Month: September 2016

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.

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