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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What to Look for in a Mobile Storage or Tool Cabinet

Mobile storage cabinets are useful in a variety of industries and trades. Whether you need a mobile place to store files or are frequently transporting tools, a mobile bench cabinet can be incredibly useful. This article will help you decide what to look for in a mobile tool cabinet or work bench so that you find exactly what you’re looking for.

When considering the various attributes, it’s important to keep one thing in mind: what you will actually be storing. This will dictate a great deal of the storage attributes you will want in a mobile storage cabinet.

Capacity
Capacity should be one of the fundamental attributes you consider when selecting a mobile storage cabinet. This includes both the load capacity as well as the physical capacity. The load capacity tells you just how much weight the cabinet can withstand. This accounts for weight in the cabinet as well as on the surface. Consider what you will be putting in or on the cabinet and determine if you will need to determine what weight capacity you will be demanding.

Don’t forget to consider the physical space you need. Will everything you want to put in the cabinet fit within the space. Keep in mind that generally over time, things will be added to this space. Consider the arrangement of the space as well. Do you want a cabinet with drawers, compartments or just a few shelves?

Size
One of the most important aspects is inside and outside length, width and height of the mobile storage cabinet you are considering. Again, you want everything to fit in the cabinet, but you also want the cabinet to fit in the space you have. Intuitively, larger mobile cabinets tend to be heavier while smaller ones are lighter. Height is also important, because it demonstrates whether you will be able to rest things on top. Counter height storage allows for things to be stored on top, while a taller cabinet does not.

Security
It’s important to decide if security is important for what you are storing. If it is, you will want a closed cabinet with a lock. If you want people to see and reach items within the store space, we recommend an open cabinet. You can also opt for a storage container with a glass or clear door that allows people to see inside while still containing the items. If you truly want open storage, we would also recommend a mobile instrument.

Construction
The construction of the storage cabinet is hugely important when determining the hardiness of the storage cabinet. Stainless steel cabinets will last longer and are less prone to rust, stain or corrode. This higher quality metal will also keep the storage container looking better for longer. When you’re ready to select a mobile storage cabinet, we recommend buying from a name you can trust and a selection you can be picky with. Standard Shelving is the leader in industrial shelving storage and can help you make the right decision.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What to Look for in a Heavy Duty Storage Cabinet

So you're looking for a heavy duty storage cabinet for your inventory or tools? In determining which industrial storage locker to choose, you first need to toss around the question: "what will I be storing?" Thinking about the use of the storage cabinet will allow you discern what weight constraints to consider, whether you want an open or closed storage locker model and if bins or drawers are important for your storage needs.

  • Weight Capacity: This factor is weighty in determining your need for a commercial storage cabinet. What will you store? What weight capacity do your shelves need to be able to withstand? "Heavy duty" can be relative, so really consider what your business will be stowing on the locker shelves. I’ve seen industrial metal storage cabinets described as "heavy duty" when their weight load maximum is under 150 pounds. If you’re looking for extreme duty storage cabinets, with a load capacity of over 1900 pounds per shelf, Standard Shelving offers a section of stowing cabinets and lockers to withstand such a load.


  • Door Visibility and/or Ventilation: Many commercial storage lockers offer an option to choose from a see-through or solid door. The decision depends on what your factory or shop needs in a storage locker and the importance of visibility and ventilation. As we talked about in the previous post on flammable storage cabinet requirements, ventilation is not a requirement for fire protection purposes. For the most accurate and up-to-date ventilation regulations, consult your local Fire Marshal. See through door visibility allows for easy inventory assessment and ease of determining the location of your stock; however, in a well-organized (or labeled) shop, closed doors provide a more aesthetically pleasing, clean look.


  • Storage Drawer Capacity: With most industrial metal storage cabinets, the availability of storage drawers draws minimal attention solely because most supplies destined for heavy duty storage are bulky; however, drawers are a huge plus in a heavy duty storage locker for many reasons. Drawers stow smaller, dense items that may not have a home on the shelves themselves. One of best ways to incorporate both the flexibility of shelves with the organization of drawers is to look for a storage locker model with both features.


  • Height of storage cabinet: Now most commercial storage cabinets stand tall and offer an enormous storage capacity, but there also exist counter height storage lockers with equal load capacity and function. The benefit to counter height storage lockers is the ability to use the top side as a table or workspace.


