Whether you're keeping an entire department's tools in organized shelving or putting computer networking devices into server racks, changing standards can change the way you arrange your equipment. The Information Technology (IT) industry is a good example of these changing standards as new devices offer innovative solutions with a new look at design--a new look that may not fit your existing storage racks. Take a look at how changing standards can become a problem and what a fabrication company can do to help you.
Proprietary Placement Problems
The standard server rack was designed to hold the few popular networking devices of the past. Routers, blade servers, security devices and other rectangular devices would slide into a rack to be bolted in place. Other devices could be placed on top of a sheet metal shelf that slid into the slot in the same fashion, which worked for many smaller devices.
As time passed, newer devices entered the market that didn't quite fit the IT equipment mold. Some devices were designed for home use with no decent server room alternative, meaning that pretty, sleek plastic cases were available with few decent mounting areas. Other devices were from companies trying to push their own proprietary standard, which meant selling their own server racks and storage solutions.
What happens with these proprietary storage solutions? Unless you went all-exclusive with that company, you'd have a single rack with only a few devices an a refrigerator's size of space taken up with just steel beams and air. The rack can't be utilized fully without complete vendor commitment, and if you're interested in other vendors, you'll have to add more sparsely-populated racks.
You could try to improvise by placing everything on a shelf, but what happens if a technician walks past the rack and knocks it over with a hand or foot caught against the cable? If the device were bolted in, cable damage is the biggest problem. A device simply resting on a shelf or poorly secured with too few bolts may come crashing to the ground.
Fabrication Professionals Can Create Versatile Storage
You could get a custom storage solution that fits all or at least most storage needs. A fabrication company can take the dimensions of your existing devices and create a new storage rack or cabinet that facilitates as many devices as possible.
One method would be to create a closing shelf design that clamps against the sides of the devices. The largest device in your inventory takes precedence, and the walls can be tightened inward to close in on smaller devices for bolting.
For residential devices that lack bolting capabilities, a cage design can keep everything in place while allowing easy latch access. Contact a fabrication company like Suburban Welding & Steel LLC to discuss other ways to keep your equipment storage solutions versatile.