Confronting Space Constraint Challenges in Manufacturing Facilities
The Need for Increased Inventory Storage
Manufacturers today face immense pressure to increase on-site inventory storage. Supply chain disruptions have forced companies to keep more raw materials, components, and critical items on hand to sustain production schedules. Additionally, trends like mass customization require stocking a greater variety of SKUs. As a result, manufacturers need innovative solutions to optimize every square inch of space without costly facility expansions.
Maximize Vertical Space & Narrower Aisles to Increase Capacity
One of the most effective ways to gain capacity without a larger footprint is to utilize vertical space. Storing inventory higher by adding racks and mezzanines better utilizes airspace.
Narrower aisles also allow fitting more storage locations per square foot. The right material handling equipment makes such dense configurations possible.
Lift Trucks Engineered for Space-Efficient Operations
To effectively operate in space-constrained areas, lift trucks require compact dimensions and excellent maneuverability. Certain lift truck categories go beyond standard capabilities:
Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) Man-Up Turret Trucks
With aisle requirements under 6 feet, VNA turret trucks efficiently maneuver at lift heights over 50 feet. Their slim sideways chassis minimizes their footprint. Automatic 180-degree rotation, wire guidance systems, and built-in sensors enable fast, confident storage and retrieval without rack contact, maximizing space usage.
- Capacity: 3,000 – 3,500 Lbs.
- Hyster models: V30-35ZMU
- Yale models: NTA030/035SB
Narrow Aisle Reach Trucks
While wider than VNA models, narrow aisle reach-trucks require aisles of only 7-8 feet. Models with double-deep reach can extend forks deeper into storage locations, increasing density. Rapid lift/lower & traverse speeds, programmable acceleration profiles, and laser-assisted fork positioning enable fast, confident storage and retrieval in tight spaces at height.
- Capacity: 3,000 – 4,500 Lbs.
- Hyster models: N-ZR3-ZDR3, N-ZRS3-ZDRS3
- Yale models: NR/NDR-DC/EC
Order pickers lift operators to “pick” items from racks up to 30 feet high. Compact chassis widths, tight turning radii, and obstacle detection systems allow maneuvering in narrow pick slot alleys. Forks automatically center picked loads for damage-free handling.
- Capacity: 3,000 lbs.
- Hyster models: R30XM3, R30XMA3, R30XMF3, R30XMS3
- Yale models: FS030BF, OS030BF, OS030EF, SS030BF
Stand-Up and Seated Tow Tractors
For seamless travel and maneuverability, check out these Tow Tractor Series:
Seated Electric Tow Tractor
- Capacity: 6,000 Lbs. – Hyster model: TA60UT – Yale model: MTA60UX
- Capacity: 12,000 Lbs. – Hyster models: TA120UT – Yale models: MTA120UX
Stand-Up Tow Tractor
- Capacity: 10,000-15,000Lbs. – Hyster models: T5-T7Z (T5ZAC-7ZAC) – Yale models: MTR005 – MTR007F
Dual-Mode Robotic Stand-Up Tow Tractor
- Capacity: 10,000 – 15,000 Lbs.- Hyster models: LO100T-LO150T – Yale models: MO100-150T
Walkie High Lift Reach Stacker
Maneuverable walkie high lift stackers utilize industrial-grade components to maximize durability and up-time when transporting 2,500-4,000 lbs. loads within space-constrained environments up to 14 feet high. Three selectable performance modes (including optional creep speed) provide exceptional control when navigating precise areas.
- Capacity: 2,500-4,000Lbs.
- Hyster models: W25-30ZA2-W40ZA
- Yale models: MSW025F-30F-MSW040E
Lift Truck Attachments
To maximize storage density, Bolzoni Auramo provides specialized attachments to optimize material flows. Attachments that improve space-constrained operations include:
- Paper Roll Clamps – Optimized handling of paper rolls in manufacturing and processing environments
- Carton Clamps – Palletless transport and storage of large boxed units without product damage
- Load Extenders – Allows inserted pallets to be stored more deeply to maximize rack density
- Reach Forks – Extend reach into narrow aisle racks for confident material placement and retrieval
Additional attachments serve other industrial applications:
- Load Stabilizers
- Tire Clamps
Partner with Experts in Space-Optimized Material Handling
Manufacturers looking to address space limitations need not tackle the challenge alone. As a full-service dealer representing major lift truck brands like Yale and Hyster, Black Equipment has the expertise to guide companies through optimizing material handling fleets and operations for maximum density.
Let our specialists conduct in-depth facility analyses to identify opportunities for storage density improvements and material flow bottlenecks. We can determine ideal equipment options, fleet sizing, and layout recommendations tailored to your spatial and workflow constraints. We’ll look at your:
- Current facility and storage layouts including dimension specifications
- Current inventory slotting strategies
- Existing racking and mezzanine configurations, along with aisle widths
- Workflow patterns
- Peak inventory requirements
Recommend Layout Changes and Equipment Changes to Facilitate Higher Density
With the facility analysis, our experts recommend better layouts, equipment options, and fleet mixes to support maximum density configurations. These may include such things as:
- Higher racks in all zones
- Narrower aisles along with wire guidance systems
- Very narrow aisle trucks for tight locations
- Maneuverable specialty attachment capabilities
Black Equipment can review your fleet telemetry data to advise you on ways to account for changes in your equipment utilization and workflow over time. This helps you maintain maximum efficiency when your operations change.
For large-scale initiatives, such as conversions to very narrow aisle racking or lithium-ion truck deployment, Black Equipment oversees the entire project. We handle all equipment coordination, installation labor, testing, training, and documentation for turnkey execution. We can also modify your existing equipment to use advanced battery technology.
Don’t let space limitations curtail production schedules and growth. Let Black Equipment’s help you maximize your footprint.