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Have More Freedom in your Warehouse with a Steel Mezzanine

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With all of the different systems operating concurrently in a warehouse, it’s easy for them to run into many different problems.  A flood of in inventory can lead to overcrowded and unorganized warehouse.  And unfortunately, these types of situations tend to snowball, leading to more and more of a mess until one day your entire warehouse is in utter chaos, and you are trying to figure out what went wrong. Well, luckily you do not have to wait till it gets to this point. After all, a lot of these problems can come from simply seeing an influx in business and having a warehouse that just trying to keep up.  Especially if you’re constantly busy and don’t have a lot of time to perfectly outfit and reorganize a brand new warehouse system, but don’t worry.  You can take back your warehouse!  A steel mezzanine system can provide you with the space you need to take control of your warehouse away from the inventory and back in your hands where it belongs.

What is a Steel Mezzanine?

A steel mezzanine system is an intermediate floor that would sit above your warehouse floor.  These warehouse mezzanines can be as big as your warehouse space allows, potentially providing you with a complete second floor (a 100% increase in space).  These mezzanine floors are modular bolt-together systems that are semi-permanent, meaning they can be disassembled and moved out of your facility at any time if needed.  They also come with a powder coating, allowing them to keep their color and withstand the dings that come along with being in a warehouse or manufacturing facility.  They also come with numerous decking options: Advantech, Resindek, welded grating, and concrete.  Each one is built to satisfy OSHA codes for safety and can be designed to comply with IBC standards as well.


Warehouse MezzanineHow Will a Mezzanine System Address the Problems in our Warehouse?

A mezzanine system brings you freedom to your warehouse via a number of avenues.  Over the course of our 21 years in operation, our mezzanine systems have had countless different uses in various types of warehouse spaces and facilities.  In certain cases, material handling companies will integrate our mezzanine systems into their logistical designs.  The steel mezzanine will often times hold a conveyor system and will allow the flow of inventory to move throughout the warehouse, above the floor, and out of the way of any ongoings below.  Similarly, a mezzanine can be used at a catwalk system, allowing employees to safely move from one end of the facility to the other.  And of course, these systems can be used as a nice giant storage space for your inventory.  Since the mezzanine floor sits above the warehouse floor, you can essentially double the amount of storage space that you can have in your facility, transforming your warehouse entirely.

As you can see, a mezzanine system provides you with the freedom to utilize your warehouse to its greatest ability.  You will not have to be bogged down with an overflow of inventory, disrupting the ergonomics of your warehouse system.  Instead, you can utilize the one thing most warehouses have plenty of, space above the warehouse floor!  Now, all of that unused space will reach its greatest potential.  Whether you want to increase your ability to move product in and out of your facility (conveyor system), or want to provide yourself with more storage space during your busy season, a warehouse mezzanine provides you with all of the space to get it done, and you will finally feel as though you have the freedom to run your warehouse again.


Here at Panel Built, we believe in quality over everything else. We are always improving our products, our process, and ourselves for our customers. We understand you trust us to provide you with the best product money can buy. From concept to completion, we will work with you every step of the way to ensure the success of your project. When you work with us, you know you’re getting the most quality, cost effective solution for your business.  You can see more of our steel mezzanine systems in our gallery section, or if you can request a quote on your next product!

Going Lean with Modular Construction

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Lean manufacturing has been a goal that companies strive to achieve in order to have their work processes flow as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Everyone has heard of Henry Ford’s use of the assembly line that standardized workflow, streamlined manufacturing, and multiplied production output. Although Ford’s version of lean manufacturing revolutionized the industrial sector and created a new way of thinking in the manufacturing world, it did have one problem, variety! There is a reason why he said, “You can have any color as long as it’s black.” The Ford assembly line did an amazing job at eliminating wasted material and motion, however it did not allow for customization, making every Model T exactly the same. Today, modular construction involves many different methods similar to Ford’s assembly line but with one enormous difference. Panel Built, Inc. utilizes a process known as mass customization to provide a lean manufactured product that is unique enough to meet our customers’ individual, specific needs. In this post, we are going to establish how our use of modular construction epitomizes lean manufacturing.


