It might not be a coincidence that the parts of a shelving system that build it up are also the things that separate the general public from the VIPs at events like movie premieres and award shows, or that separate the viewers from the art at a museum. We’re talking about stanchions. You may think of them as crowd-control devices at concerts or dividers for people waiting in the security line at airports, but stanchions serve a high-level purpose in warehousing.
Stanchions can help you maximize your warehouse space by building shelving and rack systems upward instead of outward. This helps avoid renting additional warehouse space, resulting in cost savings to your bottom line. Stanchions can be the dividing factor in warehouse inventory, separating products and parts effectively and efficiently. The variety of configurations available when you add stanchions is only limited by your imagination and willingness to innovate. Professional warehouse designers are a good source of information about incorporating stanchions into your storage facility. Stanchions can also increase the efficiency of traffic flow within your warehouse, making the movement and storage of inventory and movement of personnel much easier.
WAREHOUSE DESIGN & LAYOUT
Upward Bound – First, building upward is a smart decision. Not every box or package needs to be at eye-level, nor does it have to be within arm’s reach. In fact, that’s why you have fork lifts and rolling ladders. Stacking inventory only makes sense. Stanchions are important support mechanisms for platforms at higher levels. This inventory can be duplicates of what is already within reach on lower levels, or it can be lesser used inventory, or odd-shaped products. No matter what you plan to put on the new platforms, be sure the stanchions you use to build the platforms are heavy enough to support the weight of both the product and the platform. Stanchions need heavy, large bases to guarantee support. Know your load-bearing calculations. If you don’t, consult a professional who does. Don’t make an innovative decision that saves space turn into a nightmare because you choose cheaper stanchions or supports that were too weak for the load.
Organization 101 – Using stanchions to build upward can also keep parts that are interconnected from being separated in the warehouse. This method of organizing your inventory can speed up both inventory taking procedures and picking parts for daily shipments. Again, stanchions hit the bottom line in personnel time and material space.
Give Me Space – Building upward also allows for wider aisles within your warehouse. Why is this necessary? Aisles that are wide enough for two fork lifts to pass help prevent traffic jams and wait times. These aisles are conducive to safety and efficiency, because they are more open. Workers not only move about easier, they have fewer opportunities for distractions because they feel they can be “seen” more readily in this open environment.
A Matter of Choice – Today’s stanchions offer materials ranging from traditional metallic supports as well as glass-reinforced nylon. They come in several sizes and lengths to create different depths and heights of racking systems. Built on round, square or octagonal bases and providing various weight distributions, any warehouse manager would be hard-pressed not to find something that worked in any situation. As long as you or your warehouse designer can calculate the load-bearing capacity, there is a vendor out there who has a solution. Many racking systems already come with the necessary stanchions, but if you’re custom building your system, the solutions to abound.
Stanchion Safety – Using stanchions on the ground to mark off danger areas is also smart. Instead of the velvet ropes that separate the stars from the star-struck in those movie premier lines, warehouse safety stanchions use retractable belts in neon colors that are designed to mark off danger zones. The belts and poles themselves can be custom designed in bright colors that denote danger or that call attention to safety. These are also heavy-weight designs with sturdy, large bases for stability against warehouse traffic – both people and vehicles. They provide movement control, crowd control and pathways to storage solutions.