How One Manufacturing Plant Used Compact Mobile Racks to Save Money

Reading about the features and benefits of compact mobile racks is great. But to really understand what this storage system can do for your business, it’s helpful to learn why other companies use compact mobile racks and their experiences.

For example, a few years ago we installed compact mobile racks to keep a Toyota manufacturing plant from taking on an expensive facility expansion. Here’s part of the story.

Storage Issues the Manufacturing Plant Faced manufacturing plant unorganized pallet racking storage

When Toyota combined its Tacoma and Tundra operations at its plant in San Antonio, TX, it created a major challenge: how to store all the spare parts needed for production machinery without expanding the building. Not only did the parts need to be stored, they needed to be organized and easily accessible.

The idea of doing more with less became a reality because plant officials needed to rethink their existing stationary pallet racking to optimize the 5,000 square feet of storage space they had to work with.

To find the right solution to their problem, Toyota reached out to us. Jim Smith and the rest of the San Antonio team recommended that compact mobile racks would meet Toyota’s needs.

Compact Mobile Racks Eliminated the Need for a Building Expansion

compact mobile racks for efficient part and tool storageThe compact mobile racks store all of the spare parts – from tiny gaskets and motors to large pumps and transformers – the plant needs to keep machines up and running. Overall the compact racks provided 54 percent more storage capacity in the same footprint, which completely removed the need for a building expansion.

There’s also room for additional storage, even though the plant is humming at peak capacity and producing 200,000 vehicles per year as planned. Also, the compact mobile racks keep everything organized so that the team can quickly locate, access and deliver items – despite a major increase in the number of additional items stored as part of the consolidation.

Find Out More Details About This Project

And that’s just part of the story. You can download the complete case study to learn more details about the compact mobile racks installed at the plant. Additionally if you have any questions about the project or are interested in compact mobile racks for your facility, give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message.

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Without the Right Storage System, Is Your School’s Team Ready to Compete?

OSU football storage for athletic gear and equipmentWith college football bowl games coming up and college basketball just getting started, it’s a great time of the year for sports. But where would the teams be without their gear and equipment? Because they have so much to store, many schools use Spacesaver storage systems for their team’s gear and equipment.

Why Do So Many Teams Choose Spacesaver for Storing Athletic Gear & Equipment?

It’s not just because of all the space they can save, extra security offered, or even the organizational aspects of the storage systems. Top colleges and universities choose Spacesaver because they know they are getting the best product for their money. Of course the amazing customizations also make a big difference in showcasing team spirit.

Also all of these teams are competing for the best recruits, and having a Spacesaver storage system gives them a leg up on the competition. How? Because it creates a one-of-a-kind experience.

spacesaver mobile shelving for athletic equipment with designer end panelsEach storage system is specifically designed for that college with the players, coaches, and equipment managers in mind. And knowing your team can offer something no one else can, definitely makes a big difference.

Which Universities Have a Spacesaver Storage System?

We’ve designed and installed several Spacesaver storage systems for the teams in our territory, which happens to be most of the Big 12: UT, Baylor, KU, TCU, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and OU (watch this video to learn about the system at OU). Of course we’ve worked with other teams outside of the Big 12 too including Texas A&M and the University of Arkansas.

And we aren’t the only ones. Other Spacesaver representatives have done storage systems for many other universities like Duke, Iowa State, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Alabama, UCF, UCLA, Louisville, and many more.university college spacesaver storage system for equipment and gear

What If You Manage Equipment for a High School or Small University?

Don’t think just because you manage equipment for a smaller university or high school that you can’t have the same Spacesaver storage system as the Division I teams (check out this system for proof). The great thing about Spacesaver is that you can customize it to meet your needs and budget. These storage systems are small, medium, gigantic…and everything in between.

To find out more about how you can get Spacesaver storage systems for your school’s athletic gear and equipment, give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message.

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Keeping Your Building Comfortable Year-Round While Saving Energy

warehouse employee productivity related to temperatureAccording to a study at Waseda University in Tokyo, productivity drops by 2% for every degree rise in temperature above 77 degrees Fahrenheit.  This means that at 90°F, productivity is down by 12.6% – just from the heat alone. And heat isn’t just uncomfortable; it can also cause numerous heat-related injuries that could put your employees out of work.

