Whether you own or manage a warehouse, it’s essential to implement advanced systems to better care for your inventory and stocks. Streamlining operations is usually a challenge for many businesses in this industry, but it can be organized well through an efficient pallet racking system. This helps in maintaining a warehouse seamlessly, where storage spaces are maximized, and products are displayed efficiently.
Furthermore, a pallet racking system allows warehouse employees to navigate, display, and move products in a timely manner. Pallet racks can maximize your floor space and take advantage of the available vertical space that is usually unused.
To give you a head start, consider the following features when deciding what pallet racking system to implement:
- Roll Formed Or Structural Steel Rack
The first feature you need to consider is whether to go for a roll-formed or a structural steel rack. The primary difference between these two is the way they were manufactured. Structural steel racks were formed while it was still hot, On the contrary, roll-formed racks were made after it was cooled. For that reason, these two different types of racks can cater to different uses and provide different benefits.
Structural steel racks’ components were strongly welded together, allowing them to bear even the heaviest loads. This unique quality can also withstand an impact from a forklift. Also, they are considered the best choice for beverage distributors, freezer storage, and food handling facilities.
A roll-formed rack may be used when storing products that can be picked up by hand. As handpicking presents a low risk of damage, the cold storage rack’s decreased toughness is not an issue. You may also factor in the price because roll-formed racks are more cost-effective than the structural type. Another advantage of roll-formed is that they come with convenient insertion of connectors to the beams, and they can easily be adjusted accordingly. There are no bolts and complex installations involved.
There are several pallet racking systems to choose from, so no matter what type of steel you select as the most suitable for your operation, it all boils down to using an efficient pallet racking system for your warehouse. Also, keep in mind to have a yearly rack safety inspection to ensure your system’s efficiency and integrity in complying with the safety standards in your location.
- Retrieval System
Another feature to consider is deciding on its retrieval system. Here, you have two options: the FIFO (first in, first out system) or the LIFO (last in, first out system.) These retrieval system concepts are crucial, especially when handling sensitive goods.
In the inventory management of nonperishable items, LIFO is used. Basically, it prioritizes selling items that have just been received. To facilitate a quick turnaround, goods need to be stored in this specific manner. On the other hand, the FIFO approach is quite the opposite. It should sell the older products first.
This is basically applied in businesses selling fresh produce, dairy items, foods, ingredients, and date-sensitive products. In general, this is done to prevent perishable items from not getting sold. Businesses that sell shelf-life goods will typically implement a FIFO system. Each of these approaches also comes with a pallet racking system that perfectly matches them.
- Components Of Pallet Racking System
One more feature you need to inspect carefully is the components of the pallet racking system. These systems are often improved by adding accessories and components to meet the owner’s requirements. Consider some additional features like the following:
Wire decking is the most popular among pallet racking accessories since it enhances the system’s stability and safety. Giving the pallet a larger surface area to sit on instead of two cross beams drastically lowers the risk of the pallet falling. Ensure that the wire deck you use has met the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, so it’s robust enough to hold the products.
Straps are simply barriers that prevent stored materials from contacting the edge of the rack. This ensures that the products won’t fall off the racks. Safety straps can be customized according to your rack or storage needs.
Row spacers assist with organizing products and keeping them evenly spaced along the shelf. This accessory helps organize your pallet rack system. They improve the placements of stocked piles into a straight row.
In most cases, upright frames are protected by post guards or rack guards. This is another accessory that’s vital for your pallet racking system. They prevent damage caused by collisions with pallets or forklifts.
- Space Utilization
Pallet racking systems must be designed with optimal space utilization in mind. You want your pallet racking system to focus on this feature, especially when your warehouse floor space is limited. Pallet storage space needs to be calculated by warehouse managers before implementing the plan. There are ways to calculate the storage capacity of your warehouse, and dealing with the space available is crucial.
In warehouses, square feet are used to measure the lot space. On the other hand, pallets are usually measured by cubic feet. Hence, it’s crucial to convert and calculate them correctly to develop the best storage space. Consider maximizing vertical space as the pallet racking system can benefit from this.
An important feature of an effective pallet racking system is to utilize stock-keeping units (SKU) or barcodes for each product. Through this, consumers could recognize SKUs at regular retail stores. Tracking the movement of goods using these labels contributes to effective inventory management. It helps in providing product details for warehouse employees.
You can choose a pallet system based on the number of SKUs and available pallets. Depending on your SKU ratio, you can select the right pallet racking system type to match it. When you have multiple pallets per SKU, you may benefit from a higher density setup, such as pushback or drive-in racking.
- Aisle Size And Distances
Ample aisle width plays a critical role in designing the perfect pallet racking system. This directly impacts rack sizes and numbers. Palletizing and storing goods depend on the height and width of the beam. Forklift access is also affected by aisle width. A warehouse can benefit from a convenient layout and shorter travel time when the aisle size and distances are calculated perfectly. Generally, choosing a piece of equipment determines aisle width. Therefore, you must consider your forklift and other equipment when measuring the most suitable aisle size for your warehouse.
As there are many warehouse racking systems available on the market, choosing the right one is usually an exhausting task. However, there’s no question about how effective and optimal it is to implement a pallet racking system for your warehouse. As highlighted above, the key is to consider those features to apply the most effective system. Choosing the right racking system for your warehouse is essential to maximize your space for inventory management and streamline your warehouse processes.