Industrial shelving consists of a framework of supports and shelves used to hold and display goods. Industrial shelving units optimize space by stacking goods horizontally, over the length of a shelf or on a number of vertically arranged shelves. These various configurations of industrial shelving units allow inventory to be displayed in an organized manner. Industrial shelving units can hold an endless assortment of objects and are used in many different settings.
Industrial shelving comes in a variety of designs; these designs differ most significantly by the material that they have been made from and the dimensions of the unit. Industrial shelving is generally constructed of hard metals like stainless steel or aluminum, but it can also be made of plastic or wood. Price and strength are the two elements that often affect the choice of a buyer when it comes to industrial shelving. Relevant dimensions of industrial shelving units include the height, length and depth of the unit, as well as its weight capacity. Based on the product or materials that will be stored on the shelves, these elements are important because of the safety factor. A poorly constructed shelving system, or one that is not properly anchored, can be a serious hazard to the workers that come within its vicinity. Industrial shelving is produced by way of strong beams and sturdy material because it often stacks items that are meant for industrial contexts and are therefore large and heavy. Considerations such as open shelving versus closed shelving must be carefully weighed so that the working environment is the safest it can be, as well as being efficient.
Industrial shelving is available with many special features. If specified, industrial shelving units can be fireproof, heavy-duty, mobile or chemical resistant. Fireproofing shelves involves chemical treatments to the shelving material before it is shaped into a shelving unit. Common chemicals used to fireproof are asbestos based formulas such as vermiculite, which is also known as a MMMF, or a man-made-mineral-fiber. Chemical resistance is also achieved through chemical treatments of the shelving material, although the specific chemicals vary. Heavy duty shelving is often used in industrial settings, and is most easily recognized by the fact that it is always anchored to the floors. Heavy duty systems may be open or closed though, meaning with or without a backing on one side of the shelving, depending on what sort of accessibility is necessary; whether the items being kept on the shelves will easily fall off also affects if the heavy duty shelving is open or closed. Mobile shelving systems have wheels at their base and are temporary shelving systems used only for transport in the industrial context. They are often made of lighter materials that still retain immense strength and durability, such as aluminum. Industrial settings such as warehouses, manufacturing companies, automotive garages and hardware stores all utilize various forms of industrial shelving.