Pallet racking is essential equipment for any warehouse or storage facility. It provides a stable and safe method for storing and organizing goods efficiently. Pallet racks can be customized to fit the specific needs of your business, ensuring easy access to inventory and facilitating efficient inventory management. There are several types of pallet racking, including specialized varieties for specific inventory management systems.
A warehouse is only as efficient as the storage system it uses. While conventional pallet racking is suitable for a wide variety of goods, certain facilities require custom units for maximum productivity and space utilization.
Pallet flow racking is a popular choice for warehouses that need to optimize usable storage space and streamline product flow. This type of racking can be custom designed to fit a specific warehouse layout. It uses gravity and pallet rack rails to move inventory along a designated aisle, providing quick and easy product access.
What is Pallet Flow Racking?
Pallet flow, or gravity flow pallet racking, is a type of storage system that uses gravity to move pallets from the loading dock to the picking aisle. Pallet flow racks are often used in warehouses and distribution centers where inventory turnover is high, and storage density is a priority.
Unlike other storage methods, pallet flow allows businesses to store pallets deep within the rack, making full use of the height of the facility. Additionally, pallet flow racks can be designed to store all pallets in a first-in, first-out (FIFO) orientation, ensuring consistent inventory rotation. As a result, pallet flow racking is an efficient and effective way to increase storage density and improve picking productivity.
Pallet flow racking uses inclined flow lanes to store products on pallets or cartons. These pallet flow lanes are fed from the rear of the rack, allowing you to store merchandise multiple pallets deep. When a product is picked from the front of each pallet flow lane, empty pallets are moved to the rear to maintain product flow.
This type of storage system is very versatile and can be used in applications where high-density storage and fast order picking are important. Pallet flow racking can also be configured to work with various types of forklifts.
Advantages of Pallet Flow Rack Systems
There are several advantages to using pallet flow rack systems in your warehouse or distribution center:
Increased Storage Density
Pallet flow racks can be designed to store pallets deep within the rack, fully using warehouse space and incorporating vertical integration. This allows businesses to maximize their storage capacity and improve inventory turnover.
Improved Product Flow
Pallet flow systems use gravity and roller tracks (pallet flow rails) to move each pallet load along a designated aisle, providing quick and easy product access. This makes it easy for workers to find and pick the products they need, improving picking productivity.
Consistent Inventory Rotation
All pallets are stored in a first-in, first-out (FIFO) orientation, ensuring consistent pallet position and inventory rotation are maintained. This helps to prevent stockouts and optimize product availability.
Pallet flow racks can be used for high-density storage and fast order picking applications. They can also be configured to work with various pallet types, pallet sizes, and material handling equipment. If you’re looking for a way to improve efficiency and increase space savings in your warehouse, consider using pallet flow racking.
A critical factor in choosing a pallet rack system is cost. Equipment costs can be higher for carton flow racks than other storage options, but the reduced handling costs may offset the initial investment. In addition, the cost per pallet position is often lower with a gravity flow storage system compared to more conventional pallet rack storage options, like selective rack setups.
Important Components of Pallet Flow Rack Systems
Pallet flow racks are highly customizable and versatile, accommodating a variety of product SKUs. They can be assembled in single pallet high configurations or as multi-level racks, supporting up to 20 pallets per lane.
A custom gravity flow rack consists of two primary parts: the racking and the dynamic flow rails. These units combine to create a fast-flowing and efficient inventory management system.
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we stock a large range of new and used warehouse equipment. We carry high-quality materials from leading brands, allowing you to assemble a pallet flow system suited to your facility’s precise needs.
Pallet flow racking beams are an essential part of a pallet flow system. Vertical beams are placed between the rack levels, and beam locks keep the beams in place. The exit beam is placed at the end of the system and is used to remove pallets from the system. Pallet flow beams are usually made from sturdy materials, like heavy-gauge steel. They are designed to sustain years of rough use.
When choosing a pallet flow system, it is important to ensure that the beams are compatible with the other components of the system. We stock a range of beams, frames, and braces. Many of these units are made by the same manufacturer, ensuring they can be used together.
Our inventory list contains several Unirak components, including beams. They feature a hi-gloss powder coating, providing visibility and excellent abrasion resistance. Unirak beams are designed with a tear drop interlocking system for easy installation and reconfiguration. Each beam adjusts in 2-inch increments, accommodating a variety of products of different sizes.
Aisle space is a precious commodity in any warehouse, and every inch needs to be utilized to its fullest potential. Pallet flow racking frames are designed to store a variety of product sizes and weights, making them the perfect solution for a range of pallet flow products. Choosing the right frames is a critical decision for warehouse managers as they largely dictate the system’s storage capacity.
Our Unirak frames are developed for maximum warehouse efficiency. They are directly compatible with the Unirak beams via a tear drop connector. The frames are manufactured in a single-piece mig-welded design for added stability. Unirak frames have a maximum load capacity of 32,900 lbs.
The rails are typically made of steel or aluminum and can be configured to fit different-sized pallets. Flow rails are essentially a combination of tracks and rollers. Pallets are placed on the rails and then moved along the track to a picking module. They are an efficient way to transport large quantities of material quickly and safely.
We stock several varieties of rollers that are compatible with different pallet flow configurations. Our heavy-duty conveyors are available in extruded aluminum or durable PVC. They come in multiple widths and lengths, ensuring you can find a roller to fit your system.
Adding accessories is one of the key aspects of designing a custom pallet flow system. Extra attachments can help secure the unit, improve product picking efficiency, and enhance rack safety.
We supply several accessories for pallet flow systems, including wire decking, row spacers, wall ties, and post protectors. To secure your products further, consider mounting safety netting between racks. Our OSHA-compliant net guards catch stray products, reducing unnecessary product damage and protecting warehouse employees.
These nets are made from poly rope binding and have a maximum load rating of 2,500 lbs. Nets are see-through, so they won’t obstruct product visibility in your warehouse.
Find High-Quality Right Pallet Flow Racks at Shelving + Racks Systems, Inc.
When deciding on how to configure your pallet flow rack, it’s important to consider the following:
- Product types and packaging
- The types of pallets you use
- Load footprint
- Load weight range
- Warehouse or storage facility environment (temperature and humidity)
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we provide new and used warehouse equipment from industry-leading brands. We handle new and used racks and accessories, ensuring you can find storage solutions that align with your budget. Our installation crews are available to assemble and integrate your system, facilitating a fast warehouse renovation.
Contact us today if you need assistance designing or planning a pallet flow racking system. To view our full inventory list, browse our online catalog.