Any company involved in the storage of goods will know that storing the largest amount of product in any given space is vital to the efficiency of the business. The way that pallet racking is used and arranged can make a huge amount of difference to the number of pallets that a building can accommodate.
Ensure Your Storage is Specific to your Own Requirements
Buying standardised wide aisle pallet racking can be tempting, as it might save time initially – but in the long run, having storage that is tailored to meet your own requirements will ensure that no space is wasted and can also help with quick and efficient collection and distribution of your products.
• Aisle width
If you are using forklifts, think about the width you need to drive these safely, including turning circles and passing one another. There will be safety regulations from the Material Handling Equipment (MHE) manufacturer that you need to be aware of for minimum aisle requirements, but within those parameters do ensure that you are not wasting space on excess aisle width. Smaller spaces, with goods that are collected from shelves by hand, may be able to have even more narrow aisles. If you have a tall building with a small footprint, consider narrow aisle racking as a solution. This requires purchasing specialist handling equipment, but can vastly reduce the width of your aisles, while still being able to quickly, safely and securely access all your stock.
• Racking depth and beam length
Depending on the items you are storing, you may need deeper or more narrow racks. It is often beneficial for a storage company to use multiple different depths of racking within one warehouse when storing a variety of products. You do not want to be wasting space by having an empty area behind your products. This is especially true of deep products like rolls of carpet, timber pipes or tubes. Ensure that you are not storing three metre rolls on four metre racking – that extra metre could be well used elsewhere! In addition, consider the minimum height of your products. Some companies will sell “one size fits all” racking, catering to the maximum pallet heights, but this can mean that your smaller products will have lots of wasted space above them on each rack. To utilise this wasted space, additional apertures on each rack would allow more storage levels for these smaller items without making the overall racking higher.
Many companies have tall spaces, with ceilings reaching well above their current storage racking. This space could be well utilised with a little planning and investment and newer units are built with this in mind.
• High racking
It may be worth investing in extra high racking to take full advantage of the height of your building. This may also involve the purchase of specialist handling equipment and extra safety measures; but it could be time and money well spent for a vast increase in storage space.
• Multi tier storage
If a lot of your products are handpicked and there are many different types, multi-tier storage could be the answer. Steps up to higher platforms reduce the need for complex equipment to reach products each time they are needed.
• A mezzanine level
If you don’t want to invest in the specialist MHE needed to reach very high products (and the specialist training that is required for their use), but want to utilise the height of your building for extra storage space, a mezzanine floor is another option. Lifts and conveyors can be utilised to ensure products can be accessed simply and efficiently. These can be operated by any staff member, with basic training and usually no requirement for special qualifications.
A full assessment of all the requirements of your company, in conjunction with a pallet racking design specialist, can enable you to ensure that you are really making the best use of the space that you have available.
WAREHOUSE SYSTEMS LIMITED