Industrial Steel Shelving – Choosing Between Open Shelving & Closed Shelving
If your business needs to safely store products or supplies in a warehouse, one thing you should certainly invest in is sturdy industrial strength steel shelving. However, there are different kinds of steel warehouse shelving available. One choice you may be forced to make is between open steel shelving and closed steel shelving. Each has its own benefits. You should compare the benefits of both choices to find the best solution for your warehouse.
What Are Closed and Open Shelving?
Closed shelving is perhaps the easiest to visualize. Simply think of a standalone book shelf. Now envision the entire structure of that bookshelf being composed of 18 to 20 gauge steel. With closed steel shelving, each of the multiple steel shelves is surrounded by steel on three sides. The shelves are also kept in place by either steel clips or nuts and bolts.
Open steel shelving is a bit different. Like closed, it is also composed of rather strong 18 to 20 gauge steel. It is also uses a bookshelf like design with steel shelves on each ascending level. However, the shelves in this case are not open on all sides. Instead, there is no steel backing apart from the steel frame that holds the shelving together with either nuts and bolts or clips. As the name implies, open steel shelving is indeed open on all sides save for the shelves above and below an individual shelf.
What Are the Advantages of Closed Steel Shelving?
Certain advantages come with closed shelving as a warehouse storage choice. First, between open and closed shelving, closed is probably more aesthetically pleasing. It looks more like a complete finished piece than open shelving does. If the shelving will be seen by people like customers, closed is probably the better choice.
Due to the steel backing that exists on three sides of closed steel shelving, it also tends to have really good stability. It’s quite unlikely the shelving will fail even with a lot of weight being placed on the shelves. That is especially the case if you choose to secure the steel with tightly fastened nuts and bolts.
Steel shelving also provides better protection for both employees and stock. Stock will be far less likely to fall out of the shelf due to being enclosed on three sides. This means less warehouse shrinkage from ruined products. It also means fewer potential injuries from products and supplies falling onto workers and customers below. Fewer injuries mean having to pay less for worker’s comp and disability.
What Are the Advantages of Open Steel Shelving?
Open steel shelving also has its own benefits that may make it a good choice for many companies. First of all, it’s the more cost effective choice. Since less steel is required to create open steel shelving, the overall price will be much lower than closed.
Second, open shelving can be more flexible. For one, you can access a shelf from four different angles. This includes the back, front and two sides. With closed shelving, you can only access the storage space form the front. Open shelving also has the ability to be configured far more than closed due to all the open space. For example, a very long shelf can be created by placing multiple open shelving units next to each other.
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