Modular Construction Brings Functional, Flexible Solutions to the Industrial Market
Application: Modular Offices / Critical Control Centers
Location: CA – 2017
A new distribution facility recently built by a global traditional and e-commerce retailer is a case study in cutting edge. The facility spans nearly half a million square feet, storing and distributing products for its stores in nearby states. It also houses some of the most sophisticated automation technology found on warehouse floors.
With the installation of this automation, other needs emerged at this new facility, which needed to be addressed. “The building was built and then the decision was made to install this automation almost immediately afterward,” according to the project’s lead logistics engineer. “For all intents and purposes, the building was designed as a regular warehouse, so adding this automation has created some growing pains.”
One challenge: how to incorporate a critical control center and much-needed workspace into a facility already filled with automation. The organization contacted Allied Modular to install another cutting-edge solution gaining traction and attention in the industry because of its ability to meet industry demands, namely, a modular structure that is cost-effective, flexible, easy to install and reusable.
Industry Demands, the Call for Flexibility
The automation immediately brought into this facility and consequent challenges that resulted reflect the fast-paced, ever-changing business landscape in which distribution centers operate today. “E-commerce continues to have far-reaching implications, prompting manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to adapt their supply chains to meet the new service demands it creates,” according to global commercial real estate firm CBRE, whose 2017 Real Estate Market Outlook goes on to explain that “e-commerce users require three times more space on average than traditional warehouse users.”
Consequently, the growth in e commerce has bolstered demand for additional warehouse and distribution space. As new distribution centers are built and existing spaces retrofitted to accommodate this need, distributors focus on technology and process improvements to curb operational costs, remain competitive and preserve net profit levels. This has some businesses considering cost-effective, flexible alternatives to traditional construction as they build out these spaces, such as prefabricated, pre-engineered modular construction.
Modular Solutions Meeting Specific Needs
With limited space available, the company worked with Allied Modular to find a modular solution that would address all the needs associated with the new automation in their facility.
“We were challenged to provide a control room and some office space between two of the most complex pieces of the system,” explained one lead engineer, who added the designated space had specific design challenges that included two small mezzanines at different heights that were used to elevate the automation and very limited space.
There were other special requirements as well. The solution had to include windows on all sides of the control room to enable 360-degree viewing of the automation, adequate protection from the cold temperature in the warehouse and a unique color matching request.
The result was two connecting modular structures, a control room and office workspace, each just over seven feet wide built on the existing mezzanines, which met all the specific requirements for the project.
The modular solution offered numerous benefits, according to the project’s lead logistics engineer:
Flexibility/Reusability that Delivers Big Benefits. The modular structures offered the flexibility of pre-fabricated panels that were easily configured and installed within the limited space and could be moved and reused with ease if needed – saving time, meeting present and future needs and eliminating more cost down the road. “Warehouses are constantly changing with new technology and can go in many different ways,” he said. “If we ever need that space back from an operations standpoint or the building changed in some way, shape, or form, we have the ability to move the structures to another area.”
Convenient, Pre-wired Raceways. Modular pre-wired raceways made electrical installation convenient and quick. “Essentially, you just tie-in to the electrical box,” he explained. “That makes it quite easy once the structure is installed.”
Special Aesthetic Considerations. Located in in a showcase facility with leading-edge technology, the modular structures also had the specific aesthetic requirement of a unique color for the building trim, which Allied Modular was able to match. The facility will host many visitors in the immediate future, including internal management, who will be on-site to see the new operation in action.
Quality Materials for Specific Requirements. Situated in a refrigerated warehouse that is maintained at a constant 34 degrees Fahrenheit, the office and control room structures required panels, insulated doors and double paned windows designed to keep out the cold. Allied Modular was able to exceed the organization’s expectations in meeting these specific requirements, according to the on-site project lead, who stated, “The quality was there – and definitely met our needs.”
Design Support from Allied Modular. The design phase of the project was a collaborative effort, according logistics crews, and started with a drawing that the team created from which Allied Modular was able to provide the detailed design for the two structures on two abutting platforms within the tight footprint.
