Always consult a warehouse rack manufacturer when designing racking systems

Equipping a new warehouse or reorganising an existing one requires a number of design decisions. A valuable assist in the design process is a warehouse rack manufacturer.

Configuring a pallet rack system

How pallet racks are configured depends on the size of the items stored and whether pallets are used or goods are stored without them. The narrower the aisles between rack rows, the more capacity the rack system will have, but the aisles need to be wide enough for safe working and allow space for forklifts to manoeuvre if they are used.

To maximise space make the racks as high as possible but there must be enough space between the top rack and the light fittings, sprinklers, roof supports of other ceiling fixtures.

Most storage systems will be supplied by one warehouse rack manufacture. If any components get damaged, the manufacturer will be able to supply the exact parts to replace defective ones.

Before ordering a rack system, talk to as many as people as possible for their input, including management, workers and other contractors. Your warehouse rack manufacture is a valuable source of information about designing rack systems.

Plan for the future

Most storage areas have racks that handle the storage needs according to the current level of business. If business increases, storage space will need to be expanded. If the maximum capacity of the storage space has not been reached, modular rack systems are a good idea. As storage requirements expand, extra modules can be added. Racks may be able to be made higher. Before considering a new warehouse, or an extension to an existing one, see if the present system can be adapted to increase capacity. It may be a much more cost-effective solution.

Racks need to last, so don’t just go for the cheapest ones available. Quality British-made tubular steel racks will last for many years provided that their maximum load weight is not exceeded. Little maintenance is required, but racks need to be regularly inspected for damage.

Warehouse management systems

Even the best racking system is no use if pickers cannot easily find what is on the shelves. If a business handles online orders, it is essential that order processing is done quickly as e-commerce customers expect prompt delivery. Invest in a warehouse management system that controls inventory and order processing.

Sensors can be added to warehouse racks that guide workers to item locations. These can be attached to the racks to mark storage areas. If using sensors, make sure that they can easily be attached to the racks. If necessary, the warehouse rack manufacturer will modify the racks to accommodate sensors.

A warehouse management system can help organise where goods are placed on racks. Many businesses store frequently needed items near packing stations and less in-demand items further away. This minimises journey times for order pickers.

Before ordering new storage equipment, consult with your warehouse rack manufacturer about the best types of racks for your individual storage needs. At Steely, we can supply packing tables, trolleys and other equipment for your warehouse.

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Posted by Katrina
7th January 2020
Retail & Warehousing

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