soft cloth.

Another important aspect that will improve safety is the use of safety edges in order to avoid crushing.

These safety edges can be installed both on the moving parts and the fixed parts of the gate, and as with all the other component parts, they must be regularly cleaned and checked.

To sum up, the most important role in the maintenance process of a smoothly-working and perfectly safe automation system is played by the user who should always promptly report any anomalies.

Routine maintenance carried out on a regular basis by specialised maintenance people, combined with hardwearing durable Life motors designed to meet the highest safety standards, is the best possible guarantee of a system that will open and close smoothly, allowing you to relax and enjoy the convenience and practicality of your automated gate.