Easy Installation and Take-down. The installation and design phases of the project were very successful, according to the logistics team, who emphasized the convenience of the pre-wired raceways in the installation process. The ease of take-down and reusability aspects of the structures was also of huge appeal, according to the project’s logistics engineer. “To have an office structure very close to something and then to realize ‘hey, I need to build this area out’ and be able to relocate is probably the biggest of all benefits.”
Design & Build Case Study
Company: Medin Corporation
Location: Passaic, NJ – June 2014
Application: Manufaturing Separation Tall Wall
About the Project
Medin Corporation, manufacturer of custom and standard instrument trays, cases and sterilization containers located in Passiac, NJ required a manufacturing separation wall 24 ft. to 30 ft. to protect newly installed machinery. They were wavering between our modular wall system and conventional drywall construction. After a few meetings and the project specs calling out for sound proofing, windows, industrial roll-up doors and integrated electrical, Medin chose to go with modular construction.
Time was of the essence!
Medin was moving into a brand new building and needed to occupy and and running quickly. Our modular wall system offers just that benefit with prefabrication of all components and installation is about 50-80% faster than conventional construction too.
Medin chose to go with Allied’s modular wall system due to the “speed of occupancy” and system options available. Based on the client’s needs for separation warehouse walls and the challenge of the machinery already in place, Allied recommended the use of our Integra 400 Tall Wall panel system. Tall Wall can span heights up to 35 feet, and 3 to 8 inches thick, TallWall can be torn down and moved without losing your initial investment. Construction is quick and seamless as we work around pipes, trusses and more, while adding windows, doors and electrical outlets where needed.
Allied Modular was the best solution for an expedited occupancy – and we were able to meet their move in schedule. The project went so well, we went on and did two more projects for Medin.
Design & Build Case Study
Company: MEAA Mitsubishi
Application: Office / Machine Enclosure
Location: Huntington Beach, CA – June 2015
About the Project
Mitsubishi was combining three divisions from Garden Grove into one building in Huntington Beach, part of a bigger scope for MEAA. They needed office space for employees and a protective enclosure for their very expensive production machinery…ASAP in their new facility. To make things a little tougher, this project had to be permitted with the local building authority.
Based on the client’s needs for office space and a machine enclosure, Allied’s design team met and worked with MEAA’s architect to design the perfect solution to best suit their needs. Allied was able to provide a full architectural permit package and submit the project to the local building authority for permits.
Time frame was critical since the head of Mitsubishi was visiting the site and they need to have the building completed before he arrives. Allied’s modular wall system allowed the complex office / machine enclosure to be installed quickly, easily meeting the projected deadline.
Mitsubishi was happy with the end result, it met their expectation from the time, budget and functionality standpoint.
Design & Build Case Study
Location: Plymouth Township, MI – Nov. 2014
Application: Sound Testing Enclosure – TallWall
About the Project
Bosch, a world leader in precision mechanics and electrical engineering needed to separate a section of its facility to conduct critical sound testing. This area had to be blocked off from outside noise for accurate results. The enclosed area had to be sound proofed and the walls were required to be class A rated and go from floor to existing ceiling keeping the testing area clean.
Faced with multiple challenges such as existing piping, duct work, tight areas and a limited time-frame, Allied’s design team made several site visits and multiple design revisions but ultimately came up with the perfect solution that fit Bosch’s exact needs. The modular tall wall was constructed utilizing our Integra 400 Class A gypsum panels, powder coated aluminum framing and steel insulated doors. Typically, the short time frame required for a complete installation of TallWalls and working around existing obstructions would require additional time. However, Allied’s prefabricated modular wall system allowed the TallWall to be installed quickly, easily meeting the projected deadline.
After several site visits, and drawing revisions, Bosch’s engineering team finalized a layout that would fit into their space and met their critical timeline. Needless to say, Bosch was happy with the solution, the look and the installation.
