Large distribution center mezzanine with conveyor

 

What Is a Mezzanine?


A mezzanine is an elevated floor system that is installed between the floor and the ceiling in an industrial setting. Often referred to as a work platform, steel platform and/or platform deck, a mezzanine capitalizes upon a building’s existing overhead space to create additional square footage.

When constructed with heavy-duty steel, these work platforms are capable of withstanding the rigors of the most demanding environments. Designed around a facility’s existing layout, a mezzanine enables companies to forgo the time and expense of a renovation or relocation project. Additionally, when engineered with a nut-and-bolt design, an industrial mezzanine can be easily expanded or relocated (as needed) to accommodate a company’s changing needs.

Depending upon a facility’s ceiling height, an industrial mezzanine can be designed to be single- or multi-tiered, effectively adding multiple levels to an existing building. With the additional square footage that companies obtain from these versatile work platforms, operations can be expanded to achieve greater throughput.

 

What Are Some Mezzanine Applications?

The primary purpose of any industrial mezzanine installation is to increase the total amount of available and usable space within a facility. However, not all facilities elect to use the square footage from their steel platform in the same way. While the number of potential mezzanine applications is as varied as the companies that purchase these structures, the following list (in no particular order) outlines the top ten most common functions that work platforms serve.

1. Work Platform

One of the most common mezzanine applications in warehouses and distribution centers is that of a work platform. As the name suggests, mezzanine work platforms are an elevated space within a facility where personnel can accomplish their designated tasks. Assembly, packaging and order fulfillment are just a handful of the tasks that can be safely accomplished by personnel on top of a steel platform.

2. Storage Deck

No list of top ten mezzanine applications would be complete without mentioning “storage decks” as an option. As companies grow and expand, the amount of “stuff” that needs to be safely stored seems to multiply. Important documents and records, extra inventory and supplies and seasonal products can all be securely stowed on top of an industrial mezzanine. Additionally, through the integration of mezzanine gates and material lifts, stored items can be safely transported to and from the platform deck.

3. Conveyor Support Platforms

Conveyor support platforms are another terrific example of the variety of mezzanine applications that are available to warehouses and distribution centers. Many companies are eager to incorporate automation technology into their facilities. However, many fail to consider the amount of space that the new technology will occupy. Steel platforms contain the automation process overhead, leaving a facility’s ground floor free for more time-sensitive and operationally critical tasks.

4. In-Plant Offices

The list of mezzanine applications also includes the construction of in-plant offices. Situated on top of a steel platform, in-plant offices are an excellent way to achieve additional office space without compromising the manufacturing or production area. Enclosed with sound control panels and insulated to be energy efficient, in-plant offices situated on a work platform are a cost-effective alternative when compared with the time and inconvenience of a construction project. For a real-life example of how one company turned an industrial mezzanine into additional office space, read our case study: Vac-Con Expansion.

5. Observation Deck

Mezzanine applications in warehouses and distribution centers also include the use of the platform deck as a place to observe a facility’s operations. Being able to watch, evaluate and improve a facility’s processes and performance is critical to an organization’s well-being. An industrial mezzanine is literally the platform upon which these activities can be carried out. Companies interested in taking their business to new heights should consider the benefits that a mezzanine investment provides.

6. Catwalks

Catwalks are another popular staple on the mezzanine applications list. When used as a catwalk, a mezzanine provides a safe and efficient way for personnel to move from point A to point B. By elevating the pedestrian walkway with a steel platform, operations on the building’s ground floor can proceed uninterrupted, enhancing a facility’s overall safety and efficiency. Learn more about the benefits of a mezzanine as a catwalk by reading our case study: New Pathways in Distribution.

7. Dedicated Maintenance Area

Using a work platform as a dedicated maintenance area is another way for companies to use mezzanine applications to their advantage. Quality repair work requires a dedicated space and the right tools for the job. With a steel platform, maintenance professionals not only obtain a place to work, they are also able to securely store the (often expensive) tools needed for the repairs. Additionally, by integrating security features, companies can ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the platform deck.

8. Equipment Access

One of the most beneficial mezzanine applications is equipment access. Warehouses and distribution centers often have machinery and equipment that is large and cannot be easily accessed for daily production needs and routine maintenance. Mezzanines are a great solution in these instances as they can be designed to get personnel within arm's reach of the task and are safer than other access alternatives (i.e. fixed and rolling ladders).

9. Rack and Shelving

Another one of the most common mezzanine applications in warehouses and distribution centers is the use of racks and shelving on the platform deck. Companies that are looking to maximize the potential of their storage/inventory area turn to this product combination to gain a lot of space quickly. Also, as needs change, the mezzanine and rack/shelving can be reconfigured to meet new storage goals. Companies interested in a storage solution that can grow to meet their needs should invest in an industrial mezzanine.

10. Product Display Area

The last (but in no way least) item on the list of mezzanine applications is a product display area. When companies host customers at their facility, it is not uncommon to provide a showroom tour or a product demonstration. An industrial mezzanine is the ideal location for these activities. Designed to a facility’s exact space specifications, a mezzanine provides a designated area for products and demonstrations that does not interfere with the facility’s revenue-generating activities.

What Are the Benefits of a Mezzanine?

Mezzanines bring a wealth of benefits to those companies that choose to invest in going up. With the additional square footage that an industrial mezzanine provides, companies are able to forgo the time, expense and hassle of a new construction project or facility move. While the structure’s exact specifications will dictate the amount of installation time that is needed, most mezzanines can be erected in a matter of weeks with minimal disruption to a facility’s daily activities. In an era where time equals money, a mezzanine helps companies save both.

Companies that integrate a steel platform into their operations are also able to achieve enhanced levels of organization, safety and efficiency. When everything has and is in its place, employees are able to perform their tasks with minimal disruption or distraction. Additionally, the enhanced levels of organization that an industrial mezzanine provides reduces the likelihood of an accident or safety incident, creating a winning scenario for both employees and the company.

For more information about the benefits that customers can expect from their mezzanine purchase, read Finding Your Space in the May 2019 edition of Workplace Material Handling & Safety.

Wildeck is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial mezzanines. In addition to the mezzanine applications outline above, Wildeck’s team of engineering experts are able to design work platform solutions for the most complex and challenging space scenarios. Contact us today at info@wildeck.com to find out how a Wildeck mezzanine can help get your business off the ground floor.

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