The Sheet Metal Storage Rack Systems from Lean Manufacturing Products, Inc. keeps raw metal material easily accessible, protected and secure. This manual cartridge system will immediately free up floor space, increase efficiency, improve safety and help you create a leaner manufacturing facility. Sheet metal storage and staging is an expensive challenge. As new lasers and punching machines get faster, a space-saving, streamlined material handling and storage system is more important than ever.
With the Sheet Metal Storage Rack System, you’ll overcome common challenges of storing and staging sheet metal:
- Optimize efficiency
- Improve Safety
- Manage Inventory
- Create floor space
- Reduce handling time
- Manage FIFO
- Eliminate wood
- Maximize profits
- Increase throughput
- Protect material
Frequently Asked Questions
To increase your capacity, throughput, and profits! Sheet metal handling and storage is one of the most overlooked aspects of fabrication businesses; without good processes in place, fabricators get buried in their own material without ever capturing those costs. Material handling costs are very real, and they add up extremely quickly.
Loaded question! This largely depends on your size, variety, volume, footprint, and other factors. In a nutshell, it starts with allowing for quick & independent access to your material, while also decreasing your current storage footprint. Once you minimize time and reduce space, you’ll begin to reap the benefits of efficient FIFO control, protected material, and protected operators.
- Measure; perform time studies. If your operators/runners track time spent daily locating/unburying/handling material, you’ll quickly realize where you need to place priority.
- Ask for help. It’s what we’re here for. Explain your current methods to us, and we’ll dive in headfirst. We’ve seen a LOT of shops, and we’re happy to help. We’re low-pressure, and if we don’t have the right product to help you, we’ll refer you to someone who does.
If you cringe when we ask any of these questions, then yes, you are likely a good fit:
- Do you consider your shop “tight on space”?
- Do you spend time looking for raw material on your shop floor?
- Do you spend time unburying material once it has been found?
- Are your machines producing parts while you’re looking for the material?
- Is your material ever damaged (scratched surfaces, bent corners, warped)?
- Have you ever had wooden pallets break/snap?
- How much cost is amortized into your cost of steel to cover the wooden pallet?
- How do you dispose of wooden pallets?
- Have you had any safety incidents with raw material?
- Of course, it depends. As a ballpark, the investment is much less than what you’re currently spending on material handling. After we understand your specs, we’ll be able to offer our best price for your opportunity.
- Contact us for our ROI calculator. That way we can do the work for you! ROI is typically a much shorter cycle than our customers initially anticipate. Plus, most customers find out that their current method of material handling and storage costs more to operate than it costs to buy and implement our storage systems.
- Depending on your volume, consistency, supplier relationships, and commitment to safety, we offer something for everyone.
- The Re-Rack cartridges are the most robust offering, which are designed to be shuttled back and forth with your raw material suppliers. See more info here .
- The Safety Block cartridges are an economical alternative to the Re-Rack cartridges, with nearly all the same features. However, they do not directly stack on top of each other like the Re-Rack cartridges do. See more info here.
- The Plain cartridges are just as they sound – plain. They do not have perimeter features to keep the material in place, and they are typically built size-on-size to the material, much like a traditional wooden skid. See more info here.
No. At least, not typically. We can adjust if you have specific requirements, but for the most standard offerings see the sizing chart here:
- Most common sheet size is 4’x8’, 4’x10’, 5’x10’, 6’x10’ and 6’x12’.
- If your sheet size(s) does not fall within those sizes, we can still create a solution for you. We have extensive experience providing custom solutions.
- Share with us. Each project is custom-built to your exact specifications, and we need to understand your goals, constraints, and opportunities.
- Be prepared to share any (or all) of the following details:i. Sheet Size
ii. Number of pallets currently in your shop
iii. Ceiling Height
iv. Bundle Height (material stack height) on individual pallets
v. Weekly consumption of material
vi. Loading automation attached to lasers/punches
- If you’re able to send any pictures of your current material storage area, those always help us immensely.
Typical lead time is 6-7 weeks. We build-per-order to ensure we’re meeting your exact specs, and we will always do our best to work with your scheduling needs.
