Posted on

WHAT OSHA, NFPA, AND FM APPROVED MEAN TO THE SAFETY OF YOUR FACILITY

Flammable Safety Cabinet

Ask any facility or warehouse manager about their daily priorities and they will give you a long list of important responsibilities – material handling, equipment, inventory, shipping, distribution, maintenance, operations, personnel, and on and on. They will also likely tell you that none are more important than safety. Being responsible for the health and safety of dozens or hundreds of employees is a tall order, but fortunately there are resources available to help.


“When other people can bring it to your knowledge, it’s not just a benefit to you, it’s also possibly saving someone’s life.”

Aaron Blankenship, Facility Manager at Strong Hold

Agencies, governing bodies, and services like OSHA, NFPA, and FM Approvals can help guide your path to safety. While it might seem daunting, complying and working with these organizations is well worth the time. Aaron Blankenship, Plant Manager at Strong Hold, has been working with these agencies for a long time. “It can be scary to know that you’re responsible for someone’s safety, but not actually knowing all of the fine print and literature that is out there,” Aaron explained. “When other people can bring it to your knowledge, it’s not just a benefit to you, it’s also possibly saving someone’s life.”

OSHA logo

What is OSHA?

OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a government agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. According to the website, OSHA’s mission is to “ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.” In 2018, OSHA conducted over 70,000 federal and State Plan inspections. Their work with employers, safety professionals, and advocates have helped reduce work-related deaths by 63% since 1970.

Here are a few resources provided by OSHA:

What is NFPA and NFPA Code 30?

In the United States, a fire department responds to a fire every 24 seconds. The NFPA, or the National Fire Protection Association, is a codes and standards organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss from fires and other hazards. They cover a wide range of topics that keep facilities and personnel well-prepared in the case of an emergency. Some of the major areas of focus include detection and signaling, hazardous materials, electrical safety, fire suppression, storage commodities, and protective clothing and equipment.

NFPA Code 30 was developed by the NFPA and is currently enforced by OSHA to address safety measures related to flammable and combustible liquids. According to the NFPA and OSHA, a liquid is considered flammable if its flash point does not exceed 100°F, while a combustible liquid is one whose flash point is 100°F or higher. If a facility is storing things like diesel fuel, motor oil, kerosene, cleaning solvents, paints, aerosol spray cans, mineral oils, or other chemicals, NFPA Code 30 provides the guidelines for proper storage, handling, and use.

Here are a few resources provided by NFPA:

What is FM Approvals?

FM Approvals is a third-party testing and certification service that was founded by FM Global, a mutual insurance company that specializes in loss prevention, in 1886. FM Approvals conducts tests in their state-of-the-art laboratories on products and services used in commercial and industrial spaces. Products that bare the FM APPROVED certification mark have undergone and passed rigorous testing, ensuring that they can withstand the elements and effectively limit the spread of fire.

Here are a few resources provided by FM Approvals:

Three Birds, One Storage Cabinet

One way to ensure your facility is providing a safe work environment that reduces risk is to look for products that are certified by FM Approvals and meet OSHA and NFPA Code 30 standards. If you’re required to store flammable and combustible liquids, Strong Hold provides safety storage solutions that are intentionally designed to exceed those standards and last a lifetime. Our heavy-duty Flammable Safety Cabinet is all-welded and constructed from 14-gauge steel. It features heavy-duty doors with leaf hinges, 14-gauge galvanized shelves, forklift pockets, and an industry-leading warranty.

For more information about our safety products and other storage solutions, visit our products page or contact us today!

Posted on

A FLAMMABLE SAFETY CABINET YOU CAN DEPEND ON

a flammable safety cabinet you can depend on article

When it comes to choosing the right flammable safety cabinet, it’s critical to think about why flammable storage is important to you. Safety should always be the priority, but that shouldn’t mean that you have to compromise on convenience. As you shop around, it could be tempting to think, “aren’t all safety cabinets the same?” The simple answer is no. 

