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The ultimate plastic container bins storage rack

An aesthetically pleasing design

Author: Dee Jones/18 March 2024/Categories: PREVIOUS BESPOKE PROJECTS, Storage & Shelving

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The aim of this project was to design and manufacture an aesthetically pleasing method of storing plastic container bins. The idea needed to be something that was both highly mobile and able to move around in very tight spaces, often with corners of the rooms being a normal resting place. The customer is a high-performance car manufacturer and they already had a large quantity of bins that were of varying sizes. The plastic bins store a large mixture of small parts components. The solution needed to provide a safe working environment for the production team and had to align with a commitment to sustainability by utilising recyclable materials.

A number of storage options were considered and discussed with the client before the idea of a storage carousel rack became the one that seemed to tick all the right boxes. Initial sketches were produced and then a final drawing was submitted, all within a 10-day time frame.

carousel
Carousel storage rack with louvre panels
plastic storage bin
Plastic bin louvred hook-on design
 

Material selection
To meet the durability and longevity requirements while considering environmental benefits, mild steel was chosen as the primary material for the carousel. Mild steel offers excellent durability, reducing maintenance requirements and contributes to the overall environmental sustainability of the project. The three-sided carousel was fitted with standard louvre panels on each side. These are then used to hook on the plastic storage bins as required by the users.

Enhanced productivity
To enhance productivity, the carousel racks and bins were fitted with identification labels. This allows for easy identification of all parts and fixings in the production area, improving stock control and enabling quick access to the required items. Cut-out handles were also incorporated into the design to allow operators to spin the carousel to the desired location or position for accessing the required bins. These handles enable easy manoeuvrability and efficient retrieval of stock, enhancing the overall functionality of the carousel storage rack unit

Optimising space
During the design process, it was discovered that a square base was too bulky to fit in certain areas. A round base was then attempted but created further space issues, particularly in corners where staff found it challenging to position the rack close enough to the required area. As a result, an octagonal base design was implemented, which proved to be the most suitable solution, allowing easy rack access close to work points.

Adjusting height for accessibility
Initially, large 200mm castors were fitted to the first sample rack. However, this caused an issue as the top two bins became too high for staff to reach when working at low levels on cars. To address this, 75mm swivel grey rubber tyred castors were installed. This adjustment ensured the rack remained easy to move while reducing the overall height, accommodating the accessibility concerns regarding the top bins.

Outcome
The design and manufacture of the carousel racking unit successfully met the project requirements. The use of recyclable mild steel contributed to the customers sustainability goals, while the incorporation of identification labels and cut-out handles improved stock control, productivity and ease of use for the production team. The octagonal base design and adjusted castor height resolved space and accessibility issues, providing a safe working environment and allowing for efficient movement and retrieval of stock from the carousel.

 

 

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