Smart Industrial Shelving Systems Lower Cost
Efficient industrial shelving makes for the optimum use of office and warehouse space. It can eliminate the need to move to larger premises, saving a lot of money and effort. Larger buildings are costlier to construct and require higher local charges, need more energy, and you risk significant downtime during the transition. Instead, make the best use of your current space.
By installing the best shelving solutions for your needs, space can be used more effectively, thereby cutting costs.
What Types of Shelving Is Available?
Industrial shelving comes in many types. Shelves may be made up of steel, wires (wire racks), or rivets, and can be open or closed. Heavy-duty shelving is used for medium and heavy loads.
Your first decision will be between shelving and racking. The main difference between these is that with shelving, goods are typically picked up by hand, and with racking, the placement and retrieval of items is typically done through mechanical means.
Shelving is typically used for small goods. Goods are shelved individually and picked up by hand or increasingly by industrial drones. Shelving is typically metal, can be any height, and can have any number of solid shelves. Most shelves sit on the ground and can be bolted for additional strength, but some are mechanized or are on wheels for easier mobility.
With shelving, you have a number of main types on offer:
- Steel shelving – the most popular storage type in retail and warehouses, steel shelving is robust, durable, inexpensive, and versatile.
- Rivet shelving – just as strong as steel shelving, rivet shelving is differentiated by how it doesn’t use bolts or clips, making assembly and alterations quicker. It’s easier to store items of different sizes with rivet shelving, as adjusting shelving height is simple.
- Wire shelving – when air circulation is an important factor, wire shelving allows your goods to breathe. Temperatures are easier to control with wire shelving, and visibility of goods is greatly increased. However, wire shelving is typically not as strong as steel or rivet shelving so cannot be used for heavy goods.
- Light-duty shelving – easy to assemble and dismantle, light-duty shelving can find a useful place in warehouse nooks and crannies.
- Multi-tier shelving – This method of shelving offers yet another way of storing your inventory efficiently. It makes good use of the capacity of your building by utilising all the available headroom without sacrificing the convenience of shelving. A platform above the normal workspace, which can be accessed by a staircase, can be used to store goods. For transporting goods to and from this platform, a goods lift or forklift truck can be used.
Who Should Use Warehouse Shelving?
Nowadays, many innovative shelving systems are available that make the most of your current storage space. The initial costs will soon be compensated by reduced operational expenses. Additionally, everything is available in one place.
Your first choice is typically between traditional shelving and pallet racking. Whether to choose shelving over pallet racking depends on your use case. If you’re likely to be hand-selecting individual items, then shelving is more convenient that pallet racking. When you’re looking to store and shift forklifts of pallets, pallet racks begin to make more sense.
What Shelving Is Good for a Small Warehouse?
Different warehouses have their own different needs for storage. For smaller warehouses, high density or heavy-duty storage may not be needed. Choosing traditional shelving can be cheaper and make accessing goods simpler. Fewer forklifts and machines are required if you stick to shelving.
Rivet shelving with single or double rivets is used depending on how much weight is to be put on the shelf. Single rivets can be used in smaller warehouses with lighter items or many small parts.
If the items need more air circulation, wire shelving is the best solution.
What Shelving Is Good for a Larger Warehouse?
Double rivet shelving can sustain more load.
Use cantilever racks if the items are very long; for example, long pieces of pipes, lumber, poles, tubing, or siding for houses that just cannot be stored on single racks or shelves.
Multi-tier shelving can make good use of available warehouse height without sacrificing convenience for when handpicking items. Access to higher shelves can be made by a staircase.
The more goods you need to store and the heavier they become, the more pallet racking makes sense. However, even large warehouses can use shelving systems alongside pallet racking to get the best of both worlds – easy access to some goods and the best use of space for palleted goods.
Shelving vs. the Alternatives
Other options for warehouse storage include industrial storage racks, pallet racks, gravity flow racks, mezzanine floors, drive-in pallet racks, powered mobile pallet racks, and high-rise, narrow aisle racking.
Building mezzanine floors can also prove to be an economical way of generating extra storage space. As a mezzanine floor is of a semi-permanent nature, it can also be dismantled at will.
As opposed to traditional shelving, high-density storage allows the storing of more items in the currently available space. It essentially uses the vertical space better by keeping items stocked above another using a suitable racking system. Items are stored in an organised manner so that they can be easily and safely accessed.
A comparison with traditional methods of storage shows that the same number of items can be stacked in 50% less space using high-density shelving techniques.
The benefits of high-density storage are manifold. You can maximise the use of limited floor space. Traditional shelves are bulky in size and need huge aisles. Small-sized warehouses can adopt this method if they need to store many more items, instead of looking for a larger warehouse or an offsite storage location, thus saving a lot of money in on-going costs.
On the other hand, traditional shelving has lower initial costs, doesn’t require machinery to access goods, typically has better visibility of products, and makes handpicking items easier.
It is possible to increase your efficiency and business productivity by installing smart industrial shelving solutions. The choice of shelving method depends on various factors like the type of items to be stored, their size, your current space availability, and budget.
Whether to choose industrial shelving over other options comes down to use case. If you don’t think you’ll be using forklifts to move large quantities of pallets, shelving may be the way to go. The choice also depends on your flow requirements. Get in touch to discuss your industrial shelving system needs.