Expect More from Your Storage

Safety cabinets should be held to the same standard as any other storage solution built for the manufacturing world. After talking to customers and understanding their frustrations with safety products currently on the market, we decided there was a need for a safety line that lived up to the Strong Hold Standard. We combined heavy-duty steel with innovative design to provide a solution that won’t fail in your time of need—or any other day of the week.

Save Your Future Self the Headache

When talking to our customers, one of the biggest complaints about standard safety cabinets was the unreliable construction. Cabinets built with 18-gauge steel can’t withstand the daily abuse or constant wear-and-tear of a manufacturing environment. Strong Hold’s safety cabinets are built with 14-gauge steel (56% thicker than 18-gauge steel) to increase durability and strength. When you choose a cabinet you can depend on, you can focus your time and energy on more important things.

Don’t Compromise on Safety

Most cabinets in the safety market are difficult to relocate. Because they have no legs, they sit flush with the ground, making transportation nearly impossible. Customers end up leaving their safety cabinets on a wooden pallet, which violates both OSHA and NFPA Code 30 standards. Other cabinets have legs, but run the risk of tipping over when moved by a pallet jack or fork truck. Our forklift pockets provide the safest (and most convenient) way to transport your cabinet, so you and your employees can focus on finishing the job.

The Strong Hold Standard

Manufacturing is brutal. At Strong Hold, our products are built to last, which is why we back our Flammable Safety Cabinet with an industry-leading, 15-year warranty. Our warranty is a statement. A statement that proves you can depend on your Strong Hold product for years to come.

Simply put, the Strong Hold Flammable Safety Cabinet is stronger, safer, and better. Each feature was intentionally designed to increase durability and make your job easier. Experience the Strong Hold Standard and contact us today.

Author: Kara Lagree

Position: Marketing Specialist

Company: Strong Hold

Posted on

HOW CLEAR VIEW DOORS CLEAR UP THE MRO BLUES

Clear View Door Cabinet

Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) are a necessary part of every organization, but sometimes they just feel like a drain. We all wish we could spend less time and money making sure the wheels keep turning. Fortunately, we can lever lean manufacturing principles to focus on reducing wasted time and the dollar amount of inventory.

Clear view doors on Strong Hold cabinets help by making it easier for operators to find stored items, visually track inventory, and re-order replenishables. With clear view doors, gone are the days of a surprise stockout when you go to open the doors. Operators can see what’s inside the cabinet, reducing the chance of ordering excess inventory when, let’s say, what’s needed is tucked behind another item. Always know what’s in stock by simply walking by and taking a look.

Employing clear view cabinets as point of use stations, instead of open shelving units, provides the additional benefits of keeping dust and dirt out and reducing the chance that expensive small items “grow legs and walk away.” Everyone hates to clean, and nothing frustrates us more than re-ordering items that went missing.

Toyota Motor Company pioneered the use of clear view storage cabinets with their rigorous application of lean manufacturing. Other manufacturers followed suit after seeing the benefits first hand on tours of Toyota’s facilities. Now, clear view cabinets are a staple storage item in automobile, steel, energy and government facilities. Ask Strong Hold how clear view cabinets can help make your life a bit easier today! View all of our clear view products here.

Author: Anthony Diebold

Position: President

Company: Strong Hold Products

Posted on

QUICK SHIP PROGRAM

Quick Ship

“Separating the stock line has several benefits, with quality being the most important. Our employees become experts on the products they make on a daily basis.”

– Dewayne Lacefield, Project Manager at Strong Hold

WHAT TO DO WITH THAT PESKY BUDGET SURPLUS

As the fiscal year winds down, professionals working with a budget might be feeling wound up. On top of meeting annual goals and preparing reports, some will be faced with an under-spent budget. There are many ways to use that end-of-year spare change, but the smartest option may be to reinvest in your employees and infrastructure.

According to a Forbes article, improving workspaces and plant floors is a great way to attract and retain workers in a competitive market. While most manufacturing workers don’t expect a pristine palace, they do appreciate a well-maintained, safe, and operational environment. Using a sturdy shop table, finding their tools in the right drawer, or just having a clean place to store their personal belongings might be the difference that will keep workers happy and productive. Fortunately, thanks to Strong Hold’s quick ship program, these improvements are just as close as three days away.

