In the industrial world, warehouse storage can make a huge difference in productivity. When you have supplies, products, materials, and tools, everything needs to be stored in a convenient and organized fashion to maximize productivity. Storage racks from Carolina Material Handling make it easy to keep your warehouse organized and maximize your existing space.
Which type is best for your warehouse? That depends on a few different factors.
- The types of items you need to store
- The size of the items you need to store
- The weight of the items you need to store
- The shape of the items you need to store
- The ease of access necessary
- The height and width of your storage space
- The type of equipment you will use to access the stored items
There are a variety of storage rack types available to accommodate your space and workflow. Carolina Material Handling offers the following products for storage.
Standard Teardrop Pallet Racks are a Simple Storage Solution
Teardrop shelving units consist of a combination of upright beams and cross beams that can be adjusted to any height. The upright steel beams have upside down teardrop shaped holes along the entire length that the cross beams are designed to fit into. The tabs on the cross beams fit through the larger top end of the teardrop slot, then are pushed down into the smaller end of the slot to lock into place, creating a secure, adjustable shelf. The feet of the upright beams can be bolted to the floor for added security. Teardrop racks work best for pallets, as they can be positioned across both cross beams without the need for wire decking. However, wire decking provides an extra security measure to your pallet racks. (See “Additional Products and Accessories are Available to Increase Storage Rack Safety” below.) Besides offering additional safety, wire decking also makes it possible to store smaller items.
Selective Racks Offer Easy Access for Order Picking
Designed to make stored items accessible from the aisle, selective racks allow forklifts and other machinery to maneuver between the aisles and select items as needed. Pallets and the items on them are easy to see from the aisle for fast order location and picking. Each pallet can be accessed individually, making selective racks ideal for high-differentiation product lines and low turnover volume.
Drive In/Drive Through Racks are Designed for Convenient Forklift Operation
Pallets are most often moved by forklift, and Drive In or Drive Through pallet racking systems are designed with forklift access in mind. The beams and shelves are positioned to allow a forklift to drive under, in, and out of each bay. Pallets can be placed directly on shelves and taken back down conveniently. These storage racks are ideal for particularly heavy products as well as items that need to be accessed regularly.
When you need to store large or uniquely shaped items, cantilever racks offer the necessary flexibility. Items like long wood beams, rolls of materials, pipes, plywood, etc. are a challenge to store on traditional pallet racks or shelving. Cantilever racks consist of sturdy upright beams with “arms” or beams that extend horizontally outward at various levels. Items can be laid across the arms, making it easier to accommodate oversized or oddly-shaped things.
Pushback Racks Maximize Storage Space
For storage of items that are needed less frequently, pushback racks are ideal. Pushback racks are similar to standard teardrop racks, but are fitted with sliding carts that allow for storage of pallets as much as 2 to 5 deep. One pallet is placed on a cart, then the next pallet pushes that first pallet back. Each pallet is pushed back by the next pallet until the shelf is full. By eliminating the need for aisles, significant space is saved. This type of storage is best for items that don’t need to be accessed on a regular basis, such as bulk supplies and products or orders that don’t need to be shipped until a future date. However, if items on pushback racks do need to be accessed, the carts slide out easily.
Proper Configuration of Storage Racks in your Warehouse allows for Maximum Usage of Space
Once you have determined the type of storage racks you need, the next step is to determine the best configuration or the layout of the racks in your warehouse. Often a combination of different rack styles is necessary to accommodate the variety of items that need to be stored. When it comes to configuration, there a few factors that will make a big impact on the possibilities.
- The square footage of floor space in your warehouse. Unless you are planning to expand your warehouse in the near future, you have a set amount of floor space to work with. Your warehouse is most likely divided into sections for different operations as well as storage. The floor space you have devoted to storage can be maximized by the layout of the storage racks, as well as the type of storage racks you use. Push back racks reduce the number of aisles needed. Arranging shelves in long rows also reduces the amount of aisle space needed.
- The ceiling height of your warehouse. When you’re out of floor space, the next step is to move upward. The height of your ceiling will often be a factor in how high your storage shelving can go. Pallet racks can be extended quite high, but must remain within reasonable, safe limitations. It is crucial to respect the weight limits of the shelves themselves as well as other safety requirements in the use of storage racks.