According to OSHA, the most common heat related disorders include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat collapse, heat rashes, and heat fatigue, and that’s only a few. Do you really want to leave the health of your workers to chance? Doing so could leave you with costly worker compensation claims, even lawsuits.  Surprisingly enough, OSHA’s recommended solutions for controlling your facility’s temperature isn’t to dish out more spending on your HVAC system—it’s ventilation and airflow.

Sounds easy, right? But wait before you go and buy an army of basket fans to line your warehouse with, because conventional fans only push hot, stale air around and do nothing for ventilating or improving airflow and provide no noticeable improvement in comfort.

Is saving energy while keeping everyone happy and comfortable even possible? Yes! Luckily, there are multiple types of fans out there that can provide this cooling and ventilation for you; some of them can even provide heating in wintertime.

turbine-airflow-pattern

Types of Fans That Create a Cooler Facility

1. HVLS Fans

High volume low speed (HVLS) fans destratify air, which means that it mixes the air within a facility to eliminate stratified layers of air to create an even, ambient temperature.  These fans are best suited for high ceilings (since there is a minimum clearance required above the fan) and large floor areas. They work by providing these areas with constantly moving airflow to create an evaporative cooling effect. Well-made fans usually have some type of technology that allow them to move more air with fewer blades, which gives them better efficiency than basket fans, and are usually much less expensive to operate than HVAC systems.

Some HVLS fans can be run in reverse for winter heating—in reverse, the fans push down hot air—but if you’re looking at a fan for heating purposes, then make sure you do your research because not all HVLS fans are able to be run in reverse. Some fans will be damaged, and some will run less efficiently in reverse than normal, and in some cases reverse operation will even negatively impact or void your warranty. Make sure that if you want a reversible fan, they’re actually able to be run that way.HVLS-directional-exhaust-fans

2. Directional Fans

These types of fans are great if you can’t accommodate a large HVLS fan in your building, have ceiling restrictions, a smaller facility, or want another type of fan in addition to your HVLS fan. Again, we’re not talking about rotating basket fans here—these are large, heavy-duty fans that cover a large floor space and are actually able to make your employees feel cooler. Their higher velocity also helps keeps floors dry so your employees don’t slip and hurt themselves on spills. You’ll want a fan that has a variable frequency drive, so you can run it on low even in the winter and high in the summer.

3. Exhaust Turbines

These are essential for actually getting rid of the hot air in your building, and when combined with a fanning system, can actually reduce temperatures by 10 degrees because the fans cycle cool, natural air that is brought by the turbines. Even better if you can get wind-driven turbines, which don’t require any electrical or wiring costs.

Want To Learn More?

Do you want to learn more or are you interested in buying one or more of these fans? We have all of them, including wind-driven turbines and completely reversible HVLS fans. We’ll even give you a free consultation so we can be sure that your needs are met. Give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message to speak with a specialist in your area.

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What Office Furniture Should Your Start Up Company Choose?

traditional cubicle benching systems office furnitureWhen you’ve just started a business, there is something you have to consider: what type of office furniture will you use? Many start-up companies and small businesses (ex. marketing agencies and software development) use benching systems for co-working areas because they have a cool, open feel, and they use cubicles for employees or managers that require more privacy and individual work.

You Need Office Furniture That Will Adapt to Change

There’s something to keep in mind when you are deciding on what kind of office furniture you’re going to choose: change. A new company may start out with 5 workers and within no time expand to 20. Or you might bring in temps and freelancers to get your business started.

To keep ahead of all these changes and ensure your making the right investment, you need office furniture that will adapt. While on the surface traditional benching systems and cubicles seem like the right solution, if you look a little closer, you will find many hidden costs.

The Hidden Costs of Traditional Benching Systems and Cubicles

First of all, you have to hire professionals to install the benching systems and cubicles, especially if you’re s start-up business with no facility management team.