HOW THE QUICK SHIP PROGRAM IS POSSIBLE

Strong Hold’s VP of Engineering, Kirk Chambers, tells us why innovative manufacturing processes make the quick ship program possible. “Due to the flexible design of our products, where many configurations are mounted internally to a common support structure, model designation is pushed further down the manufacturing process,” Kirk says. He continues, “by supporting the quick ship program with a constant flow of base structures, replenish times are greatly reduced.” Furthermore, an enhanced paint drying system has reduced the time between internal configuration fabrication and final installation.

Don’t let the reduced lead time fool you into believing that quality is being sacrificed. “We separated our factory into two lines: one for stock products and one for custom builds,” says Project Manager Dewayne Lacefield. “Separating the stock line has several benefits, with quality being the most important. Our employees become experts on the products they make on a daily basis.”

Thanks to Strong Hold’s dedication to innovation and process improvement, you are only 72 hours from unwrapping a storage or workspace solution that’ll last a lifetime. Whether it’s a cabinet, locker, shop desk, shop table, or tool cart, our quick ship program makes it faster than ever to spruce up your workspace. Don’t sit on that surplus budget, choose from over 60 different products, sizes, and configurations available for quick ship.

Posted on

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KAIZEN, SIX SIGMA, AND LEAN?

We all hear these words tossed around, especially in presentations about strategy and key initiatives for the next quarter. Too often we use them interchangeably and incorrectly, sometimes implying that they require cuts to the workforce. They all relate to productivity but have very different meanings.

Lean manufacturing is a philosophy pioneered by the Japanese, specifically the Toyota Motor Company, that calls for rigorous elimination of waste. Waste comes from overburden and from the unevenness of workloads. It’s readily identified by the “Eight Deadly Sins of Waste”: transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, over-processing, defects and unused employee ideas. By attacking these sins, we make our processes more efficient. The key to successful lean manufacturing is employee engagement. When each operator contributes to the process of waste identification and reduction, the organization levers the power of many and the pace of improvement accelerates exponentially.

Kaizen is the Japanese word for continuous improvement. Kaizen is the foundation of the Toyota Production System and lean manufacturing. It’s the idea that every day, everyone in the work place should seek to improve his or her work processes. Generally speaking, there are two basic types of Kaizen: flow and process. Flow refers to how product moves through a facility, and is used when re-designing an entire production area. Process means the improvement of individual work stations and activities.

Some organizations use Kaizen events to engage their employees in a team activity to improve a process. Others prefer ongoing continuous improvement efforts. Kaizen is a critical tenet of lean.

Six Sigma is a set of tools and techniques for improving a process. The goal of six sigma is reducing defects by removing variability in a process. A six-sigma process is one in which 99.99966% (six standard deviations) of all operations are statistically expected to be free of defects. General Electric under Jack Welch made it famous by making it a key component of corporate strategy. Lean Six Sigma combines both methodologies to attack waste and reduce variability.

Nowhere in any of these terms is there a mention of cutting jobs. This is an important distinction because no company could expect the operator buy-in needed to improve if operators thought they would lose their jobs as a result. Successful manufacturers use these methods to reduce non-value added or low-value added work. Any operator freed up from improvement efforts is then repurposed to greater value adding activities.

Author: Anthony Diebold

Position: President

Company: Strong Hold Products

Posted on

HOW TO STORE AEROSOL SPRAY CANS IN THE WORKPLACE

Aerosol spray cans are an invaluable tool in just about any workshop. Touch-up, clean-up, maintenance, insulation, and many other applications are made quicker and easier with these handheld, self-dispensing systems. However, the convenience and portability of aerosol spray cans can lead to negligent handling, creating a dangerous workspace environment. Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has laid out exactly how aerosols should be identified and stored to keep your workers and facilities safe.

