Industrial curtains are a recent invention in human history, however, they have become essential to the supply chains of several industries. As such, industrial curtain design has become a hotbed of technological development. The safety industry makes continual advancements to ensure that safety barriers suit the needs of the spaces and workers they serve. Modern industrial curtains include a variety of technological features from advanced materials to smart detection, hygienic coatings, to radio frequency identification. With these developments, industrial-looking curtains and barriers are more convenient and protective than ever before. Let’s take a look at the beginnings of the curtain industry before taking stock of the latest developments industrial curtains have to offer. 

The Origins of the Industrial Curtain Industry

Curtains were originally a facet of interior design denoting wealth. Historically, most people lived without separate sleeping quarters, meaning a bed with a canopy and curtains symbolized the owner’s affluence. Later curtains were affixed to windows, allowing occupants assemblance of privacy at will. After the Industrial Revolution, as population density in cities grew, more and more people acquired housing with multiple rooms and windows facing open air. Curtains became less a symbol of wealth and more a modern staple of interior design and architecture. The divide between indoors and outdoors was not complete until a house’s occupant could control their visibility and exposure to the outside world. 

In 1950, Singer Safety Company produced the first industrial safety barrier equipment. Industries began to realize that the shape and function of industrial-looking curtains could be applied to workplace safety logistics. New developments in industry and manufacturing were met with matching developments in industrial safety. As labor laws continued to develop, so too did the stringency of safety requirements. Several industries found use for industrial curtains, barriers, and partitions to protect their workers. The curtains also solved problems in their warehouses and manufacturing plants. Now, modern industries require specialized products to continue functioning smoothly. Industrial curtains are continually refined, developed, and improved upon to better suit the needs of the supply chain. Modern industrial curtains have achieved standards that were never in reach of the original industrial-style curtains.

Design Standards for Modern Industrial Curtain 

Modern industrial-looking curtains come in a variety of materials depending on the industry and need. Vinyl is a popular material due to its flexibility, durability, flame resistance, and adaptability during production. However, you may also find curtains in industrial styles made of fiberglass, treated cotton, silica, and other resilient materials. Industrial curtains are commonly produced with the expectation that they will restrict noise from passing through. Curtains partition warehouses where loud noises can spiral out of control and become health hazards. Some industries also require transparent curtains and barriers, especially for specialized curtains used in doorways. One such example is for industries that use walk-in freezers. An opaque curtain would prove a safety risk since workers entering and exiting the freezer would collide while carrying dangerous materials or tools. Another modern standard is motorized curtains. An operator of a vehicle should not have to dismount their vehicle in order to pass through a curtained entrance.

Smart Curtains for Safer Work

One of the biggest advances in industrial curtain design over the past few years is the incorporation of smart computing and detection. Modern industrial curtains at the forefront of this technology can be adjusted, opened, and closed via a remote control without being directly touched. In industries like manufacturing, this can be essential to complete work safely and on time. These curtains can also be scheduled ahead of time to adjust at specific points during the day. There are also curtains installed with sensors and detectors to accomplish the same task. A curtain with a motion sensor can open automatically for a worker bringing a heavy load. A curtain with a temperature sensor can adjust to keep the climate of a work site within a particular range. This also lends itself to energy-efficient practices for climate-controlled workspaces.

Cleaner Curtains, Industrial-Style

Modern industrial-looking curtains are engineered to meet standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Chemical coatings and treatments often include antibacterial components and ingredients that reduce the spread of mold. Because the usage of industrial curtains is reliant on their longevity and stability, unhygienic curtains provide an outsized health risk for spreading illness in the workplace. They also might endanger the materials themselves. For example, a moldy curtain can wreak havoc upon a storage warehouse full of lumber. Curtains engineered for hygiene have the added benefit of an increased lifespan. Their structural integrity is harder to compromise, so they can be used for longer without worry or consideration. This increases their value compared to curtains that must be replaced at regular intervals. Besides improving workplace confidence in hygiene, these industrial curtain designs appease regulations intended to keep workplaces clean and safe.

What is Radio-Frequency Identification?

Another useful development in industrial curtain design is radio frequency identification (RFID). RFID is a wireless system of verification where a remote tag matches a frequency read by a stationary reader. The reader then unlocks a door or grants access to some secure component. Industrial curtains with RFID technology make it much easier to manage inventory and schedule usage since warehouse managers can create systems to tag inventory items and check them remotely. When warehouse stock is required for usage, the process of granting access, acquiring the stock, and distributing it past curtain partitions is nearly automatic. Another clear usage of RFID technology in the curtain industry is managing access, permissions, and security. Workers with the appropriate tags will be allowed past the corresponding barriers. Lastly, the data involved in both of the above usages can be analyzed for workflow optimization and gathering statistics. Over time, this data can improve the workplace.

Trailblazing the Curtain Industry

Singer Safety Company is one of the forerunners in the industrial safety industry. Since our origin in 1950, we have continued to push forward the development of industrial curtain design. Singer Safety offers all the latest features the curtain industry has to offer. Our products serve several industries and functions including aircraft storage, auto manufacturing, car washing, farming, fire safety, food processing, marine dock partitioning, food service, retail, welding, and more. If you have questions regarding our catalog, reach out to our service representatives. We would be happy to answer your questions or provide a quote for our products according to your needs.