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21

Dec

2018

Warehouse Racking: The Ultimate Guide

There’s a lot to consider when choosing the right racking system for your warehouse. It is essential to the efficiency of your day to day operation and must work hand in hand with the forklift trucks if necessary. Of course, each company is unique and therefore requires a different pallet racking system to suit its particular needs. This guide will detail a number of options available to fit the specifications your organisation demands.pallet racking

Cantilever Racking

First of all, there is the very adaptable Cantilever Racking. Easy to install and reconfigure, these industrial racks are mainly designed for long loads such as bars, pipes and boards. It can be extended/ expanded depending on what you need to store. This means product changes are dealt with very comfortably, as the system can be quickly adapted to suit your new storage needs. Each upright rack has several cantilever arms carrying the loads. It can support medium to high weights, it just requires adjusting the distance in between the arms. There is also the added option of connecting them with galvanised mesh or shelving, which ensures you can store cargo of various pallet widths and do not get restricted to a specific pattern. However, limiting bars can also be installed to help secure the goods but this type of industrial racking is not ideal for storing pallets.

Modular System

Another fairly flexible pallet racking solution is the Modular system, ideal for storing large product ranges in small to medium quantities, giving you immediate access to all items in the inventory. Although the storage of heavyweight loads is not recommended when using this type of industrial racking, it is easy to keep a stock count. Again, this option can be extended or combined to fit your company’s storage requirements. Very easy to install, this particular model can be used in automatic or manual operations. Shelving is available in a bolted or slot together design, being applicable to high bay installations of over twelve meters tall. Although this structure is mainly for small to medium parts, it can be used to store bulky goods with or without load carriers. A wide range of accessories means further adaptability to your individual demands.

Steel Construction Platform

If it’s additional storage you require without changing the building fabric of your warehouse, look no further than steel construction platform option. By creating a new level for storage, it increases efficiency without the inconvenience of scrapping your existing pallet racking system structures. Storage is also available under the platform, optimising the space and is extendable if necessary. The platform itself is accessible on foot via the stairs or lifts, can be driven on or used as an order picking podium. Making better use of the room height, material flow from the ground to the upper level is easily reachable for forklifts to place pallets onto.

Order Picking Platform

If your operation does not use a pallet racking system and therefore does not require a forklift, then an order picking platform is probably the best choice for you. Designed to withstand constant use in modern warehouses with narrow aisles, the structure can be expanded up to five levels optimising the space available. This option has continuous support frames without additional end to end connections. Various floor materials can be used to create a smooth finish on the top deck. Ideal for storing and easily accessing large product ranges in small quantities. Surface areas can effectively be doubled, and the configurations are flexible in installation, working around existing machinery. Furthermore, this can be built as an addition to racking already in your warehouse without disrupting the structure in place.

Drive Through Storage

Should your warehouse operation require a forklift, there are a variety of different pallet racking systems to choose from. One of those is drive through storage, best utilised in fifo (first in first out) process for packages of any size. A main benefit to the drive through racking system is the short pick up routes created by the designs compactness and roller conveyors, automatically taking stock to the pick-up points. This also ensures nothing goes out of date, helps avoid errors and optimises goods monitoring capabilities. The use of funnels make sure pallets are kept centred once they are put onto the conveyers, either by forklifts or using support arm stackers. Brake rollers control the speed once the pallets are moving. Combining this with separating device, which only activates once the first pallet is moved from the channel, leaving the pallets at an angled stop ready for pick up.

Push Back Racking

Push back racking is a forklift (or any type of handling truck) exclusive option, which allows loading and retrieval from the same side. It is extremely useful for lifo (last in first out) methods, storing medium sized quantities of the same products. Ideally, this would be installed for long term bulk storage, cold stores and marshalling areas. Clearly segregated channels make keeping track of stock easier, optimally monitoring durability data, batches and production series. Usually each channel will hold four pallets behind one another but obviously, that depends on the specification you need for your company’s operation. Once the first pallet is retrieved, the units behind are rather efficiently, automatically pushed forward onto the end to be collected. The conveyers also tilt three to five percent for effortless pick up by forklift trucks. Through the dynamic and efficient block storage, space in your warehouse is maximised. Another advantage here is these industrial racks can handle pallets with poor travelling capabilities with ease.

Drive in/ Drive Through Racking

Similarly, drive in/drive through industrial racking is also a good option for forklift reliant warehouses. This pallet racking system can serve both lifo and fifo methods; drive in allows storage and retrieval from the same side (much like push back racking) while drive through uses both sides, meaning products can be loaded at one end and simultaneously be picked up at the other. Throughput is, therefore, higher with drive through racking than the drive-in structure. Both systems are best for the storage of large, heavy volumes with of low quantity of different items. A seasonal based warehouse would particularly suit this system, it is compact and easily expandable up to great heights, combining the benefits of both block and racking methods. Trucks must adjust the height of the pallet to the desired storage channel before entering the transfer aisle. Sideway seated vehicles are recommended for this, as the operator will be able to see more when reversing.

Broad Aisle Multi-Bay Racking

The most commonly used type warehouse racking is the multi-bay broad aisle racking system. A number of pallets can be stored on each level between two beams. This classic set up is best suited to securely store large items preferably palliated, although products can be stocked without. Usually, in a standard set up, units reach eight to ten meters. However, this can be extended up to twelve meters if necessary and if your operation is automated racking can go up to forty meters high. Crosswise storage is also a possibility, with the correct additional load aids and the right amount of depth support. Beams are easily adjustable to fit the exact needs of your warehouse, giving you direct access to all items. With a double-decked storage option available as an addition, this warehouse racking is one the most popular and universally used, because of its adaptability.

Narrow Aisle Multi-Bay Racking

Offering a similar solution in terms of adaptability is narrow aisle multi-bay racking system. With all the same qualities as the aforementioned broad isle option, this allows for more optimisation of warehouse space, decreasing isle space to just one hundred and fort centre meters. Because of this, your warehouse must use narrow aisle trucks or install aisle rack operating equipment (which should come as an optional extra when purchasing) The other major plus point is the increased throughput this mainly pallet racking system and the option to have a fully automatic operation, enabling increased lifting capabilities. Like with the previously mentioned option, it allows direct access to all individual items on the pallet shelves as well as the same highly adjustable beams optimising your particular storage needs.

Single Bay Racking

Finally, we come to the single bay racking system, which stores one load per unit. Ideally for storing large items using the fifo method. Particularly useful when picking is done directly from the pallet or cage, giving the operator direct access to all individually shelved items. Pallets can be stacked quickly and safely at great heights, using either a manual or automated method. Depth of storage space is adjustable with the easy removal of support beams, meaning it can be tailored to suit whatever needs to be put in. If more space is required, ‘Double deep’ options are available to increase the industrial racks pallet count by fifty percent.

So, there you have it, a number of comprehensive solutions to suit the warehouse needs of your company. When choosing the best option for your requirements, remember to take into consideration all of the fine details of your day to day operations; fifo or lifo, is direct access to individual pallets absolutely necessary, how much space does your warehouse yield and what size items are you storing. Every detail has to be weighed up before deciding on what industrial racking system will best optimise warehouse efficiency. One of the options above should provide you with the perfect solution that is most suitable for your warehouse. Contact us here at Solution MHE if you want information about any of the options mentioned above.

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