Industrial Safety

What Works: Flooring reflects dedication to quality control

When DBI/Sala (, Redwing, Minn. decided to move from its existing 90,000-sqare-foo. manufacturing/office facility to a 140,000-square-foot. former diploma manufacturing plant, it wanted the floors of the new facility to demonstrate a commitment to quality control and technical proficiency.

“As a world-leading manufacturer, we want a world-class manufacturing facility that leaves no doubt about our commitment to quality,” says Brent Knoll, vice president of operations for DBI/Sala. “And as a lean 5S manufacturer, we want everyone who walks into our facility to recognize the pride we take in its appearance and care. This includes the floors, which fall under the 5S concept of shine.”

DBI/Sala is a manufacturer of fall protection equipment. For 25 years, the company has prided itself on offering safety systems and products engineered to exceed worldwide standards, including OSHA, ANSI, CSA and CE. The products are the result of quality control and a commitment to technical proficiency—two qualities that, as a lean 5S manufacturing firm, the company applies to every aspect of its business.

Upon purchasing its new facility, Knoll, which was familiar with floor coatings by Tennant Company ( from using them at both Honeywell and Chrysler facilities, immediately set out to have them applied to 100,000-square-foot of manufacturing flooring and nearly 10,000-square-foot of office and cafeteria flooring.

Tennant’s WearGuard-ITS gloss urethane topcoat in Canada Gray was chosen for the less heavily trafficked manufacturing areas that needed protection against dirt, spills and wear; and its Eco-HTS satin urethane topcoat was chosen for the busy receiving and shipping areas and auto shop that needed more heavy-duty abrasion protection. Both areas were primed with Eco-MPE.

“Both the high-gloss and satin finish products offer superior appearance and durability,” says Knoll, “and the results since applying them have been spectacular. Our manufacturing plant looks like an ice-skating rink, yet it’s completely slip-resistant.”

For office hallways, bathrooms and cafeteria, Knoll selected high-end decorative coatings specifically designed for high foot traffic. The office hallways and bathrooms are coated with Tennant’s Eco-DQS in Cinnamon Twist with an Eco-TCU topcoat, a decorative quartz coating that offers superior abrasion and chemical resistance, light stability, and a beautiful shine. In addition, Knoll customized the hallway and bathroom finishes, using a medium finish in the hallways and a smooth finish in the bathrooms. The cafeteria is coated with Tennant’s Eco-DFS with an Eco-TCU topcoat, a decorative flake coating that is eye-catching yet resilient.

“We wanted to use decorative coatings because we feel they help make our space look and feel more special, especially for our employees who spend so much time here at work,” Knoll says. “Tennant’s decorative coatings are not only beautiful, but they are easy to maintain and always look like new.”

 Knoll is so pleased with Tennant’s coating products that he plans to have them applied to another 20,000-square-feet of manufacturing space, leaving only the 10,000-square-feet of carpeted flooring in the facility uncoated. “Tennant’s coating products are second to none,” he says. “They improve our facility’s appearance, make maintenance easier, and help us fulfill our commitment to the 5Ss. We couldn’t be happier.”

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