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New Sprinkler Shelves let the water through without a catch

BITO’s new Sprinkler Shelves provide a solution to the growing issue of fitting sprinklers in warehouses, with more insurance companies insisting upon open shelves to allow the water from sprinklers to flow through.

To achieve a 50 per cent open area for the shelf, which is required to allow water to flow through effectively, usually means using expensive wire mesh shelves or standard galvanised shelves with round punched holes of approximately 25 mm diameters. This, however, risks creating a ‘cheese-grater’ effect, where pickers can catch their fingers on the sharp edges of these relatively large holes.

BITO has developed a new method of punching shelves that creates both a smooth surface on the shelf and a pattern of small holes of just 11 mm square – too small to catch a finger. BITO’s manufacturing plant in Germany has tooled up with a brand new machine to create these punched shelves. A finished, standard BITO shelf is simply placed onto the machine, which then punches it. This new tooling and process reduces the cost of producing punched shelves by half to provide a far more competitive product, particularly when compared with wire mesh shelving, that also improves safety.

"Tooling up to produce these punched shelves required significant investment from BITO," said Edward Hutchison. "We can now offer our customers, who may not yet have fitted sprinklers, the chance to invest in the right product for the future, should their insurance company insist on sprinklers and shelving that allows them to be fully effective. This type of punch shelving can also be used in refrigerated storage and food storage where that requires a good air flow."

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