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Tips for Maximizing Warehouse Space

warehouse forklift operatorIs your warehouse feeling more crowded lately? Do you need more space but want to avoid the hassle and expense of moving to a new facility? There are several ways to maximize your existing space using material handling systems and other material handling products, including options for saving and creating workspace and storage space. Carolina Material Handling has been helping businesses improve the usage of space in their facilities for decades. Try some of these tips to make your crowded warehouse feel more spacious.  

Material Handling Systems Allow you to Expand Upward 

When you can’t create anymore width in your warehouse, you can make the most of the height you have. Most warehouses have high ceilings that allow for higher storage shelves and even additional levels for workspace. A few options include: 

  • Pallet Racks/Shelving. You can install additional pallet racks that go further upward, but only if it can be done safely. It’s important to know how much weight your flooring can handle and how high you can safely stack pallets on shelves and maintain stability. Shelves can be bolted to the floor for extra support. You will also need the necessary lifts and other equipment to store and access items from the higher shelves. Another option is to move pallet racks closer together, just as long as necessary machinery can still get through without disrupting the workflow in the room. Pallet racks can be arranged in drive through or drive in configuration to help keep the flow of traffic moving in one direction, allowing shelves to be arranged closer together. Whether you decide to build up or narrow your aisles, there are several different styles of pallet racks available to fit your configuration. 
  • Teardrop style pallet racks are adjustable so that the distance between shelves can be arranged to exactly the amount of space you need for the items you are storing. This allows you to eliminate wasted space between shelves.  
  • Pushback pallet racks allow for storage of pallets 4 or 5 deep on shelves. Slide out racks allow for easy access when necessary. These are ideal for long-term storage of items that aren’t needed on a daily basis.  
  • Cross-beam pallet racks are designed to reach across and above aisles for even more storage space.  
  • Cantilever racks make it possible to store oddly shaped items up off of the floor in whatever configuration they will fit best. The material handling experts at CMH can evaluate your warehouse and make recommendations for the best pallet rack configuration to save you the most space while still maintaining OSHA compliance. 
  • space saving mezzanine setup in a warehouseMezzanines. When you need more actual workspace, mezzanines make it possible to add multiple levels to your warehouse. Create new workstations and increase organization by designating mezzanines for certain purposes. There are many benefits to mezzanines, one of the biggest being that you avoid the cost and downtime associated with a major construction add-on. Another benefit to mezzanines is that they are semi-permanent, meaning they can be moved to other locations within your warehouse or even to other facilities to accommodate business changes. Mezzanines can be used for additional storage, conveyor systems, and even offices. Before you consider a major add-on or a relocation, let the experts in material handling systems recommend mezzanine options that can transform your warehouse at a fraction of the cost.  
  • In-plant Offices. If you need additional office space, an in-plant or modular office can be installed within your existing space. Create office space inside the actual warehouse to improve communication, awareness, workflow, and productivity. Modular offices can serve a variety of purposes in addition to typical office use, including portable shelters, security shacks, ticket booths, clean rooms and more. In-plant offices can be floor level or even raised to save floor space. Work and storage space can still exist underneath an upper-level office. When you choose a modular office in lieu of a permanent structure you enjoy a long list of benefits: money savings, shorter downtime, cheaper installation, customizable options, flexibility, adaptability, increased production, and smoother operations. Modular offices can be built in 3 basic configurations, whether floor-level or raised. Stand-alone/4-wall uses none of your existing walls and can be installed anywhere that you have open space available. The 3-wall configuration uses one existing wall and 2-wall can be built into a corner using 2 existing walls. The 2 and 3 wall options save space and require fewer materials. With so many options, an in-plant office can fit in just about any size warehouse.  

Making the most of your vertical space can open up a plethora of options to create additional storage and workspace in your warehouse. Interested in learning about how material handling products can help? Contact Carolina Material Handling: (336)294-2346.  

Use Material Handling Products that are Mobile or Collapsible  

conveyor system moving boxesAnother way to save space is with temporary material handling systems. There are a few different products that can be moved into place when needed, then collapsed and stored out of the way when the job is done. Some examples include: 

