work platform
“The core location of the work platform maximizes our efficiency and keeps everything within easy reach,” says Terry Pridgen, Ferguson’s plant superintendent.
“Innovation beyond the box” is not just a company slogan; it is a way of doing business at Charlotte, N.C. based Ferguson Supply and Box (Ferguson). With offices and manufacturing operations appropriately located on Quality Drive, this progressive and service oriented manufacturer has built a solid reputation as a complete packaging solutions provider. So when the company looked to operate more lean and better utilize its existing space, they turned to Wildeck, Inc., for a new mezzanine, otherwise known as an industrial steel work platform, and a vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC).
In its efforts to become lean, Ferguson implemented a core operation philosophy, which called for consolidating two locations into one and reducing its footprint to 185,000 square feet. With Ferguson’s focus on maximizing organization and shifting all operations to one smaller facility, the added space from the work platform was integral to its material flow. Thus, the strategic location of the work platform and VRC in the facility was critical in creating a core area for supplies that would be in close proximity to the manufacturing area.   
“The core location of the work platform maximizes our efficiency and keeps everything within easy reach,” says Terry Pridgen, Ferguson’s plant superintendent. “The easy access allows our operators to quickly switch over jobs while protecting and moving printing plates and cutting dies.”
Industrial steel work platforms are an ideal solution to fully utilize existing overhead space to help a company operate more efficiently and profitably. Work platforms provide new valuable working, office, storage or manufacturing areas at a fraction of the cost of new construction.
VRCs are freight-only material lifts that offer a lower cost alternative to elevators for easy access to a second level. The total cost of VRC ownership can be up to three times less than an elevator and can be installed in a fraction of the time. Since people cannot ride on a VRC, it becomes a more safe and cost-effective solution for transferring items to and from the second floor. Today’s VRC controls also make operation virtually fool-proof with intuitive, easy-to-read lift status lights and built-in safety features. 
Pridgen says that the added space and efficiency that the work platform and VRC provided have offered numerous operational benefits, including:
  • Tooling storage for the converting machines, printing plates and dies. 
  • Space optimization by utilizing existing overhead space.
  • Central core location of materials close to the manufacturing area.
  • Efficient employee training on the new core procedures in less than an hour. 
  • Aesthetic, modern and professional appeal of Wildeck equipment. 

Additionally, the Wildeck equipment has contributed to the success of Ferguson’s operation in several ways, including:

  • Safe storage. The work platform houses several key production items, including thousands of cutting dies, and delicate printing plates. These two items are critical to its customers’ production and are easily damaged and prone to accidents, but now are safely secured within the work platform.
  • Easy access. The VRC, which has a carrying capacity of more than 3,000 pounds, lifts items of all shapes and sizes every day, safely and with ease. 
  • Pridgen says he is pleased with the Wildeck equipment installed in Ferguson’s facility.
“The work platform and VRC have provided our new facility with the space and efficiency we need to accomplish our goals,” he says. “We are able to have our dies and materials readily available for use on our equipment. As a result, we are able to maximize our efficiency in an organized fashion; and that greatly adds to our bottom line.” 
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