Customer: BMW Manufacturing Corp.
Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina
Application: 2,555 sq. ft spare parts storage and distribution building
Product: OmniFlex 300 Plus with Fire & Sound Panels
Tony Brannon, a manager at BMW Manufacturing's facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, had an enormous inventory control responsibility on his hands. His department stocked more than 11,000 items that ranged from 500hp motors for the auto-assembly area to basic supplies like sandpaper and staples. Keeping up with the plant's demands for spare parts was no small task as his group could not cause downtime given that operations were being pushed due to excessive demand.
In response to worldwide demand, the Spartanburg plant had increased production of its popular Z3 Roadster to an average output of 255 units a day and the facility was in a mode of near constant expansion. Given this, Brannon needed an in-plant building that could be constructed very quickly and then expanded and moved easily within the plant in the near future.
Given the need for speed and flexibility, PortaFab's modular systems were an ideal solution to the problem. However, very tight design requirements evolved as the plans progressed. What began as a free-standing wall structure with no roof became a one-story OmniFlex building when BMW realized they needed to reduce the noise from the adjacent manufacturing area and protect their huge part-inventory. Next, the design change would not work with the existing lighting system within the plant so PortaFab had to design an alternative lighting solution
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The final product is a totally enclosed, secure, modular in-plant building that is open enough for 12 employees to work inside and interact with customers over an eight-foot long counter. The structure is self-sufficient with its own lighting system as well as windows that provide visibility into the plant. Inset by four feet from the exterior wall panels, the service window keeps traffic to a minimum within the building and in the aisles. The building also features a lockable, roll-down door so inventory is secure when the plant is closed and every panel is numbered to facilitate fast relocation.
"By taking advantage of the non-progressive features inherent in the PortaFab design, we can take the building apart piece by piece and reassemble it 500 feet across the plant floor without incurring additional costs for a contract installation crew. Plus, this can be accomplished over a weekend so we don't experience any production downtime in the plant." -Tom Brannon - BMW Manufacturing