mobile shelving

The Importance of Having the Right Mobile Shelving for Your Museum

When it comes to a museum’s storage area, there are many important factors to consider for ensuring the right type of storage systems are implemented. Without having the right type of mobile shelving, it will result in the inefficient use of the available storage space with a storage system that doesn’t meet your exact needs.

With various factors to consider, such as ensuring all stored collections and priceless artefacts are fully protected against the ‘10 agents of deterioration’, it is important to understand what your exact storage requirements are before beginning your search.

But first, what is mobile shelving?

Also known as ‘mobile aisle shelving’and ‘high-density shelving’, mobile shelving is a shelving unit that is fitted onto a wheel traction system. Its shelving bays can be closely consolidated to maximise storage capacity and each bay can be designated for the storage of a particular item. Each mobile bay is able to glide smoothly along the traction system when accessing stored items, meaning that heavy items can be manoeuvred with the slightest effort.

The tracks are able to be installed on a wide variety of different floor types and levels. They typically are installed with a false floor, come with small ramps on each side or are built into the floor. All options ensure a trip hazard-free track and floor system.

Most mobile storage systems are manually operated with a rotary handle that is located on the exterior of each shelving bay. Rotating the handle allows each bay to move in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions.

Higher-end mobile aisle shelving is electrically powered with a small DC or AC motor which is hidden in the base, allowing for each mobile unit to be moved with the press of a single button.

Ensuring it meets the required safety standards

Just like any business or industry, safety is a crucial factor to consider when it comes to museum storage systems. Not just for their staff but also for ensuring their priceless inventory is storage safe and securely.

You must ensure that you are purchasing mobile shelving that has designed and manufactured to the highest standards. Always look for a storage systems supplier that can list all their certifications on their main website such as an ISO 9001 from SAI Global.

How will it integrate with the storage area?

Another important factor to consider is how the shelving system will integrate with the storage areas and the work environment. Can it integrate with your existing equipment such as trolleysand pallet jacks? Will there be enough open floor space for staff to easily navigate through once it has been installed?

Factors such as the lighting of the storage areas play an important role as well. Will highly valuable items being stored, such as artefacts, paintings, maps and antique clothing, they must be protected from harsh UV light when in storage. While at the same time, the storage area must be highly visible for staff members to easily identify certain stored items, so it needs to be positioned in the ideal location.

Understanding your exact storage needs

Even though it may be obvious, you must ensure that the mobile shelving system you purchase will efficiently meet your specific storage requirements. Do you mainly store bulky and heavy items or items that vary in size? Are you searching for a storage system to facilitate the storage of incredibly delicate items?

High-density shelving with adjustable shelves will ensure that any bulky items that vary in size can be efficiently stored. Does your storage area constantly have staff stacking and retrieving items throughout the day? If so, then opting for a storage system with infill false floors and access ramps will ensure a safer work environment with no trip hazards.

If safety is a major concern, then opting for an electronically operated mobile storage system is perfect as it allows individual mobile bays to be locked according to a specific department or staff member.

However, turning to a storage system manufacturer that can offer custom-made mobile storage systems is ideal. They will be able to work closely with you in order to understand your specific storage area requirements, creating a tailored storage solution for your specific needs.

Consider how it will utilise the available storage space

When looking for the right high-density storage system, you need to consider more than just the measurements of the space it will be fitting into. As museums rotate their stored inventory according to the different exhibitions they are running, much of their valuable inventory can remain stored away for lengthy periods of time.

The size, height and shape of the storage system needs to also accommodate the surroundings of the storage area. For example, is the positioning of the mobile shelving going to cut off or interfere with any nearby windows or doors? Will it enhance the storage area with an aesthetically pleasing design?

Because of how delicate the stored items can be in a museum, physical force such as vibrations can cause damage when staff are retrieving and storing items. To combat against this, mobile storage systems have low profile tracks for each mobile bay to run along. This ensures smooth and stable operation when being moved, eliminating the risk of items being damaged due to staff members being too rough.

Make sure you are purchasing the right mobile shelving for your needs by searching for a leading mobile storage systems supplier in Australia today.


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