Even if you don’t mind spending this capital in the beginning, think about what happens the first time you want to make a change to your office’s layout. For example, a smaller company might want to use their daily workspace for hosting a client event, thinking it will be easy and save money. After all, the cubicles and benching systems are supposed to be modular.

So now you have to move all those workstations. If you’re planning on doing it yourself, don’t be shocked at the 15-50 page installation manual that came with your furniture. And at the beginning of the manual you will find a list of required tools that looks something like this:

  • Allen wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • Measuring Tape
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Electric Drill and Bits
  • Chalk Line
  • Pliers

Hopefully you have all that on-hand; otherwise, you’ll be making a trip to the hardware store. Or better yet, spending extra money you may not have available to rent a space.

Swiftspace Office Workstations: Modern Office Furniture for Your Companyswiftspace furniture folded up and set up

So what can you do? You need benching systems and cubicles for your employees but these inflexible and costly furniture options just won’t work. What you need is something totally modern yet very familiar – Swiftspace office workstation solutions.

The Swiftspace office workstation solutions have the exact same appearance as traditional cubicle and benching system, but are completely different in how you can use them.

There’s absolutely no tools or parts required for installation.

That’s right, the Swiftspace office workstations come directly to you, ready to be unfolded and set-up for use in mere minutes. You don’t need any tools or need to worry about any pieces because everything is already installed within the framework of the workstation.

So easy to setup – a child can do it.

Unlike traditional cubicle setup where you need professionals to build them, the Swiftspace office workstations are so easy to setup a child can do it. Not only is it easy to setup the workstations, they go up in just minutes.

Fold down and store out of the way.

Remember that client event you wanted to host in your office space? Well now you can because the Swiftspace office workstations fold back down just as easily as they setup, taking up almost no space. Simply unfold the workstations, move them to the side, and you’re ready to host your event and then get back to work as usual the next day.

Can be moved anywhere at any time.

At first everyone was working independently, and then you received a project that required a lot of meetings and team work. That’s no problem when you have the Swiftspace office workstations. Because they’re on casters, you can roll them and re-arrange them however you want to get your work done.

Where Can You Get Swiftspace Office Workstations?

You can get your Swiftspace office workstations from us!

swiftspace office furniture workstations cta

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2 Ways to Set Up a Kanban System for Managing Medical Products

setting up a Kanban system for managing medical productsIn our last blog, we talked about the reasons you should use Kanban to manage medical products in your healthcare facility. Now, we are going to talk about 2 different ways you can set up a Kanban system.

Setting up a Kanban system is actually very easy. Most of the work is collecting the usage data to decide the right levels of inventory you need for each medical product. The other part of setting up the Kanban system is deciding what kind of “trigger” to use to alert material managers that supplies need to be replenished.

Small Applications: Barcode System and Empty Bins

One option is to use a barcode system in combination with placing the empty bins on the top of your storage shelving (find the supplies you need to get started from StoreMoreStore). The materials manager can come in and use a barcode reader to scan each of the empty bins and record the data for which supplies need to be re-stocked.

This system works well in smaller healthcare facilities or if you are only going to implement Kanban in one or two supply rooms. But if you want to implement it in a large facility or multiple supply rooms, it’s not the best option because material managers are still spending too much time counting. In addition, all the empty bins from fast moving supplies can become cumbersome and create errors in replenishment.

Larger Applications: Use RFID Technology to Automate the “Trigger” ProcessUse the RFID digital restocking tag for Kanban

The second option is to automate the “trigger” process with RFID technology. This Kanban system is equipped with an RFID digital restocking tag.

Once the items in the primary bin are used, a nurse clicks the button on the restocking tag. While the nurses are waiting for supplies to be restocked, nurses pull items from the secondary bin. A notification is automatically sent to the materials managers with all the information relating to the products that need to be restocked (i.e. quantity and location).

Essentially, the RFID technology replaces steps in the counting process, saving valuable time while real-time information improves accuracy.

Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?

Now that you know why you should use Kanban and the different ways to set up the system in your healthcare facility, are you ready to take the next step? If so, give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message. We can provide you with both the RFID digital restocking tags and the storage systems you’ll need.

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