An effective warehouse racking system is essential to ensuring that the available storage space is used optimally. It has to combine ease of use with a suitable capacity in order to deliver cost-effectiveness to businesses of all types.
There are many industrial warehouse racking systems available, catering to different needs and industries. From the static storage and efficiency offered by narrow aisle pallet racking to the versatility and bulk storage convenience of pushback pallet racking, the choice available today is extensive.
Apex can supply cutting-edge warehouse pallet racking systems that are made to measure and built to last. If you are new to this type of warehouse racking system, our handy guide will talk you through all you need to know about the different configurations and technologies you can select.
All pallet racking systems are based on the same underlying principles in terms of design. They consist of a basic framework which is used to support pallets, rather than relying on fully-fledged racking to bear the loads that they house.
Wide aisle pallet racking is one of the best industrial racking systems around for storing palletized goods in a way that leaves them easily accessible.
With this type of racking, there is no need to invest in specialist handling equipment designed to cope with work in tight spaces. Instead, you can make use of a varied line-up of forklifts and other pallet-hauling machinery, as there will be enough room between the rows of racking to allow straightforward manoeuvring in a safe, unobstructed way.
Warehouse pallet racking systems which adopt a wide aisle approach to rack placement will mean that as little as 40 per cent of the floor space is dedicated to storage. This creates a situation in which storage capacity is compromised in order to achieve the ultimate in accessibility.
There are lots of advantages associated with wide aisle pallet racking, aside from the simple way in which stored goods can be accessed. This includes its innate durability, which comes from the sturdy materials used in the construction of the racks, as well as the unfussy way in which they are designed. If you are looking for warehouse pallet racking systems that will stand the test of time, this is definitely the type to consider first and foremost.
Adjustability is another perk which comes with this type of warehouse racking system. Heights between levels can be altered in a short timeframe, so even if the nature of the stock you are storing changes overnight, you will be able to cope with this shift without wasting any of the available space.
In terms of aisle widths, there is still some flexibility with this type of racking. The narrowest will be around 2.5 meters in width, although many businesses choose to opt for aisle widths of between 3 and 4 meters to gain the maximum benefits from a wide aisle pallet racking setup.
One thing to bear in mind is that this type of pallet racking system is innately limited in terms of height. This is because of the lifting height restrictions imposed by the trucks that will be used to add and remove pallets. Even if you have plenty of headroom in a warehouse, it might not all be usable if the multipurpose handling gear you have on-site cannot extend upwards into it and work safely.
The cost of storage space can be a factor which inhibits your business’ ability to grow and evolve. With narrow aisle pallet racking, you can keep up with increasing orders and quicker stock turnover rates while still relying on your existing warehouse resources.
Industrial racking units which are arranged in a narrow aisle configuration are just as adaptable and customizable as their wide aisle counterparts. By keeping each row of racking closer together, more storage capacity can be packed into a given space, and yields can be boosted by up to 50 percent.
Narrow aisle pallet racking is particularly useful for organizations which will benefit from speedy, safe order picking. Modern trucks and handling gear designed to operate in narrow aisle environments will be required to use this type of racking, but the upfront costs involved in procuring the relevant equipment will be offset over time by the savings made through optimization of warehouse space.
The stacking kit used in conjunction with narrow aisle pallet racking has the added advantage of being more efficient because a lot of its movement can be automated. Rather than relying on human operators to take charge of the steering, for example, the equipment can be wire or rail-guided to boost safety, as well as improving the speed of travel.
Industrial racking systems which leave a large gap between each row of racks open up the temptation for aisles to be left with an accumulation of general detritus. From discarded pallets to dropped goods, a lot of obstacles can be created due to this abundance of space. Narrow aisle pallet racking suffers no such issues, as there simply is not enough room for any kind of mess to be tolerated, which is another advantage to consider.
From impressive levels of automation to the same excellent levels of customization as are offered by wide aisle pallet racking, a narrow aisle solution will be advantageous to many organizations. The final thing to mention is that 100 per cent accessibility to all pallets will remain intact, so there will never be a situation in which a required item is stashed in some distant corner, blocked off by other pallets that take a long time to shift.
Because of all its positive features, narrow aisle packing is an increasingly common choice across a range of businesses, from manufacturers to logistics firms and retailers.
