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    How is a factory different from a warehouse ?

    Industrial real estate is both manufacturing and storage space apart from Industrial land, cold storage, SEZ, FTZ, CFS etc. Many use the terms warehouse and factory interchangeably. Some even say that “there is effectively no difference between a warehouse and a factory structure”. So, how is a factory different from a warehouse.

    A warehouse is a commercial building generally used for storage of goods and warehousing is the process of proper storage and handling of goods and cargo using scientific methods in the warehouse and making them available easily and smoothly when needed. In recent days, warehousing is considered as one of the most important aspect of trade.

    A factory is an industrial site, usually consisting of buildings and machinery, or more commonly a complex having several buildings, where workers manufacture goods or operate machines processing one product into another and this is in demand in India currently due to the world looking for alternative supply chains to China (post Covid-19) and proactive Central and State Governments who are promoting “Make in India

    Listed below the difference between a Warehouse and a Factory structure explained in detail

    LocationAny where based on the demandSIPCOT/ SIDCO (Government industrial parks) are most preferred
    Power3 phase is sufficientHigh tension Power connection required to run heavy equipments and machinery
    Floor height4 feet above groundGround level
    Flooring Capacity5 metric ton / sqmt10 – 15 metric ton / sqmt
    Loading bays and canopyDock levelers needed with loading bays and canopyNot required 
    Shutters13 ft width – Normally 1 shutter per 5000 sftabove 18 ft (to allow movement of containers within the shed) – minimal number of shutters
    Ceiling HeightTo accommodate racking and vertical stackingHeight required for EoT and for temperature control
    Type of buildingRCC or PEB normallyMost commonly PEB (ACC for older structures)
    EOT Crane (Electric overhead traveling)Not  requiredRequired to carry heavy load
    Container accessLoading and Unloading of goods takes place outside the warehouseLoading and Unloading of goods takes place within the factory itself
    Employee SafetyRequired, If Hazardous goods are stored, need to follow the safety procedures set by the GovernmentOccupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions of workers to be followed without deviation as per Government norms
    Fire Safety Required Depending on items stored – basic extinguishers and Hydrants are the norm of the day – Sprinklers depend on the material storedFire Hydrants with high storage water tank,  Fire Extinguishers, Fire Sprinkler, Smoke Detectors and fire fighting drills at regular intervals are Mandatory requirements
    ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant )/ STP (Sewage Treatment Plants)Not required, as goods are only storedMandatory
    Water sourceMinimum quantity requiredRequired in large quantity
    Pollution Control CertificateNot Required Depend on the types of goods produced
    Color Zoning Criteria based on polluting normsApplicable only for Hazardous and Explosive goods (PESO)Green, Orange , Red 

    Warehouses and Factories these days are with improved designs, state-of-the-art features, such as higher ceilings or multilevel facilities for dense and more efficient storage, and more cross-docks and doors to facilitate production, storage and faster deliveries.

    Also investing in renewable energy sources, such as rooftop solar power will enhance the efficiency of a warehouse or a factory but the entire supply chain as well.

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