- The weight capacity of your warehouse floor. It is also important to know how much weight your floor can bear. Your warehouse floor will have a specific weight capacity, and before stacking pallets too high, it will be necessary to take this information into consideration. You will need to know the approximate weight of the items to be stored on the shelving units as well as the weight of the units themselves. Exceeding the weight capacity for your floor is a major safety risk, so be careful and elicit the help of the experts if you have any uncertainty.
- The type and size of items to be stored. If you have many different types and sizes of storage items, you may need a configuration that incorporates more than one type of storage rack. You may need a few rows of selective racks for regular sized pallets. You may also want to include drive in racks for the heaviest pallets and cantilever racks for any long or bulky items. Any combination of storage racks can be configured to maximize your space and give you the most flexibility in storage options.
- The frequency of access necessary for items being stored. When and how often you need to access certain items will also determine the best storage configuration. For example, you can have a few rows of selective racks or drive in racks for the things you need to access most often. Then include some push back racks along a wall for those items that won’t be needed for a longer period of time.
Carolina Material Handling Offers Free On-Site Storage Consultations
If you’re not sure what storage products you need, the experts at Carolina Material Handling can perform a free on-site evaluation of your warehouse. A certified consultant will recommend the best storage options and configuration to get the most storage possible out of your space. CMH representatives have a broad understanding of the industrial field and the experience necessary to recommend solutions that not only work, but save you time and money.
Additional Products and Accessories are Available to Increase Storage Rack Safety
When using storage racks to maximize your warehouse storage space, it can be easy to focus more on function and convenience than safety. But safety precautions keep workers free from harm and save businesses money. Carolina Material Handling recommends the following safety products and accessories in addition to storage racks.
- Wire Decking. Offering an added safety measure, wire decking fits between the cross beams in a standard teardrop pallet rack, creating a shelf. The wire decking prevents pallets from falling through while loading or unloading or in the case of a bump or shift. It also prevents smaller items from falling through shelves. These are a cost-effective addition to your pallet racking system that prevent serious accidents from falling pallets or other items.
- Wire Backing. Typically fitted on the back side of a shelving unit, wire backing prevents pallets from being pushed too far and falling off of the back of a pallet rack. When selective racks are only loaded one pallet deep, the wire backing allows for easy access to the pallet while providing additional safety. Wire backing can be installed on most standard teardrop pallet racks and is a wise, economical choice for warehouse storage.
Getting the right products is really only half the battle. Proper installation is crucial to the effective and safe use of storage racks, and help from CMH representatives is beneficial. Benefits include:
- Increased safety. CMH representatives have years of experience installing storage racks. They can make sure your shelving units are installed properly to ensure safe operation. Each installation crew is led by an OSHA 30 certified crew leader who will be sure your storage racks are up to code.
- Avoid the hassle of installing your own pallet racks. Keep your employees focused on the job they were hired to do and avoid downtime.
- Maximum space usage. Professional installation helps make the most of the space available. CMH installers are experts in the field and know how to arrange your storage racks in the best possible configuration.
- Usage tutorial. When CMH installs your storage racks they will also offer you and your employees a tutorial on how to use the racks from loading and unloading to assembly and disassembly.
What you Gain by Purchasing Storage Racks from CMH Outweighs the Cost
- You’re not just purchasing pallet racks, but a complete storage system. CMH goes the extra mile by helping you to solve your storage problems. Whether you’re lacking storage space, have limited equipment, or the nature of your business makes storage complicated, CMH can not only recommend the best products for your warehouse but also the best configuration and usage of those products to create a working storage system.
- No need to move or expand your current building. If your business has outgrown your warehouse, the only options are to move or expand, right? Wrong. It is possible to stay in your current building and avoid the hassle of construction. You simply need the right solutions to maximize the amount of space you already have. Purchasing a quality storage system that will save space is definitely a more cost-effective option than moving or adding onto your warehouse.
- Used pallet racks can save you money. If you’re looking for the most cost-effective option, consider used storage racks. Carolina Material Handling supplies used pallet racks for a fraction of the cost of new. All used racks are thoroughly inspected for quality and safety.
Reinvent your Warehouse with Storage Solutions from Carolina Material Handling
If your current storage situation could use a makeover, contact Carolina Material Handling. Industrial supply experts are available to help you make the most of your space in any way possible. Representatives go above and beyond to create space where there seems to be none. Call today for a free storage consultation: (336) 294-2346.