Recently we have been focusing a lot of our attention on how to maximise warehouse operations either through the use of automation, WMS systems and many of the larger storage systems. However, industrial shelving is a common request we receive from a number of our clients searching for storage units that can house smaller products. We offer help on finding the right industrial shelving.
Ensuring that flexibility is in place is a must for modern distribution centres as product lines can quickly change. Being able to adapt to changing and growing demands makes the installation of industrial shelving an important part of the structural set-up. Below we’ll cover what needs to be considered before choosing the right industrial shelving.
Determine the size of the shelving
The easiest start point is to consider what items are going to be stored on the shelving unit. Think about the products that are to be placed there, their overall dimensions and the maximum amount that will be stored at any one time. As with any storage system, the items must be positioned safely and never at risk of falling victim to damage or creating harm to workers. If the range of products is going to vary, then plastic containers holding the SKUs can be positioned on a bin shelving system, for example.
What weight will the shelves need to bear?
This can be easy to underestimate, especially for smaller items that individually do not hold much weight but can quickly create a heavier mass when stored in large quantities. The best way to approach this is on a shelf-by-shelf basis. Calculate the total weight that will be produced and compare this to the shelving system based on its uniformly distributed load (UDL). Where possible, try to invest in a system that can carry a bit more than the weight you wish to place onto it, so you are confident there will be no safety issues further down the line.
How will the system be used?
Accessibility to the shelving will help to determine how and where the shelving system is going to be positioned and used. Think about how easily staff will be able to pick the items and how busy the area may become in conjunction with nearby zones. If the shelving is high, you will have to consider the best method for staff to reach stock near to the top of the structure.
Find the best position for the system
Before you can finalise the best position for the shelving you will have to calculate the measurements so you find a space it can fit into. However, more often than not you will already have a good idea of where it is likely to slot into operations. With that said, make sure the measurements are transposed into the real-time working environment as working off old plans can sometimes differ to the reality of how the current warehouse is set-up.
Although much of the above may seem very straight forward, these reminders remain just as helpful for start-ups as they do for established businesses. Sometimes the basics can be overlooked and ensuring you cover the fundamentals will mean you find the right solution in a timely manner.
We hope our brief overview about industrial shelving will serve as a reminder or prompt when you are searching for a new system. We’ve spent years advising companies of all sizes about the best storage solutions available. If you want more help, call our friendly team on 0800 345 7088 today!
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