Pallet Rack Buying Guide
When you’re looking at fitting out a new warehouse or expanding an existing warehouse space with extra pallet racking, it is important to consider the varying functions and benefits of each type so you can select the racking best suited to your needs.
It goes without saying that different product lines need storing in different ways to ensure safe storage and as little wasted space as possible. So to assist you with your warehouse fit-out, expansion, or re-fit, we have compiled a list of the most widely used types of racking, accessories along with a brief outline of their relevant features.
Carton Flow Racking
Carton Flow Racking and Live Storage are ideal for warehouses that store and dispatch small products, parts, and components that require manual picking and packing. Carton Flow Racking uses lanes of inclined gravity rollers allowing for increased picking efficiency whereas Carton Live Storage may not use roller aisles. In both cases, cartons or boxes are loaded onto the shelves or racking from one side and automatically progress to the front ‘picking interface’ on rollers as stock is removed for packing. The roller lanes can be adjusted in terms of incline, height, and size in order to tailor it specifically to your needs.
Cantilever Racking utilizes a series of metal ‘arms’ to support long, heavy products including timber, pipework, or beams. This system allows products to be stored loose or on a pallet, adding an element of versatility. The arms are also available in varying strengths and can be attached to either one or both sides of the rack, allowing you to tailor the racking to your requirements. The clear benefits of this form of racking are the ability to store longer-than-standard product lines, increased weights, and relatively quick construction time.
Double Deep Racking
Double Deep Racking aims to maximize the available storage space by allowing pallets to be stored in pairs, as the name implies. This cuts the amount of wasted space on aisles down to about half. A drawback to this type of storage system can be the lack of access to all pallets, although this can be minimized by a properly implemented stock rotation and management plan. For this reason, double deep racking is best used to store large quantities of the same product.
Drive-In Racking provides a highly space-efficient storage solution, allowing for a 60-90% increase in capacity compared to conventional racking. This form of racking is typically only accessed from one end meaning it is best suited for large quantities of one product line, or products sent out in ‘batches’.Drive-In racking systems use the ‘Last in, First Out’ (LIFO) principle.
Drive-Through Racking, like Drive-In Racking, is highly efficient, though as its name suggests access can be gained from both ends. Typical Drive-Through racking systems use the ‘First in, First Out’ (FIFO) principle.
Mobile Pallet Racking
Mobile Pallet Racking is a movable form of racking designed to maximize usable floor space. The racking is mounted onto steel guide rails set into the floor and simply moved up or down the rails to open each individual aisle. This system means you only need to allow space for one operational aisle, increasing storage capacity by up to 80%. Another major benefit of Mobile Pallet Racking, other than the increased capacity, is the ability to access any pallet individually, from any position. The high weight limit also means it can be used to store virtually any product. The racking is operated either manually or via electronic controls and should be fitted with sensors to ensure safe use.
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Narrow Aisle Racking
Designed to maximize floor space, Narrow Aisle Racking allows specialized forklift trucks to operate in aisles half the width in comparison to conventional racking layouts. By utilizing in-built guiding rails set at floor height, this system allows for precision movement of stock at a quick pace. The racking is height adjustable and offers access to every pallet without the need to re-arrange, adding an element of adaptability to the range.
Push Back Racking
Push Back Racking has major benefits in efficiency and accessibility. Pallets are loaded onto a series of wheeled carriers fitted along inclined guide channels, allowing the pallets to automatically drop forward when the front pallet is removed. The Push Back Racking system operates on a ‘First in, Last out’ (FILO) principle, allowing for fast and efficient packing and loading. The pallets are stored four deep, well suited to long-term bulk storage, and can be accessed by most types of forklift trucks, removing the need for specialized apparatus.
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