Warehouse Layout and Design

When it comes to warehouse design, where does one start? Whether you are reorganizing your existing facility or moving into a new one due to expansion or consolidation, the best place to start is by Gathering and Documenting the RIGHT information. Whenever we are helping our clients come up with an ideal layout for their specific business, we start by asking the following questions:


Pallet and Load:

What kinds of products and containers are going to be stored in the rack system (i.e. Pallets, Cases, Finished Goods, Parts loose or in bins)?


Number of SKU's?


Range of units stored per SKU?


What are the actual dimensions and weights of the SKU's, pallets, cases (W x D x H) you plan to store?


Loading Equipment:

What type of lift truck will be predominantly used in the warehouse?


Max Lift Height?


Aisle Requirements?


Wide Aisle (WA) i.e. Standard sit-down forklift: Typical aisle widths are 11’ to 13’ or larger


Narrow Aisle (NA) i.e. Stand up trucks, reach trucks, double deep reach trucks. Typical aisle widths are 8’ to 10’


Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) refers to forklifts that can operate in aisles of less than 6’. There is often some sort of guidance systems (guide rail, wire guidance) i.e. Man-up order pickers, turret trucks, swing mast trucks, and Bendi style.


Warehouse Layout:

Is there an available CAD drawing? Paper drawing?


Activity areas in relation to the warehouse area? i.e. Loading docks, production or packaging area and traffic flow? 


Unloading / staging needed? 


Size of the area that will act as the warehouse?


Clear ceiling height?


Are accurate obstacles noted (i.e. Column size and spacing, walkways, doors, sprinklers, overhead obstructions, ventilation)?


What are the long-term plans in terms of growth?


All our design, layout services, and application consulting is FREE! Contact one of our Design Specialists for a pallet racking shelving quote at (888) 850-RACK (7225) or email us at  sales@warehouseequipmentsite.com

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Which Pallet Rack System is the best for your operation?

Maximizing your warehouse space is essential to every aspect of your business. To figure out which racking system is best for optimizing your space needs, check out the pros and cons for each system and how we help our clients determine which system is best for them. 

Selective Pallet Rack

Selective pallet rack is the most universal system for direct and individual access to each pallet.


Advantages:

 · Selectivity: With single-deep selective racking, any pallet in the warehouse can be accessed at any time without having to move anything else to get to it. When time is of the essence and a warehouse team is aiming to eliminate unnecessary “touches,” it makes sense to have as many     pallets as possible be accessible without the need to move anything else. 

· Cost-effectiveness: In terms of what an end user pays in relation to the additional storage space obtained by implementing racking, selective pallet rack is generally the least expensive type of racking available. 

      

Disadvantage:

 · Lower storage density: The most common fault found with selective pallet rack is the     number of aisles necessary in a selective system. In a true selective rack setup, there’s one aisle for every row of pallet rack. 

· Limited to 1-2 pallets deep

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Pushback Pallet Rack

Pushback rack systems are ideal for warehouses that store a high volume of product, multiple pallets per SKU, and a high volume of turnover. The biggest advantage of push back racking is its ability to offer both selectivity (access to different pallets/SKU's) and storage density by storing multiple pallets per position. 


Advantages:

 · High-density storage

· Allows for storage of more SKU's

· Can range from two to six pallets deep 

· Can accommodate a wide range of pallet sizes and styles

· Because each lane operates independently, push back pallet storage offers a more flexible pallet storage option than Drive-In racking, which is best for storing many pallets of only a few SKU's.

· Higher productivity can be achieved as forklifts can store and retrieve pallets quicker than drive-in rack 

      

Disadvantages:

 · LIFO (Last in First Out) storage system 

· Standard GMA pallets are typically required unless you choose full deck carts that are much more expensive

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Drive-In Pallet Rack

Drive-In Rack is ideal for stocking large quantities of relatively few items. It can reduce overall square footage requirements by at least 35% compared to a standard selective rack configuration.  


Advantages:

· High-density storage

· Cost-effective- Drive-in systems are typically significantly cheaper than pushback and pallet flow systems

· Customizable for your pallets and forklifts

· Can range from 2 to 10 pallets deep 

      

Disadvantages:

· Because all of the product in a given bay must be unloaded to reach the last pallet, it's not the best option in terms of selectivity or accommodating the need to rotate inventory.

· Load size and uniformity is a critical requirement.

· High maintenance from damage of lift truck driving in and out. 

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Pallet Flow Rack

In this first-in/first-out (FIFO) system, pallets are loaded at the top end of a gently sloped rail and glide safely and effortlessly at a controlled pace to the other side.  


         

Advantages:

· High density, space-saving storage

· Each lane can hold up to 20 pallets deep in one lane

· Customized, tailor-made design

· Fast and immediate access to every pallet

· Versatile - Well-suited for refrigeration or freezer storage applications

· Tested for your unique application

· Minimal maintenance

      

Disadvantages:

· High capital investment compared to other racking systems

· Limited selectivity and limited number of SKU's 

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Now that you know the pros and cons of each system, here is a helpful tool we use to help our clients identify the correct system for their applications:

All our design, layout services, and application consulting is FREE! Contact one of our Design Specialists for a pallet racking shelving quote at (888) 850-RACK (7225) or email us at  sales@warehouseequipmentsite.com.  

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Warehouse Equipment & Supplies Co.

P.O. Box 157040, Cincinnati, OH 45215

(888) 850-7225 ~ sales@warehouseequipmentsite.com

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