Archive for the Warehoue Storage Category
Choosing The Right Warehouse Racking For You
For warehouses that need every process to be as efficient as possible, storage can be a very important part of maximizing that efficiency. Pallet racks can play a major role in helping to increase your efficiency in many ways, however picking the right pallet rack for your needs is key to achieving your goal of maximized efficiency. Different choices in pallet racks will affect the density of your storage and how easy it is to get to your products. It is important to make sure the pallet rack that you use provides you maximum space while still allowing you to manage your inventory in the best way for what your company does.
There are also many different reasons that someone might choose to use rack storage. For companies with low-volume items it makes sense to use rack storage over floor storage because of the amount of time that you have to store the items. It is better to keep these items stored on a rack than in the floor to keep space open and work conditions safe for those in the warehouse. Using rack storage can also help to keep your products safer than if they are stored on the floor. Products stored on shelves are exposed to less harmful conditions than those left on the floor. Storage racks can even help the way that your inventory flows. Keeping your products organized on racks makes those products easier to find and keeps your inventory moving in and out at a faster pace. The following pallet rack types each have their own advantages and disadvantages from inventory management to making the most out of your storage space.
Using a single-select pallet rack allows you to store one pallet for every location on that rack. This type of rack is excellent for being able to select exactly what you need when you need it and it can be used to store many varieties of sizes and pallet loads. This rack can also store products that are stored together in quantities of three pallets or less. The downside to using a single-select rack however is that this type of rack allows for the least dense type of storage meaning that you will save the least amount of space by using it. If you have items that need to be accessed fast and easily then this is the rack for you as long as space is not one of your top priorities.
2) Double Deep
This type of rack can store pallets up to six deep allowing for double the amount of storage per product than single-select racks. Double deep pallet racks do save more space than single-selects, however it is not as simple to get to products that you may need. Another down side with using double deep pallet racks is that you need an articulated forklift to make sure your getting the most out of your pallet rack, otherwise reaching some pallets can become problematic.
A push-back pallet rack is a good balance of storage space and easy access to your products. This rack, which can hold up to five pallets deep per product, is loaded from the front and each pallet loaded after the first pushes everything behind it back until it is full. This allows for dense storage while not cutting off access to your product. One setback for this rack however is that you will need to have a forklift that is powerful enough to push back every pallet that is in the rack behind the one you are loading.
A pallet-flow rack is a rack that is slightly inclined down allowing products to slide down the incline when loaded from the back. This is great for storing products that are moved on a FIFO (First in first out) basis because it allows products that are loaded first to be moved to the front of the rack making them the most accessible item. Pallet-flow racks are also great for dense storage of products but they do not offer as flexible storage as the selective racks because the different layers of a flow rack usually need to be separated by each individual product.
Drive-in racks provide the densest storage of all the racks that have been listed and are used for LIFO (Last in first out) inventory management, which is the opposite type of inventory management that pallet-flow racks used. This is because the forklift drives the pallet in and places it in the back of the rack starting with the top rack so when the rack is full the first pallet placed is the last one that can be removed. This pallet rack allows you to store a large quantity of pallets in each bay but is best used for storing a large quantity of the same product that is set to be moved all at once. By using this type of rack you will sacrifice selectivity because the first pallet stored cannot be removed until every pallet before it is removed and the rack holds a large quantity of pallets.
Source: MHI Career & Technical Information
About the Author:
Weston Rogers is a GLA (Global Logistics Associate) certified Warehouse and Distribution specialist for Lift Truck Supply, Inc. located in Temple, Texas. With a background in downstream warehouse equipment and storage solutions he brings invaluable knowledge to his clients in central Texas.