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It’s as easy as height + weight: optimising pallet flow

Posted by CeMAT Team on 28-Apr-2017 16:55:14

It’s as easy as height + weight: optimising pallet flow

In the midst of trying to run a business or ensure your supply chain is running smoothly (without everything falling apart), it can be easy to overlook the little processes that can save both time and money.

This couldn’t be more true for a busy warehouse. Order fulfilment, dealing with third-party providers and delivering a great customer experience is hard work if you’re also trying to scale on top of all that.

This post will look at a great optimising pallet flow through flow storage racking. You’ll see why height and weight two main considerations to factor in when designing a new system, and the best ways to establish these metrics.



Out of space? Consider pallet flow storage


We covered how to restructure your warehouse to avoid having to relocate, but flow storage is an even easier way to create more space in your warehouse. Flow storage system has a static rack structure and dynamic flow rails.

Pallet flow racking is generally modelled on the First-In First-Out (FIFO) principle where you can move pallets through the racking to ensure product moves easily in high-density storage areas.


Pallet flow racking system


For this system to be effective, however, you’ll need to ensure you standardise your pallet sizes, and they need to be of considerable quality with the constant moving around they’ll be experiencing. That takes us to the next point: how can you determine the dimensions and limitations of your facility?



Considerations before you determine the height of your racking system


As mentioned above, pallet flow storage systems require standardised pallets, and in most cases this will require a bespoke solution. You’ll need to provide the vender with details on your current setup and what how you require it to change.

What’s your ceiling height and building width, floor footprint and weight capacity? Do you have any obstructions? How high can your forklifts go?

You also need to have a clear understanding of any obstructions that might get in the way of the racking; ie lighting, sprinklers, ventilation etc), as these may get in the way of the shelves/moving pallets.

You’ll need to take a look at your load and system variables to help you determine the height of your racking system. Mallard Manufacturing recommends going by your largest load so you can accurately identify depth, width and height. They even provide an algorithm to help you figure it out:



Don’t discount the importance of load weight


Although it might not seem like an important consideration when building looking into pallet flow racking, the pallet load weight has direct bearing on track selection, pitch controllers, and overall capacity.

If you require a lot of capacity, it’s a good idea to go with a denser racking design. This will mean that the beams are placed closely together, and in a structure where the main support comes from the beams, placing them together will ensure your racking structure remains stable in heavy loads.

Generally beams can hold approximately 1300kg, so you’ll need to establish the weight of your biggest load to ensure your pallet flow racking remains stable.

Once you’ve determined the height and weight of your required pallet flow racking, you can start stacking!

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Topics: Supply Chain Management