What is the design process for warehouse equipment?

Steely Products designs and produces quality warehouse equipment. We also work with companies on bespoke designs that are specific to their operations. The design process doesn’t follow rigid rules, and it can vary for each client, but there are several principles that need to be followed.

Understanding the purpose

Every item of equipment has a purpose, so a new design starts with defining the purpose. What does the equipment need to do? Often, the purpose is obvious, such as a picking trolley needing to easily move items from the shelves to the packing station. The purpose of a packing station is to enable packers to pack orders quickly and easily for dispatch.

Every detail of the design needs to support the equipment’s purpose. If a packing station does not have storage space for packing materials, this hinders the purpose of a packing station table.

Analysing mechanisms

An item of equipment will have various mechanisms. For example, a trolley has wheels, and an A-frame trolley for storing glass has padding or slats to protect the glass. All these mechanisms have several options and can use different materials. For example, there are many types of castors available, so the best type for a particular trolley needs to be considered. Other considerations include the best mechanism for enabling the safe use of steps attached to trolleys, and whether it is better to use wood or other materials to protect glass stored on A-frame trolleys.

At Steely, we carefully analyse the mechanisms required for every item of equipment and choose the most suitable solutions.

Analysing forces

There are several forces that affect equipment. The main force that concerns end users of warehouse equipment is weight. Equipment needs to be strong enough to carry the expected loads. Shelves must be able to support heavy items, and tables and trolleys also need to be strong. Trolleys that move must be able to withstand many journeys each day.

Time is another strong force. All equipment wears over time, and while end users don’t expect equipment to last for centuries, they want at least a few years of heavy use. Steely makes durable equipment that is designed to last, which is why we use tubular steel that is both lightweight and strong.

Easy manufacturing

Part of the design process is not focused on how the design functions in use, but is instead concerned with the easiest and best way to construct the equipment, and the time it takes to make each item.

Cooperation

Cooperation is another design principle followed by Steely Products. We believe in designing equipment in partnership with end users. Their input is invaluable in the design process and in the testing of prototype designs. Whether a new design is to be added to our wide range of equipment or is a one-off, bespoke design, our design engineers work closely with end users.

If you’d like to discuss bespoke designs, or you’d like one of our existing equipment designs modified to better suit your needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Steely Products. Call or use the contact form below.

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    Posted by Derek
    30th May 2021
    Manufacturing

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