Pallet racking, broadly, is probably the most common form of storage in warehouse environments. However, the numerous variations of pallet racking offer greatly differing functions for the specific needs of a business. From standard aisle racking to the pallet flow rack, there is almost certainly a pallet-based racking system to suit your needs.
Mobile pallet racking, for example, is a high-density solution that sacrifices a small amount of accessibility for a great increase in capacity. A pallet flow rack system, on the other hand, is perfectly suited to high-flow storage while improving on traditional aisle layouts in storage density.
Storage pallets are completely ubiquitous in the warehouse and storage industries and for a good reason. These standard-sized platforms for goods help make sure different storage environments are compatible with one another. This facilitates easier transfer between warehouses, retailers, and manufacturers who can all rely on the same size being used across the board.
A pallet flow rack takes this standardized form and offers an arrangement that can compact storage while actually improving operational flow.
Pallet Flow Racking
The basic layout of a pallet flow rack system is a dense cube or cuboid, with lanes that run right through its core. The lanes have rollers which move pallets through the racking so that operators can load pallets in one end and unload them from the other. Assigning each of these lanes to a specific good means that you don’t lose any accessibility since all the goods along a given lane are the same.
The advantage this offers is to remove the need for additional aisles between every unit of racking, compressing the units together into a tight formation. This can save up to 60% of floor space when compared to traditional aisle-based systems. Unlike mobile pallet racking, which requires operation of the units to access individual pallets, a pallet flow rack features static loading and unloading points.
First-in, first-out (FIFO) principles apply to the pallet flow rack system. This is because the first pallet you load into the rack will also be the first one you have access to at the unloading end.
Although standard use cases would suggest an advantage of keeping the same good in each lane, there are other viable methods. Goods that expire and seasonal goods benefit from flow racking because you have access to the priority goods first while storing the reserve goods for later.
With careful human or computer managed systems, it is possible to use first-in, first-out effectively with multiple different goods on a single lane.
This requires advanced scheduling in order to be effective.
High-Density for High Turnover
A pallet flow rack is likely to be the best option for businesses that require high-density storage and run a high turnover, with frequent rack loading and unloading. Any good pallet flow rack for sale online should offer this basic functionality, and provide great density gains over standard aisle rack layouts.
Its suitability for fulfilling these two critical metrics in warehouse operation has put the pallet flow rack front and center of the storage industry.
The pallet flow rack is a great fit for so many scenarios as it combines the excellent and practical FIFO approach with standardized pallet racks. You can load pallets with anything from chemical drums, to homeware to fresh produce.
Once the goods are on a pallet, they are fit for use on a pallet flow rack system. The same applies to special storage scenarios, including sterilized and cold storage.
A pallet flow rack has so many broad applications, and it only takes one of these to be applicable for this innovative storage solution to offer potential benefits to your business.