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High Density Mobile Shelving

Store MORE material in 50% LESS space! One of the most space efficient types of filing systems is called high density mobile shelving (sometimes known as compact shelving, rolling files or space saving shelving).

High density mobile shelving goes beyond traditional office shelving by placing the shelving on carriages that roll on a track installed on top of the floor. Having shelving on carriages eliminates the need for a fixed aisle in between each section of shelving. Now it is possible to have one aisle and to move that aisle wherever it is needed at any time by the user. This is ideal for companies leasing or renting as high density mobile storage systems can be removed with no damage to existing carpet or floors and can be relocated to your next location. 

High density mobile shelving systems store the same capacity as static shelving in half the floor space or store twice the amount of storage as fixed shelving in the same floor space. This is called high cube storage, reducing your cost per square foot and potentially eliminating the need for expansion.

There are four types of high density mobile shelving systems:

  1. Manual
  2. Mechanical assist
  3. Electric
  4. Side-to-side

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Manual Mobile System housing garments

Manual high density mobile shelving systems have a fixed handle mounted end panel on one or both ends and the user either pulls or pushes the carriages by that handle to open up an aisle in the desired location. Manual systems are limited to carriage lengths of 8' or less and carriage groups of 5 or less. Manual systems are best used in applications where access is infrequent and the media is relatively light.

Mobile housing oversized books in a university library

Mechanical Assist Mobile in a library

Mechanical assist high density mobile shelving systems have a rotating handle which is connected to a drive shaft that moves the carriages through gear reduction technology. A user needs only to exert 1 lb of effort to move anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 lbs of weight. The main benefit to a mechanical assist system over a manual system is in ease of use or movement of the carriages. Mechanical assist systems can move 3-4 carriages at a time (depending on the weight) while manual systems only allow a user to move 1-2 carriages. Mechanical assist technology also allow for larger systems, with carriage lengths over 50' and carriage groups of as many as needed. Safety features like aisle safety locks are incorporated with these systems to keep an aisle open while the user is inside, making this equipment very safe.

Electric Mobile housing variour size files

Electrical high density mobile shelving systems eliminate the rotating handle and replace it with an electric motor and push button operation. With an electrical system, the user can move all the carriages with just one touch of a button, making access to any aisle quick and effortless. Carriage lengths can be over 50' as with mechanical assist systems.

Electric Mobile Shelving in a law firm

With electric systems, additional safety features are also required to protect users and contents while the system is in use. Anyone considering an electrical system should look very closely at safety and only consider systems which have full aisle coverage at ground level. This proven and time tested technology incorporates infrared eyes along the whole length of the aisle and will not allow the system to move if any of those eyes becomes blocked by a person, step stool, book, box, etc. In addition to full aisle coverage at ground level, a secondary protection system should be incorporated in the form of a carriage safety sweep. This is an infrared eye on the side of the carriage which detects if a step stool, box or person is in the aisle. This should only be considered as a back-up to the main system as the carriage is typically moving when this type of system is activated.

Side by Side mobile system

Side-by-Side Mobile Systems are also known as Bi-Files, Tri-Files and Lateral Mobile Systems. This is another manual system that is great when only long narrow areas are available. These systems can accommodate media such as letter and legal files, binders, lateral file cabinets. Storage space is optimized by moving the front carriages either right or left to access the back carriages. Overhead anti-tip mechanisms are employed to prevent carriages from tipping forward and a solid deck keeps the system level eliminating any tripping hazards for the user. The Side-by-Side is very popular in medical offices, law firms and other business where there is a large amount of storage required with very little space available.

Mechanical Assist mobile system

The media that can be held in a high density mobile shelving system can be anything from files to books, archive boxes, office supplies, medical supplies, museum artifacts, athletic equipment, police evidence storage, pharmaceuticals, retail store stock, motorcycles and a whole host of other items.

Manual Mobile Shelving storing artwork
Art Storage

Evidence Storage in a secure Mechanical Assist Mobile System
Secured Police Evidence Storage

Mobile System for high school athletics
Athletic Equipment Storage

Mobile System for golf bag storage
Golf Bag Storage

Cabinets stored on a mobile system
Put your cabinets on high density carriages


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