Exterior-5CROPTo begin, the ultimate goal in lean manufacturing is to constantly achieve the perfect workflow. Also, it’s worth noting that you must “constantly work” for it because many consider an absolutely perfect workflow to be unobtainable, as there is always something you can do better. The best way to imagine this “perfect” process is through this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Oftentimes companies can get carried away, wanting to do more and more things to improve their everyday practices; however, more times than not, the simplest solution is the best. Eventually, you will learn exactly what your work processes look like, and then you can take away any phases that do not directly add value to your product or company. In our modular construction processes, we at Panel Built are constantly working to make our own factory system as streamlined and simple as possible. For example, our prefabricated offices are constructed from two gypsum boards with a polystyrene core. Not too complicated right? Well, each of these panels are constructed on our panel line identical to one another (like Ford’s Model T assembly line). However, our structures have one very important difference that allows us to customize each building for our customers’ specific needs. We employ a binder-post system that lets us  attach multiple wall panels to one another, forming whatever office size and shape necessary. This manufacturing system is known as mass customization. Taking mass produced wall panels, we can provide a large variety of unique structures tailored to our customer’s exact requirements without adding cost, allowing us to push the savings on to them.


Modular Construction ProcessPerhaps the greatest benefit to our lean approach to modular construction is the overall reduction in waste involved. In previous posts, like “Modular Construction: A Greener Way to Build,” we have talked about the stark contrast in the methods of stick-built vs. modular construction. In stick-built building projects an estimated 8,000 lbs. of waste is created from the construction of a 2,000 square foot building and only an estimated 20% of these leftover construction materials are actually re-purposed or recycled. In comparison, using our panelized wall system, any leftover panels can be easily repurposed for another similar job. And since the construction process takes place in a controlled, factory-like environment, there is absolutely minimal chance for any water damage or schedule delays due to inclement weather. Our focus on reducing waste goes beyond just our materials though. We place a continuous emphasis on constantly improving (not adding to) our everyday processes. Rather than making periodically making huge changes, we try to make smaller day-to-day improvements, like slowly chipping away at a piece of granite to make a fantastic work of art. Most importantly, this exercise, known as kaizen, involves all members of our company to collaborate and work together to establish the most efficient workplace possible.


Above all else, we at Panel Built, go through these steps in order to do one thing, deliver the best possible space solution to our customers with excellent service and affordable pricing. When developing a modular project for one of our customers, we take pride in providing them with a quality product that is specifically tailored to their needs; you will not find any cookie cutter modular buildings here. Because, a crucial part of our ongoing lean initiative is provide maximum value to our customers, while producing minimum wasted materials and motion. Panel Built, Inc. has been implementing lean principles into our everyday practices for over 20 years, and we can attribute a great deal of our success to our team’s unwavering support and dedication to this systematic method of eliminating waste.

Click here to request a free quote

and get your Modular Project started!

Expanding Your Business with Prefab Offices

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No matter what size your company is, you have to constantly be aware of your bottom line. However, one of the most difficult parts of running a business is the expansion phase, or figuring out how to grow in the most efficient and risk free manner. Obviously, as your business develops and grows, you will need more space, but for most small and medium-sized business, the cost to expand can be taxing on the company’s financial margin.  And investing in the construction and additions to your facility can cause you to take on risk in the form of overhead, price, and potentially debt.

Modular Offices: Smarter Work SpacesModular Office

When you expand the space of your company, the move will affect the productivity of your workforce. Whether you opt for moving to an entirely new space or expanding the property you have with a remodel, your employees, schedule and production will see negative effects.

If you opt for a remodel or expansion of your current space, you will have to juggle construction noise, dust, personnel and traffic until the completion of the work. Moving to a new space requires packing, transporting, unpacking and resetting up shop. However in the case of a modular office, the office can be delivered to your site pre-built with the only thing left is the installation which can be done in no time. Since we take care of the construction part of the process in our own factory, your facility will see minimal disruption. Therefore, you will be able to keep your work processes uninterrupted, unlike stick-built structures which can cause your facility to have to shut down completely.


A Pre-Built Office Saves Time

What do you do when you need to expand quickly? Traditional construction is certainly not a good solution because it can take several weeks or months to properly complete a remodel and even longer to complete a new build. You are stuck wading through clutter and disorganization until the expansion is complete.

One of the benefits of modular buildings is that you can have a new solution ready quickly. Spending too much time waiting for an expansion will negatively affect your business. If you do not have room to produce and work properly, you could miss additional customers or clients. Quality of work can suffer and staff members will get frustrated.


