Extensive construction projects and facility relocation plans often seem like the only solutions available to packaging companies that have outgrown their current facility. While both options provide the required additional space, they do so at great cost and inconvenience. In the quest for additional square footage, many of these companies fail to capitalize upon the solution they already possess: the space above their facility’s ground floor.
An industrial mezzanine is an elevated platform within a building that can be used for storage, manufacturing, office space or as an observation platform. Within the packaging industry, these stable work platforms are the ideal place to store additional inventory, supplies and equipment. Typically constructed with heavy-duty steel, these free-standing structures can safely support tremendous loads, including industrial packaging equipment. Designed around a building’s existing blueprint, the mezzanine’s nut-and-bolt construction provides for easy expansion and relocation (if needed). Depending upon the facility’s ceiling height, mezzanines can be single or multi-tiered, effectively adding a second or third level to an existing building.
In addition to providing packaging companies with needed space, packaging end-users benefit from their mezzanine investment in a multitude of ways. Some of these benefits include:
- Money – When compared with the cost of a building expansion or facility relocation, an industrial mezzanine work platform offers a competitively priced alternative. Designed and constructed around the buildings existing footprint, an industrial mezzanine makes use of the utilities (HVAC, water, electric, etc.) already present in the building, eliminating the need for pricey renovations. Additionally, depending upon its intended use, a well-constructed mezzanine requires minimal to no maintenance. All these factors equate to cost savings for the company.
- Time – Construction projects and facility moves (full or partial) require substantial investments of time. A company’s precious man-hours are unnecessarily wasted sourcing architects, coordinating moving trucks and relocating heavy equipment when these two “solutions” are pursued. While the mezzanine’s specifications will dictate the amount of installation time needed, most can be erected in a matter of weeks with minimal disruption to a facility’s operations. In the packaging industry, time equals money and mezzanine helps save both.
- Safety – Accidents are more likely to occur in areas of a facility that have become overcrowded with people and equipment. With the additional square footage that an industrial mezzanine affords, work stations and traffic flows can be separated and more evenly distributed throughout the facility. Equipped with an adequate amount of space, employees can perform their job functions in a safer manner. Unencumbered by obstacles, work can be accomplished more efficiently.
- Automation – Industrial mezzanines are the ideal solution for packaging companies interested in starting or expanding their automation capabilities. Materials are safely and quickly moved through the facility through the integration of the mezzanine with conveyors, lifts, chutes and a host of other products. With the automation process safely contained overhead, ground-level space can be used for storing and quickly dispatching packaged products.
For a more in-depth examination of the benefits of a Wildeck mezzanine, read our blog post: "Four Benefits of a Wildeck Mezzanine."
Money, time, safety and automation are just a few of the benefits that a packaging company can expect from their industrial mezzanine investment. However, before making an appointment with a material handling specialist, there are several preparatory steps that, if taken, will ensure a more successful buying experience.
Determine Mezzanine Use
The first step in buying an industrial mezzanine is determining how the structure will be used (both now and in the future). Decisions made at this junction will determine if the platform can be easily adapted as need arises. Specifically, potential mezzanine customers will want to decide if their platform will be used for material storage, work stations, automation or a combination of these activities. The mezzanine’s intended use will play an integral role in determining where the structure is ultimately located within a facility.
When deciding how the mezzanine will be used, it is important for potential packaging customers to contemplate who will have access to the structure. Safety features that only grant access to authorized personnel can easily be incorporated into the platform’s initial design. Careful consideration during this phase will increase overall customer satisfaction as time goes on.
Know What is Required for a Mezzanine
In preparing for a purchase, mezzanine customers frequently benefit from educating themselves about what is required prior to installation. For instance, the typical floor in a packaging facility is made of six-inches of concrete and has a capacity of 25,000 pounds. A slab and soil analysis may be necessary to determine if the existing floor can support the intended mezzanine design or if special footings will need to be added. Knowing this information in advance will save time as the project moves forward.
Additionally, having a firm grasp on the applicable codes and regulations of the geographic area will facilitate a better understanding of the necessity for specific design elements. For example, facilities located in the western United States (CA, OR, WA, UT and NV) could be potentially affected by seismic activity. Customers located there will need to incorporate additional design requirements to satisfy applicable regulations. Education is a great way to preempt unwanted surprises.
Research Mezzanine Providers
While researching potential solution providers is the last item on the preparatory checklist, it is the most crucial step for ensuring a successful experience. When selecting a mezzanine provider, it is imperative that packaging companies evaluate the material handler’s experience, engineering acumen and manufacturing capabilities. Ultimately, the selected provider will be responsible for: working with the customer to determine mezzanine use; designing the mezzanine in compliance with applicable code; manufacturing parts and materials for easy assembly; and coordinating/overseeing the structure’s installation. Potential packaging customers will also want to make sure that the selected provider offers products and equipment (i.e. ladders, safety gates, lifts) that easily integrate with the structure. A one-stop-shop experience ensures that all components work together seamlessly.
Experienced and trusted mezzanine manufacturers will patiently take the time to answer all questions and will be quick to provide evidence of their product’s superiority. Since a mezzanine is a long-term investment, customers should never feel pressured into making a quick decision. Take time to ask questions and do not commit to a purchase without feeling confident in the decision.
An industrial mezzanine is a cost-effective, time-saving solution for packaging companies pressed for space, especially when compared with the alternative options. Packaging operations of all sizes can increase their production potential and sustain their long-term growth goals with these heavy-duty structures. If your facility is currently in need of more space, skip the stress and the hassle of a move or renovation. Look up, not out to find your space.
If you have any questions about the benefits or suggestions outlined above, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 325-6939. Our team of material handling experts are ready to help you look up (not out).