In warehouse management, storage is an essential part of your business. As a result, the types of storage racks you use can significantly impact your operation. How you store merchandise affects loading and unloading times, your personnel’s safety, how efficiently you use floor space, and worker productivity.
Styles of Storage Racks
In the field of warehouse storage, there are a wide variety of storage systems to choose from, ideal for storing everything from raw materials and compact consumer goods to vehicles and heavy machine parts.
One of your priorities is to maximize available storage space, ensuring that your warehouse floor remains obstacle-free for your personnel. This often means using vertical space as efficiently as possible and employing the correct racking systems to facilitate that.
Some of the most versatile types of industrial storage racks include:
Push Back Racks
The push back racking system allows forklift operators to load and unload inventory from the same location. Once a pallet has been loaded, applying pressure causes the pallet to slide to the rear or be pushed back, creating space for the next pallet.
When you unload one pallet, the one behind it slides forward to occupy the space. This type of racking system is LIFO (last in, first out). What this means is that the last item you load is the first one that’s accessible.
Selective Pallet Rack
One of the most common types of storage system is one that provides selective racking. A selective pallet rack employs an open design that allows your pallet jack or forklift operator to access the inventory they need immediately. There’s no need to move one pallet to access another.
A drive-in rack allows a forklift operator to drive into the racking system, which is open from the front, and collect pallets stored on rails. The entry and exit point are the same for the forklift. This is an example of a high-density storage option for LIFO picking.
Drive-thru racks are open-ended and permit the forklift to enter from multiple directions. Consequently, drive-thru racks can be LIFO or FIFO (first in, first out).
Carton Flow Racks
How your pickers collect merchandise or stock from racks plays a crucial role in the packing and distribution process.
In the carton flow rack system, warehouse staff load merchandise from the rear. The rack has roller-equipped runways that feed the merchandise forward at an incline, using gravity. As workers retrieve products from the front of the rack, the merchandise in the rear flows toward the picking aisle. This increases the economy of motion, boosting worker productivity.
For increased durability and storage capacity, consider structural shelving. This type of shelving system uses hot-rolled steel channels to support a considerable amount of weight.
It can also withstand impact from forklifts that may damage weaker racks. If your warehouse has heavy forklift traffic, a high employee turnover rate, or an otherwise fast-paced work environment, your racking systems are more likely to sustain damage from these vehicles.
Forming, blanking, injection-molding, and investment casting dies are essential to the manufacturing of countless industrial and consumer products. However, dies and other tooling take up valuable floor space and are heavy. You can’t afford to leave them lying on the factory floor because they’re often expensive to manufacture and can pose a safety hazard. The solution, then, is a dedicated die rack.
These racks often feature open beams, fork entry bars, sliding solid steel decks for easy access.
If you run a warehouse or a factory, chances are you will have to store tubing, piping, lumber, or bar stock. These kinds of products or raw materials require a different approach to storage. A traditional pallet racking system will not suffice.
A cantilever racking system is a heavy-duty storage solution for long, unusually sized, awkward, and bulky items. This system consists of a wide base that anchors the racking system to the floor, and upright columns, which support a series of cantilever arms.
The ideal type of cantilever racking system uses rear vertical supports to increase accessibility. You and your personnel are also able to visually identify the contents from a distance.
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., warehouse storage is our specialty. We sell a variety of storage racking systems for the warehouse manager or shop foreman to help you maximize your floor space and boost productivity. If you’d like to discuss your storage requirements with us, contact a member of our team at (800) 589-7225. Our project managers can help you determine the optimal system to increase your business’ efficiency.