  • Material make-up: Stainless Steel or not? The pros to stainless steel far outweigh the cons; stainless steel is more durable than ordinary steel. Stainless steel will not corrode, stain or rust as easily as normal steel; therefore, it represents a long-lasting and more attractive storage facility for your industrial or commercial space need.
  • Friday, August 12, 2011

    OSHA Flammable Storage Cabinet Requirements Explained

    OSHA regulations are very strict regarding the storage of flammable and combustible liquids in order to protect public safety, so if you are looking for a flammable liquid storage cabinet it's important to make sure that the cabinet or unit you purchase meets OSHA requirements.

    OSHA Storage Cabinet Regulations forFlammable and Combustible Liquids(1910.106):

  • Volume Limit

    Regulation: 60 gallons for Class I and Class II liquids and 120 gallons for Class III liquids

    Explanation: Overfilling flammable safety cabinets can pose a serious fire hazard because it increases the risk that containers could fall out when doors are opened, causing spills and releasing dangerous vapors. Additionally, some cabinets have specially designed ventilation features, which could be blocked off if cabinets are over capacity.


  • Internal Temperature Threshold

    Regulation: Internal temperature cannot exceed 325⁰F during a standardized 10 minute fire test

    Explanation:This regulation ensures that if a fire breaks out in the area where the flammable cabinet is located the liquids inside will not ignite before firefighters can respond to the emergency. Most flammable and combustible liquids have an auto-ignition temperature of 500⁰F or more, which means that at temperatures exceeding 500⁰F the vapors from flammable and combustible liquids can ignite without an ignition source. Setting the regulation standard at 325⁰F ensures that auto-ignition will not be achieved within the acceptable emergency response time of less than 10 minutes.


  • Safety Labeling

    Regulation: Must be labeled “Flammable – Keep Fire Away”

    Explanation: As a matter of public safety, obvious and consistent messaging must be used to identify the cabinet so that all fires (such as cigarettes, sparklers, portable grills, acetylene torches, etc.) are kept away from the flammable and combustible liquids contained inside.


  • Sheet Metal Construction

    Regulation: Bottom, top, door, and sides must be at least 18 gage (1mm) sheet metal and double-walled with at least 1.5 inches of air space

    Explanation:The 18 gage specification ensures that the cabinet will be strong enough to support the weight of the containers of liquids inside. Specific metals are not outlined because some metals are more reactive than others so flexibility on metal composite within the regulations allows for customization based on which materials will be stored inside the cabinet. But regardless of whatever metal the cabinetis made of, the double-walled specification ensures that the liquids inside will be insulted against the heat. This air barrier acts as insulation in the same way that a thermos can keep hot or cold liquids inside at the proper temperature by containing them in a smaller unit molded inside a larger outer unit.


  • Door Specifications

    Regulation: Doors must have a 3 point lock and be at least 2 inches above the bottom of the cabinet

    Explanation: A three-point lock ensures that the door or doors will close tightly, securing liquids safely inside. Raising the door off the bottom of the cabinet helps to safeguard against spills, making it likely that any liquid spillage inside will be contained within the unit.


  • While not required by OSHA, a highly beneficial feature to have on your flammable liquid storage cabinet is self-closing doors. Storage units can be outfitted with a fusable link that melts at 160⁰F, causing the door closing mechanism to release and close doors automatically in a fire situation.

    For a full listing of all indoor and outdoor storage requirements please visit OSHA’s official page



    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Finding the Right Pallet Rack System for Your Business

    Any distribution center, a core component of a business, requires comprehensive planning to ensure supply chain management is effective and return on investment is high. If implemented correctly, pallet rack systems aid in efficiently storing materials and make a constructive impact on the logistics of your business.

    Answering three simple questions and understanding the core components of a pallet rack is the key to successfully choosing the right pallet rack system for your business.

    What are the needs of your business?

    Figure out the activity and storage requirements of your business before investing in a pallet rack system. Most businesses fall into one of these four scenarios:

  • Low Activity / Low Storage Requirements

  • Low Activity / High Storage Requirements

  • High Activity / Low Storage Requirements

  • High Activity / High Storage Requirements

  • Identifying which scenario your business correctly fits in ensures that you pick a pallet rack system with the correct capacity for your business.

    What are the dimensions of your warehouse?
    Consider the dimensions of your warehouse or office space before deciding which pallet rack to purchase. The number of pallet racks and the size of the pallets will be determined based on your needs and the dimensions of your warehouse. Also be certain that you make room for the turning radius of your forklift when you plan your aisles.

