Are you using the right Pallet Racking System?

Warehouse Racking Systems

A warehouse racking system is a type of material handling system used for mass storage of goods that are placed on pallets. Manufacturers use it for inventory control and mass storage of raw material or finished goods. 

Without a proper racking system, access to goods would be hindered and unnecessary movement can happen, ultimately increasing operational cost.

Benefits of warehouse racking:

  • Efficient space utilization for storing goods
  • Decrease material handling time needed to search for goods as it is already sorted
  • Decreases the risk of damaged goods with the use of proper strapping
  • Decrease manpower needed and increases employee productivity
  • Easier access to goods since they are sorted in a way that allows easy access

Things to consider before choosing a racking system:

  • Storage space availability and if the warehouse layout would allow such construction
  • Vertical clearance availability and how much space can be utilized
  • Unitized load dimensions should be considered in designing the racking system to ensure that palletized load can be effectively stored.
  • Racking system frame must be built from materials that would support the pallet load.
  • Capacity utilization of the warehouse must be considered for the right amount of racking. This factor relates directly to the volume of incoming and outgoing goods. It is important to know so that the optimal amount of inventory level can be maintained.
  • The number of SKU would determine how goods are sorted in the racking system
  • The method of withdrawing goods, such as FIFO or LIFO. This is to ensure that the right racking system can be placed in an efficient way that allows for the withdrawal of goods.
  • Cost of racking system. An economic analysis should be done to assess the benefits of acquiring additional storage space in relation to the savings of operational costs, such as decrease manpower and savings for space rentals.
  • The automation of withdrawing of goods, such as the use of robots to carry goods around the warehouse as needed.
  • The information technology that is going to be used inside the warehouse, and how the process of retrieval of goods are done.

The various types of racking system:

Selective Racking

This type of racking is the most common type of warehouse racking. It has the lowest cost per square meter of racking but it has the lowest pallet storage capacity. In addition to that, it allows flexibility between FIFO and LIFO inventory management, since it provides direct access to every pallet in storage. LED lighting can be installed on racks to ensure proper lighting is achieved. This is especially beneficial if the warehouse is dimly lit.

Carton Flow Racking

The carton flow racking has two access points, on one end it is used for loading while the other end is used for loading. This type of racking saves tons of space and makes picking faster, and also reduces wasted motion. In addition to that, it maximizes the usage of vertical space.

Very Narrow Aisle (VNA)

The Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking system is an adaptation to the regular pallet racking system, but compacted into a small area. If warehouse space capacity is a concern, then this type of racking system should be used as it narrows the work aisle and can save up to 40% in space. It should be noted that special handling equipment, such as the VNA trucks, is needed for the material handling operation.

Cantilever Racking

The cantilever racking consists of an upright column and base, and its arms are easy to adjust. It is ideal for storing long or irregular-shaped products, such as pipes, lumber, or other kinds of appliances.  It is also ideal to store heavy-duty items, such as boats or PVC pipes. Vacuum lifters are suitable for handling such products since they are specifically designed to do so.

Powered Mobile Racking

The mobile racking system works by having an adjustable moving rack. The main advantage is that it increases capacity by two-fold and decreases storage space on the warehouse by eliminating the aisle. The main disadvantages, however, is that access is not readily available since the racks need to be moved first for access.

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