The Importance of Proper Sheet Metal Storage in the Warehouse
When sheet metal isn’t stored properly in a warehouse facility, it can lead to some complex problems. The number-one issue becomes how to move it. The combination of heavy, bulky and flexible creates interesting challenges. This is particularly true if you store it on the floor. Depending on how large each sheet is and how much it weighs, moving it can lead to a lengthy and potentially dangerous activity.
It’s very difficult for one person to move a piece of sheet metal stored this way and even two people must coordinate their movements so that moving a large piece of sheet metal looks a bit like a dance in a ballet. Moving sheet metal by hand can also be a potentially dangerous proposition. Sharp corners and edges can result in serious cuts.
Sheet metal is also highly conductive of thermal energy. If the warehouse is too hot, employees can sometimes get skin burns from sheet metal. If the warehouse is too cold, employees moving sheet metal may even get frostbite. Wearing gloves provides protection against these conditions but it can also make handling the sheet metal more difficult. Improper storage of sheet metal may also result in damage to the sheets during movement, which is a direct impact on your bottom line.
Whether you handle, sell or transport sheet metal to and from a warehouse location, proper storage will facilitate the movement of the material, reduce possible injuries to your employees and mean fewer damaged sheets in the long run.
Why It’s Important to Store Sheet Metal Properly
We touched on some of the reasons for proper storage of sheet metal above, but let’s look at some of them in a little more detail:
- Easier handling: When sheet metal is stored properly in a warehouse, such as when you use items like vertical sheet racks or rollout metal sheet racks, many of your handling problems disappear. You no longer have to rely on employees doing ballet-like maneuvers in order to move the sheet metal to various parts of the warehouse or workshop or to prepare for transport. Proper storage means easier access for carts or forklifts, especially for sheet metal of a higher gauge or when it is stored in bundles.
- Safety: People not familiar with how difficult it can be to move sheet metal may also be not familiar with the potential safety issues. Even thin sheets of sheet metal can produce deep cuts and lacerations if handled incorrectly. When sheet metal is stored properly, it helps create a safer work environment and reduces the possibility of workplace injuries. A fact worth noting: the warehouse industry possesses a higher fatal injury rate than the national average for all other industries. Correctly-stored sheet metal means less employee downtime, fewer Worker’s Compensation claims and fewer safety violations.
- Product damage: Whether you are storing sheet metal until it’s needed or picking out sheets and preparing them for transportation to worksites, careful handling means less damage to the actual items. This is one of the main reasons why you should not store sheet metal flat on the floor. If you use this method of storage, you’re asking for trouble. Sheet metal stored in this way is harder to pick up, easier to scratch while you’re trying to do so and occasionally dropped. No client wants a damaged piece of sheet metal.
- Better inventory control: When sheet metal is stored properly, rather than tucked away in some corner of the warehouse, it’s easier for you to determine the actual inventory you have stored on-site. This shows why it’s important to work with an experienced warehouse facility. Better inventory control results in knowing how much you need to order and when you need to order it. Better storage not only means fewer damaged products but also a better bottom line for you and your company.
- Better organization: You don’t want sheet metal of different sizes or gauges all piled or stacked together. Proper sheet metal storage means you can more easily organize your product by the type of sheet metal, its gauge, the size of each sheet or other methods of organization that may be important to you.
- More efficient workplace: Think for a second about your own home. When everything is neat and tidy and in its proper place, it’s far easier for you to accomplish extra tasks. When things are disorganized and cluttered, you frequently can’t find items that you need and you waste time constantly picking things up. When you use a good sheet metal storage system, your warehouse is more like the former than the latter. You want to be able to find you your materials easily no how much is there and quickly move or transport them.
Don’t overlook the importance of proper sheet metal storage. It makes your life less frustrating and your businesses operations more efficient and profitable. Storing sheet metal in a warehouse that fails to pay attention to the items mentioned above results in confusion and possibly hazardous conditions and can have a direct impact on your profit.
Tips and Guidelines for Safely Storing Sheet Metal
When you’re storing sheet metal, you want to use a strong, secure system that offers easy access and prevents damage to your materials. Whether you operate your own warehouse where you store your products or whether you rent space in a warehouse for storage, here are some tips to ensure that your sheet metal is stored safely but is still accessible when needed.
1. Never Store Sheet Metal on the Floor
We’ve given you lots of reasons why storing sheet metal on the floor is a bad idea. It might be the cheapest method, but that’s only when you don’t take into consideration other possible costs like injured employees or damage to the product because of improper storage.
