Mobile Shelving Puts Supplies Where You Need Them
Flexibility and convenience from parts assembly to order picking
In today’s fast moving storage operations, mobility, flexibility, and convenience are critical for keeping up with the rapidly changing demands of operations like assembly and order picking. Industrial shelving has evolved from simple bolt-up static types to a variety of mobile configurations that serve specific applications. Here are some ways to improve your operation by adding mobile shelves.
Mobility means flexibility
As production lines become more fluid, short term storage systems have to evolve to meet the needs of frequently changing operations. Positioning short term storage in a permanent location is no longer the solution it once was. Now storage has to move with the change in production and flow. Wheels and design changes make all the difference in meeting those production demands.
Shelving on wheels is used for:
- Parts assembly with on time delivery of parts to specific locations in the plant
- Larger numbers of orders in larger quantities picked at a time utilizing the greater space available on mobile shelving
- Replenishment of parts to work stations is handled in larger volumes and more quickly
- Stocking and storing of loose pallet loads is easier at the dock
Mobile shelving increases efficiency all along the material handling path.
Mobility inspires new shelving uses
Along with mobility of shelving came flexibility in what shelving could be used for. Once product designers put wheels on traditional shelving units, any and all shelving styles were looked at with new vision. “What if we put wheels on? ” became the inspiration for mobile bin, wire, shelf trucks, security cages, basket shelving and other transportable storage systems that increased density, helped assembly operations and increased order picking efficiency.
Most mobile shelves are typically “shelves on wheels”, but mobile aisle systems are installed to dramatically increase storage density.
Mobility means convenience
When you put wheels on shelving you immediately start saving steps and time through the convenience of having the shelving nearby no matter where in the facility you’re working, no matter if today’s production run has more process stages than yesterday’s, or you’re in peak season for orders and shipment. You have the convenience of creating short term storage where you need it and increasing pick capabilities overall per worker.
In the case of mobile aisles, where shelving rows compress to save space, mobility has meant greater density in the storage footprint by reducing the aisle spacing required between rows of shelving. The gains here are reduced steps and time as well as convenience in having goods so densely available in one area.
Shelving on wheels is frequently used in lean or 5S applications, where inventory can be rolled into position at specific times of the day.
Step up your game with mobile shelving
There will always be a place for traditional industrial shelving. If you want to make the most of what your workers can do, give them greater mobility, flexibility and convenience in how materials are handled with mobile shelving. Move your operations into more a profitable position by optimizing operations and defining applications that will benefit from shelf mobility.
This article is part of a series of articles on Industrial Shelving. Click on a link below to view one of the other articles.
- Wide Span Bulk Shelving Offers More Capacity
- The Flexibility of Steel Shelving
- The Value & Versatility of Rivet Shelving
- Mobile Shelving Puts Supplies Where You Need Them
- Wire Shelving Advantages Over Standard Shelving
Scott Stone is Cisco-Eagle's Marketing Director with three decades of experience in material handling, warehousing and industrial operations. He writes on automation, warehousing, safety, manufacturing and other areas of concern for industrial operations.