Warehouse Racking Systems: The Options
Adjustable Pallet Racking
Adjustable pallet racking is the most widely used technique for storing palletised unit loads. It consists of upright frames and horizontal beams that interlock to form the rack structure. Within the rack each pallet is individually supported and independently accessible. Adjustable pallet racking arranged in a wide aisle pattern, a minimum of 2.5 metres wide aisles, requires no specialised handling equipment. A standard counter balance truck can be used in aisles 3.5 to 4.0 metres wide. Reach trucks can work aisles only 2.5 metres wide. A limitation of using standard lift trucks is that the racking system’s height is restricted to the maximum lift height of the trucks.
Racking arranged in this way gives a high quality storage but may only utilise 40% of the available floor space, the rest being aisles. However, fast through put and ease of loading make this type of storage extremely popular.
Narrow aisle racking systems have the aisle width reduced to around 1.6 metres. This can free up to 45% of the floor space given over to aisles in a wide aisle scheme. Narrow aisle forklift trucks must be used with the system, but the net result is a dramatic increase in space utilisation.
If storage capacity is a prime requirement of your warehouse then drive-in racking may offer the solution. Eliminating aisles and lanes produces a higher storage density at the expense of selectivity. The first pallet into a lane will be the last out.
However in many applications pallets are received and dispatched in batches so this is not a disadvantage. Each pallet is supported so damage from crushing is eliminated. Speed of operation is good with standard forklift trucks driving into the lanes to pick and place pallets. It can be further increased by the provision of lead-in rails and guidance rails with the lanes.
Push back is an innovative solution that enables full space utilisation when a run of rack backs onto a wall or has a barrier that prevents total access. Push back comprises special beams and two push back sub frames assemblies running from front to back in each bay. The fabricated sub frames have wheels that run in captive tracks that mounts onto the beams. The rear beam is higher than the front beam so the sub frames come to rest at the front of the bay. When a standard fork lift truck place the first pallet in a bay it sits on the sub frame. Putting a second pallet into the bay pushes the first pallet to the back. When lowered, the second pallet then sits on the beams so preventing the first pallet from rolling forward.
High storage density and perfect stock rotation. Any size and shape of pallet can be handled and each is fully supported. This system is ideal for fast moving, perishable goods.
Powered mobile pallet racking comprises of conventional pallet racking mounted upon a steel framed base. This has electrically driven wheels which run on tracks set in to the floor. The system enables a run of racking to be moved to create an access aisle.
Up to 80% of the floor area can be occupied for storage, while retaining access to every pallet. Redirack racking, with its welded construction is ideal for this application. Having no bolts eliminates the need for safety checks on bolt torque.