Aerosol spray cans work by using compressed gas as a propellant, therefore they need to be protected from potential punctures and high temperatures – especially if they contain a flammable component. According to OSHA (Standard 1910.106) aerosols are considered flammable if they contain one of the following:

  • Flammable Liquid – a liquid having a flash point* of not more than 199.4°F.
  • Flammable Gas – a gas having a flammable range with air at 68 °F and a standard pressure of 14.7 psi.
  • Flammable Solid – a solid which is a readily combustible solid, or which may cause or contribute to fire through friction.

* Flash point means the minimum temperature at which a liquid gives off vapor in sufficient concentration to form an ignitable mixture with air near the surface of the liquid.

AEROSOL FLAMMABLE CATEGORIES

Once an aerosol is identified as a flammable liquid, it is then divided into one of four categories:

  1. Category 1 shall include liquids having flashpoints below 73.4°F and having a boiling point at or below 95°F.
  2. Category 2 shall include liquids having flashpoints below 73.4°F and having a boiling point above 95°F.
  3. Category 3 shall include liquids having flashpoints at or above 73.4°F and at or below 140°F. When a Category 3 liquid with a flashpoint at or above 100°F is heated for use to within 30°F of its flashpoint, it shall be handled in accordance with the requirements for a Category 3 liquid with a flashpoint below 100°F.
  4. Category 4 shall include liquids having flashpoints above 140°F and at or below 199.4°F. When a Category 4 flammable liquid is heated for use to within 30°F of its flashpoint, it shall be handled in accordance with the requirements for a Category 3 liquid with a flashpoint at or above 100°F. When liquid with a flashpoint greater than 199.4°F is heated for use to within 30 °F of its flashpoint, it shall be handled in accordance with the requirements for a Category 4 flammable liquid.

STAY OSHA COMPLIANT

For a facility to be OSHA compliant, flammable aerosols must be stored in a cabinet that meets specific design, construction, and capacity requirements:

  • Category 1, 2, or 3 flammable liquids cannot exceed 60 gallons in a storage cabinet. Category 4 flammable liquids cannot exceed 120 gallons in a storage cabinet.
  • The internal temperature cannot exceed 325°F when subjected to a standardized 10-minute fire test (as set forth in Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials, NFPA 251-1969).
  • Storage cabinets must be conspicuously labeled, “Flammable – Keep Fire Away.”
  • The top, bottom, door, and sides of a metal storage cabinet must be at least No. 18 gauge sheet metal.
  • Storage cabinet must be double walled with 1½-inch air space.
  • The door must have a three-point lock.
  • The door sill must be raised at least 2 inches above the bottom of the cabinet.
  • The joints must be riveted, welded, or made tight by some equally effective means.

WE HAVE A SOLUTION FOR YOU

If you are looking for a cabinet that meets these stringent requirements, look no further than Strong Hold’s line of safety and hazardous storage cabinets. These storage cabinets use an all-welded, one-piece design to produce a solid, strong, and dependable industrial storage solution. Cabinets can be customized with pigeon hole dividers for aerosol spray cans or any other option to meet your precise needs. Strong Hold also offers safety cabinets that can ship within three days of your order, manufactured to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and OSHA requirements. Click here for more information.

Posted on

STRONG HOLD RECEIVES MHEDA MVS AWARD FOR 2019

STRONG HOLD RECEIVES INDUSTRY AWARD FOR WORK WITH DISTRIBUTORS

LOUISVILLE, KY – Strong Hold has earned the prestigious MVS (Most Valuable Supplier) Award for achievements in 2018. The MVS Award is granted by the industry’s trade association, Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association, to less than 5% of all member companies. This industry Award recognizes companies who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to their dealer network, their employees and their community.

Strong Hold met a series of criteria in a number of areas important to the distributor companies who do business with them. In addition to confirming an on-going commitment to safety and documenting a program that “gives back,” MVS Award winners have demonstrated an overall commitment to business excellence by documenting programs in the following areas:

  • Industry Advocacy
  • Distributor Advocacy
  • Business Networking
  • Continuing Education
  • Business Best Practices

“We are excited and honored to receive the MVS Award for 2018,” said Charlie Coombe, Director of Marketing & Sales at Strong Hold. “This award means a lot to us, because MHEDA means a lot to us. We owe much of our success to our Material Handling Dealers, and we look forward to more success in 2019 and beyond.”

