Whether you’re a warehouse manager or a factory foreman, shelving systems play an essential role in industrial storage. When you’re buying equipment for your business, you need to take into account a variety of factors that directly affect your storage and inventory management needs—these range from your available floor space and clear height to docking location and material handling.
There are various shelving systems designed to facilitate the storage and retrieval of highly varied merchandise. These shelving products range from wire shelving units to rack and rivet shelving.
There’s also heavy-duty reinforced storage shelving designed to provide a high degree of strength for supporting large, heavy items. This is ideal for storing dies, jigs and fixtures, heavy castings, machine parts and automotive parts, such as engine blocks. Before ordering a shelving system, you should always ensure that you know what kind of weight you’ll need it to support. Instruct your personnel not to exceed the designated weight capacity.
Shelving or Racks?
It’s essential to differentiate shelving systems from racking systems. While both shelves and racks are designed to store inventory, they differ in capacity and retrieval methods. Whether commercial or industrial, shelving can be strong but is generally designed to be accessed by humans, either on foot or using a ladder. As a result, industrial shelving is generally shorter, has shallow shelves, and is designed to store smaller items.
Storage racks are principally designed for storing pallets. They don’t have the same size and weight limitations as shelving units as pallet racking storage systems need to be accessible to forklifts and other material-handling equipment rather than human pickers.
Rivet and rack shelving can usually store heavier, larger items and are more compatible with automated storage and retrieval systems (AR/RS).
When you buy industrial shelving for your warehouse or factory, you should also consider buying accessories. These can range from basket shelves and shelf dividers to base strips and label holders.
If you want to keep a clean warehouse, base strips stop debris, whether that’s packaging waste or metal turnings, from collecting under your shelving system. You can simply sweep them away.
Label holders let you label and identify the contents of specific shelves or racks, improving order picking efficiency. You can find label holders that use an adhesive, a magnet, or a clip to attach to your shelving unit.
Freestanding dividers help you keep items separate, and bin fronts prevent items from falling off shelves.
Heavy-duty shelving is usually made from galvanized, powder-coated, or stainless steel. While steel offers the strength necessary to support inventory weighing several tons, it’s also susceptible to surface corrosion.
Stainless steel is the most corrosion-resistant option available, increasing the longevity of your shelving system and reducing the need for regular maintenance. However, stainless steel is also more expensive.
Galvanizing is a zinc coating that manufacturers apply to steel by submerging it in a bath of molten zinc. This coating protects the steel against the formation of rust.
While galvanizing protects steel shelving, it can suffer damage from material handling products, such as forklifts. You should periodically inspect galvanized steel shelving to ensure that it is still in functional condition.
Modular Drawer Cabinets
Modular drawer cabinets allow you to use separate compartments for storing small parts in quantity. These high-density storage cabinets typically have wide handles for easy access.
In addition to modular drawer cabinets, you can also buy bin units for additional storage capacity. Bin units are lightweight, easy to clean, and low maintenance. Plastic bins are more durable than wood, and they’re also waterproof and recyclable.
Your choice of shelving system must be compatible with the material-handling products that you use to load and unload inventory.
If your personnel use pallet jacks and forklifts, heavy-duty shelving is more capable of withstanding impact. Accidents happen, after all, and while strict adherence to safety protocols can minimize the frequency, you can’t eliminate them entirely.
Wire decking can improve heavy-duty storage shelving in a variety of ways. First, it increases light penetration, illuminating the inventory on multiple shelves and allowing more efficient identification of the shelving unit’s contents.
Second, it allows ESFR sprinkler systems to access every part of the shelving unit, preventing warehouse fires from spreading.
Get Heavy Duty Industrial Shelving at Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we sell a variety of different storage solutions. For more information regarding shelving units, racking systems, and other equipment, call us at (800) 589-7225. We’d be happy to help you find the optimal combination to maximize your available storage space and the efficiency of your warehouse.