Pre-Built, Portable Offices can be Standardized

Many times, all you need is a simple space to store additional supplies, run meetings, add more work spaces or for your employees to take a break. Pre-built office building offers designs as simple or as complicated as you want or need them to be. You can save money by opting for simple, yet functional and high-quality options for your additional space. Most of our customers operate in industrial space, which often requires units that are easy to clean and easier to keep clean. Pre-built options are made to withstand industrial environments; you can rest easy knowing you are saving money on your new design as well as money on future maintenance.


Two Story Modular OfficePortable Offices Save Money on Construction Costs

One of the most obvious ways you will save money with our economical portable offices is the actual construction process. Traditional buildings require construction workers, supplies, permits (which you may also need before you add your new office space), and various other costs; labor costs can be the most expensive portion of your new structure.

When you purchase a prefab, portable office, labor costs will not sink your project! The construction process for portable buildings makes them easier to build for less money and in a short amount of time. Because many of the parts needed to create your new portable office are mass-produced, we are able to make many pieces at once. This saves us money on production costs and allows us to pass those savings on to you.  However, our unique binder post system still allows us to customize the portable office just for your company and your specific needs.

Purchasing portable office space is a great way to create additional usable space to your already functioning industrial space. With simple manufacturing, easy installation, and a reliable company guaranteed to provide quality work, your company could benefit in many ways, if you opt to go the modular-building route.

Running a business takes time, money and energy. We know how important it is to have the time and energy to focus on the most important aspects of your job: production and customer satisfaction. Choosing a modular unit will allow you to focus on your everyday responsibilities while we work on expanding your workspace.

Contact a sales rep to learn more about finding the perfect modular office for you!

Optimizing Your Athletic Facility with Prefabricated Buildings

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Sports and exercise have never been more popular in the United States than right now.  And with more and more people learning the health benefits of an active lifestyle, the physical fitness industry has been growing for years (and not just around New Year’s…).  However, the sports and fitness industry can oftentimes involve a lot of overhead for owners, operators, or even schools.  If you are running your own fitness center, you obviously love to see more people coming through the doors day in and day out, but how are you going to ensure every person receives a consistent experience or workout?  Heavy traffic on certain areas could lead to unhappy customers, and unhappy customers tend to find new places to do business. The problem is, moving to a new facility can take a lot of time and can cause your overhead costs to soar! However, this is not just a problem for gyms; sports complexes and stadiums oftentimes need to add more space for seating, press boxes, or even a practice facility. It may be obvious that your complex or facility needs to expand, but starting from scratch can be a huge risk and can take ages to get approved, designed, and constructed. So how can you make the most of the space that you currently have, in cost and time effective manner, and see a genuine return on investment?


MezzaninesThe Mezzanine Floor AKA The Upper Deck

In the case of a fitness or health club, there are lots of ways to take advantage of even a limited amount of space in your facility.  You can utilize the space above your gym floor by installing an intermediate mezzanine floor.  Looking back at our previous example, if your facility has seen a growing number of customers and your machines are constantly busy, a structural steel mezzanine can allow you to practically double the space for equipment.  Whether you wanted to add in an extra line of treadmills or even store extra sets of dumbbells and plates for heavy lifting, our structural steel mezzanines will be able to hold anything you need.  We can design our mezzanine systems to have high enough pounds per square foot to handle practically anything you can throw at it. Want to add an aerobics or spin class to your club’s repertoire? A mezzanine floor would provide you with the perfect open area, and you would have a wonderful view over the rest of the facility. Or, if you have a rather large fitness center, our mezzanine systems can be utilized as a running track above the rest of the gym floor.  This will appeal highly to those runners who do not like to use treadmills but still would like to enjoy heating and air. In this scenario, the space underneath the mezzanine could be used for workout equipment, an office, or storage. Plus, since the mezzanine is made out of durable steel, it will take the wear and tear of people running on it nonstop.


Exterior on a Mezzanine AKA The PreFab Press BoxPrefabricated Press Box

Of course, health clubs are not the only areas of the fitness world that have to find unique solutions for creating space.  For sports teams, especially ones with new fields or facilities, they often need to provide an area for reporters, coaches, and scouts to watch the game, oftentimes called a press box.  This is a controlled, enclosed area, away from the noise of the crowd that allows the people inside to focus solely on the game.  What benefits would a prefabricated press box bring? For smaller programs that are growing, a prefabricated press box can be a fantastic, affordable temporary solution.  It can even make a great permanent solution, because the structures are innately durable and can be designed to blend in with any preexisting architecture.   While the players and fans will be weathering the weather on their own, all people within the press box will be in perfect comfort thanks to our insulation, heating, and air conditioning systems.  Whether you need a giant box for a college football field or something smaller for a high school baseball team, a prefabricated press box will provide you with the perfect atmosphere and view for the game.


