Ulrich Planfile History

In 1915 Charles B. Ulrich patented a revolutionary vertical filing system for large documents. That product, the Planfile, still thrives today and is the premier large document filing system on the market. With the development of other innovative vertical filing systems Ulrich has become the recognized industry leader in large-document filing for over 90 years. Ulrich Planfiles, built in our Lakewood, New York facility, feature the highest quality of sheet metal fabrication, finish, and function. Throughout Ulrich Planfile history many of the world’s best known corporations look to Ulrich for filing systems to store and protect their engineering prints, architectural drawings and maps.

planfile patent gives view into Ulrich Planfile History

The 1915 Patent

Ulrich Planfile history is linked closely to the thriving wood furniture industry in Jamestown, New York, area. The first Ulrich Planfiles were primarily constructed of wood. Ulrich supplied the folders and the revolutionary internal compression system for which Ulrich received a U.S. patent. Later, the cabinets were converted to sheet metal and Ulrich developed its own manufacturing capabilities. Today, after years of refinements and development, the Ulrich Planfile is the premier large document filing system in the world, offering an unmatched combination of quality, value, convenience and document protection. Ulrich Planfiles are the only large document filing system available with fire and water protection…they require much less space than flat drawer files…they are much easier to use…and they cost significantly less!

Ulrich Planfile History is depicted in these early design drawings

Illustration of the Original Planfile

minifile-70sThe computer age brought a new challenge to Ulrich. Would computerized electronic files replace the physical paper being used by engineers and architects? No one was sure but with its extensive sheet metal capabilities, Ulrich looked for other products to manufacture along with their filing systems. Today, Ulrich manufactures an array of sheet metal products for many different industries and applications along with our full line of filing products.

Ulrich has become a world-class manufacturer with a bright and modern facility, state-of-the-art CAD/CAM engineering technology, and complete fabrication and finishing capabilities. But even more important, Ulrich has products like the Planfile and the people and culture to work effectively to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Whether you need custom sheet metal products or the world best large document filing systems, Ulrich has your solution.

What is a Planfile?

Planfile Presentation

Prior to the invention of the Planfile, large documents were almost exclusively stored horizontally in flat file drawers. Just a few of the problems with flat files are that they waste a great deal of floor space, they are difficult to use, and they offer very little protection to the documents that they hold. Because of the unique spring compression system and heavy-duty reinforced folders within each file, Planfiles have the capability of storing documents vertically. This allows Planfiles to hold more documents in less space than any other filing system, saving valuable floor space. Also, with a Planfile all filing is done at waist height, making them much easier to use than flat files that commonly stack drawers from floor to ceiling. The compression system that allows documents to be stored vertically serves an additional function of providing protection to the documents. The gentle but firm pressure the compression system provides prevents documents from becoming torn and dog-eared.

Ulrich has incorporated this filing system into several products designed to hold various size documents of different quantities. Some of the files offer additional features such as fire and water protection, locks, and casters for easy mobility.