The right racking system, along with material handling equipment, is a vital component of a successful warehouse system. Not only does it provide sufficient density to make the most out of your limited space, it also provides the material handling capabilities that you need to ensure that you can safely and quickly access your supplies when needed. The following tips can help you choose the right racking system for your needs.
Choose Between Density or Selectivity
Although there are a multitude of storage systems, the key question you must answer is whether density or selectivity is most important. Density systems are best suited for materials that are the same and don't have any form of expiration to worry about. Selectivity systems work best when you have a diverse range of products. They are also necessary for products that have expiration dates and must be rotated in a first in, first out basis.
High Density Racking
If you find density is your main goal, deep lane storage systems are usually the most space conscious choice. In these systems you begin with a single row of racks along one lane edge. As these racks fill, new racks are placed in front of them. The resulting storage area may be tens of racks deep, depending on the density you need and your space. Due to their nature, these systems utilize a last in, first out rotation system.
Medium Density Choices
Double deep options are a choice if you have high turnover or just need to focus on density-based storage for a larger assortment of materials. This method uses double racking along a single aisle face, so your materials are stacked two deep. Once again, the model is typically last in, first out, so it isn't suitable for materials that can expire. You can combine double deep racking with drive through racks, which provides an aisle between ever set of double racks so that materials can be accessed from both sides. This then allows you to use four racks across each aisle.
Selectivity Racking Options
When high selectivity is important, single racking isn't the only option. Another option is backloaded racks. This means that one aisle is reserved for removing materials, while the other side of the aisle is reserved for loading materials. You can make the racks as deep as desired if you use a pushback rack. This type of rack is slanted so that product automatically slides forward as it is removed from one side. Your forklift operators will load the back, or elevated, side of the rack, and then unload from the front of the rack. The front of the rack is fitted with a mechanism that levels the first item so it doesn't slide off the racking system. Not only does this improve density of your storage, it also ensures that the first in is also the first out.