This month we are looking at how to get more from the assets you have. Scroll down to see practical tips and solutions for:

  1. Industrial Buildings
  2. Storage systems
  3. Vehicles
  4. Workshops
  5. Production

Get the Right Storage Solutions for the job

Here is a basic but thought-provoking list of some of the things we come across, which need extra considerations:

  • Animals
  • Mixed goods
  • Food
  • Chemicals
  • Extruded products
  • Metals
  • Marshalling operations
  • Assembly space
  • Agregates
  • Natural Products
  • Perishables
  • Irregular shapes
  • Processes
  • Offices
  • Packing systems and operations
  • Warehousing General

This list is pretty much non-exhaustive and the one thing they all have in common is critical handing. Box it, bale it, strap it or palletise it to make it easier to organise. Then use mezzanines, shelving or racking to deploy your verbal head-on space.

Such methods  should immediately grab your attention because if you get it right you will be come competitive than other, and here is why:

Conveyor Systems Save Legs

Walking around your work place amounts to anything from quarter of a mile to over three miles walked a day. Add up all the time spent there and that can easily be 60 man hours lost a year. Still there are warehouses with employees covering 8 miles a day order picking on foot!

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Roll Cage Alternative Solutions

The roll cage is the biggest and most successful disaster to hit materials handling thus far. It was a terrible and cheap response to an unimaginative logistics industry who, faced with the onslaught of Mr McLean container, suddenly realised that transport would never be the same again. This resulted in changing sack barrows, platform trucks alongside a range of very efficient mechanical non-polluting lifting devices for hydraulic pallet trucks, fork trucks and roll cages. The last 50 years of industry are full of injuries caused by heavy machinery, which has been the source of overindulgent construction programmes not to mention  exceptionally high noise levels. If this is your problem as well, we have a great solution for all these problems! Get in touch to join us.

Hoists and Cranes to Maximise Capacity

The maximum achievable density for in and out processes can only be managed with overhead lifting equipment. It’s not without its problems but if you are a fabricator, mechanical support needs valuable floor space that can otherwise be used more wisely.

Browse Hoists

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Best Industrial Buildings are Pre-constructed

It is a frequent occasion in the industry to get the sizes wrong, we don’t always know the difference between a slab and a foundation and acquire hugely expensive ‘cheap’ structures often with grade 1 listed status because they are perceived as low cost. But they are not. The best buildings today are largely pre-constructed off-site form steel and concrete and can be erected at high speed. The process is always accompanied by some highly skilled workers who take the trouble to read their tape measures after others have made or worse not made changes during the design and build process. Speaking as a designer, builder and installer of industrial buildings, the mantra of ‘If you think measuring and checking it twice is a pain in the bum, wait until you have to remake it on site with improvised tools’ sounds very real.

A Better Deal on Forklifts isn’t Always Best

Not withstanding Toyota Materials Handlings bid to take over the world, it is still a very competitive industry and I have had my share of disasters to deal with when the competition prevails at my expense with a “far better deal”. This includes equipment that saved my customers 30% of costs but then surprisingly it:

  1. Couldn’t operate safely on the incline it was supposed to
  2. Couldn’t get through a 4m high door
  3. Wouldn’t fit in the aisle
  4. Wouldn’t fit under the mezzanine floor we were constructing specially for it.

These are just a few of the things that can go wrong and are surprisingly easily missed. Today there are ever more developments coming onto the market. Combi’s great work in all things 4-directional, Manitou that can handle all or our old friends Hyster and Yale just to mention a few. However, there are a couple of things you need to know first about such kit.

Do Your Safety Checks!

If you don’t have an operator, be prepared to invest anything up to £2,000 to train your own or about £400 for a first time pass or conversion course, which you can get done on site. Licences are mandatory if you want an insurable risk. You must be able to prove beyond doubt you have done your daily safety checks. It’s the operator’s responsibility as a key site safety worker not to use equipment that hasn’t passed all checks. In most cases you would use a piece of paper and a pen to tick all the boxes on the checklist but for the past year we have been developing a simple app to save time on checks. Register your interest down below and stay tuned for the release!

Another easily made mistake I frequently see on sites is not using the correct fork trucks for the aisle width. What this effectively means is if you use a yard truck when you should be using a Pivot truck your warehouse will be twice a big as it needs to be. Better to over-think it before making a purchase!

For more details on these subjects or need any help from our engineers, send us an email or fill in the form below.

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Written by the Material Handling Hub Correspondent Paul Casebourne. Get in touch with him via

Featured Image: © Wacker Neuson Ltd.