Whether you are setting up your warehouse from scratch or upgrading your current setup, it’s important to know about your warehouse equipment. The more you know about it, the better you’ll understand it, and the better you’ll be able to set-up, service, repair, and maintain it in the future. One common piece of warehouse equipment that we install for warehouses in Illinois and across the Midwest are pallet flow racks. Let’s look at the elements that make up the pallet flow rack and how you’ll likely use them in your warehouse setup.
Parts of the Pallet Flow Rack
There are two main parts of the pallet flow rack: the rack structure and the flow rails. These work together to create a great system that’s easy to load and unload and provides a number of time and money-saving benefits.
Static Rack Structure
This is the workhorse of the pallet flow rack because it’s the main structure of the system. The rack structure is built from (usually) steel beams and cross bars that provide stability and strength to the structure. It bears the brunt of the load, taking the weight of the pallets and keeping everything in place until you need it. The size of the static rack portion of your system is really only limited by the space you have in your warehouse, and it’s easily expandable if you need more room.
Dynamic Flow Rails
This is the important part of the pallet flow rack. The flow rails are a system of tracks or rollers that decline along the length of the rack which allows the pallets to flow by force of gravity. There are rollers or brakes on the system to help ease the next pallet down the incline into the unloading position, keeping the product (and the workers on the other end of the line) safe. In essence, you load your materials on the high part of the rack and unload at the low point. As you remove your materials from the system, the following load simply rolls into the unloading position. This allows the system to work perfectly for first in, first out (FIFO) inventory rotations.
Benefits of a Pallet Flow Racking System
Excellent for Product Rotation
This is the ideal system for warehouses that stock perishable or other time-sensitive goods. With this type of rack system, the first load on will always be the first load to be taken out. It basically rotates its own stock, meaning products used in this racking system are unlikely to go bad or expire. Because product rotation is automatic, you won’t have to depend on human labor to change out your stock or ensure that it’s being rotated through properly, meaning you are saving on labor costs as well.
Requires Fewer Forklifts
By utilizing a pallet rack flow system, your warehouse will require fewer forklifts. That can mean cost savings in your budget, as that means you’ll be paying for less fuel, fewer repairs, and dealing with fewer forklift-related accidents. The forklifts are used primarily for loading and unloading and little else, saving money as well as time. Fewer forklifts also mean less traffic and a more orderly and productive warehouse and fewer repairs to your pallet racking.
Storage Can Easily Be Increased
One of the best things about a rack flow system is that it can double your storage density. That means your busy warehouse will be able to expand operations and inventory numbers without having to undergo the expense of moving your site or expanding your facility. It also means your business won’t be paying to operate within a bigger facility. A lot of warehouses switch to pallet flow racks because of the storage capabilities alone; the other benefits are just a welcome side effect. If your warehouse has been struggling to find space for your pallets, then this is something worth looking into.
Think Pallet Flow Racks are Right for Your Warehouse?
If you’ve been searching for a storage system that’s right for your warehouse, the pallet flow rack might be it. It offers a lot of benefits and can be easily installed in your Illinois warehouse by our team or your own. If you aren’t sure it’s the right setup for you, though, there are plenty of other options out there. Our warehouse consultants specialize in finding the right solutions for our customers. We carefully evaluate your warehouse, inventory needs, and the systems you have in place in order to determine what warehouse equipment you need to operate faster, safer, and more efficiently.
Ready to find the storage system that’s right for your warehouse or distribution center? Then get in touch with our team. You can give us a call or contact us through our website and start working with a project manager in your area right away.