By Tia Nowack
For many manufacturers, there comes a time when the lack of adequate space leads to disorganization and inefficiency. This is a serious problem, as the productivity and
profitability of your business relies directly on the functionality of
Plant and warehouse expansions are expensive, can lead to extended downtimes, and are dependent on available space and upfront capital. Making better use of existing space, however, is a more affordable and practical option with impressive results.
Vertical expansion, in the forms of elevated work platforms,
multi-level racking systems, and automated storage and picking
solutions is a great solution for many manufacturers.
Mezzanine floor systems are semi-permanent floor systems typically installed within buildings, built between two permanent original
stories. These structures are usually free standing and in most cases
can be dismantled and relocated. Industrial mezzanine structures are
typically either structural, roll formed, rack-supported, or shelf-sup-ported, allowing high-density storage within the mezzanine structure.
Automated and multi-level pick modules are often integrated into
facilities to improve order fulfillment efficiency. “By delivering
items directly to the operator, travel and search time commonly
associated with shelving is drastically reduced,” say Christina Dube
of Kardex Remstar, a dynamic storage and retrieval solutions com-
In fact, she says automated storage and picking solutions can save
up to 85 percent of floor space. Eliminating the aisle space required
for standard shelving and using the complete floor to ceiling height
provides organization with a smaller footprint.
“Cost savings from vertical expansion is based on existing storage systems, level of flow integration, and overhead space that is
available,” says Paul Peters, Director of Engineering at Vidir, a vertical storage provider. “Return on investment is calculated based on
reduced labor costs, increased production capacity – realized by the
newly acquired space and potential flow integration – and the local
cost of space.”
All of these options come with significant safety considerations.
Building Up, Not Out
Mezzanine Safety Gate
The GateKeeper Mezzanine Safety Gate from
Rite-Hite (Milwaukee, WI) is a dual reciprocating
barrier that makes elevated platform loading and
unloading safer. It creates a controlled access area
in which the inner gate and outer gate cannot be
opened at the same time. The GateKeeper’s exclusive link bar design ensures that both gates always
work in unison. When the outer gate opens to
allow pallets to enter the mezzanine, the inner gate
automatically closes to keep workers out. After the
pallet is received, mezzanine-level workers open
the inner gate to remove material from the work
zone while the outer gate closes to secure the
leading edge of the platform.
Pan Carousel With Improved
Stability And Performance
Vidir Machine Inc. (Chicago, IL) released a
new Pan Carousel that creates high-density
tions to fit a
wide variety of
The pan carousel concept,
shelving car-ousels,' bring
to you via
as the nested
high storage density and increased stability. The
new design is also slimmer and provides internal
control boxes, resulting in a smaller footprint.
Easy Handling Of
A new vertical lift module from
Kardex Remstar (Westbrook,
ME) can accommodate goods
weighing up to 2,205 lbs per
tray. The Shuttle XP 1000 is the
newest edition to the successful
Shuttle XP vertical lift module
series that includes the 250,
500, and 700 models. The new solution allows companies with heavy goods to organize
their work process with more flexibility, efficiency, and ergonomics.