Warehouse racking, also known as warehouse shelving is a warehouse design that enables the storage of materials in vertical shelves to maximize on space. In this design, shelves are hoisted on vertical pillars raising as high as the warehouse roof. The width and height on the individual selves depends on the materials being stored. The shelves are usually built using tear-down frames.
Process of Setting Up
If you do not already have a warehouse, the first step will be locating an ideal warehouse space for your materials. Besides factors such as convenience and costs, the other major factor to consider is the height of the warehouse roof. Since warehouse racking utilizes vertical space, the higher the roof, the more the space you will create.
Designing the Warehouse Shelving
Once you have identified the warehouse space, the next important decision is determining the type of warehouse racking to have. There are different types of warehouse shelving. Select pallet racking is the most common type of warehouse shelving. In this design, the shelves are constructed using beams and materials are packed in the shelves by use of a folk-lift truck. When constructing the racks, you can use screw-in beams or clip-in beams. The clip-in beams are used when you need to store different types of materials. This way, you can easily adjust the size of the shelves using the clips. The disadvantage of this design is that you can not store very heavy materials on these shelves. The screw-in beams are more permanent and are used when storing heavier materials or products that does not require adjusting the beam sizes.
Besides select pallet racking, you can also have push-back or pallet flow design. This design of warehouse racking uses rails and rollers on each level of storage as opposed to box beams. The materials are hung onto the rollers and pushed back to back along the rail. The rail levels raise as high as the roof. This method of storage is used to maximize on warehouse capacity. However, the limitation of this design is that it is difficult to remove materials stored in the middle of a rail.
Designing the Entry and Exit Points
The entry and exit of the warehouse is also another major factor when setting up warehouse racking. There are two types of entry design. The drive-in model has a single entry and exit point. This design usually creates more space but it is usually hard to manage inventories. On the other hand, drive-through design has an entry on one end of the warehouse and the exit on the other end. This design enables easy loading and removal of materials in the warehouse. You can use 'last in first out' (LIFO) method of warehousing much easily as the folk-lift trucks can easily navigate within the warehouse.
Constructing the Racks
Once you have come up with the design and type of warehouse shelving to install, you can proceed and construct your warehouse. When purchasing the beams, you can opt for second hand beams to reduce on your costs. The construction of the racks is simple and straight forward. However, you may require an expert to advise on various aspects such as safety and aisle spacing.
Safety and Cleanliness
Once you have set up your warehouse, you should arrange for regular safety and cleanliness audits to ensure that the quality of your warehouse is maintained.