Prefabricated Building AKA The Complex Compliment

security-booth-300x206Finally, prefabricated buildings can help your sports team as a whole, because our  exterior structures make the perfect compliment to your sporting complex. They can be used as a convenient concession stand that can be moved to different locations throughout the park. Or you can stick the prefabricated building out in front of your stadium or complex, put a sliding window on it, and you have the perfect ticket booth for your new field.  A prefabricated ticket booth provides you with a mobile solution to collect ticket revenue, and, like the concession stand,  you will be able to move the booth around the complex, via forklift, where ever is most convenient or efficient for your facility.  Ultimately, if your sports complex or venue has seen an uptick in attendance and customers, prefabricated buildings can play a vital role in providing added customer service, and because you will now be able to serve more customers more efficiently, you will be able to see an obvious return on investment on your prefab building.


Overall, the flexibility of prefabricated buildings allows them to have many different uses in the fitness and sports worlds.  They can complement practically any facility with their ability to seamlessly blend into any preexisting structures.  Besides their versatility, they provide an affordable, efficient, and dependable solution to many different potential space needs a sports complex could incur. Need to make the most of your limited space? Mezzanines can almost double the usable space in a facility.  Need to provide a quick and comfortable viewing area for your football field?  An exterior building on a mezzanine provides a satisfying, controlled environment, raised above the playing field.  With prefabricated structures, you will get all of these benefits plus the added bonus of a quick installation and an overall very short lead time, in comparison to stick-built.  At Panel Built, we believe in Vince Lombardi’s old quote that “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”  We strive to prove our dedication to every project we work on through excellence in craftsmanship, service, and attention to detail.  So, if you think that prefabrication could help your facility, contact our sales team or request a free quote,  and we will go for gold together!

Click here to request a free quote

and get your prefabricated project started!

Warehouse Organization and Mezzanine Floors

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Understandably, inventory can get out of control in your warehouse at any time. Whether it is from a seasonal fluctuation in goods, over buying, or just simply growth in your organization, warehouse overcrowding is not always a bad thing, but it will always bring bad results.  They can lead to a unfavorable warehouse environment, causing poor habits and putting your company in the red…


How Does an Overcrowded or Unorganized Warehouse Affect Your Business?


Loss in Efficiency

Warehouse MezzanineGenerally, having a cluttered warehouse reduces the overall traffic that may safely travel through an area. Thus, moving product from one point in the warehouse to another becomes a much more complex and wasteful task. Eventually, your warehouse can get bogged down… Moving one set of inventory to get to another set of inventory, then you have to replace the initial set of inventory where it was in order to not block a third set of inventory… You get the idea. This type of clutter and unorganization will do nothing but add time to your work processes, losing you money. 

Warehouse Perception

On top of all these inefficiencies a cluttered warehouse can bring to light some pretty serious red flags to visitors and employees alike.  When a potential client or customer comes into your warehouse, there is one thing that they want to see more than anything else, dependability. They want to be assured that you will be able to deliver on your promise to them 100%, and if your warehouse does not inspire that type of confidence, you might as well be throwing money out the window. Plus, the employees who have to work in this warehouse day in and day out may see an overcrowded warehouse and assume that their supervisor either is: A. not worried about their work environment, or B. simply letting the warehouse get out of hand. Neither situation will inspire much confidence. And ultimately, a well-organized warehouse, with plenty of room, allows for an overall smoother and safer operation for all.


How can a Mezzanine Floor System Help?


Large Mezzanine

Drastic Increase in Floor Space

At a certain point, even the most organized and well put together warehouse can reach its breaking point. You can only add so much inventory until you need to expand in one way or another.  For some companies, they look to add on to their current warehouse. However, stick built construction can put a halt on certain warehouse processes, and can even complicate processes further down the road.  For other companies, they build UP! With a mezzanine floor system, you can add an intermediate floor above your warehouse floor, allowing you to practically double the amount of usable space in your facility. Say goodbye to all that cluttered and messy warehouse and say hello to your warehouse 2.0!

