One of the most important components in any Industrial Warehouse is a good storage system. Pallet racks are one of the best solutions to any storage problem. It is a very useful component in the material handling industry. Pallet rack manufacturers have many variations of the Pallet rack which help to keep the products organized and in place.
Basically a pallet rack will have upright steel frames which are connected by some horizontal beams. The Pallets rest on these beams. A bay is created by two frames along with their corresponding beams. The space between the beams and the height of the supporting frames determine the number of pallet positions in each bay.
While 20 -25 feet is the normal height of a rack, you can also opt for a maximum of 100 feet, depending on what you want to store. The steel components of the frames and beams can be either welded or bolted together. In some pallet racks the components are designed in such a way that they can be interlocked through a slotted connection.
Metal pallet racks can be categorized into two main divisions-
- Low density System
- High Density System
Let’s take a look at these two categories in detail.
Low density System
The low density racks make it possible to have easy access to the stored goods. These are again sub divided into two.
Single Deep Rack
This is also called as Selective Rack. You will find that the Single Deep Rack is the most common in warehouses and even distribution centers. This suits many aisle configurations and also is easily paired with fork lift trucks. Moreover this type is the least expensive option among all racks.
Double Deep Rack
The double deep rack allows maximum storage, however is not as accessible as the single type. It stores one pallet load behind the other, so is less flexible than the other types. You can access the rear pallet load only if the front position is empty. The products have to be sorted in the last in –first out method to enable ease in handling and movement of goods.
High Density racks can also be subdivided into the following groups. They offer better use of your space ,however there is only limited access to the stored product.
Drive-in rack creates very dense storage systems. They are capable of storing four or more loads which creates a high volume of storage space.
Here a fork lift truck can drive into the storage bay and once it is in front of the required rack, it can place the load in the position set aside for the respective product and then drive away. There are no beams across the bays which makes it easier for the trucks to navigate in the spaces between the racks. Here the pallets are made to rest on rails that run inside the bay.
Drive-in racks are best suited for storing huge quantities belonging to the same product.
A proper rack system will support order picking and enable smooth drive through pallet racking without causing any harm to the employees in the warehouse. Similar to Drive in racks, the drive-through rack helps the lift trucks to enter the bay from both ends. First in First out rotation of products in made possible here as we can load from one end and empty from the other.
Gravity flow rack
The Gravity flow rack is created by combining a stationary rack frame with skate wheels or a roller conveyor.
The Pallets will be loaded at the rear end of racks. They can move along the slightly inclined conveyor and can be retrieved at the front.
There is lesser storage flexibility as each layer is mainly used to store a single product. However many layers can be stored at the same time .It is commonly used to store dated products as it allows rotation of goods on a first in first out basis.
Push-back rack has a stationary rack structure which will have nested carts .These can move along the inclined rails provided. They are configured to hold around 5 pallets deep and manage the inventory on last-in/first-out basis.
Now that you know the basics about the different types of pallet racking, make the most out of it and organize your warehouse efficiently.