“MHEDA MVS winners are among an elite group of companies who have reached a pinnacle of service and leadership within the material handling industry,” said Doug Carson, 2018 MHEDA Chairman of the Board and VP of Marketing & Sales for Fallsway Equipment Company in Akron, OH.

Strong Hold is the leading manufacturer of industrial strength storage and workspace solutions. Their heavy-duty storage cabinets, lockers, shop desks, tool carts, workbenches and tables are constructed of durable steel, and are designed to withstand the toughest environments. All of Strong Hold’s products are proudly made in Louisville, K.Y. U.S.A.

The Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) is the only national trade association dedicated solely to improving the proficiency of the independent material handling distributor. MHEDA represents close 650 companies in the material handling equipment business. Located in suburban Chicago, the association provides services to companies seeking to improve their business through education, networking, benchmarking and best practices. For more information, visit www.mheda.org.

Posted on

BENEFITS OF AN ORGANIZED TOOL BOARD

Benefits of Organizing a Tool Board

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?

“Aaaahhhhhh!!! They took my square again!!”
One of our shop workers was obviously upset by something.

“Who’s they?” I replied.
“Second or third shift. When I left yesterday, all my tools were right here by my machine. I come in this morning and they’re gone again. Now I’m going to have to spend the next hour hunting them all down again.”

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM

As I tried to understand his frustration, I could see that he basically just threw all his tools on a shelf beside his press brake when he wasn’t using them. There was no straightforward way of knowing what was or wasn’t there until you went to look for it to use.

I was aware of a great management tool called an end of shift checklist. In sum, at the end of the shift, the department would be responsible to date a checklist that confirmed that all the tools assigned to this machine were there. As each shift would leave, they made sure to check. To do this quickly, it had to be visual. Each tool had to have a home location that was easily identified.

ORGANIZING THE TOOL BOARD

We started by identifying all the tools that needed to be at the machine. Once we knew that, we were able to size the peg board needed to display them. When the pegboard cabinet arrived, we drew shadows around each of the tools and labeled them. Then we listed each of them on the end of shift checklist.

Now at the end of each shift, the leader of that department was able to quickly scan the board and verify all the tools were in place. Additionally, there was no longer a pile of tools on a shelf to sort through. When the operator needed a certain tool, he could easily see where it was and put it back after using it. Now all I had to do was to see our shop workers smiling face when he saw that we were able to solve the problem that bugged him every morning.

Author: Dannis Hughbanks

Position: Vice President of Manufacturing

Company: Strong Hold Products

Contact Info: dannish@strong-hold.com

Posted on

MACHO INDUSTRIAL STORAGE SOLUTIONS – A WOMAN’S POINT OF VIEW

OK FINE! The word is out! We are not your everyday boring storage solution.

In fact, we are much more than just your typical industrial storage solution. We are STRONG HOLD.

Let me tell you a bit about us. Strong Hold is known as the leading brand in industrial storage solutions: cabinets, shop tables, tool carts, workbenches, lockers, computer cabinets; you name it, we build it. We offer all of our products in stainless steel anything we make can be customized to meet your needs- all proudly made in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.

THE BENCHMARK FOR HEAVY DUTY

We are the ORIGINAL heavy duty cabinet in storage. We are perfect for industrial, commercial and manufacturing environments.

ORIGINAL… Meaning, we were heavy duty before the phrase started being, quite frankly – abused. Think about it. Everywhere you look, you see “heavy duty” tagged on every storage product out there without an explanation of why it is marked that way. Often, these products are light gauge metal, if they even bother to list the gauge.

Let me explain. Some of you may not know the difference in gauge of metals. It would be understandable to think the higher the number, the thicker the gauge. It is actually just the opposite! So, 12 gauge is much more durable than, say 20 gauge. Our cabinets are constructed of all-welded 12 gauge steel, meaning it hardly shows any effects of even being hit with a forklift. Others are made of 20 gauge steel and would dent if someone kicked them in high heels. That kind of so-called “heavy duty” is fine for an office, but not for your maintenance shop.

