Heavy metal parts and scrap materials in factories and machine shops can be a challenge to efficiently store and transport. Metal industrial bins, or containers, provide the solution in those and other industrial and commercial settings.
“Any company that works with metal parts, especially large parts or assemblies, knows the challenge of bulk storage and movement of those items,” says Craig Heil, Container Sales Manager at Steel King. “Industrial containers provide the high-capacity storage needed for such items. They allow for efficient movement of bulk items, and because they can be stackable, they can play a role in optimal use of floor space.”
Abusive Environments Call for Heavy Duty Design
Industrial containers are commonly used by metal stamping and fabricating shops, die-casting and forging plants, auto parts suppliers, construction companies and other sectors. The environment on those settings is often harsh, testing the structural integrity of storage containers.
“Storage containers can take a beating,” Heil says. “It’s not uncommon for heavy parts to be dropped into the bins from several feet above. The container must be designed and built to withstand such use.”
Abuse also can come from forklifts when the containers are designed with fork stirrups or tubes for transportation or roll-over runners that let the forklift operator dump the container contents.
Factory settings are not the only place you’ll find large industrial storage bins. Metal containers can be used for landscaping materials, construction equipment and materials, and in other industries that need storage and transportation solutions for heavy items. One of the unique uses of containers is as large flower planters outside of a building.
Capacity, Intended Use Drive Custom Design
When determining the best solution for bulk storage containers, the two main factors are weight capacity and intended use.
“The intended use is a very important factor,” Heil says. “You can have a container with a 4,000-pound capacity, but it’s design will be different if 40-pound parts are being dropped into it versus a load of sand being poured into it. In the first scenario, the bottom of the container needs extra strength.”
Beyond those two considerations, a variety of use factors can be accommodated by various container types and design options.
Steel King’s Round Corner, Corrugated Steel Containers are general-duty bins that can hold up to 4,000 pounds. Universal feet allow for stacking up to four, fully loaded containers. These are prebuilt at two sizes and are available for quick shipping.
Material Options for Container Sides, Base
For custom solutions, Steel King’s Heavy-Duty Bulk Storage Containers are constructed with super-strong tubular-frames and can accommodate up to 6,000 pounds. They can be stacked six high. Side materials can include flat or corrugated steel, wire mesh, expanded metal, or a combination of those materials. Vent holes can be added in metals side to help dissipate heat that might be in newly forged parts. Base materials can include flat or corrugated steel, wire mesh, expanded metal or bar grating. If the container needs to hold liquids, inside welding can create the seal, and a valve can be installed for drainage. Available options include drop gates, skid bars, fork tubes and stirrups crane eyes/hooks, roll-over runners, heavy duty casters, and galvanizing.
The custom-built containers are the most popular and offer the greatest value, Heil notes.
“We want to give customers something that will be the best match for their intended use, and that will give them many, many years of service,” he says. “Our goal is to provide a true solution to challenges involving bulk storage and transport of large items.”
Special Features Allow Easy Access
Steel King also offers industrial containers with special features such as container doors that provide an ergonomically friendly way to access container materials, and front and back gates that can be stowed underneath the container. Foldable containers that save space when not in use. The Scrap Hopper from Steel King includes swivel casters and a push handle for easy manual maneuverability, and fork tubes to make dumping quick and easy.