The "Modular Drawer" Can Have a Huge Impact on Your Storage Management
by Frank Herrera, on February 26, 2021
Over the last 15 years I have been involved in the sales and installation of commercial storage systems. Quite often, parts departments and other facility department managers are pleasantly surprised to learn how a modular drawer system can save a LOT of storage space, help to easily locate small to medium parts and items, and improve inventory management!
I have found that in the majority of businesses where stationary shelving is used, they can benefit greatly from a modular drawer system if not already in use.
In this article I will provide a comprehensive overview of the modular drawer, its components, and uses in order for you to have a greater understanding of the multiple benefits a modular drawer system can bring to your storage management.
DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT YOU SHOULD UTILIZE MODULAR DRAWERS
- Do you have a substantial amount of small to medium size inventory, e.g., small to medium parts, pharmaceuticals, medical or office supplies?
- Are you or your staff constantly pulling down bins from shelves, opening boxes, or searching for missing or hidden boxes to find the inventory item needed?
- Are your inventory items not very visible or easily locatable, i.e., hidden in boxes or having to reach behind other product on the shelves to locate?
- When you look at the supplies stored on your existing shelving and cabinets is there a lot of “dead space” (air) between the top of your product and the bottom of the next shelf?
- Do you frequently stock and retrieve your small to medium inventory, i.e., it is constantly turning over?
- Are small inventory items retrieved then put back into the wrong box or location often due to lack of clear labeling or dedicated storage space?
- Do you have more storage than you have room to place it, i.e., are you busting at the seams?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, read on to see how you can benefit from incorporating modular drawers into your storage systems.
KEY FEATURES, BENEFITS AND VERSATILITY IN STORAGE SYSTEMS
What is a Modular Drawer?
A modular drawer is simply a functional pull-out drawer that is installed in shelving, cabinets or carts and provides useful storage space. Its compelling features and accessories are described below.
Modular drawers are considered a “high-density” storage system for small to medium sized items because they utilize every inch of space, eliminating unused and wasted space.
Because of this compacting feature, you can save 50-70% of your floor space by eliminating the dead space (air between shelves) inherent with conventional shelf use.
For example, you can consolidate the storage of twenty four (24) 36” wide shelving units into six (6) 48” shelving units with drawers, increasing your storage capacity by 65-70%, or alternatively, you create additional space for other productive uses!! Note in graphic above how open shelving remains above the drawers for larger items. If you have a variety of different size items, this allows you to keep categories of like-kind items in the same location.
When determining your savings in floor space when switching to a modular drawer system you can generally plan on a 3:1 or 5:1 conversion rate from standard open shelving to shelving with drawers.
Full Extension Drawers and Warranty
Suspension glides allow for full extension of the drawers providing total visibility of the contents for easy identification and picking of products.
And, to keep your investment secure, the drawer rolling mechanism has a lifetime warranty! (Note: warranties may vary between manufacturers).
You can choose between light or heavy duty drawer weight capacities: Up to 100 pounds (light) or up to 400 pounds (heavy) per drawer.
Security – Locking Mechanisms
There are a variety of locking mechanisms and security options to choose from:
- Individual drawer locks (keyed, digital, or keyless locks)
- Gang locks: one mechanism locks an entire bank of drawers (keyed, digital, or keyless locks)
- Lock-in mechanism: stops drawer from opening on its own (lift handle to open drawer)
- Lock-out mechanism: locks drawers in an open position
Drawer Dimensions and Configurations
With a variety of heights, widths, and depths (check with your specific manufacturer), you can easily customize your drawer storage to provide the best fit for multiple space configurations using shelving, cabinets and/or carts.
A sample of typical dimensions for modular drawers are as follows:
3”, 4”, 5”, 6”, 7”, 8”, 9”, 10”, 12”, 14”
Wide variety to fit in shelving, cabinets, and carts
Wide variety to fit in shelving, cabinets, and carts
Modular drawers will also install (retrofit) into some existing shelving systems. Check with your storage specialist to see if this option will work for you.
Internal Components / Accessories
Drawer components/accessories will accommodate the storage of a variety of small parts, supplies, and tools. They will also organize and allow for the dense storage of each:
- Front-to-back partitions and dividers
- Plastic Bins in various sizes
- Non-slip PVC Drawer Liners
- Foam cutouts for tools and collets, or protection
- Labels and label holders for dividers and bins, full width drawer handle labels
- Groove trays for drill bits, borers, sockets, files, etc.
Modular drawers are not a stand-alone product but are a desirable built-in feature of shelving, cabinets, and carts. Modular drawers can be constructed using metal, wood, or laminate to accommodate similarly constructed shelving, cabinets and carts.
Most facilities that need storage space can benefit from incorporating a modular drawer system into their storage planning, including these industries:
|WAREHOUSE AND DISTRIBUTION
SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
MILITARY & POLICE
There are multiple benefits to be had by incorporating modular drawers into your storage systems:
- Save floor space: up to 50-70%
- Having a clear visual on storage items and labeled product increases picking and restocking accuracy by up to 25%
- Saves time: increased access and visibility means less time looking for parts or counting inventory
- Safety: parts and items are in ergonomic zone, not overhead
- Overall better inventory management and control
The only question remains, “Is incorporating a modular drawer system into your storage the right move for you?” If you can see how it will save you time and floor space, along with increasing your productivity with more efficient inventory management, don’t hesitate to contact a storage specialist. With over 100 years of combined experience in all thing’s storage, we can help answer any of your questions or help you get started!
P.S. Is there any other storage topic you want to hear about? We welcome your suggestions or comments below.