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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

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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


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.


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.

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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

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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.


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.


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.


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.

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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

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Benefits of Organizing a Tool Board


“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.”


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.


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:

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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.


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.


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!


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:

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Managing the Multifaceted Distribution Network


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!


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.


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.


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!

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It’s no secret that manufacturing jobs have fallen from popularity in America’s recent history. The oft romanticized era when manufacturing was the principle player in America’s economy realistically ended in the early 1980s. Many more Americans began to seek higher education in pursuit of jobs in the white-collar sector or in growing industries like technology. However, the massive recession of 2007-2009 left many young Americans disillusioned by the promises of baby boomers that higher education was a guaranteed path to a lucrative, secure career. College tuition rates were rising, employment was plummeting, and graduates found themselves in a market flooded by their peers without enough jobs to keep them all afloat. Consequently, much of America’s youth were barred from entry to the professional workforce completely, and those who did manage to make their way in were placed in entry-level positions for little pay (sometimes minimum wage!) Once the economy had regained some of its footing, those who had been shut out from the professional sector finally received their shot to put their degree to use.

Only…they didn’t get the chance. Young people in America were still working the same low paying jobs, without any benefits to compensate. They were treated as drones with no valuable skills. And they were still drowning in student loans. So, many swore off corporate work altogether. Now, manufacturing employers stand a chance to attract many talented young Americans to jobs they may not have previously considered. What would it take to make these careers attractive?

One of the most standout traits of manufacturing careers is the ability to meaningfully contribute to a team where ideas are shared to improve a process. At Strong Hold, we have weekly meetings with our divisions to discuss continuous improvement ideas to make our processes more efficient. These ideas are entirely generated by our employees and shift leaders, making for a bottom-up approach to company improvement. We’re very proud that most of our improvement ideas come from our employees of their own initiative; it indicates to us that we are creating a culture where people feel valued and care deeply about the quality of their work. The philosophy behind this comes from kaizen, 5S, and lean manufacturing principles. This kind of collaborative spirit is very attractive to young Americans; as one myself, Strong Hold has been an incredibly attractive place to work.

Then there’s good old-fashioned advancement through hard work. Much of America’s youth feels as though hard work can’t get you where it used to in the professional workplace. However, manufacturing companies can attract young people by making sure their hard work pays off. In fact, one of Strong Hold’s vice-presidents started his career over twenty years ago on the shop floor!

In all, manufacturing companies are in a prime position to attract young new employees to their workforce. It would be unwise to squander the opportunity!

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Implementing 5S manufacturing is a lot like that, but with way less than a foreign government trying to arrest you for poaching. Trust me from experience, implementing 5S may seem like a mountain to climb but it’s much, much less difficult to implement than you may think.


We picked our woodshop area to focus on. We defined the work space that we would organize, and took pictures for a before and after comparison. The first of the 5-S’s was to SORT. Before we jumped to trying to find a place for everything in the mess we had, we sorted out the tools and materials that didn’t belong there. That left us with just what was needed in the workspace.

Next: Setting things in order by STRAIGHTENING them. We thought about how often certain tools were being used, who would be using them, and where they were being used. Whereas before all these tools were in a pile on a table, now we had started to implement an organization process for them. We decided a peg board would serve as a shadow board for commonly used hand tools, which would give us quick access and make it easy to see if everything was there. We used yellow bins to hold nuts and bolts there and mounted the bins as well. We saw that we could add a power receptacle for chargers and added drawers with dividers to hold less often used tools and supplies.

Now that we had a vision of what we wanted and where we wanted it, we had Strong Hold design a shop table that would give us exactly what we needed. They designed a table with a peg board back stop, bin holders, drawers with dividers, and a power plug. Oh, and while we were at it, we had it painted a special color that identified our wood shop work area. Once we had the shop table on our shop floor, we had exactly what we needed in the spot we needed it. Visual management became an easy task. This made the fifth S—SUSTAIN—very simple. Now, years later, we still have confidence that our tools and materials are always in the right place.

Author: Dannis Hughbanks

Position: Vice President of Manufacturing

Company: Strong Hold Products

Contact Info: