Simple, passive storage solutions key to longevity

Simple and passive storage solutions are the way to go to benefit businesses in the long run, BAC Systems director Robert Griffin tells Manufacturers’ Monthly.

For more than 40 years, BAC Systems has helped businesses and homes around Australia save space with high-density drawers.

Its drawers can be found in places like factories, universities, and car repair garages all over the country.

BAC Systems director, Robert Griffin, has become an expert at the concept of configuring in three dimensions to help customers save space while allowing them to specify storage for their inventory.

“The basic concept hasn’t changed because it’s a very sound concept,” he said. “Because it’s passive, it makes it so much more successful. There’s very little that can go wrong with it. It’s a very reliable system.”

Griffin said the key to a successful part store was to have as few moving parts as possible, while balancing it off with compressing the maximum amount of stock.

“Specifically, with drawers, you can pick the drawer height, and within that drawer, you can adjust your partitions and dividers left to right, back to front, so your storage location can be set up to exactly fit your inventory,” he said.

The “very conservative” load ratings on the drawers means they do not wear down from general use for decades, according to Griffin.

“You can run on the same set of bearings for decades,” he said. “Your business has to keep running, and so simple and passive solutions is the way to go to form a reliable store.”

Manufacturing and engineering are the largest industry, followed by Defence, mining and the automotive industry, make up the company’s largest top industry clients.

BAC Systems has refined the design of the drawers to suit harsh, dusty environments such as mine sites.

“In these scenarios, you find that once you’re inside the part store, the dust will blow in and will settle, it likes to settle downwards vertically,” Griffin explained. “It doesn’t go up so much, it doesn’t sideways, it settles downwards. The majority of the dust, once it’s landed on a part, comes from above.”

The latest design features a dust shield embedded in cabinets that covers all drawers so that dust exposure is halved.

Griffin believes any industrial or commercial company that needs to store small parts or tools of any kind will benefit from the drawers.

One of BAC System’s largest sectors is the automotive industry, which the company has serviced across Australia and New Zealand.

Griffin has personally viewed results from the company’s own cabinets that have been out in the field for years, which have remained relatively dust free compared to drawers surveyed in other sites.

“We’ve gone into part stores to survey their equipment and you’ve got the whole place decked out with shelves,” he said. “Now, the parts are caked in dust. You’re trying to measure up parts to work out the configurations for your drawers, and your hands are black after five minutes. It’s a really effective system, sounds simple, but really very effective in stopping the dust from settling on the parts.”

Over time, the company has found that high-density storage remains a constant factor that keeps the them in good business.

“High density storage has good side effects like cleanliness, but the main benefit is to compress that inventory right down to the smallest possible footprint,” Griffin explained.

“A drawer cabinet only requires a third of the footprint as the equivalent of parts being stored on a shelving system. The drawers offer the benefits of keeping your parts clean, keep dust off them, keeping UV light off things.”

He is keen on “getting it right” when it comes to helping customers save space and realise the benefits of an extra dimension to reduce costs.

“Practical people understand it straight away,” he said. “Sometimes some people struggle to understand what the point is. They’re happy to throw in generic shelving and think she’ll be right, but it’s kind of a careless way to approach storage.”