“Manufacturers make a lot of changes to part design and shape from year-to-year,” notes Bruce Donatelli, fleet management supervisor for the City of Philadelphia. “To improve productivity, we sought to consolidate most of our parts and tire storage from bulky, traditional shelves on our third floor down to more flexible, space-efficient shelves in our first floor service bays, where the work actually gets done.”
Donatelli turned to a flexible modular storage system called V-Grip from Equipto, a Tatamy, Pa.- based supplier of industrial storage units.
“The option to add or adjust shelves, drawers or other accessories as-needed should help us maximize storage density where its needed most – next to the service bays – even if part sizes or configurations change,” says Donatelli.
“With the V-Grip storage system, we at least doubled our storage in a limited space,” he reports. “We added vertical storage with a deckover mezzanine above our shelves with stair access. This gave us the room we needed for bulky items.”
While traditional modular drawer cabinets on casters are fine for mechanics to roll around the shop, their main drawback for tire and parts storage is that they are essentially unchangeable steel boxes, unable to efficiently accommodate changing sizes, shapes, weights, quantities or configurations, according to Equipto’s Del Williams.
“Once the size of the drawers and box frame is set, modular drawer cabinets have virtually no future adaptability, as different size drawers are not typically swapped out to better meet changing part size or shape. As storage needs change, for instance, storing small-sized parts in 6-inch drawers could waste a large amount of storage space,” says Williams.
“Though traditional storage shelves offer more space than modular drawer cabinets, a tremendous amount of storage space can also be wasted if, for instance, 3-inch-high parts are stored on 24-inch-high shelves. Because moving a shelf to create denser storage space can often require removing and reassembling 10 or more nuts and bolts, this is practically never done on a large scale, Williams points out.
“When parts and tire storage capacity lags behind the need, clutter results with parts too often stored on the floor, on top of cabinets and stacked in boxes – which can lower productivity if parts are not quick and easy to store and retrieve,” says Williams.
“What makes the V-Grip storage system unique is that it starts as raw shelving and allows parts and tire managers to adapt and create denser and denser storage capacity as business, budget, or storage needs change,” Williams explains. “The modular storage system is more flexible than modular drawer cabinets or traditional shelves because it is designed so shelves, drawers, and other accessories can be interchanged in the shelf cavity. Since each shelf, drawer or accessory is individually mounted to upright posts using a proprietary bracket system, they are individually adjustable and can be added at any time without disassembly of the unit.”
For more information, visit www.equipto.com.