Mobile Work Cells Reduce Labor Cost on Warehouse Layout Changes
Pallet rack and conveyor removal and relocation in warehouses and distribution centers can result in major labor cost. Solutions to reduce relocation costs include mobile rack systems. Fulfillment and carton flow racks are available in mobile configurations of almost any size. When warehouse layouts are needed the racks can simply be rolled into the new layout location. Timelines are greatly improved without the need for anchors and rack disassembly/re-assembly. Racks as large as 8’W x 8’D can be accommodated in mobile configuration. Racks can be designed to convey plastic totes, cardboard boxes, or steel containers. Gravity roller conveyor and skate wheel style conveyors are options on all rack systems which are designed for each application. Line side work cell applications can also be custom designed for assembly and production areas.
Labor cost can also be reduced by utilizing mobile rack moving equipment for racks that are too large for caster mounting. Mobile equipment allows racks to be moved without time consuming and expensive demo and rebuild costs. Mobile rack moving equipment is completely safe and used widely in 3PL distribution centers and warehouses.
SSI installation personnel is safety trained and ready for any warehouse installation, demo, or relocation project. Installation and assembly personnel is OSHA trained, forklift and scissor lift certified, and fully licensed and insured. Projects with 4-20 or more men working can be dispatched quickly for speed of work. Contact us for your custom quote. 865-540-4004
Is Your Workplace Prepared for Social Distancing?
Most offices will look very different when employees return to non-remote work, as companies plan a range of surveillance and security protocols to curb virus transmission. Buffet lunches and open floor concepts may soon be on the outs as plexiglass partitions and one-way walkways are brought in.
The federal government is developing guidelines and recommendations to re-configure the layout of workplaces to ensure proper social distancing.
Storage Solutions Inc. can help your company redesign office, industrial or warehouse workspaces to meet the newly formed guidelines and keep your workforce safe and comfortable.
Separating workspaces by at least six feet can be accomplished by any of these options: creating individual offices, adding walls to existing open spaces, installing half-walls or privacy panels to divide open workspaces.
Modular construction is fast, clean and can be erected with minimal effort. No other construction method delivers the speed, flexibility and total solution that our modular wall systems offer.
Two new products – the SSI Isolation Room and the SSI Screening Booth – can also help you implement new protocols for your employees.
*Will you be screening workers for fever or signs of illness before they enter your building?
*If you have a worker who begins to show symptoms during their shift, do you have an area to isolate that employee from co-workers?
Storage Solutions offers two recent innovations can play a key role in preparing your company for its next chapter. Call now for a quote at 865-540-4004
Convey Absolutely Anything in Your DC, 3PL, or Warehouse
Slave pallets are designed to transport pallets or containers with forklifts, conveyors, or ball transfers. Other uses include storage and transporting any load on roller conveyor, AS/RS systems, and racking systems. The slave pallets can be used for building up / breaking down pallets at any suitable place within the warehouse. Quality assurance inspection areas that work with various pallets including cardboard, CKD, wood, plastic, and containers can benefit from slave pallet utilization. By using multiple slave pallets, a dedicated conveyor system can be set up in virtually any configuration. When not in use, slave pallets can be stacked by a standard forklift truck to save valuable warehouse floor handling space. Typical applications include slave pallets for high density AS/RS and robotic stacking systems that store an extensive range of lightweight and heavyweight goods based on the unique needs of each individual system.
Custom Slave Pallets for Distribution Centers, 3PL, and Logistic Warehouses
As captive pallets, slave pallets typically remain in manufacturers’ and distributors’ production or DC facility for ongoing internal inventory movement. Repetitive usage requires slave pallets to be designed for long life and ease of use.
Captive pallets are engineered and manufactured by reviewing the unique demands of your logistics or 3PL application. Our expertise in structural properties of a wide variety of wood and plastic products qualifies us to integrate value-driven solutions into your specific types of challenges.
Design options for captive slave pallets as follows:
*Recessed barcode notches in the edges for easy identification of product and pallets
*Eased perimeters at top and bottom with radius corners to increase life and minimize handling damages
*Assistance with forklift modifications specific to our slave pallet design
*Hand holes for ease of handling and manual relocation of slave pallets.