2. Only Use Wooden or Steel Pallets for Bulk Storage
Wooden or steel pallets are great if you’re storing a load of sheet metal for a longer period. But if your main concern is production and you need to have access to sheet metal on a regular basis, storage of this kind is inconvenient and difficult.
3. Think About Storage Alternatives
Sheet metal storage alternatives not only provide easier access to your sheet metal but also make the sheet metal easier to handle. Some of those alternatives include:
- Vertical sheet racks: When you store your sheet metal vertically, it requires less space than floor storage and helps reduce product damage. If you need to load and unload sheet metal consistently throughout the work day, you can put these racks on a cart and move it around from place to place.
- Horizontal sheet racks: Horizontal sheet racks help you keep your sheet metal organized and prevents warping that can be caused by floor storage on uneven surfaces.
- Rollout metal sheet racks: Rollout racks are great for bolstering storage density, often increasing it by as much as 400%. They make it easier to handle sheet metal with hoists or forklifts. These racks are built on steel ball bearings that make it easier to access them when needed.
- Rollout shelving: This form of shelving also allows cranes and forklifts better access. You want to use this form of shelving with lighter-weight sheet metal. Most rollout shelving can handle around 1,500 pounds of material.
4. Choose an Experienced Provider
If you’ve decided to store your materials in a warehouse other than your own, it’s imperative you work with a reputable provider was the experience to make sure your materials are stored properly and safely.
Sheet Metal Storage Solutions
If you’re looking for vertical sheet metal storage racks that offer better storage for your products and solutions for issues like inventory space and the efficiency of your warehouse workplace, you want to speak to the people at Summit Storage Solutions. Summit offers vertical racks that mean you can better organize your entire facility and make it safer and more efficient. We can customize our designs to your industry’s needs as well.
Vertical sheet metal storage systems offer numerous benefits:
- Employees can more easily locate or move these materials either in the warehouse or to your workshop area.
- It’s easier to replace stock when new sheet metal is needed.
- Vertical sheet metal systems can be easily labeled, which means it takes much less time to find the exact product that you need. It also makes replacing stock an easier task because employees won’t spend as much time looking for where the new stock needs to go.
- Storing sheet metal vertically means you’ll have more floor space in your facility for either more sheet metal stock or for different materials you need to store.
- Your employees will be able to work in a safer workspace that will result in fewer workplace injuries and less downtime for your workforce.
- As we noted above, improper storage and handling of sheet metal frequently results in damage to the product. Vertical sheet metal systems will improve your employees’ handling of the materials, which will result in fewer damaged sheets.
- Using vertical sheet metal storage racks normally means that only one employee needs to be assigned to load and unload material.
- These racks can be used to store almost any kind of sheet material other than sheet metal, including wood, plastic, stainless steel, aluminum and composites.
- You’ll enjoy reduced costs. Whether it’s more floor space, fewer employees needed for handling materials, less damage to product or the time saved in locating and moving that product, vertical steel metal storage racks result in more savings and reduced costs for you and your business.
Summit Storage Solutions: Your Trusted Sheet Metal Storage Manufacturer
When you’re looking for a quality sheet metal storage system, you can’t find a better partner than Summit Storage Solutions. Our experienced and knowledgeable team has worked with many different industries and understands that each industry has special requirements. Whether you’re buying one of our ready-made racks or one that we have custom-designed according to your specifications, you can count on the fact that you are getting the most sturdy and reliable sheet metal storage system that you can buy.
Even better, it’s hard to beat our very competitive prices. Since we are one of the only manufacturers to make all our products in-house, this enables us to offer much lower prices than our competitors who frequently import their inventory from countries like China. That can mean savings of as much as $40,000 to $50,000 when you’re looking for a sheet metal rack storage system.
Some of the other benefits of working with Summit Storage Solutions include our diverse and highly-qualified manufacturing and engineering teams. All our welding processes are American Welding Society Certified. We are also an ISO 9000:2008 Certified company. And as we mentioned above, all our products are designed and manufactured in the United States.
Great price, great product, great customer service — all are reasons for partnering with us at Summit Storage Solutions for your sheet metal storage needs. If you would like to learn more about our great products and our superb team, visit our contact page so you can tell us about your business and what you’re looking for. One of our knowledgeable sales representatives will contact you as soon as possible, which we hope will lead to an informative discussion about all the different ways we can help you.