Organization is the key and time is essential in almost any possible situations, especially when working in large warehouses, offices, archives and storage spaces. Just imagine what would happen in a warehouse if there isn’t an effective system for storing all those boxes with goods; how will you find what you are looking for? How will you know what is there and what is missing? Exactly. You would be lost and very close to a nervous break down because no one can be functional in a messy, chaotic environment. And of course, you will waste your time, and you know what they say about time – it is money!
So, what can you do to ease your way around a large warehouse, or the office archives? It is simple, use storage racks for organization.
An ubiquitous element of almost every modern warehouse, retail center and manufacturing facility since the Second World War, are pallet racks. Pallet racking is a storage aid system that can come very handy in situations that require a high degree of order. Pallet racking uses ‘pallets’ as storage racks on which you can store various palletized materials. They are horizontal rows with multiple levels, so from the very beginning, you have some sort of order; your boxes will not be stashed one on top of another and you will have access to the interior of each one of them. Plus, everything will have its place; boxed goods will not be clustered without any sense in one place, but can be ordered and classified.
There are two main types of pallet racking systems
Selective Pallet Racking System
This type of racking system is commonly used today and comes in two possible configurations:
- Roll-formed selective storage racks are manufactured in a so called “teardrop” style. Pallets are laid horizontally on the load beams and are held in place by mounting clips. The clips can be easily moved, so these storage racks can be adjusted to various heights, which is why they are perfect for storing a wide variety of product sizes.
- Structural selective storage racks do not differ much from the roll-formed ones. The difference is in the load beams which are attached to the uprights and are able to carry a lot more weight.
Engineered rack systems
These storage racks are more expensive than the above mentioned types. The most popular ones are the drive-in rack, the push back rack, pallet flow rack and the carton flow rack. Each one of them has their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on their use.
- Drive-in rack – this is a LIFO, last-in, first out system, which means the first products you place on the racks are the last ones you will be able to get out. These racks employ a one way lane and a forklift, which requires experienced forklift drivers to operate. It works only with a limited number of products and is used by industries that base their distribution on the LIFO principle.
- Push-back rack – this is also a LIFO storage system, but with greater selectivity than the drive-in racking system. Multiple products can be stored on different pallets and they can be all pushed next to each other, but it will be the same pallet in a row, making the first pallet be accessed last.
- Pallet flow rack – this is a FIFO, or first-in, first out storage system, mainly used for storing food. Also, it is a good system for storing time sensitive products.
- Carton-flow rack – a FIFO storing system, perfect for storing multiple product stock keeping units. It is far more modern than the other types, as it uses roller tracks that allow the products to glide down the lane. It is mainly used for light, hand-stacked items.