Ergonomic & Workspace Solutions for Warehousing, Distribution & Manufacturing Facilities

How to Choose the Proper Industrial Shelving

Industrial shelving is available in many forms. So, how do you decide what style of shelving is right for your operation? Here are some tips for making a wise purchase:

  1. Determine the weight capacity needed. For 400 lbs. per shelf and under, standard shelving will be fine. If you have heavier loads or need to point load a product, then higher capacities should be utilized. If you need 800 lbs. per shelf, then choose a heavy-duty shelf. For loads of 1200 to 1800 pounds, an extra heavy-duty shelf is needed.Shelving Cantilerver Rack
  2. For larger items, such as archive boxes, packing materials or sheet stock, a rivet shelf or wide-span shelf is a better choice. The weight of archive boxes adds up quickly. Depending on how often the archive needs to be accessed, it is possible to stack 2-3 boxes on a shelf. This is a perfect application for rivet shelving or widespan shelving. It is also a bonus to not have sway braces obstructing the pick area and it is also possible to pick from both sides of the rack.
  3. If you need to point load shelves, such as placing motors or heavier parts, then an extra-heavy-duty style or pallet rack is needed. Keep in mind that capacity ratings on shelving are always listed for “an evenly distributed load”. If your products vary greatly in weight, then you should choose a shelf adequate for the heavier items.
  4. If the shelving is loaded with power equipment or accessed with a lift, then shelving should not be utilized at all. Storage that will have power equi
    pment used for loading, even an electric pallet jack, should be designed with pallet racking. Shelving is not rated for impacts from equipment, so a rack system should be installed for these operations.Shelving Options
  5. If you do not want a shelf level near the floor, then wide span shelving or pallet racks should be chosen. All shelving must have a shelf level within a few inches from the floor. That lower shelf level contributes to the stability of the units and the post used for standard industrial shelving are not strong enough to serve as a “foot”.
  6. If you have a product that requires air circulation, then wire shelving is a good option. Some operations store parts from production that have a “drying time”. A wire shelf style will allow for the best air circulation.

A professional Material Handling expert can assist you with laying out a shelving installation in the most economical fashion and ensure that you have selected shelving that will serve your operations well, now and in the future.