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Case Study: Wine, Beer Distributor Cuts Costs with Multi-Level Mezzanine

The Wisconsin division of Wirtz Beverage moved to a new facility and needed to maximize floor space, all while employing multiple pick lines.

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Wirtz Beverage is the leading national distributor of the world’s top luxury and premium wine, spirits and beer brands, with more than $1.5 billion in annual sales and distribution facilities throughout the United States.

The Wisconsin division moved to a new facility and needed to implement a conveyor system with structural support that could withstand extremely heavy loads. In addition to multi-level shelving and racking, the company needed a complex conveyor system which previously consisted of three conveyor lines spreading across the entire plant floor. Wirtz needed to maximize floor space, all while employing multiple pick lines. The company enlisted New Berlin, WI-based Cubic Designs to review their floorplan, and it was immediately obvious to the Cubic Designs team that the previous set up wasn’t the best use of space for the new facility.

Cubic Designs determined the best way to accommodate the conveyor system was to suspend it overhead with the support of mezzanines, freeing up valuable floor space. A survey of the space revealed the ceiling joists could not support the weight of the conveyor, heavy boxes and seasonal snow loads, so an alternate method of support was devised. The solution involved a pick mezzanine with multiple levels and elevations, custom designed to support the escalated conveyors and fit around its winding configuration. Columns were strategically placed to promote traffic flow and maximize support.

The Results

In the end, the multi-level mezzanine system provided the superior strength and stability needed to support and suspend the conveyor system overhead which enabled more efficient product distribution within the plant – from the picking line, to label scanning and onto the delivery truck. As a total package, the conveyors, supported by the mezzanines, helped to drive efficiencies during the picking process and streamline the shipment of orders, while maximizing floor space and racking areas for increased storage and inventory organization. For Wirtz Beverage, these efficiencies have reduced the overall cost of operations considerably and allowed for easy adaptability for future expansion.

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