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Material Handling
Tuesday | 19 April, 2022 | 12:47 pm

A place for everything…

Written by By Alan Richter

Above: Design Storage & Handling installed a cantilever racking system at one of Teinert Metals’ warehouses.

A distributor in Texas organizes one of its warehouses with a sideloader and cantilever racking system

April 2022 - It can be challenging to visually distinguish slightly different diameters of round metal tubing, and it creates a headache for warehouse workers when the tubes are not organized. Teinert Metals Inc. in Lubbock, Texas, had to learn that lesson the hard way, says Logan Teinert, head of operations.

“Our warehouse used to be a mess. There were items on top of items, and it was unorganized,” he says. “The sizes are real close so they look like they’re right, but when you don’t have them organized, they get mixed up so you are pulling the wrong material. It is twice the work.”

Teinert Metals sits on about 21 acres of land and began operations with a small warehouse in 2005. The company has frequently expanded its footprint over time to cover roughly 215,000 square feet over two buildings. Its main warehouse stores sheet, plate and structural items, while its second building stocks specialty products such as carbon steel round tubing, Teinert says.

While an overhead crane efficiently handles racked materials in its main warehouse, Teinert Metals needed to organize its second warehouse and contacted several suppliers of material handling systems, Teinert says. However, because of its modest size, one supplier didn’t consider the project worthwhile. “At the time, they said they had bigger fish to fry and didn’t want to mess with the little one.”

Fredericksburg, Virginia-based Design Storage & Handling Inc. was one of two final contenders and ended up landing the business. “They were eager to come out and design it from scratch. Design Storage stuck with us and was always there for us,” he says.

Once Design Storage received the building drawings, the vendor completed the design of a material handling system to maximize storage space, Teinert says. With the aid of Design Storage, Teinert Metals had to carefully analyze its inventory, bundle sizes and weights to efficiently utilize the space available. “That was a detailed process, but, working together with Design Storage, we came up with the optimal solution.”

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The Hubtex sideloader forklift at Teinert Metals has a standup cabin.

Rack and load

Design Storage delivered a turnkey narrow-aisle cantilever racking system that was integrated with a 8,140-pound capacity multidirectional Hubtex sideloader. Design Storage reports that unlike pallet racking, a cantilever rack design is well-suited for the storage and retrieval of long products in the steel industry.

“Many service centers require two sideloaders, with one designated for backup,” says Steve Kistner, business development specialist for Design Storage. “In this instance, Design Storage was confident that the quality of their machine could withstand the demands of a single-truck operation without any major disruptions to Teinert’s business. Single-truck applications are a true testament to the reliability of the Hubtex product.”

Kistner adds that the cantilever racks are designed to efficiently store long steel products and allow a steel service center to maximize the storage density vertically while also maintaining complete selectivity of all products. “This in turn, reduces the digging for items and decreases the time to process and pick orders.”

The free-standing structural steel cantilever racking design features adjustable arms and is rated to match the capacity of the Hubtex. The Hubtex unit can lift 8,140 pounds and each rack holds a similar weight.

Teinert says the racking system provides about 900 locations and is predominantly used for stocking round tubing. “We have it partially filled right now and are working on filling the remainder. We are starting to put our extruded aluminum items, stainless steel items, some of our galvanized pipe and seamless pipe in there.”

Space savings was a primary benefit of the material handling system, Teinert says, adding that it has enabled the company to free up floor space.

In addition, warehouse organization significantly improved, according to Teinert. “Each item has its own location, so we don’t have to go hunting.”

A product’s location is listed on a pull ticket, which tells a worker where to find it, Teinert explains. The enhanced organization helps Teinert Metals with its primary objective. “We have to take care of the customers first.”

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Teinert Metals requires only a single sideloader to store and retrieve long products.

Safe and stored

The system also enhances worker safety, he adds. “Organization leads into safety because you do not have to move additional material to get the item you need. Double the handling doubles the risk.”

Teinert employs more than 30 workers, and the warehouses operate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Serving the agricultural industry represents about 50 percent of the company’s business, with the remainder catering to the oil and gas industry, as well as manufacturers within a 200-mile radius.

“We do feed off the oil field a little bit but our main business is on the agricultural side,” he says. “Ag is always there for us day in and day out.”

He notes that, for example, there was a bountiful cotton crop last year, so he expects an uptick in metal sales as equipment often needs to be repaired following a demanding harvest. “A lot of work for cotton gins is done out of Lubbock, Texas. It goes all over the world out of Lubbock.”

Teinert Metals continues to communicate with Design Storage every few months, Teinert says. “They are there for us. We’ll go with them if we decide to add onto the system in the future.” MM

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