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Industrial Shelving – Knowing Their Types and Uses

Industrial shelves or storage racks are a way to organize the warehouse and keep the place hazard free. Proper storage of the items at the warehouse is very important whether it is raw materials or finished products. This will ensure safekeeping of the products and avoid spoilage or breakage. One common way of storing material is putting it on proper shelves. The rack’s design must be chosen keeping in mind the requirement of the user.

There are different types of industrial shelving in market suitable for storing different items.  For instance racks used for storing heavy material like equipment, machines and tools should be such that supports the load of the items. Besides, if the rack is placed outside then wind, wind gusts and other environmental conditions should be considered. Workplace safety regulations require that all the material, machine, equipment and tools are stored in a safe manner with shelving.

Some of the types of racks are:

  1. Bulk storage rack
  2. Pallet racks
  3. Cantilever racks
  4. Drum storage racks
  5. Stacking racks
  6. Special purpose racks
  7. Gondola shelving
  8. Gravity flow racks
  9. High density storage
  10. Wire mesh security partitions
  11. Mezzazines & in plant offices
  12. Work benches and cabinets
  13. Plastic shelves
  14. Guard rails

Industrial Shelving – Knowing Their Types and Uses

The shelf distributors also provide shelves safety inspection services when it comes to the industrial shelving. These services will include on site analysis of:

  • Dented or bent columns
  • Upright column integrity
  • Condition of decking material
  • Bracing to walls
  • Anchoring of uprights to the floor
  • Beam rotation or deflection
  • Distance of products stored from heating units
  • Horizontal and diagonal strut integrity
  • Safety pins and safety clips for beams
  • Beam connection to upright column

It is recommended that the safety inspection is done at least once a year as this will save money and workplace accidents.

Before purchasing storage racks certain information needs to found about industrial shelving. This will help in finding the right storage rack for the warehouse.

  • Products to be Stored: Find out the characteristics of the items to be stored. The material of the pallet used to store the items should be befitting and steady enough to support the material. The pellets used to hold the material should be structurally sound.
  • Materials Handling Equipment: It is good to find out the requirements of the manufacturer for handling the material properly. Certain products or finished goods have special storage needs. The specification provided by the manufacturer can be used to establish recommendations for operating clearance.
  • Building Characters: In order to place storage racks accurate measurement of the floor is required to ascertain placement of the racks. A plan must be drawn so that there are no hindrances in movement on the floor. It is important to find out the load bearing capacity of the floor, for this examination an engineer is required. There are certain hazards that exist along with installing the industrial shelves. One needs to be careful and take all precautions. Some of the hazards are:
  • Overloading of the shelf
  • Collision of moving equipment with the rack
  • Vertical constraints, deflections and beam connections
  • Overturning of the rack because of incorrect height
  • Worker slips from the rack during operations
  • These hazards might occur due to following reasons:
  • Improper specifications provided before installation
  • Poor installation of the rack
  • No maintenance
  • Improper repair and poor planning of the capacity.

To get a proper and appropriate shelf installed at the workplace or the warehouse, it is necessary to start with jotting down the requirements and find out the floor plan. There are several shelf providers that supply different types of industrial shelving. Based on the findings one can get different types of shelves for different materials.


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