Material Handling
Thursday | 20 November, 2008 | 2:59 am

Specializing in space-saving

By Andy Barks

November 2008 - Limited workspace is an everyday working constraint for many manufacturers and fabricators. As a result, the need for efficient storage and organization becomes even greater, and a product that accommodates those priorities is a hot commodity.

One such product is the Storage Wall System from Lista International Corp., Holliston, Mass., which was designed with inventory control and maximized retrieval speed in mind. The system can perform a variety of functions and is at home in a flexible manufacturing environment.

When designing any efficient storage space, Lista keeps a few basic principles in mind. The versatile concept of infinite configuration--meaning all drawers, shelves and trays are removable and essentially interchangeable--is one of the foundations on which the storage wall system is built. Equally important is the custom shelving and partitioning option, which allows customers to customize a storage system to their space requirements. Prior to discussing any logistics or specifics, Lista ensures each section of a given system will match the size of the items it intends to store.

Close storage
Another appeal of the Storage Wall System’s layout is its ability to store large, medium-sized and small items together in one space. Up to 440 pounds of stock can be stored on each tray and drawer. Additionally, the system’s wide-span beams provide places for bulk items, holding up to 1,500 pounds and coming in a variety of deckings, including steel, wire and plywood.

With everything confined to one area and immediately accessible--thanks to the full-extension roll-out capabilities on all drawers and trays--the handling process is simplified. And that is one of the undeniable keys to optimized efficiency.

"Before we found Lista, we had both space and style issues," says Jim Gray, vice president of fixed operations at Viti Inc. Mercedes-Benz, Tiverton, R.I. Gray, whose service department revamped its shelving outfit with Lista storage units, saw an immediate improvement in efficiency and space management.

"We had a simple shelving solution that looked quite unprofessional, and I didn’t like the look that we were presenting to customers. [Lista] provided a cosmetic improvement by far, but it also helped us add more to our parts department."

Aside from the organizational simplicity, Lista users also find themselves amazed by the amount of time saved when searching for the appropriate part. With everything stored in the same area, the difference in practical time management, which can be as simple as not walking an additional 15 feet, is immeasurable. For an assembly-line worker or automotive technician, that’s no small advantage.

The Storage Wall System also provides a customized order/issue counter and a 12-inch-deep recessed bookcase, offering a convenient storage compartment for reference books or logs. Add to that a variety of lockable doors, and it becomes apparent that there really is no standard system, just a wide range of potential customizations.

Of course, Lista systems only assist in running a functional, successful operation. The rest depends on many factors unrelated to how space is used. But without a doubt, an efficient, well-organized workplace is an excellent start. MM

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