If you absolutely have to use every last square inch of warehouse floor space while still having complete access to each pallet and product, a very narrow aisle pallet racking system will be an impactful investment.
Aisles of just 1.5 metres in width can be created with this racking, and as with narrow aisle pallet racking it will be necessary to deploy specialist lift trucks in order to cope with the lack of space, as well as the great heights that are often achieved.
Very narrow aisle pallet racking shares all of the benefits of its sister technologies already covered above, but there are some stand out features that it provides which are worth mentioning in their own right.
For example, by switching to a warehouse racking system like this, which has incredibly narrow aisles and requires specialised equipment to access, the likelihood of damage being done to the pallets, the goods or the racks themselves will be minimised. This is again thanks to the automation of the machinery’s operation, which eliminates human error and provides peace of mind for business that cannot afford to consistently absorb the costs of items being damaged in storage.
Conversely the main complication that comes with adopting very narrow aisle pallet racking is that the margin for error is paper thin. Should something go wrong, the results will be calamitous because of the close proximity of the racks and the high storage volumes they are designed to offer.
There is always a trade-off to consider, no matter which warehouse pallet racking systems you decide to adopt. In this instance, the benefits of very narrow aisle pallet racking are much greater than the small number of downsides, especially in the case that a business wants to radically improve its use of warehouse space.
If you want to achieve similar storage densities to straightforward block stacking, but need to preserve goods from damage and make them a bit more accessible, then drive in pallet racking is the right choice.
The principle of the design is simple; pallets are stored on rails mounted in racks which provide enough room for a lift truck to drive right in. This means that the first pallet put in position will be the last that you remove, with subsequent additions blocking it off and rendering it inaccessible.
The first in, last out (FILO) principle of storage is usually best suited to scenarios in which every single pallet on a given rack contains an identical payload of goods. This means that the inaccessibility of the rearmost pallet is irrelevant, as it is accompanied by lots of others that are effectively the same.
Cold storage environments are often combined with drive-in pallet racking since goods tend to remain static for long periods and accessibility is not as important as maximising capacity. Businesses which deal in goods that are popular for brief periods each year, rather than having a more consistent appeal from week to week, can also benefit from drive-in pallet racking and the positive features it brings to the table.
The multiple levels afforded by this type of warehouse packing system will protect each layer of pallets from one another, keeping the goods they contain in perfect condition. Like other pallet racking systems, there is also a degree of adjustability, so heights can be altered and row positions changed according to the needs of the organization at a given time.
Mixing the bulk storage capabilities of drive-in pallet racking with the improved accessibility of wide aisle pallet racking, the demand for pushback pallet racking has grown significantly in recent years. A quick look at its features will make it easy to see why it is such a sought after warehouse racking system.
The same underlying framework is used here, but instead of keeping pallets on static racks, they are stored in channels that feature built-in rollers. As each new pallet is added, it pushes back the front-most pallet on the channel it is set to occupy, boosting storage capacities by up to 75 per cent by operating on the FILO principle.
When the time comes to remove the pallets, each will trundle forward to the front of the channel, so there is no need to drive the lift truck right in to gain access to it. This does mean that pallets are effectively trapped in place unless they are at the front, so again it makes sense to store identical payloads in this way, rather than mixing up a variety of different types of goods within the same channel.
Push back pallet racking operates by having the racking rails mounted on the beams at a slight angle, which means that gravity is all that is needed to bring the pallets to the front of the channel. Smooth, convenient and safe, it is clear that this approach is a winner for many different organisations.
With push back pallet racking, you will be massively reducing the amount of work that is involved in loading and unloading pallets in bulk storage and cold storage scenarios. When it comes to productivity and cost-effectiveness, it is apparent that these specialised warehouse storage racks will have the upper hand over some of the alternatives.
Apex Storage Systems can supply your business with a customised warehouse racking system that is perfectly adapted to space you have available and equipped with the features that will be most beneficial to your operations.
We use cutting-edge production processes and the latest technologies to create pallet racking systems that stand out from the crowd. Whether you need wide aisle pallet racking to give you the upper hand in terms of lift truck flexibility, or would benefit most from the high storage densities and convenience of pushback pallet racking, we can create the right assembly for you.
Get in touch with Apex Storage Systems today by calling 0800 118 2937 and one of our experienced team members will be able to talk you through the industrial racking systems we sell.