MADE FOR AN INDUSTRIAL WORK SPACE

Of course, not everyone needs the real, ORIGINAL heavy duty solutions like ours, and that is fine. But for those industrial environments that need, or CRAVE, the quality-made, durable, work-as-hard-as-you-do, storage to protect your valuables…Well, that, my friends, is why you need Strong Hold.

These are built to last! They withstand everything from the every day wear and tear of throwing your tools in the drawer to the harshest slamming of doors. We often hear feedback from customers that these are “built like a tank, battleship or bank safe.” That doesn’t even cover the cosmetics of the units. They have been called “the Cadillac of cabinets.” Just the hinges, handle and legs alone…well, they have given people goose bumps before. You know who you are!

GET YOURSELF A STRONG HOLD

In life, careers, and even in manufacturing, there are leaders and there are followers. In our case, we are leaders. There is a reason we are often imitated but never duplicated.

So, if you find that your current storage just isn’t cutting it, please give us a call. We would love to help you with your INDUSTRIAL STORAGE SOLUTIONS. Your tools need a permanent home and want to feel loved and secure in our beefy unit.

Author: Sonya Strotman

Position: Regional Sales Manager

Company: Strong Hold Products

Contact Info: sonyas@strong-hold.com

Posted on

MANAGING THE MULTIFACETED DISTRIBUTION NETWORK

Managing the Multifaceted Distribution Network

DEALERS SHOULD REPRESENT STRONG HOLD

For manufactures like Strong Hold, the distribution network is the biggest factor in a successful sales model. Distributors, or dealers as we call them, have the relationship with the end user customer and supply them with a wide array of products. They rely on quality manufacturers to provide systematic solutions to their customers’ needs. Some dealers, like MRO or industrial supply dealers, sell more commodity/perishable items and see the same customer weekly or biweekly, effectively canvassing the entire facility. In contrast, project-based dealers like material handlers tend to sell product that doesn’t wear out for a very long time, but have longer-term capital projects, longer sales cycles, and larger average sales overall. The beauty of Strong Hold is that our products fit both types of dealer needs in their day-to-day sales pitches!

STAKEHOLDERS IN EACH OTHER

Whether it’s standard heavy-duty cabinets and custom work tables for a manufacturing cell, or stainless steel work-in-process carts for cleanroom applications, our dealers cover all markets. I am continually amazed by all the unique opportunities our dealers bring to us, and how together we can collectively design and deliver solutions that are tailor-made for the application.

A strong manufacturer/dealer relationship is key to both parties’ success; one cannot survive without the other. From the manufacturer’s point of view, selling is still built on relationships and trust. By using on-going product training, a strong social media campaign backed by a creative marketing department, or good old fashion salesmanship, manufacturers achieve success by getting in front of key potential end users.

From the dealer’s perspective, it’s important that their suppliers are responsive and provide excellent customer service. They must make the sales process simple with minimal mistakes and no surprises, and provide strong sales leads to grow their customer base and offer up new opportunities. Making adequate time and resource commitments is vital to the overall success of the partnership, something that dealers and manufacturers continue to strengthen and develop over time.

CLEAR CUT COMMUNICATION LINES

Communication also plays an indispensable role in successful partnership. The supplier needs to know that they are valued by the dealer by being part of their regular cadence when face to face with end users. On the flip side, dealers want to know they can make acceptable margins and not have to worry about the product once it’s sold and onsite.

DO YOU TRUST ME?

Lastly, the most significant part of the dealer/supplier relationship is trust. Trust that the manufacturer supports their efforts and won’t go around them and trust from the dealer that they won’t substitute for an inferior product based on price. Open, honest communication is key to everyone’s success.

Strong Hold Products is fortunate to have the best dealer network in the country, and values their loyalty and commitment to providing end users high quality products that are backed by an industry leading warranty.

At Strong Hold Products, we build products and relationships that last a lifetime!