    What type of lift truck will you be using?
    The length of the pallet rack beam depends on the type of lift truck that you are using. When using a counter balanced pallet truck consider the maximum width of the pallet or load (whichever is larger) and the number of loads between upright frames before picking the length of the pallet rack beam. If you decide to use an outrigger or straddle pallet truck consider the maximum width of outriggers or load and the number of loads across while deciding on a pallet rack beam.

    Other important factors to consider when choosing a pallet rack are the pallet rack beam capacity, the depth of the pallet rack frame, the length of the pallet rack row spacers, and the frame upright height. Following these steps below will help you understand how to determine these vital measurements.


    Determining pallet rack beam capacity
    Pallet rack beams provide crucial support and keep the pallets from bowing. You can figure out the required pallet rack beam capacity by taking the number of pallets multiplied by load weight. The beam capacity tells you the type of pallet rack beam that you need to purchase. For one level pallet racks, decrease beam capacity by 15% to account for the reduced end fixity, and use only heavier beams, which have four hook end connectors.

    Calculating the suggested depth of the pallet rack frame
    The pallet rack frame is another crucial element in any pallet rack system. The pallet rack frame depth should be 6” less than the pallet stringer dimension. The frame depth must be in 3” increments. You may also calculate the depth of the pallet rack by adding 2 to 5 inches to the width of the product it will be holding.

    Finding the correct length of the pallet rack row spacers
    Pallet rack row spacers are used to connect pallet racks back to back. They increase stability and safety by maintaining consistent spacing between pallet rack rows. Finding the correct length is the key to successfully utilizing these row spacers. The suggested pallet rack row spacer length is double the amount of pallet or load overhang plus 6” of clearance.

    Deciding the frame upright height
    Calculate the frame upright height by starting at floor level and adding the height of pallet and load to the height of the beam. Don’t forget to add the necessary distance of clearance between top of load and bottom of beam. The thickness of the support beam must also be added. Multiply the total number by the number of shelf levels to get the frame height.

    Height of pallet and load + height of beam + ceiling clearance + thickness of support beam = TOTAL
    TOTAL x the number of shelves = frame upright height

    If you have questions about your pallet rack system needs or would like a quote on one of our pallet racks please call 1-800-622-2692 to speak with one of our experts.

    Industrial Steel Shelving – Choosing Between Open Shelving & Closed Shelving

    Industrial steel shelving (also known as warehouse shelving) can be used for a wide variety of applications so it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the right shelving for your particular needs. The main types of steel shelving include: die-shelving, pallet shelving, open shelving, and closed shelving.

    Die-shelving and pallet shelving are for the most heavy-duty applications and are primarily used only in warehouses and factories. Open shelving and closed shelving, on the other hand, are considered “all purpose” shelving units and can be used everywhere from stock rooms and supply rooms to offices to restaurants. Both open shelving and closed shelving tend to have capacities of about 250-750lbs per shelf, making them just right for most commercial shelving needs. So how do you know whether you should use open shelving or closed shelving?

    Benefits of Open Shelving


  • Economical Choice

    Open shelving tends to be more economical- providing a great deal of inexpensive storage space. Since it’s less expensive than closed shelving, purchasing open shelving is a great way to add to your storage space without maxing out your budget.


  • Greater Accessibility

    Just as the name would imply, open shelving is more open, which allows for greater access to stored inventory. Open shelving can be accessed easily from the front, back, and sides- this is especially important when storing boxes or bins.


  • More Inventory Options

    Open shelving is great for organizing inventory, allowing boxes, bins, and parts to be organized and stored. Open shelving is also highly configurable, which lets you get the right dimensions for your space. Often times open shelving units will be lined up or connected to allow for a wide row of shelving.


  • Benefits of Closed Shelving


  • More Aesthetic Choice

    Closed shelving is a little more finished looking than open shelving, so it’s a better choice for use in areas where people might see it, such as offices or stores.


  • Greater Unit Stability

    Although open shelving has x braces on the back and sides to help reduce sway, in general, closed shelving tends to have greater stability than open shelving.


  • Improved Safety

    With open shelving it is tempting for employees or coworkers to place oversized items on the shelves that might hang over the edge- increasing the risk of injury if the items were to fall off or cause the unit to become unbalanced. Closed shelving minimizes this possibility by limiting the available shelf space to only appropriately-sized items.


  • Better Inventory Protection

    Closed shelving allows better protection for stored inventory, making it a better choice for more fragile inventory or smaller inventory that could fall off an open shelf. Closed shelving also helps prevent light and air flow around products- reducing dust accumulation and light fade on products that are being stored for long periods of time.