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What is warehouse racking?
Warehouse or pallet racking is a storage system designed to hold materials on pallets within rows and on multiple levels. Its main purpose is to make maximum use of vertical space within a specific cubic area
What is pallet racking used for?
Pallet racking provides a safe and efficient means of storage and handling for boxed, crated, and containerised goods and materials within a warehouse-type environment. Industrial racking cannot be used for the storage and handling of bulk materials unless these are packaged accordingly. Racking systems are commonly used in warehouses to provide optimised storage capacity within a minimal infrastructural footprint, ie. It increases the facility’s storage density.
What is the benefit of pallet racking?
The correct use of racking allows a warehouse to operate more efficiently as client order processing time is reduced. The use of pallet racking also cuts down on labour-intensive daily operations as goods and materials are easily located and manipulated within the facility. There are no real restrictions as to what goods and materials can be stored on pallet racks as long as these are properly packed and secured, and do not exceed the structure’s load-bearing capacity. There are different types of pallet racking available, with each type varying in terms of layout, construction, size, and load tolerances. In summary, choosing the correct type of pallet racking is crucial to ensuring risk-free daily operations.
How does pallet racking work?
Essentially, pallet racking is a structure which allows storage of goods and materials in horizontal rows (shelves) over multiple levels. In its most basic form, warehouse racking is just a heavy-duty set of shelves. However, there is much more to it than meets the eye. industrial racking is made up of a number of key structural elements, namely load beams, upright frames, braces (horizontal or diagonal), pallet supports, and decking. Industrial racking’s capacity is best utilised by a Jungheinrich forklift or another similar machine that is able to lift, remove, push, pull or otherwise shift packaged goods (including self-contained pallets) and materials on and off the racks. Pallet racking gives operators lots of options when it comes to modifying the structure as shelving can be lifted or lowered in order to accommodate specific size loads. Pallet racking’s footprint can also be modified as needed; it can be extended or reshaped based on current needs. The height of the racking can also be adjusted accordingly, though any changes to height must be within the structure’s safe load and height tolerances.
What is the most common type of warehouse racking?
Adjustable racking is probably the most widely used system for storing pallets. Our range of adjustable pallet racking includes standard, narrow aisle, and fully galvanised options are generally the best storage solution for warehouses. Racking beams are available as open or boxed sections to cater for any load capacity. All of our solutions are bespoke to our customer's requirements and go into production after a comprehensive review of requirements has been completed and agreed.
How is industrial racking installed?
The installation of warehouse racking (of any kind) is a two-tier process. Each stage of installation is crucial and must be carried out by qualified individuals. The first stage of the installation process involves the preparation and analysis of the existing infrastructure. Here, our specialist installers determine the safest and most efficient way to erect the selected type of storage racking. The analysis is based on a number of variables like flooring suitability, plant and equipment use, etc. If engineers have given the go-ahead for installation, then the actual construction process may begin. All pallet racking must be erected and secured in accordance with our strict regulations. Its construction begins with the frames. The frames are erected from upright beams, braces, and base plates. Once erected, the frame is then secured to the floor using the baseplates and fixings. Next up are the actual racking beams (the horizontal bars). These racking beams are slotted into place, and then fastened to the uprights in different ways depending on the type of racking you opted for as well as its load bearing tolerances. The final stage is to lay the decking (normally wood or metal); again, the type of decking depends on the particular racking system.
Is warehouse racking safe?
As with any other piece of industrial equipment, when operated within prescribed tolerances, a racking system provides the necessary measure of safety to staff, equipment, and stock. First and foremost, when it comes to the safe use of industrial racking systems, operators should never disregard the safety instructions provided by us. Safety guidelines offer essential information on load-bearing tolerances of each member of the structure (these should never be exceeded), the correct loading and unloading procedures for heavy or awkward loads, and the type of material handling equipment to be used on the pallet racking and in what way.
It should be noted that certain racking systems have a projected lifespan that should not be exceeded. Some pallet racking configurations allow for order picking duties near base level. In some cases, this happens in close proximity to mechanised handling equipment used simultaneously, so adhering strictly to operational safety guidelines is paramount to prevent accidents. In order to ensure sufficient operational safety, pallet racking systems are to be inspected and maintained properly at all times. Good maintenance practices based on regular inspections will identify and isolate any safety issues, so necessary repairs or alterations can be made without risking accidents.
How can racking be protected from damage?
Generally speaking, there are three types of damage found on pallet racking systems: structural, chemical, and exposure damage. Whether all three (or none) are present on your warehouse racking depends on its age and location as well as the nature of your business. If you operate outdoor pallet racking, then obviously exposure to the elements would attract minor damage like rust, discolouration, or brittleness of plastic components. Regular maintenance should easily take care of such issues. Structural damage, however, is a major problem; knocks and bumps from handling equipment as well as overloading and ageing can compromise the structural integrity of pallet shelving. At the moment, there are distinct types of passive protection available in the form of guard rails, shock-absorbing barriers, etc that prevent structural damage. A sufficient number of strategically placed anti-shock barriers will provide a decent measure of protection. In the case of ageing, the replacement and repair of fatigued elements is the only way to resolve the situation. Depending on the nature of your business, chemical damage might also be a factor; spills or contact with acids and other corrosives may weaken certain elements of the structure. Chemical protection treatments are available for both metal and composite materials.
Can I change the configuration of racking systems after installation?
