Gate motors are a complex part of any project, and are oftentimes not given due attention and time to really pick the right gate motor (operator) for the right project. There are multiple aspects of a gate that need to be assessed in order to choose the most appropriate operator for your client's application. These include:
Duty cycle refers to the amount of operations a motor will undertake per hour, in a worst case scenario. For example, if your client has 100 staff that all enter in a morning rush period over the space of an hour, and the site is required to maintain security, then the gate motor will be in a state of constant operation for that hour period. Even if the rest of the day it barely functions until the afternoon rush, a high duty-cycle motor will be required. If a standard duty-cycle motor is provided it will simply over-heat, which will then put the motor into a protection mode and shut-down until cooled down, which will mean no access in or out until the motor cools.
So why not just use high duty-cycle motors on all gates then? This is a case of the old adage of "you get what you pay for"; high duty-cycle motors are often very expensive, to the effect of double or more a standard motor. So knowing the intimate details of your Client's access requirements is paramount for tendering so no one is left out of pocket.
For example, a 9m sliding gate with a 70% duty cycle will only allow a gate to undergo approximately 30 operations per hour.
The size of a gate often determines the weight of the gate, and the heavier the gate the larger the operator required. With swing gates, wind is often a factor for the strength of the motor required, and the longer the leaf the more force on the motor when closing with any wind. It is also recommended not to place any signage on swing gates, as these create wind sails that increase resistance by a large amount.
Will the gate simply open in the morning and close in the afternoon, or is high security required whereas the gate will open and close with every vehicle? This ties in with duty cycle, and determines how many operations per day an operator will undertake, and thus affect what motor is required.
Certain client's will have specifications and requirements for the gates installed, so while a certain motor may be perfectly capable of operating a gate, a client may require high-speed operation (sch as Police station's and Ambulance depot's). Other client's such as Goodman may stipulate cast iron gear-boxes on sliding gates, which is an area GDS excel with their motors.
For safety reasons P&C Fencing do not recommend pedestrian traffic to traverse vehicle gate openings.