*Construction of slave pallets can be wood or plastic depending on the application and budget. 48″ x 48″ x 1/2″ is a standard size but slave pallets can be designed for any size
*Conveyor can be incorporated into a slave pallets for large loads.
*A variety of grades and thicknesses are available with variable size and strength based on service requirements and custom application.
*Custom slave pallets rated for application-specific load sizes are available.
For pallets and containers have bottom profiles that are not friendly to conveyor, racks, and ball transfers due to damage or design. Slave pallets allow any container or difficult pallet to accommodate a variety of storage and flow application by providing a smooth flat surface ideal for conveyance and racking. Call for your custom quote at 865-540-4004
Avoid Deadly Pallet Handling Accidents with Ball Transfer Decking
Storage Solutions Inc. can transform your warehouse or manufacturing space into a forklift free environment. Imagine moving pallets and heavy containers without forklifts! Ball transfer decks can make your warehouse or loading dock a forklift free zone! Forklift elimination in personnel areas greatly reduce risk of injury or death. P&D areas and Pallet Jack pick and drop spots can be designed for loading and unloading material on to the ball transfer floor.
Walkable ball transfer decking used widely in the air cargo industry and crossing over to manufacturing quality control areas and shipping areas for moving pallets and bulk containers while providing a walkable surface. Ball and Roller Decks are designed to carry a 20,000 lb. container. The Steel Plank Deck and Fiberglass Panel Deck have specific dimensions for type. All decks are sold as a standard size and may not be interchangeable with non-standard decks in a system.
Ball transfer units roll freely indoors and outdoors with capacities up to 20,000 Lbs. per footprint. The ball transfer units range from complete stainless steel and zinc plated to thermoplastic for air cargo handling. Ball transfer systems are suitable to all industries where there is a need for efficient omni-directional or bi-directional material handling.
Wood or plastic slave pallets can be incorporated into any system which allows any load to be conveyed. Slave pallets allow any pallet or container to be moved freely on the ball transfer decking surface. 2,000 lb. loads can be moved with ease and complete safety.
Heavy duty guardrail systems are recommended around the perimeter of each walkable ball transfer deck to protect the area and employees from powered equipment. Guardrail systems are rated to stop a 10,000 lb. load at 4 mph. Quick ship guardrail and gate systems are available in two rail and single rail systems one week for standard sizes.
Give SSI a call for your custom quote. 865-540-4004
Prevent Deadly Accidents From Falling Pallets
1. Rack Enclosures
Rack enclosures (or pallet rack enclosures) are panels that attach to the backs, ends, and tops of your racks. Optional doors on the front for easy access to your inventory.
These enclosures are important for several reasons. They maximize storage space, prevent product loss, provide safer storage, and protect your employees from injury or death from falling pallets and inventory.
One of the biggest benefits pallet rack enclosures offer is they protect your inventory from theft and damage. By enclosing your inventory, you ensure it is only touched by those with the authority to do so.
These enclosures ensure that your product won’t easily (or ever) fall due to improper stacking or maneuvering of equipment… but we’ll explain more below!
2. Rack Enclosures for Maximize Storage Space
Rack enclosures help businesses increase storage space by securing products and inventory on all sides. This means that they can stack more products and stack it higher, without fear of products falling.
3. Pallet Rack Enclosures for Preventing Product Loss
Pallet rack enclosures help prevent product loss – falling, damage and theft. This benefits you financially. It prevents product loss. With proper enclosures around your products, you protect your valuable inventory and reduce product shrinkage. Additionally, product damage and personnel injury from falling is a common pallet racking issue that you solve with proper rack enclosures.
4. Rack Enclosures to Protect Your Employees from Harm
Falling product safety measures are critical to providing a safe working environment for you and your employees. Wire or net pallet rack enclosures create this safe environment, prevent product falling, and give your employees the confidence they need to work efficiently around your product. All Sizes Available
Rack safety guarding is available in any size to fit your existing or new pallet racking. Quick ship sizes are available for shipment within 24 hours for standard sizes. Wire and netting is available and engineered to your specific pallet weight, height, and size.
Contact Storage Solutions Inc. for a custom quote at 865-540-4004. See our wire partition page for other applications https://storagesolutionsinc.com/products/wire-partitions/
Explode Your Profits With Warehouse Productivity Improvements
4 Tips To Maximize Warehouse Productivity
As Amazon and other are promising millions of products with unbelievably quick delivery speeds, warehouse and distribution centers are struggling to keep up. To stay competitive in the market, companies must effectively use warehouse space to expand their digital operations, cut delivery time and costs, and keep up with order fulfillment.
