Shelving is available in a wide range of sizes, types and materials for different applications. There are a number of factors to consider when specifying these units.
The first consideration is application when specifying the system's size, material and accessories. Also, certain shelves work better in certain situations. For example, mobile shelving works best with items that staff will transport.
Operators should keep in mind they can position shelving either against the wall or as a divider in the kitchen, which helps maximize placement options. Shelves with post sharing capabilities can connect two units, which helps maximize space in a walk-in. High density or active aisle type systems allow operators to place more shelving in limited spaces due to more flexible configurations. Floor systems can help increase storage capacity by building up in height.
Operators also need to properly assess the environment where they will place shelving units because some materials hold up better in certain climates than others. Wet environments can cause rusting on chrome wire shelving, so polypropylene or composite materials are a better choice for these applications.
When specifying shelving, the types of items the units will store is a critical consideration. Operators who rotate recipes or work with assorted container sizes should consider shelving that staff can easily reconfigure. Vented shelf plates work best for items requiring more air circulation.
The total weight and size of items being stored will help determine the appropriate span between posts and shelves to maximize space. Weight-bearing capacity per shelf reduces as these units gets larger. Shelves up to 48 inches in size can sustain up to 800 pounds per shelf, while units that are between 54 and 72 inches can withstand up to 600 pounds per shelf.
When to Replace: Shelving