Sometimes the warehouse you have stops offering you the space you need. Aggressive growth and future proofing can necessitate having to relocate to a larger site, but sometimes the answer lies within your current warehouse.
By going up, it is possible to utilise the unused height or the warehouse. The are a few solutions that could work; a mezzanine floor, a VLM or other automated solution, or multi-tier shelving.
Floor space comes at a premium so it makes sense to ensure all the space within the warehouse is used to the best of its ability. The system that will work best for your business depends on the product you need to store.
A mezzanine floor can offer a flexible range of uses, such as additional storage in the warehouse, extra space in a retail unit, a gym or break out space, or creating additional offices and work spaces. The advantage of a mezzanine is that it can be built over an area that can’t accommodate extra racking or a VLM, such as above a dispatch or packing area. And depending on the height of the warehouse, it is possible to have a multi level mezzanine to provide even greater utilisation of the warehouse.
Mezzanine floors offer a cost effective answer additional space, creating available and usable space literally from thin air. And whilst they need to comply with building regulations, they offer a viable option to relocations.
Vertical Lift Modules
A Vertical Lift Module (VLM) is the perfect space saving storage solution, reducing the warehouse footprint by up to 1/10th compared to traditional warehouse storage. And it is only limited by the available height of the warehouse, with a maximum height of 12 metres. A VLM offers a number of extra benefits too, creating a safer environment for operators, reducing the risk of accidents and providing additional product security. By utilising the height of the warehouse, and with a machine payload of 70 tonnes, the VLM creates an abundance of extra space on the ground.
There are a range of additional automated solutions that can benefit from high warehouses, such as stacker cranes, shuttles and miniloads. As these are machine controlled, they aren’t restricted by the physical access to retrieve stored goods. And whilst there is an initial investment, they offer a value for money solution when compared with the cost of relocating.
Multi-tier shelving is a great solution for maximising the use of vertical space for products that can be hand picked. By being built with integral walkways and stairs, the height of the warehouse is maximised and storage capacity increased without having to extend or relocate.
As with mezzanine floors, multi-tier shelving can include numerous levels to best optimise the overhead space, without the need for fork truck access.