- We recommend at least 1.5” from the top of your raw material to bottom of the angle iron above it. For example, if you have 22 shelves within a 14’ tall rack and a max “material stack height” of 2.5”, there will be 1.75” of clearance between the top of the stack and the bottom of the angle iron above it.
- We will work with you using renderings to dial in the right spacing for your exact application.
No, we do not offer hand-operated sliding drawers. There are a few other manufacturers that we can connect you with, but the rolling slide-out drawers are not our product. Instead, ours are accessible with forklift, which allows us to go much higher and better-use the vertical space in your shop.
- Yes, absolutely. In fact, they are great carts! For full size carts, we use a pivot mechanism to allow maneuverability in your shop floor. The carts have swivel casters in the 4 corners, and rigid casters in the middle, which means the center of the cart is the “pivot axis” = shorter turning radius.
- We especially recommend these if you are manually loading your machines. We can spec the cart(s) so they are at machine height, and will minimize the height differential the sheets need to travel. For example, if you’re using a jib crane, you won’t need to run the suction cups all the way to the floor just to grab the next sheets…minimize the distance traveled with a strategically placed cart.
A lot of people call it a depalletizer, but we prefer “Pin Table” because we use a series of sliding pins along a grid framework to successfully and efficiently transfer sheet metal off a wooden pallet or runners onto a LEAN cartridge. See more info here.
Please contact us and we would be happy to provide you with the footprint of our sheet metal storage systems. We can either send a drawing of the rack itself, or you can send us a DXF of your plant layout, and we can see where they’d fit.
Pending the exact specs of your system(s), your concrete must be able to support 3,000 PSI across a level surface. If you have concerns about your concrete, we do offer larger foot pads for the racks, which can help further distribute the load.
- The sheet metal racks are shipped in a series of flat panels (side walls & back wall) that are stood up and joined together with supplied hardware.
- They can be assembled using either an overhead crane or a forklift – typically customers do not use any outside rigging services, but we’re happy to point you in the direction of local companies if you need assistance.
- Rule of thumb is 2-3 hours for 2-3 operators for the first unit, and 1-2 hours for each additional unit after that.
No. Each rack has (4) anchoring holes for securing the unit to the floor.
Of course! Blue and white is our default color scheme, but we’re more than happy to swap out for the powder of your choice. Just let us know what you’d like to have on your shop floor, and we’ll make it happen! We’re still waiting for the first hot pink order…
- Yes – our doors are always open to you. We are located about 30 minutes outside Milwaukee, Wi.
- Likewise, we have many skilled representatives across the country that would be thrilled to meet you at your facility and measure your project with you in-person.
- We also have many happy customers scattered across the US that (pending their line of work) would be willing to show you the units in their facilities.
- Absolutely! We appreciate and recognize our customers that refer us to other businesses. Please contact us for more information!
- We strive to satisfy our customers to the level that they recommend us to friends.
Our turn – can we ask you a few quick questions?
- When we free up your floor space and capacity, what will you fill it with?
- Do you believe we can help you?
- Are you ready to get started?
Need help proving the ROI on our solutions? Give us a call and we are happy to provide you with tools to prove the value in our products.
The LEAN storage systems brought much-needed organization to our inventory so we can now maintain low Kanban levels and track FIFO efficiently. Previously, when customers visited us, we used to guide them away from our material storage area. Now, we take them right to it!
Metal Fabrication Job Shop
The LEAN racks have made a huge impact by reducing our down time significantly. No more digging out metal, double handling, and waiting on material. Our sheet-metal is organized and ready for use, right at the point of use. We removed 6 racks in total and replaced them with 2 LEAN racks.
Water Heater OEM
We had stacks of material and would have to move 5,7, even 10 stacks to get to the material stack we wanted below. It would never fail; as soon as we stacked bundles on top, the next one we needed was on the bottom! What used to take an average of 20 minutes to stage material bundles, now takes us 1-2 minutes.
Specialized Hinge OEM
We used to have wood pallets break and buckle due to the weight of the sheet metal. We’ve also had sheet-metal loads shift and spill off wood pallets. The LEAN racks and cartridges eliminated multiple safety issues and are a major safety improvement.
Water Heater OEM
We fabricate metal components, yet our floor was always covered in wooden pallets. With the LEAN racks, we significantly reduced wood and created more space than we ever thought possible. We are now using the open space for more manufacturing.