Despite what you may think, cold storage for food items has many factors to consider when designing your storage space. QTS’ storage solutions have many customisable attributes that create a great solution for the cold storage of perishable items. This blog will cover some key factors to consider when designing your warehouse space.
Why is cold storage of food so important?
The cold storage of food is one of the most highly regulated sectors of the warehousing industry. In the UK, such warehouses are subject to checks from the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The incorrect storage of organic matter accelerates the reproduction of any bacteria that may be present as they have a source of energy to reproduce. This bacterium (a common example is e coli) can cause severe illness so any spoiled product is essentially wasted money and no business wants that.
Mesh deck design:
When storing food, it is important your racking system is properly suited to its job. Commonly, mesh decks are supplied with support bars that are either flared or c-channel. These bars have an open groove which means that food or dust could gather in these gaps which poses a potential hygiene risk. The QTS solution, the easySHELF™, to this is to invert the support bar. This massively reduces areas for food and dust to become trapped making them extra easy to keep clean.
The second element that can be changed on the QTS decks is the finish. The standard stock deck finish is pre-galvanised which is perfectly suitable for the cold environment. However, QTS also offer a hot-dipped galvanised option which is much longer lasting in cold and damp environments. You will need to consider the cost trade-off in this situation. Pre-galvanised will be cheaper initially but the hot-dipped option may work out cheaper in the long run.
When you are storing food products, the racking system needs to be cleaned down much more regularly than if you were storing non-perishable goods. Wire mesh decking is far easier to clean than using their wooden alternative. It is very easy to hose down the wire and it dries much quicker. Too much moisture on timber decks may compromise its structural integrity.
Customising decks for even more effective storage.
Food items are often stored in boxes or smaller packages which all look very similar and could cause confusion for warehouse operatives. Firstly, it is imperative that everything is labelled correctly. This will make it easy to identify boxes and ensure food is not stored in the wrong place. For example, it is standard practise to store meat on the lower levels of the racking system so not to contaminate other foods. Another way QTS can help keep your warehouse organised is by adding dividers (easyDIVIDERS™) to your mesh decks. These will compartmentalise the bay creating a form of picking location that will stop accidental cross contamination of foods.
Standard mesh decks come in a 55mmx100mm mesh aperture, but this can be changed to 55mmx50mm. This will reduce the possibility of items that fall out of their storage containers ending up on the floor and becoming waste.
How to organise a warehouse should always be at the front of one’s mind when managing or setting up a warehouse. You could be a newly emerging e-commerce company or a well-established operation, organisation should always be at the front of your mind.
The biggest benefit of organisation is efficiency. An efficient warehouse will maximise its profits and grow much faster than an unorganised one. Along with that, you will be able to maximise the storage space available to you. Warehouse space is at a premium following the e-commerce boom that has followed the covid pandemic so making the most of the space available to you is pivotal. An increase in organisation will also help to keep your stock and your operatives safe, the latter being one of the most important things about running any business.
Where to start with how to organise your warehouse?
If you have a blank canvas this will be a little simpler than a pre-existing warehouse with a large stock holding and pre-existing infrastructure.
Firstly, to maximise the space available, you are going to want a racking system. This is usually characterised by a succession of uprights connected with beams that the pallets can be placed on top of. Whilst this is the cheapest option, it does leave room for error:
1. If the pallet isn’t placed on the beams properly, the pallet could fall and cause damages to products.
2. Usually, the depth of the racking is between 900mm and 1100mm. If the items, you are storing are not palletised then it has nothing to sit on.
3. If the pallet the goods are on is damaged it could break at any time and cause damage to the products on the lower levels or warehouse operators.
The solution is to use a form of decking across the beams to ensure that the above situations don’t happen. Fortunately, this is our speciality. We design and manufacture a wide range of mesh decks, known as the easySHELF™, to suit nearly all eventualities. There are 2 main types of deck available, wooden and wire mesh. Read our previous blog on why you should choose wire mesh decking over wooden decks.
The next best step would be to clearly label each level and run of the racking system. This means that when the operators walk down the aisle, they will be able to tell what is where. Although this seems obvious, a lot of old warehouses don’t keep up with relabelling racking as products and positions change which causes confusion and is inefficient. This could also be accompanied with a map of some description for operatives; this is especially important for large sites.
Another good way to improve organisation is to compartmentalise the bays using dividers. This creates dedicated picking bays and ensures the different products remain separate. This is also more suited to lose items which makes it easy for operatives to pick multiple items for an order. An example of this might be clothing for an online retailer. We design and manufacture our own dividers, known as easyDIVIDER™, out of our Nottinghamshire based manufacturing facility,
At QTS, we offer a variety of storage solutions that suit nearly every situation. Our stock products that are the most common solutions can be purchased from our online shop. If what you require is more bespoke in nature, contact one of our sales team today.
Finally our silent auction for Rainbows children’s hospice is now live! We have an amazing opportunity for you to win a round for 4 at the exclusive JCB Golf & Country Club.
About Rainbows Children’s hospice:
“Sadly, some children simply don’t live long enough. Since 1994 we’ve opened our doors and hearts to those children and the people who love them most. And now more than ever, we need your help to keep on bringing care and happiness to our children and families.
As the East Midlands’ only hospice for children and young people, we provide vital care and support to families impacted by life-limiting conditions
Your support means we can provide end of life care, symptom management, short breaks and respite care. We can also be there to support parents and siblings through their bereavements.
