A significant amount of effort and planning are required when you are in the process of designing an effective warehouse pallet rack system. Below are some tips to help ensure that your new system will be as time-saving and cost-effective as possible.
1. Creating a Master Plan in Essential
To ensure that a pallet rack system is going to be efficient, it’s essential that a master plan be created before anything is installed. This will help you determine exactly what your storage requirements are going to be beforehand.
For example, will items need to be loaded on to pallets before being stored or will they have to be placed individually on the racks? Are any of the items being stored of an odd shape that may need bigger storage bays? Do you have items that are thin and long and that would perhaps benefit more from a cantilever rack system? Are there fast turnover items that would benefit more from a gravity-fed or drive-in racking setup? What type of warehouse and packing systems are currently in use and what would be required at a future point to ensure total efficiency?
One of the most important factors to take into consideration when planning a warehouse pallet rack storage system is the available budget. However, the money spent on installing better quality and more effective pallet racks will be a budget that is well-spent. In fact, when deducting the savings across the life of a rack system, you’ll quickly see that the initial expenditure amount is significantly reduced.
2. Consider the Current Layout of Your Warehouse
Once you have developed a master plan, it’s essential that you spend time actually becoming familiar with the layout of your warehouse. The structure as well as the available amount of space can scupper even the best thought out plan, which is why it’s crucial that you know what limitations your warehouse has with regards to shape, size and height. This will play an essential role when it comes to choosing the right rack system as well because you will need to allocate sufficient space for forklift turn circles, windows, walkways and drive throughs, exits and entrances and essential safety items.
3. Consider the Available Options
Although you might have a concrete idea in mind regarding the rack system you’ll need, it never hurts to take a look at all of the available options out there. You may be able to find an alternative that is better suited to your warehouse than what you had originally chosen. It’s also recommended that you work with suppliers that provide a wide product and service selection at the best possible prices. You should also ensure that you opt for a pallet rack provider that can supply extra units, repairs, maintenance and sales support at a later stage.
4. Familiarise Yourself with the Basic Rules of Racking
When constructing pallet rack storage systems, a few basic rules should be followed:
- If you intend having pallet bays that are double the average size, you will need to add around 25 to 30 cm to the pallet’s width so that you can determine the total beam length. This will provide sufficient space between the upright sections to place or remove pallets.
- There is a maneuver rule, which requires that 15 cm be added between the top of pallet loads and the bottom of the following beam. If this clearance is insufficient, potential damage can be caused to items being stored and the pallet racks.
- There is also the shock factor rule to consider. This gives a margin for weight rating when heavier than average items have to be stored on pallet racks. For example, if beam levels have been rated at 2 tons, it’s recommended that loads be reduced by around 25% so that load shock can be taken into consideration.
Finally, you should familiarise yourself with the Australian Standards pertaining to Steel Storage Racking AS4084-2012, as this will prevent any issues arising at a future point. It’s also crucial to ensure that you only work with reputable pallet rack specialists because this will ensure that all of your pallet rack projects are as efficient and effective as possible.