Design & Build Case Study
Company: Detroit Diesel
Location: Redford, MI – Jan 2015
Application: Modular Tall Wall
About the Project
Detroit Diesel located in Redford, MI required manufacturing separation walls to protect newly installed machinery. The customer was also looking for something that would also allow for complete visibility of the machinery process while keeping the area clean.
Based on the client’s needs for separation warehouse walls and the challenge of the machinery already in place, Allied recommended the use of our Integra 400 Tall Wall panel system. Typically, the short time frame required for a complete installation of dividing tall walls while working around existing machinery would require additional cost and time. However, Allied’s modular wall system allowed the Tall Wall to be installed quickly, easily meeting the projected deadline. In addition to its speedy installation, Allied’s modular design also met the clients request for flexibility, as it allows for easy future reconfiguration and re-installation if needed.
Not only was this project completed on time, but the short installation time frame and minimal staff allowed the project to be completed under budget and with a happy satisfied customer.
The international airport in Anchorage Alaska was in need of a new Customer Service Booth for Enterprise that could be moved or
relocated easily and without any hassle.
A representative from Enterprise contacted and spoke to Ed King ( Design Manager) regarding their issue. Ed and Barry Sim (Technical Design Manager) worked on a design that was approved by the customer.
Allied’s operations team organized the manufacturing and quickly delivery the new 18′ x 10′ x 9′ Customer Service Booth to Alaska’s international airport. Allied’s install manager immediately flew up to Anchorage and supervised the installation with an outside team.
Allied came up with the perfect solution.
How did it go?
The building came out looking great and the customer is now enquiring about several more units for other airports. This was a great team effort from planning/coordination to manufacturing and install. It’s always nice to see a project coming together under tight timeframe and requirements.
Company Name: Doyon Universal Services
Solution: The oil industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and there was a need to protect these oil sites out in the field with a guard house. Due to the remote location of the work sites, these work sites needed to be full service and turnkey.
Allied Modular was able to complete these guard houses and made them completely self-servicing. With additions of climate control, restroom facilities, generator, refrigerator, and microwave, our solution was completely turnkey.
How did it go?
Allied’s guardhouses were the perfect solution! We installed 36 guard houses that were all 8’ x 9’. The whole process went smoothly, and Doyon has requested more guardhouses to be installed in the future!
Company Name: CY Laser
CY Lasers needed to manage space within their warehouse. They desired an elegant workplace for meetings that also reflected the culture and style for their company.
Allied was able to create a solution that not only met their style but also provided a means for easy future expansion. This conference room was built in such a way that a second story can be easily added above.
How did it go?
CY Lasers loved this project! From the design to the fast installation, everything went well
Mitsubishi Electronic Automotive America
Mitsubishi was moving their facility which consisted of several buildings in Garden Grove and consolidating their facility to a single building in Huntington Beach, CA. They needed to add a testing room as well as lab with offices.
Allied has a great deal of experience in creating workspaces with a much larger facility. Maximizing a large space is one of the best uses of modular construction as it allows you to customize the space and section it out into different work areas.
How did the project go?
Mitsubishi was very happy with our work. We delivered as promised, and we are in talks with them for future building projects.
Johnson Controls, a leader in technology and industry.
Johnson Controls needed to provide a clean environment for drinking fountains on the manufacturing floors of their plants. They were looking for the modern look that a modular clean room affords, so they began requesting quotes from various modular clean room manufacturers.
Allied Modular’s enclosure would encase the drinking fountain area and keep out contaminants that could be found in the manufacturing plant so that the workers would have clean water to drink on the job.
How did the job go?
Needless to say, Johnson Controls was very happy with the end product. They were more than satisfied with the overall costs the project amounted to, noting that the modular method was highly cost-effective. Also, they were very impressed with the clean, modern look of the modular enclosures; it was just the sort of style they had in mind.
Would they recommend Allied?
Finally, we asked Johnson Controls if they would recommend our company to others and they said they would do it “without hesitation.” They also mentioned that they’d be working with us in the future the next time they require a quality solution for their building needs. We couldn’t be happier with their answer.