To meet demanding turnaround times, optimizing existing storage space to streamline order picking operations is critical. Optimized storage spaces enhance workflow productivity, increase picking speeds, and improve accuracy.
By taking a deep dive into their order picking operations and ensuring they align with these best practices, companies can increase warehouse and order fullfillment efficiency to maintain a competitive stance in the industry.
Reduce Picker Travel Time By Condensing Inventory
The more time a picker has to travel to find the items that they need, the less time they spend packing and sending off orders for deliveries. Finding ways to reduce picker travel times increases order picking speeds and allows you to get more productivity out of existing internal resources.
Condensing inventory into a single, well-organized location helps increase pick facings, which results in less time spent on search and travel for order pickers. Storage Solutions helps companies save on pick times and reduce picker travel times. High-density storage solutions consolidate storage capacity and provide greater SKU density to lessen travel and search time for order pickers.
What impact can these simple storage changes make on your operations? Imagine this: Your 25-person warehouse staff makes $15 per hour with an average picking speed of around 60-70 lines per hour. This puts labor cost per pick at about $0.25.
By increasing pick rates by 20%, the company benefits from an extra 2,400 picks per day, 12,000 per week and over 600,000 picks per year! If you need the capacity, these additional picks could mean substantially more revenue for your company.
If you don’t need additional capacity, you can divert more employees to other value-added tasks and reduce your order selection labor by over $150,000 per year!
Warehouses and distribution centers can leverage storage solutions to reduce picker travel times, decrease labor costs, and improve worker comfort and productivity.
Label Inventory to Improve Order Accuracy
While a high-density storage system has value on its own, it’s only truly helpful if stored inventory is easily identifiable. For larger operations that have significant quantities of inventory, the time saved in picker travel time could quickly be negated by an inadequately labeled storage system. Unfortunately, in a fast-paced environment like order fulfillment, maintaining the integrity of a labeling system can be a challenge.
Because of this, the investment in durable storage solutions with equally durable built-in label holders helps maintain order. A well-labeled storage solution not only keeps inventory organized and easy to identify but also results in an optimized picking process and increased speed and accuracy.
Using the First In First Out rule, or FIFO, not only ensures goods are sold as they come in, but it also helps warehouses avoid potential waste and calculate inventory costs.
While maintaining FIFO in a warehouse primarily falls on the workers, inventory organization within the warehouse can play a major role in ensuring their success.
When integrated into existing rack systems wheel beds are a practical solution that help to maximize space and create an ideal FIFO storage flow. Rear-fed storage solutions ensure replenishment from the back does not interfere with operations from the front. Even something as simple as angled pick shelving helps the product to slide forward when removed from the front.
Following FIFO is critical to success in distribution and warehouse applications. Leveraging storage systems to support warehouse staff not only increases worker comfort but also has positive impacts on overall efficiency.
Continuously Improve Processes and Procedures
The warehousing industry is continually changing and market forces such as seasonality can directly impact the number of SKUs required to fulfill orders and the order-picking speed required to keep up with demand. In an ever-evolving industry, continuously re-evaluating distribution processes and procedures to ensure alignment with current industry requirements is key to maintaining a competitive position in the market.
Implementing scalable storage solutions ensures that warehouses and distribution centers can accommodate seasonal market forces and improve efficiency.
Experience the Engineered-to-Order Difference
High-density and FIFO-reinforcing storage, a reliable labeling system, and continuously-optimized warehouse processes and procedures are an excellent start for optimizing your warehouse order picking operations. But, optimizing order picking processes doesn’t involve a one-size-fits-all solution. Every warehouse and distribution center has unique needs and requires a built-to-order approach to maximize efficiency and streamline order picking operations.
We understand that every warehouse has a unique and diverse set of products. That’s why we design and manufacture storage products and solutions tailored to your storage space, which helps enhance workflow productivity, increases picking speeds, and improves accuracy.
Contact Storage Solutions Inc. for Zoom , Chat, or Voice meeting today @ 865-540-4004.
Sports Complexes and Modular Buildings
Sports complexes today are becoming more and more intricate, involving a variety of different structures and buildings. Depending on the organization the complex is for, the facility can house practice fields, indoor training facilities, concession stands, practices fields, or even full-blown stadiums. The majority of these buildings being small to medium in size.
Modular construction provides some distinct advantages in this category of buildings and especially in an area like a sports complex. There are a number of benefits to integrating modular construction into the initial design of the project like meeting tight deadlines, providing a safer job site with less traffic, and less material waste. However, adding modular buildings after the fact as you need them might provide even bigger benefits. Typically, these additional, smaller buildings are needed quickly at a sports complex to fill a specific need: security, ticket sales, storage, etc. And it seems the issue always arises right before the start of a sports season or even right in the middle of it. Modular buildings can be quickly built in a timeframe faster than stick built, but more importantly, they are installed on site in no time. That means there’s minimal site downtime and the complex does not have to incur the hazards that come along with a traditional construction. Additionally, the buildings are designed to be mobile, so if the plans change further down the road, the buildings can be moved to their next desired location.
Here are some of the most popular applications of modular buildings in sports complexes.
Like many public places, most sports complexes place a large emphasis on security and the safety of their people. And having guard houses around the entry and exit points is the first step taken to address this issue. Our guard houses provide the facility with a focal point for their entire security team, including accessories like exterior floodlights, surveillance cameras, and CCTV monitoring stations.
However, let’s say the sports complex has a number of fields spread across a large area and more than one entry/exit. Then the security team will need to be stationed in different locations around the complex depending on which fields are holding games.
For instances like these, we provide a fully mobile, trailer mounted guard house that can be relocated at a moment’s notice to provide a fully dynamic security team.
Perhaps the building that is most often overlooked in a sports complex, equipment storage buildings are a must have and there are typically multiple throughout the facility. Equipment storage buildings, in this case, will be storing equipment that keeps the complex up and running (groundskeeping) and sports equipment for the teams themselves. Our prefabricated equipment storage buildings are composed of our same panel systems and can be fully erected on site.
Similar to our security buildings, our storage buildings can be equipped with all the extra amenities that you need like roll-up doors, tall walls, and HVAC systems if needed. The wall panels themselves can be adapted to fit the equipment being stored including increased R-Values (insulation), STC ratings (noise rating), and even panel finishes.
Similar to the facility’s guard houses, their ticket booths will also play an important roll in the facility, positioned at its entrance. In a lot of cases, ticket booths are a good example of a building that is added to a complex after the fact or a need arises for an additional booth to be added after the completion of the complex in order to accommodate higher attendances.
Storage Solution’s prefabricated ticket booths are similar to our guard houses with a couple major tweaks. We offer a specialty window to better allow for the passage of money and tickets in and out of the building without it being fully open to the outdoors. Also, these buildings are typically built atop a forkliftable steel base, meaning the building can be moved if needed. So, if the building needs to be repositioned after moving from softball to baseball system, it can be easily moved and re-anchored.
Modular press boxes are typically added on to facilities after the fact but can also be implemented into the initial design of the complex. For existing sports complexes without a press box, using a modular solution can make a lot of sense for a variety of reasons. Unlike our previous building examples, putting a press box inside a complex will be a complete construction project in the majority of cases. However, utilizing a pre-assembled building design and our modular mezzanine system, the structure easily and safety be crane-lifted into place and anchored to the top of the mezzanine.
Even though the modular press boxes are prefabricated, the buildings can still be outfitted with the unique building designs found in traditionally built press boxes. For example, we often are requested to provide a press box with a deck on top of the building. For this design, Storage Solutions provides the structure with an interior ladder and latch system on one of the press boxes far walls, a heavy-duty load bearing roof, and hand railing all along the top of the building. The press box then allows viewing of the game from both its inside and out.
Like the top of the press boxes, observation or film platforms are often used at sports complexes to get a bird’s eye view of the field below. These structures can be used at either practice fields or at the stadiums themselves and will often hold cameramen to get game tape or the coaches themselves. These observation platforms are very similar to our modular mezzanine systems. Fabricated in our manufacturing facility, they utilize our bolt-together steel design for easy installation on site. The platform comes with an IBC stair system and can sit at a deck height of your choosing.
