Industrial shelving has a hard life. Knocked by forklifts or automated pallet conveyors and often overloaded in environments like factories and warehouses, the shelving can start showing signs of age. Here are five ways to extend its life.
1. Choose the right shelving to start with
Don’t be tempted to go for lighter grade shelving because it’s cheaper – if it can’t stand up to the rigours of warehouse life you’ll find yourself replacing it because it’s failed and become unsafe. Office or domestic garage shelving won’t cut it – you need industrial shelving that will withstand heavy loads and possibly dust and grease if you store parts and components.
2. Take a look at how it’s put together
Joints, intersections and shelf connectors take a lot of the strain. Some heavy duty systems have reinforcement at key points and extra shelf clips. On the other hand, light to medium racking may have no bolts because it doesn’t need the extra reinforcement.
When it comes to industrial shelving Ireland has a wide range available from http://www.rackzone.ie/, so it should be easy to find the grade that you need.
3. Assemble it correctly
Don’t sidestep the manufacturer’s instructions – carry them out as prescribed because the order of assembly can affect the final strength and lifespan of the shelving system. It may be easier to get a professional installer to do the job, as they will be quicker and the shelving will be correctly assembled.
4. Always follow safety guidelines
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a useful short booklet on commissioning, designing, installing and using storage systems. It also has practical tips for inspections following the installation of the racking.
5. Train staff
As soon as you have installed your new industrial racking, you need to train your staff in how to use it safely and efficiently. They need to know what can be stored on which racks or shelves, and the maximum loading of each shelf. This will help to ensure that they treat the racking with a bit of respect.
Follow these tips and you should be able to prolong the life of your industrial shelving and racking substantially. This increases your return on investment, and leaves capital free for other investments in warehouse efficiency, such as automated pallet handling systems.