Flexibility

But the best part of our mezzanine floor systems is probably their versatility.  They do an amazing job of storing everything from machine to excess inventory. However, they are often used to help streamline warehouse processes as well! They can be used as a platform for conveyor systems above your warehouse floor, or even as catwalks to allow foot traffic to go directly from one end of the warehouse to the other. You can even put an office on top of one, so you do not have to use up any of your storage space on the warehouse floor.


 

Overall, a Panel Built mezzanine provides you with a fantastic alternative to freeing up space in a warehouse setting. With a short lead time and easy install, you can have your warehouse nearly double in size in no time.  If you want to learn more about our mezzanines, or start a mezzanine project of your own, contact our sales team, or request a quote on our site.

Modular Construction: The Greener Way to Build

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Traditional construction faces many issues when it comes to the handling, creation, and recycling of wasted materials.  In fact, an NAHB study found that an estimated 8,000 lbs of waste is created from the construction of a 2,000 square foot building. These squandered materials are all standard materials that you would use to construct a building: wood, brick, insulation, drywall, etc. However, only an estimated 20% of these leftover construction materials are actually re-purposed or recycled, according to The American Institute of Architects. On top of that, the AIA states that “it is estimated that anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of the national solid waste stream is building-related waste.”[1] And in 2009 the Construction Materials Recycling Association, estimated that construction and demolition waste from building construction was around 325 million tons annually. So, in a society that constantly pushes for greener solutions across all facets of life, what alternatives do companies have to be more eco-friendly?

Modular SustainabilityFire Tower

The processes that go into modular construction allow for far more accountable and ecological building methods.   Modular construction takes advantage of a process known as “Mass Customization.”  When constructing a modular building, the same paneling that used to create one building can be snapped into place on another building.  However, you can still design the building practically however you want!  Therefore, any paneling left unused after a job, can simply be used on the next one. Plus, they will not need to be moved very far because all structures are built in our own facilities, ensuring they will not go to waste. And we use CAD software to map out all our prefabricated projects, so we know the exact amount of materials that need to go into each job.

The factory setting also allows us to better control our inventory and regulate the working conditions, in comparison to traditional construction. While most construction sites have delays due to inclement weather, the modular construction process takes place indoors, keeping our moisture levels low in our materials, preventing damage.  While our employees construct the building indoors, the project site is being set up for installation.  Therefore, with these two processes occurring simultaneously, the building site receives far less disturbance from foot traffic, machinery, equipment, and materials.

Ultimately, the same paneling that allows us to use Mass Customization also supports recycling efforts.  Our buildings are designed to be installed and disassembled easily. So when a building is no longer of use, instead of being demolished like traditional construction, the paneling can simply be taken apart and reused. This allows you to drastically cut down on waste in the deconstruction process as well.  Many of the structures are also movable, so the same building can be moved to another location to serve another purpose for you.

The Panel Built DifferencePanel Built Factory

Here at Panel Built, we try our best to reduce waste in every stage of our projects because waste equals inefficiencies, and we hate inefficiencies.

Our first step of waste reduction comes in our attention to detail in the design process.  Our sales people work with clients to ensure every detail of your project is mapped out and taken care of.  Then, the project and all of the details are sent to our engineering department, where they meticulously design every aspect of the structure.  From this point, we have all the materials we need mapped out, down to every last nut and bolt. From there, we simply take the required pieces from inventory and get to work on the factory floor.

In the factory, inventory is easier to control than a traditional construction site.  All materials have set storage areas that provide easy management and movement.  In fact, WRAP, an organization dedicated to resource efficiency, stated that “Volumetric (modular) building systems are the ultimate in offsite manufacturing technology and their substitution for traditional building methods typically leads to a virtual elimination of all wastage bar excavation spoil for ground preparation.”[2]They also showed that an estimated 70-90% of construction waste can be eliminated through offsite construction practices.

Overall, Panel Built believes in efficiency and sustainability in all aspects of our business.  We design our factories for our employees to quickly grab and transport materials.  We design our construction process to ensure every piece of material is used to its fullest potential. And we design our products to be made quick, durable, and perfect for our customers.  Our modular buildings and structures provide a world class product to your company, while also providing an eco-friendly solution for the environment.

 

Sources

1) http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/secure/documents/pdf/aiap072739.pdf

2) http://www.modular.org/marketing/documents/WRAP_ModernMethodsConstruction_Report.pdf