60% Increase in Storage Space Created for Naval Undersea Museum

21 Jul 2017


The Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Washington is home to a collection of torpedoes, some weighing upwards of 6,000 pounds. The collection includes many types of torpedoes ranging from modern Mk 48 and Mk 50s to torpedo tubes from the USS Tecumseh, and even Howell Torpedoes, which were the first self-propelled torpedoes designed by the U.S. in 1870, along with a slew of smaller items.  The Collections Manager and Registrar at the museum, was concerned with the dwindling space and the quality of the shelving being used for their artifacts and began the search for a better solution.

Existing Challenges 

  • The shelves holding the massive torpedoes were not seismic protected, which posed the risk of both employee injury and torpedo damage in an area with above-average seismic activity. The narrow aisles between shelves made it almost impossible to maneuver a forklift around the area, not to mention trying to maneuver a torpedo on the forklift.
  • With plans on the horizon for storing more sea mines, submersibles, and submarine consoles, the Naval Undersea Museum thought their only option was adding offsite storage, but the cost of building or leasing another facility was a major issue.


Solutions Created

Thanks to their local Spacesaver storage expert, thoughtful solutions were created to combat the museum’s existing problems:

  • For the smaller artifacts, a standard high-density mobile shelving system was recommended. The shelves securely hold smaller artifacts and were mounted on mobile carriages to save space. With a simple turn of a mechanical assist wheel, the shelves slide apart to reveal aisles for easy access.
  • Additional mobile shelves were added for film and book archives, and mobile art racks were installed to house the museum’s 2D hanging art collection – installing the more compact shelving created 60% more storage space in the storage and archive areas.
  • The Naval Undersea Museum’s biggest heavy duty storage problem was also handled easily and efficiently with an ActivRAC 16 mobile racking system.


Benefits of the ActivRAC Mobile Racking System

In contrast to the old rusty static racking, the new ActivRAC system frees up space by eliminating permanent aisles. Racks are moved with a simple push of a button, and for added protection the aisles are equipped with safety systems.

By installing the new heavy duty storage, the museum can now store 110 torpedoes compared to just 66 on the old shelves.

By compacting their existing static shelving with mobile storage, they were able to gain 40% more torpedo storage capacity in the same footprint!

Click below to see this storage story unfold:

For more information on this storage solution and others, please contact us today!


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