  • Collapsible Conveyors. Accordion conveyors expand, contract, and roll on casters so that they can be moved to reach from one point to the other and then put away when the job is done. Most collapsible conveyors are gravity conveyorswhich allow items to move along rollers at an incline so that gravity does the work without the need for electricity. It can be used almost anywhere in your warehouse because it doesn’t need to be plugged in. An accordion gravity conveyor on casters can be rolled into place at a moment’s notice to load or unload a truck, move products or supplies quickly, and even establish a temporary assembly line as needed. Then when the task is complete, the conveyor folds up and rolls away, opening up the floor for other uses.  
  • Telescopic Conveyors. Semi-permanent telescopic conveyors can extend and collapse to accommodate the job at hand. The benefit of telescopic conveyors is that they are belt-style and run electrically. They may not be as mobile or collapsible as an accordion conveyor system, but the added benefit of automatic movement over gravity movement is key. Some items need to be moved on an automated belt system for a variety of reasons. Telescopic conveyors can be relocated within your warehouse if necessary to accommodate the changing needs of your business.  
  • Power Roller Conveyors strike an excellent balance between gravity and belt conveyors. Rollers are electrically powered, often by way of a belt underneath that rotates. Power roller conveyors are more flexible than belt conveyors because they are still accordion style, meaning they can bend and curve around obstacles and can still collapse to a much more compact size for storage. Casters allow the conveyor to be fully mobile as well. Simply roll it to the place you need it, then roll it back and collapse it when the job is done.  
  • Curtain Wall Partitions allow you to section off parts of your warehouse temporarily. When you need to designate a certain area for a temporary workspace or for the storage of supplies, products, tools, or machinery, the curtain wall partition can be pulled into place to create a temporary barrier. Then when the space is no longer needed, the curtain can be pulled back and the space opened back up. Curtain walls can be used for a variety of purposes such as climate control, containment, noise control, quarantining, food processing, and more. You save money, gain flexibility, improve heating and cooling, and protect assets.  
  • Wire Cages/Partitions are another way to create temporary security or storage areas within your warehouse. Steel wire cages can be installed anywhere in your warehouse and can stand alone or be installed against walls or in corners. They are easily moved, reconfigured, or expanded to meet your changing needs. Wire partitions are useful for storage lockers, holding cells, DEA drug storage, data centers, machine guarding, tool storage, weapons lockers, and more. The major benefits include increased security, open airflow, affordability, quick installation, and flexibility. Wire cage storage can be installed on the main floor level or elevated on mezzanines. Like in-plant offices, wire cages can be installed against one wall with three wire panel walls, in a corner using two existing walls and two wire panel walls, or completely stand alone with all four walls made up of wire mesh panels. A wire mesh ceiling can be installed to create complete locked storage.  

If you think any of these flexible/temporary material handling systems could improve your warehouse, contact Carolina Material Handling to speak with an experienced, knowledgeable representative: (336) 294-2346. 

Incorporate Smarter Storage Solutions 

drum handling equipmentSome items are bulky to store, and at the top of that list is drums. Large, heavy drums full of liquids are difficult to move, store, and pour. The solution: 

  • Fluid Handling SystemThere’s a better way to store liquids in your warehouse. A fluid handling system eliminates the need for drums by storing liquids in containers on a compact shelving system with easy dispensing taps at the bottom. Filling containers is easy with this system. It works best when you incorporate the mobile fluid handling cart. Simply fill the smaller containers on the cart with the fluids you need and easily roll them to the place you need them. Eliminate the need for heavy drums of liquids and the equipment that is required to handle them. The benefits include increased worker safety, money savings, fewer spills and accidents, increased storage space, convenience, and more.  

Storing and handling liquids has never been easier than it is with a fluid handling system. 

Save Space with Proper Installation of Material Handling Products 

A large factor in making the most of your warehouse space is the installation of the material handling products and systems themselves. Strategic installation can save you an incredible amount of space, and expert material handling installers at CMH know exactly what to do to maximize every square foot of your existing building. Important qualities to look for in your installation contractors include: 

  • OSHA 30 certificationAt the very least the crew leader for your installation project should be OSHA 30 certified. This ensures your material handling systems will be up to code and in compliance from the start.  
  • ExperienceIt’s important that your installers have plenty of experience with the material handling products they are installing. Ask questions and be sure of this before you hire anyone to install anything in your warehouse.  
  • Training. In addition to experience, regular training is necessary to keep up to date with current policies and best practices. Well-trained installers ensure the best possible job with all types of equipment.  
  • InsuranceAnyone you hire to do an installation in your warehouse should be fully insured in case of an accident. Without proper insurance, you could be responsible for any damages or injuries that occur during the job.  

Choose installers that meet all of these criteria and don’t settle for any less. You’ll find that CMH installers not only meet but exceed these qualifications.  

warehouse setup including pallet racks and conveyors

Maximize your Warehouse with Material Handling Systems from CMH 

Carolina Material Handling offers these products and many more that are designed to help you make the most of the existing space in your warehouse. You can save time and money with these solutions and avoid moving, construction downtime, and loss of production. Find out what products could help you save the most space by calling CMH: (336) 294-2346.