As with all of our modular structures, these buildings excel at solving space needs quickly and conveniently as possible. However, where they do not get enough credit is the overall aesthetics that modular construction can provide as well. We pride ourselves on being able to offer new, modular buildings that will also seamlessly blend into a facility’s pre-existing architecture. We offer high-end, incredibly custom designed booths with our welded steel line of products, offering everything from stainless steel buildings to color matched buildings with stone veneer. Whether you are looking for speed, a specialty design, or both(!), we can produce a building that is right for you.
If you or your company is deciding which type of modular building to use for your project, just give us a call at 865-540-4004. As the modular building experts, we have the product expertise and know-how to provide you with the structure that will best fit your needs (and budget). If you have any additional questions about our wall panels, feel free to talk to us on our LiveChat in the bottom right!
Expanding & Relocating Modular Office Walls
Modular office systems have been used to provide additional office space in manufacturing and warehouse environments for decades now. However, the semi-permanent nature of our modular office walls can offer benefits to a variety of different work environments. School systems, retail locations, office buildings, these are all places that could modular walls to create a new office space. In most of these cases, the walls are used to build out pre-existing areas, walling off corners of the room to create a more private and controlled workspace.
In addition to being easily installed with little site disruption, modular office walls can be expanded, redesigned, or relocated whenever needed. This can turn into a huge benefit for new companies or companies moving into new spaces. As a company grows, their space needs change, and our modular office walls can adapt to accommodate these changes.
Expanding & Reconfiguring Modular Office Walls
Growth is always a fantastic and exciting thing for a company, new or otherwise. However, with this progress comes growing pains. In this scenario, having a semi-temporary office space allows for incredible flexibility that can prove to be invaluable down the road.
Our walls are composed of a few basic components, the panels themselves, a base track, top channel, and binder posts. The binder post system is the key component in expanding your modular office. Binder post allows you to disassemble the wall at a later date, and add more panels to create an overall bigger workspace. Or rooms can be added on to the size of a modular office.
This would allow you to create additional office space while utilizing the pre-existing office to save money on materials and installation. Typically in the case of a growing facility or company, the need for additional office space can sneak up and create an immediate need for new office space.
Similarly, your modular office wall system can be reconfigured to have a completely different layout.
Let’s say, hypothetically, you’re in an office space where two departments share the same space, like Engineering and Marketing… Hypothetically… Engineering is always up in arms over the commotion that Marketing stirs up, seemingly on a daily basis. Well, reconfiguring your modular office wall layout to wall-off marketing could be just the solution that saves the entire office.
In this scenario, the company’s space needs were satisfied by reconfiguring their current office layout. By adding in a couple of extra walls in their pre-existing space, they were able to give each department some additional privacy and keep everyone happy.
Thanks to our standardized panel system, our modular office walls can even be disassembled and put back together in another completely different configuration. Don’t like the location of a window in your wall system? Well, you can have it moved to another part of the wall or just have it taken out completely by adding in a replacement panel.
Relocating Office Space
Similar to expanding your modular office walls, the building itself can be disassembled and reassembled in a whole new location. For a manufacturing company, this would allow them to move into a new facility, but keep their manager’s office close to the factory floor.
As opposed to stick-built buildings, a modular building is an investment that you can take with you to another location. In the case of our pre-assembled buildings, all that is needed is to be picked up, anchored in the next location, and reconnected to electricity, then it is ready to go. By quickly addressing your space needs in your new facility, you can have the building up and running at its full potential in no time.
In this way, modular office walls act as more of a piece of equipment for a facility (and are taxed as one too).
Overall, using modular office walls to solve your facility’s space needs offers a whole new world of flexibility for your company. Our binder post system allows you to specialize the space in your facility, without committing to the change permanently and provides a calm and controlled work environment for your facility. In addition to the endless configurations our binder post system provides, the panels themselves can be manufactured out of a variety of different materials in order to fit your specific application.
If you or your company is deciding on using modular office walls for your facility, just give us a call at 865-540-4004. As the modular building experts, we have the product expertise and know-how to provide you with the structure that will best fit your needs (and budget).
Deep-Lane Pressure Relief for Pallet Flow
Deep-lane pallet flow is a space-saving and economical warehousing solution for high-throughput inventory. Designing a deep-lane system takes careful attention to detail… it can be a lot of pressure, and even more than you may be thinking.
