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What Is High Density Shelving / Mobile Storage You Ask?

(The short answer is: it’s a great tool to save valuable floor space, but there is much more to it than just that.)

Have you ever seen this before - a room filled with file cabinets, shelving or storage cabinets? Not always a pretty site is it? The problem with these stationary storage systems is that they require fixed aisles, and fixed aisles take up space. One way to combat that wasted space is High Density Mobile Storage (sometimes called compact storage or movable storage.) These mobile storage systems eliminate unnecessary aisles, and create one or more movable aisles instead. Less fixed aisles means more available space. In most instances this will save up to 50% of your floor space – floor space that you can use for other more productive purposes. But, maybe the actual purpose for that area is storage. They can also double the storage capacity of your existing space. That means you’re storing twice as much - in the same space. Another plus - the shelving on a mobile storage system is designed to utilize the vertical space which ends up wasted by conventional filing and storage units. So, with more storage capacity per square foot of floor space, the room that used to be full of file cabinets - it's now storing twice as much stuff, or storing the same amount of stuff with room to spare. And with the high cost of office space, any space saved is like money in the bank.

How Does It Work?

Now that you have an idea of what it is, let's talk about how it works. The idea is pretty simple. The use of a movable shelving system makes it possible to mount virtually any type of shelving or storage cabinet (including existing shelving and cabinets) on a track-guided, wheeled mobile carriage. These wheeled carriages travel side to side on rails that are placed on top of the floor (surface mounted), or in the floor (recessed). Fixed aisles are then eliminated, freeing up floor space for other, more productive uses. No other storage system can save you this kind of space and money. So regardless of the size, shape or weight of your stuff, a mobile storage system can store it in less floor space.

Where (and for What) Is It Used?

When we talk about STUFF, we aren't talking about some junk that has been discarded on the side of the road. We see STUFF being whatever items, materials, or information you need to keep, keep safe and keep track of. So the type of STUFF you have often varies depending on the type of work you do. The good news is that compact storage systems have been installed in offices, hospitals, banks, libraries, schools, museums, public safety departments, archives, warehouses, laboratories, government agencies and military bases, as well as many other uniquely demanding storage environments. High Density Storage is a great fit for storing all kinds of STUFF from the usual (Files, Books, Binders, Tools, Uniforms and Office Supplies) to the unusual (Sterile Supplies, Dinosaur Bones, Evidence, Weapons and Ammunition, Frozen Earth Samples, and Motorcycles). I think you get the idea. Mobile Shelving can store just about anything.

What Is It Made Of?

As you'll notice, there are several types of movable shelving systems, so it is difficult to share all of the specification information here. But there are some things we thought you should know. We represent Spacesaver, the recognized industry leader in high-density storage (with more mobile storage installations than all other manufacturers combined.) Spacesaver is ISO 9001 Certified. They manufacturer a carriage system that is the strongest in the industry, and the alignment of their compact storage systems stays true over years of use. Spacesaver uses welded steel construction that has no fasteners to loosen or break. By using oven cured powder coated paint finish these storage systems will look new for years to come. Not only is it the most durable finish in the industry, but it also exceeds the most stringent scuff, scratch and chip requirements of the American Library Association. In addition to the fact that saving floor space is a “green” idea, many of Spacesaver’s products are Greenguard Certified as well.

What Are the Types of Systems?

As noted earlier, there are several types of mobile shelving systems. First, let’s look at the three types of mobile carriages. To initiate the carriage movement that will create an access aisle, there are three basic modes of operation available:

Manual Assist Mobile System

- With a manual assist mobile system, users open system aisles by pushing handles left or right. These systems are ideal for smaller, low activity, and limited-access storage areas.

Mechanical Assist Mobile System

- With a mechanical assist mobile system, users open system aisles by rotating ergonomic drive handles. They provide basic safety systems, and are ideal for medium-sized storage applications with higher activity levels, heavier storage material, greater carriage lengths and a larger number of system ranges.

Electrical Powered Mobile System (Eclipse)

- With an electrical powered mobile system, users open system aisles with a simple push of a button. These systems are designed for more active, larger systems. They provide state-of-the-art safety for users and materials and provide maximum storage densities. There is a broad array of safety features and programmable functions. These systems are ideal for open-access applications where enhanced reliability, security and protection of stored materials are key concerns.

In addition to different mobile carriage types, there are systems that are designed for specific needs and applications. These include:

Low Profile Mobile Shelving (Wheelhouse)

- A variety of 4-post and Case-Type shelving is mounted on the low-profile system carriages. The system can be ramp-less, or combined with XpressDek (the system's modular rail and decking system, which is engineered to be placed directly on top of existing floor covering.) Wheelhouse can easily be reconfigured to fit new requirements and new spaces and is available in Manual, Mechanical Assist and Powered carriage types.

ActivRAC Industrial Mobile System

- For heavy-duty storage applications, the ActivRAC Industrial mobile system is designed to maximize the density of palletized or bulk materials. ActivRAC helps minimize wasted warehouse and storage areas through efficient utilization of cubic space. ActivRAC can pull its weight with systems designed for up to 7,000, 16,000 and 30,000 pounds of maximum capacity per carriage section. ActivRAC systems are available in Mechanical Assist and Powered carriage types.

Mobile High Bay System (XTend)

- XTend is designed specifically for high-density off-site storage. The XTend system is the industry’s very first mobile high-bay storage system, and it is great for archive facilities and fits easily in a smaller building envelope and footprint with tall ceiling heights.

Pull-out System (QuickSpace)

- QuickSpace is designed to fit in tight spaces, and can more than double the storage capacity of conventional file cabinets and shelving. Better yet - no aisle is required. Units move in and out without the need for a fixed rail system. QuickSpace fits in tight spaces, between wall columns, or in alcoves, and provides instant access to records, supplies and other materials.

Lateral Bi-Files and Tri-Files

- Lateral storage units travel back and forth on moveable carriages with less wasted aisle space. The system provides the same storage capacity as stationary cabinets in less than half the floor space. Modular units can be added, moved and relocated as needed.

Mobile Art Rack

- Art Rack storage systems are designed to help art museums and galleries store their growing art collections safely and efficiently in an organized and orderly fashion. There are two options to choose from: Mobile Art Rack Systems and Hang-Glider Pro Storage.

While it’s true that systems come in different types and sizes and can store a variety of stuff in any number of places, they all share many common outcomes. With high-density storage systems, you can:
  • Store more stuff in less floor space
  • Help reduce your building lease or construction costs
  • Make room for more people/equipment
  • Delay your need for facilities expansion
  • Fit storage into almost any available space
  • Improve access by storing more stuff where it’s needed
  • Improve workflow
  • Protect stored material
  • Adapt as your storage needs change

So, the short answer to the question “What is High Density Mobile Storage?” still applies. It is a great way to save space. But we hope the longer answer has shed some light on all the possibilities this type of storage solution provides.