Guide to... Warehouse Shelving Systems

 

 

Warehouse shelving systems are perfect for maximising storage capacity. They can be tailored to work with the height of your warehouse or industrial environment and they are highly customisable by design, meaning they can be adapted to suit a variety of product types and operations including archive storage, heavy-duty industrial storage and small parts picking to name a few. 

 

Our latest guide takes a look at the various types of systems that are available through SEC Storage, the benefits and drawbacks of each system, and the type of products that they are best suited for. If you know the type of shelving system you're specifically after then click on the quick access links below or read through the guide to gain a better overall understanding of the various systems that are available.

Click below to see each shelving system!

Adjustable shelving / Euro shelving systems

Adjustable Shelving / Euro Shelving


How it works: Adjustable shelving is a highly flexible system that can be custom built to suit a variety of applications. Steel shelf support clips slot into uprights in order to create a reliable and sturdy shelving structure. A front and rear box section design gives superior load bearing strength and rigidity where required.

 

The system is fully self adjustable, making it easy to customise depending on future storage requirements.

 

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Benefits: 

  • Adjustable shelves are great for growing businesses and those with a need to store heavy duty products.
  • A wide range of accessories can also be incorporated, such as colour coded shelf dividers, plastic drawers, garment hanging rails and more.
  • The shelves typically come in a light grey finish, perfect for industrial environments.
  • Shelves are available in 300, 400 and 450mm depths with a maximum UDL (universally distributed load) per shelf of 160kg.

 

 

Drawbacks:

  • The system is built to maintain accessibility to the product at all times, therefore if space is at a premium this may not be the right solution.

 

 

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Adjustable shelving systems

Longspan Shelving Systems

 

How it works: Longspan shelving systems are built to provide storage for a wide range of hand loaded goods. The shelf levels are unrestricted and so allow for the easy access of products at the pick face. It's a system that is best suited to bulk picking, with a focus on the storage of loose goods.

 

Heavy duty longspan systems are easy to install and they can also be incorporated into an expansive multi-tier structure similar to our project for Essentra plc in order to form a highly effective, space saving solution. Shelves are typically made of chipboard timber but steel decks can also be installed at a further cost for added durability.

 

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Benefits: 

  • Ideal for bulk storage and heavy duty items (over 500kgs can be stored per level)
  • Medium and longspan bays can be combined and the system can be easily configured for future requirements.
  • The shelves are typically made of chipboard, however, timber and steel decked alternatives are available as an upgrade. It all depends on the weight of your product, how much of it there is, and your available budget.

 

 

Drawbacks: 

  • Longspan shelves that exceed a height to depth ratio of 4:1 to the top loaded shelf need to be secured to the floor, meaning that the system will require additional fixings for safety purposes.
  • Also, the longer the shelf the less weight it can take, so it's important to keep these things in mind and to assess the needs of your operation correctly. 

 

 

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Carton live shelving systems

Carton Live Shelving

 

How it works: Carton live shelving also known as flow racking is a simple yet effective system that is ideal for high-density storage. It works on a FIFO (first-in-first-out) system that is perfect for the picking of carton and tote boxes of varying weights and sizes. The shelf is built into the racking structure where adjustable runs of roller tracks are fitted into beds situated on an incline. 

 

The products are fed in at the higher end of the tracks to then gently slide down under the force of gravity via the rollers to the pick face. It's a perfect solution for fast moving e-Commerce operations and product assembly lines.

 

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Benefits: 

  • Simultaneous stock replenishment, reduced order preparation times, increased productivity and optimum use of floor space
  • The system can be retrofitted into existing racking structures, a key example of this was featured in our project at ILG (International Logistics Group Ltd) that saw SEC Storage install carton live into the company’s pallet racking systems.
  • A 50mm wheel pitch allows for the flexibility to store a wide range of product sizes starting from 120mm squares up to a maximum load capacity of 1500kgs of product per level. Order pickers and access platforms can also be incorporated to enable an increase in the height of the shelving.

 

 

Drawbacks: 

  • Carton live shelving can be quite costly due to its dynamic nature so it's important to make sure that the system will be beneficial to your operation. 

 

 

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Mobile shelving systems

Mobile Shelving Systems

 

How it works: Mobile shelving is a high density storage solution ideal for operations where floor space is limited. The system is controlled either by the use of an operator who has to turn a spoked handle in order to move the shelf unit along, or automatically by the push of a button triggering an automated process.

 

These mobile bases can be fitted to suit a variety of systems including small parts, longspan and document shelving.

 

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Benefits:

  • Perfect for operations where space is at a minimum
  • The shelves are condensed together, therefore, reducing the need for fixed aisles
  • Light duty mobile systems are ideal for retail stockrooms and lightweight industrial areas whereas medium duty bases are best suited for high capacity, archive, record and large-scale retail storage operations.

 

 

Drawbacks:

  • Mobile shelving can greatly reduce pick rates due to the way in which the system operates, potentially increasing employee wait times
  • The system although perfect for high-density storage has limited product selectivity due to the way in which the aisles are compressed.

 

 

Mobile shelving image provided by Moduflex Limited.

 

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Archive shelving systems

Archive Shelving


Archive shelving is an easy to install system that is comprised of a combination of heavy duty racking and shelving. It is perfect for the storage of loose documents and bulk paperwork and the strongest shelf option allows for the storage of up 600kgs in shelf load. The system can be further adjusted in order to convert it from generalised document shelving into a small parts shelving system.

 

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Benefits: 

  • A cost-effective storage solution that is popular for the storage of documents and files
  • Made of heavy duty racking and shelving which is able to store various weights and product sizes
  • Cladded panels can be incorporated as a decorative option though this is better suited to office environments

 

 

Drawbacks: 

  • Boxes are usually stored two deep in order to prevent overstacking, so if you are looking to store more products back-to-back then another option such as carton live may be more suitable.

 

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Small parts shelving systems

Small Parts Shelving

 

How it works: The system uses clip-in steel shelves which are then fitted into upright units. Small parts systems are highly versatile and can be easily customised in order to suite a variety of product types.

 

Depending upon where the shelves are situated they can be cladded to further improve aesthetics or left open for an exposed, industrial look. The cladded look is better for more cleaner, industrial based areas whereas open shelves are better for warehouses and multi-tier systems.

 

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Benefits: 

  • A highly affordable solution which can be customised to support a wide range of accessories, including small parts bins, drawers, garment hanging rails and more
  • Take a look at our project for West Ferry Printers Ltd to find out more about the system
  • Small parts shelving systems can also be automated as part of an optimised, small parts storage installation
  • This requires a bespoke design approach with a key focus on picking analytics and operational requirements

 

 

Drawbacks: 

  • A system such as this doesn’t have any particular drawbacks, although the primary thing to consider is the type of product you will be storing and whether this would be a suitable solution overall.

 

 

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So there you have it, a concise overview into the types of warehouse shelving systems that are available via SEC Storage and what they might be able to do for your operation. This is by no means an exhaustive resource as there are a number of configurations that can be designed to suit your operational needs, but if you have any further questions don't hesitate to get in touch. We offer a free space planning and site survey service and you can contact us via phone, email (below) or on our new live website chat feature. We'd be happy to help!

 

 

Post by Adam Bissmire-Mullen

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