When factories and warehouses are first built, they are usually models of efficiency. However, the longer a company remains in business, the more legacy equipment and parts they acquire. As business increases, warehouse and factory space can become increasingly cramped. The irony is that as your business continues to increase, your efficiency tends to decrease.
The answer to most space issues can be easily solved by optimizing your current, unused vertical space. After all, you’re already paying for this space so you might as well use it.
This can cost-effectively be achieved by installing modular mezzanines and material lifts known as VRCs (Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors).
VRC & Material Lift Applications and Uses
VRCs are lift systems specifically designed to move material from one level to another. If your floor and ceiling heights can accommodate them, modular VRCs can be quickly installed and provide one of the fastest and efficient ways to transport material to/from balconies, rooftops, basements, mezzanines, and between levels or floors in multiple story buildings.
Factories and warehouses are usually built with extremely high ceilings to help with overall ventilation. They utilize “open air” designs. This provides the perfect environment to add a mezzanine.
A mezzanine is an additional floor for storage and/or access, almost doubling the amount of usable space in a warehouse.
Modular Mezzanines are made to be functional and cost-effective as they can be quickly assembled in almost any size warehouse.
The next hurdle to implementing a new floor is how to get people and material to and from that floor.
Here’s where some bad assumptions usually come into play. You assume that you have to move both people and material. The reality is, most warehouses only need move material to improve efficiency.
This allows you to a) improve efficiency and productivity, b) optimize your space utilization and c) improve safety and reduce workman comp claims.
Efficiency and Productivity
Moving material vertically can be done several ways. The most inefficient way is to move completely by hand, as employees either ride in freight elevators or on top of scissor lifts, or walk up and down stairs.
All of these require the carrier or move to be with the same material throughout its entire journey. Imagine if you will, material lifts with two employees stationed at different levels. While the material is safely moving vertically, the two employees could be picking or stocking other material.
Also, VRCs can integrate several automated functions to improve efficiency.
A material lift platform can be equipped with automation features including conveyors, pusher assemblies, and turntable devices. If you’re interested in these features, be sure to discuss your present and future needs with your CIP sales representative.
Have you seen the price of lumber lately? As building and construction costs increase, getting the most out of your current buildings is more important than ever. VRCs take up very little space, and they can be strategically installed within close proximity to where materials need to be transported. If there’s no room inside the building, VRCs can also be installed on the outside wall.
In fact, the smallest material lifts are modular units, occupy only a 3×3 foot space, and can still carry loads up to 500 pounds.
If material is manually being moved from one level to another by an employee or staff member, the risk of accidents and injuries significantly increases. Since materials or products are often moved through ramps or stairs, slips and falls are incredibly common.
Many companies have chosen to eliminate the risk entirely by installing a VRC or material lift.
If you have an application in mind and would like to speak to a CIP sales representative, contact us or request a quote today to get started.