- Relieves the back pressure on the lift truck
- Prevents product damage
- Allows the pallets to safely index forward
- Prevents restart issues
- Easier and faster for the lift truck operator
Lane designs typically include speed controllers to ensure smooth, consistent flow as well as safe tracking down lane, but our deep-lane systems can also be equipped dual pallet separators. The dual pallet separators are strategically placed in the pallet flow lane… one separates the front discharge aisle pallet from rear pallets, while another is placed further back in the lane to separate to provide a break between groups of pallets.
The function of the dual pallet separators in deep-lane systems is to provide relief from the back pressure of the rear pallets. The front pallet, without pallet separators, would be subject to tremendous pressure from the weight of up to 19 rear pallets bearing down. Let’s look at an example:
- 5-deep system/2,500 lb. pallet loads — .06 x 2,500 lbs. x 4 pallets = 600 lbs. additional weight
- 20-deep system/2,500 lb. pallet loads — .06 x 2,500 lbs. x 19 pallets = 2,850 lbs. additional weight
As you can see from the example above, the calculation for back pressure is:
.06 x (pallet load weight) x # of pallets
Hundreds to thousands of pressurized weight on the front pallet can cause serious forklift retrieval safety concerns, particularly at higher elevations where the forklift mast capacity is reduced. Storage Solution’s dual pallet separators remove that risk.
The dual pallet separators are designed to be trouble free. They work in tandem in deep-lane and extra-deep lane pallet flow systems and automatically engage/disengage, as can be seen in the animated video. Once the front pallet position is clear, the separators trigger the release of the rear pallets to advance down the lane and fill the empty pallet position. Then the pallet separators reengage to hold and lock rear pallets to provide a 6″- 12″ break between pallets. Securing a pressure-free pallet retrieval and improving warehouse safety immeasurably.
Note- There are several design specifications to consider when designing a deep-lane pallet flow system to include dual pallet separators:
- Requires an additional 24” to overall depth of the system
- Must use a full surface slave pallet
- 30,000 lbs. max per lane
- Full pallet in/out – no case picking
- Can be used with Magnum wheel or industry equivalent (IE) wheel
Our gravity flow specialists are on hand to help! Just give us a call and let our team remove some of your pressure. 865-540-4004
Hydraulics Manufacturer Gets Pallet Flow Lift Needed
Even a hydraulics company needs a lift sometimes!
Full-roller pallet flow is very useful in tote applications where the inventory weight exceeds recommended limits for carton flow rack. The totes provided for this test were flat-bottomed which allowed for good contact with the rollers and a consistent flow down the lane. As is often the case, the Engineering Lab tested two lane configurations to determine if there was a preferable solution.
The first test was with 1.9” diameter rollers set closely together on 2” centers. The second test was 1.9” diameter rollers set on 4” centers. The 4” centers have more room between the rollers therefore provide less coverage along the bottom of the tote as it progresses down lane. The question was, will the totes perform consistently with fewer rollers?
In both applications, the totes flowed consistently and without hang ups to the end of the lane. However, when the front tote was picked, the two lane configurations had different restart results.
The totes in the lane on 2” centers automatically restarted and filled the pick face. The totes in the second test, however, had trouble restarting on their own to flow forward and fill the open pick face. So, while the totes flowed well to the end of the lane initially there simply wasn’t enough coverage to automatically restart the rear totes and advance them down the lane once they’d come to a stop. Note, the totes were easily restarted by hand, so this application could work, but since the 2” center configuration didn’t show any hang-up issues, our team recommended the 2” center configuration as the more reliable and efficient solution.
The only accessory added to the lane configuration was a custom end-stop. The end-stop was customized to ensure it was tall enough to engage the lip of the tote that protruded out from the front several inches. The end-stop was attached to the lane below the rollers leaving the sides unattached. This design allowed for it to absorb the impact with a little “spring” and ensure a softer landing at the front of the lane for the heavy totes.
While the test video shows a standard roller width for this lane configuration, the lane that will be installed for the customer will closely match the width of the totes to maximize space and provide good tracking. Full-roller pallet flow is available for frame dimensions from 4” – 60” wide.
Where could your processing use a lift? The gravity flow experts are on hand to discuss your warehousing needs and goals… what’s working and what just isn’t. Give us a call and let’s see if gravity can be put to work for you. 865-540-4004