Shelf Talk: The Truth about Industrial Metal Shelving

Industrial metal shelving is one of the strongest, space efficient and sturdy types of shelving you can get for your warehouse. Metal shelving can be free-standing, designed in a rack system or incorporated into a display system. There are many obvious advantages, and maybe some not-so-obvious ones.  There are also a few points to be aware of – oxidation, corrosion, damages – but these are solvable issues and should not overshadow your use of metal shelves.  Industrial metal shelving is. . .

industrial metal shelving

  1. Versatile: Metal shelving comes in an array of designs – “off the shelf.”  You can get industrial grade shelving at your wholesaler and have it in your warehouse the next day.  Or, you can work with a warehouse designer and get customized metal shelving.  It may take a little longer, but you’ll have the heights and lengths that make the best use of your space.

  2. Space Efficient: Metal shelving gives you more space in any given area.  You can store up or sideways and have shelves at varying levels.  Be sure to mind the weight-bearing instructions and don’t overload the shelves.

  3. Easy to Assemble: Metal shelving often comes in pieces and needs assembly.  If your warehouse products retailer does not assemble the shelves for you, never fear – the directions are simple, and require only rivets to put it together.  You may have been practical and ordered boltless rivet shelving, making assembly even easier.  Boltless rivet shelving can hold up to 1,500 pounds.  Single-rivet and double-rivet shelving combinations have a cross-beam that is secured by either two or four rivets.  The single-rivet can hold 350 pounds, but the double-rivet more than doubles the weight accommodation.  Because of the four rivets and cross beam, it holds 1,500 pounds.  Sometimes having lighter weight product in a bigger space is preferable to heavy weight on a single shelf – yet another reason why metal shelving is so versatile – you have a choice.

  4. Durable: Industrial metal shelving can withstand temperature extremes, as well as the wear and tear of forklifts and order pickers, provided it is finished properly to avoid corrosion or oxidation.   Industrial-grade metal is stronger than regular, but it still needs the right protection. Your shelving will take the dents of a careless machine operator much more gracefully with a galvanized or painted finish.  Both finishes have their advantages and disadvantages in staving off corrosion, but painted metal shelving seems to be more aesthetically pleasing. The process of galvanizing may not distribute the coating evenly, and there may be rough spots. Galvanized metals resist corrosion because they are coated in zinc. When metal shelves are painted, the paint is applied evenly and throughout the shelving unit, due to a dipping process, which results in a smooth finish.  Each finish attacks corrosion and oxidation differently, so ask your retailer what the best finish is for your warehouse environment.

  5. Open: Metal shelving provides an open forum for easy product visualization, making products more accessible. Metal shelving allows you to arrange boxes so they are easily accessible to your order pickers. Inventory is quicker because everything can be seen, and damaged goods are readily identifiable – you can see any dented boxes or misplaced product. All this equates to more efficient workplaces and streamlined personnel.

  6. Cost Efficient: Metal shelving is among the least expensive solutions for warehouse storage.  Because there are so many varieties, there’s something available for every budget. As in anything, you get what you pay for, so don’t be fooled by the lowest cost. Always check the quality of the metal, the finish, the weight capacity and storage capacity, making sure the shelving meets your needs.

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