Building for the Future: Considerations in Warehouse Planning

Building for the Future: Considerations in Warehouse Planning

Posted On: June 14, 2016 in Warehouse Storage

As we move out of the recession and manufacturing picks up, industrial construction has seen a recent increase. By June 2015, “the number of manufacturing establishments [had] grown for five straight quarters,” according to the Economics & Statistics Administration and industrial construction in general is forecast to continue rising through 2016.

Even as warehouses are expanding, builders are still cautious of cost and overhead. To meet these heightened demands, McKinley Equipment represents a full range of solutions from across the warehouse supply industry that provide key energy and efficiency benefits to their clients.

Energy Savings

Manufacturers need a way to move a large volume of product to market, and that typically means loading docks. The poorly sealed doors and frequent door openings make loading docks a major energy-suck, especially in climate-controlled buildings or extreme weather locations.

As warehouses and distribution centers make a move to be more energy efficient and mitigate costs, they’re now researching building features that can directly address pain points like loading docks.

Fast moving doors, like those from DYNACO, minimize the amount of time the loading dock doors need to be open. Investing in fast moving warehouse doors will help maintain the inside temperature more effectively than traditional bay doors.

Another energy saving move is to improve the weather seal on loading dock levelers. Kelley, an Entrematic company, offers an ENERGY GUARD® seal for this purpose . This seal is designed to increase the energy efficiency of the building by creating a better seal around loading dock levlers. “The innovative design closes off the gaps between the leveler and concrete pit walls that are typically missed by traditional sealing options,” according to Kelley. The nice thing about ENERGY GUARD® is that it can be added to brand new dock levelers or it can be installed as a retrofit kit on existing dock levelers to improve their energy efficiency.

Simple solutions are also being offered for other energy-expensive areas, such as utilities. HVLS (high volume, low speed) fans can lower the perceived temperature in rooms by 4-7 degrees without the need for expensive air conditioning in large, cavernous spaces. Doors can be purchased with clear panels that let in natural light, cutting back on the amount of artificial light needed inside.

Efficiency Enhancements

In addition to being more energy efficient, high-speed doors also increase productivity efficiency. Traditional slower-moving doors slow down the pace and rhythm of work, but high speed doors keep employees from waiting to pass between rooms.

Rytec’s Fast-Seal door can open at a rate of 50 inches per second and many of DYNACO’s industrial high speed doors can reach open speeds up to 96 inches per second. Many of these doors are roll-up style and typically made of fabric, though you can get security versions crafted from aluminum. High speed doors can be used internally or externally.

As an added efficiency bonus, most of the new models are design to require minimal maintenance. Some DYNACO models can reset themselves if they come off track and Rytec has door options that can be reset without tools if dislodged. This reduces “down time” typically required to perform repairs on warehouse doors.

Another popular addition to the loading dock area that is increasing efficiency is a central control panel. As more automation creeps into warehouses, having a single way to control related systems is a major time-saver. Kelley makes an Integrated Control panel that sequences several functions, such as operating a vehicle restraint, dock light, loading dock doors and a dock leveler, in one place. These automated control panels not only integrate several control functions, they’re also reduce the chance of human error.

Together, these energy and efficiency warehouse features can cut costs and save time, having a positive impact on your bottom line.