Our team are there for families when they need us the most, but we couldn’t do our work without the help of people like you. We know that together we can bring more love, smiles and laughter to our children, young people and families.”
To win the silent auction for Rainbows, email your highest bid along with your full name and contact details to: email@example.com
Competition opens at 9am on the 1st September and will close at midnight on the 15th September 2021.
The reserve price is set at £300 (£75 per person). Bids below this will not be counted. Your donation must be made by the winner to our JustGiving page (link below) within 72 hours of notification. Failure to do so will result in the prize going to the second highest bidder.
We have continued to build upon our successes from Q1 of 2021 throughout Q2 with lots more new and exciting developments that will take QTS’ products and services to the next level.
Exclusive: Craig De-Lara discusses the exciting vision for QTS’ future
As we reflect on one of the most challenging periods in QTS history, I’ve been extremely proud of the many examples of grit, resilience and determination shown by the shinning stars within our team.
Despite these challenges, QTS and our teams have remained committed to providing our customers with the best service, driving improvements at every opportunity and as such, have navigated our way through some truly unprecedented conditions.
Pre-galvanised vs Hot-dipped galvanised vs powder coating is what you should be thinking of when you purchase steel products. Much like you would not choose to wear an anorak in the Arctic, you would not leave your steel mesh decks un-coated. An un-finished mesh deck would not be up to the job. At QTS, we take pride in providing you with the best possible warehouse solution, which is why we have a range of finishes available depending on your needs. There are three main coatings that we offer here at QTS and the use of them is dependent on their application.
Pre-galvanised steel is produced by running carbon steel wire through a bath of Zinc. When it comes out the other end, the excess zinc is removed to produce a smooth finish. Coating thickness may vary with grade and strand diameter. This provides a barrier against the elements that cause the corrosion when mixed with the iron in the steel. This is a good choice for the most typical warehouse applications. Pre-galvanised is our standard finish on our decks and these can be purchased straight from our online shop.
Benefits of pre-galvanised steel:
Improved corrosion resistance
Better appearance for a longer time (reduced rusting)
Increased pressure ratings
Hot-dipped galvanised products involve a deep chemical cleaning prior to the coating process. This allows for stronger bonds to form between the steel and the zinc coating. This process is always done at the end of the production process so there will never be any exposed areas of steel which increases its life span. Hot-dipped is highly recommended for use in cold and damp environments as it will not loose its structural integrity in these conditions. Pre-galvanised is not as robust in these conditions.
Increased durability over standard pre-galv
Powder coating is a dry finishing process that is used to finish all our storGUARD and rackGUARDIAN products and can also be added to our mesh decks. This method is often the preferred choice when the aesthetics of the warehouse is a concern. We typically powder coat all of our products in a RAL 7042 (traffic grey). However, we can offer any RAL colour at an additional price; this can be a handy way to get your branding across in your warehouse.
QTS can supply all of these coatings on your products. We purchase in pre-galvanised steel as standard and have an in house powder coating machine. Hot-dipped galvanisation is a process that we outsource so may increase cost and lead time. Get a quote from one of our sales team now
Wire mesh security cages and security partitions have a multitude of uses in warehouses, factories, and other commercial units; more often than not, their main purpose is for safety and security. This blog will look at the different types of cages and partitions available and suggest some of their uses.
What are wire mesh security cages and partitions?
The QTS wire mesh cages and partitions are steel mesh panels created from 2.8mm wire mesh configured in either 50x50mm or 25x25mm mesh apertures. These are attached to a 20×20 box section frame which provides rigidity to the structure. The panels are then secured to 60x60mm posts that are bolted to the floor.
The three main uses for security cages and partitions are:
Security cages for high value items
Partitions around areas of machinery
Security cages for high value items
The most common use for our storGUARD™ cages is to secure high value items or high value assets like forklifts. The completely modular system allows the cages to be any size that is required, with multiple different door and lock options for varying levels of security. Our lock partners, Gatemaster, offer multiple options from a standard key lock mechanism all the way through to digital locks on one side to quick release on the other – they have got it covered.
Aerosol cages are characterised by their 25x25mm mesh aperture panels designed to store pressurised cannisters, for example the storage of deodorant cans. The smaller aperture mesh is used to help stop pieces of the container flying out and causing harm to the people around it in the event of an explosion. These are a must have for most insurance companies if you are holding anything that is potentially explosive.
Partitions around areas of machinery
Machinery in factory spaces obviously create a potential hazard for anyone that has access to the factory space. An easy way to avoid accidents and create a safe environment is to create mesh partitions around specific machinery or areas of machinery that pose a risk. These areas, like the secure cages, can also have added security by adding a locking option that will only allow authorised personnel into the potentially hazardous area.
QTS cages – a modular and kit-based system.
At QTS, we have designed our storGUARD™ mesh partitions and cages to be a completely modular system. We have 3 set panel widths (700mm, 1200mm & 1500mm) that come in 2 heights (1100mm & 2200mm). Our standard posts, designed to suit the 2200 high panels, come as a package with the fixtures and fittings required to attach the panels. These are then used to create a system that is built in a panel – post – panel configuration. You can then add a choice of doors, locking options, post splice kit to increase the height and even add a roof.
We have also taken away the hassle of having to work out what you need. We have created 4 kits of some standard sizes that can be brought straight from our online shop and easily assembled. You can see them here.
If you have any questions or would like us to design a system for you then talk to one of our sales team today.