Some industrial racking systems allow for changes to their configuration after installation. The scale to which a pallet racking can be modified post-installation will vary on the type of system employed, its size and height, and additional elements and/or accessories. We provide guidance on what alteration can be carried out by operators, and what needs to be completed by ourselves. As always, the main concern is safety, so any structural changes to the racking must be within the prescribed tolerances. Generally, shelving and horizontal beams tend to be mobile on many racking systems. When altering the layout of load-bearing elements or adding and moving aisles to the structure, you definitely need to consult with us. Changes to the configuration of a pallet rack may also alter its load-bearing ability. Changing the layout or configuration of your pallet racking will also prove a good opportunity to conduct a thorough inspection of components so you know where you stand in terms of everyday operational safety.
How much weight can a pallet rack hold?
The load-bearing capacity of pallet racking depends on a large number of important factors, including the specific type of racking system in use. A calculation (within a few percent) of how much load a particular racking system can take, is produced in house by analysing some of the rack's components and main characteristics. For instance, the size of bay clear entry, the type of beam section (open or box), the actual beam depth, the size of beam face, the size of racking frames, the vertical beam pitch, and the frame section (upright duty). It’s also important to consider the weight loading of the floor slab upon which the racking is installed, as this will impact the weight that can be accommodated by the system. The general guidelines on safe load limits for standard pallet shelving systems are based on the maximum load/weight per pair of beams, which is set to 4 tonnes; however, the standard load per one pallet position is set to 2 tonnes. There are three different types of pallet rack frame used today – standard, medium, and heavy-duty framing. Each of these is able to withstand different loads, with heavy-duty framing obviously being the strongest of the three varieties. The load-bearing capacity is calculated and guaranteed by Jungheinrich at the design stage. Some of our pallet rack systems can be modified to handle heavier loads through the use of reinforced structural components.
What is the maximum height for pallet racking?
In all instances, a safe height is the correct height. An estimation of how high warehouse racking should be can be derived by analysis of existing infrastructure, type of racking system, size and reach of handling equipment in use, load capacity of the pallet racking system, and weight of load units.
The physical height of the facility, along with the specific type of sprinkler system and other fire prevention and control equipment fitted to ceilings and roof structures restricts racking to a certain height. The size and reach of handling equipment at the facility also limit the height of the racking; i.e., if it is too high then forklifts will simply not be able to reach the top shelves. Standard forklifts can reach up to 10m, with specialised VNA examples being able to stretch that figure to 16.5m. The type of stock also determines pallet rack height; frequent-use, heavy, or irregular size loads are better stored lower down, which reduces the need for height. The flooring load capacity of the facility also plays a significant role in determining the safe and correct height of pallet racking.
What is mobile APR?
Mobile pallet racking is one of the most clever and efficient racking systems in use today. As its name implies, this racking configuration is movable rather than inert. The main purpose of mobile racking is to increase storage capacity even more by further reducing infrastructural footprint. Depending on its power source, mobile racking is also referred to as motorised pallet racking. The general consensus is that a well-designed mobile racking system can increase storage capacity by 50% within the same floor space. Mobile racking ‘creates’ extra storage space by transforming aisles with static access into productive storage space. In simple terms, the mobile racking units can be bunched together by block (no space between aisles) and spaced out into aisles once access is needed. Mobile racking moves on heavy-duty rollers along tracks in the floor, much like a train carriage moves along its train tracks. The racking moves sideways along the tracks. Operating forklifts alongside mobile racking requires approximately 3.5m of linear clearance between racks. The system is perfect for high selectivity in dense storage environments. Generally, mobile racking’s utilisation coefficient is about 90%. This system is commonly used in cold storage.
What is drive in pallet racking?
Drive-in (also known as drive-through in some cases) is a pallet racking system that allows direct forklift access inside the lane of rows (in this instance they are called bays). Whether the system is drive-in or drive-through depends on the presence of an exit at the other end of each lane/bay. A drive-in pallet racking system typically uses the LIFO (FILO) principle of last-in-first-out, or first-in-last-out. A drive-through pallet racking system uses the FIFO principle (first-in-first-out) as it has an entry and an exit on either end. These pallet racking systems allow for full utilisation of available cubic space as they can be up to 11m in standard height. When using drive in or drive through racking systems, it is advisable to implement ground rails to protect pallets and truck during handling and operation. Drive-in racking is a good storage solution for heavy pallets and batched goods. The efficient use of this type of pallet racking system does not require specialist handling equipment. Drive-in and drive-through pallet racks can increase storage capacity by 60% to 80% when compared to standard pallet racking systems.
What is push back pallet racking?
Push back is one of the most space-efficient and time-saving configurations in use today. Push back pallet racking optimises both storage floor space and cubic space. This type of system provides easy access to any type of handling equipment. Push back pallet racking works in a clever way by allowing palletised goods to be stacked in sequence. Pallet sequences move in and out of the push back racking structure on wheels, rolling in guide rails or tracks. This type of racking is inclined as it uses the force of gravity to roll back pallets due for shifting. This means that the full depth of the structure is being utilised, thus increasing storage capacity. Push back pallet racking allows for up to four pallets to be stored in sequence. When operators remove one or more of the pallets from a given sequence, the remaining pallets roll forward (through gravity). Push back pallet racking uses the FILO loading/unloading principle as it does not provide frontal access to pallets located in the back of a sequence. This is a system used for full pallet storage only. It provides approximately 85% storage space utilisation.
What kind of forklift do I need for pallet racking?
Choosing the correct type and size forklift for your pallet racking system is essential for safe and efficient daily operations. Forklifts typically fall into three main categories – fuel type, lifting mechanism/load capacity, and reach. Choosing the right one for your business is an exercise in both economics and practicality. In terms of fuel type, forklifts can be LPG powered or electric. There are also heavy-duty turbo-diesel forklifts, although those are mostly used in shipping ports and container terminals as they are much larger, stronger, and very expensive pieces of kit. The most common types of forklifts available on the market today are the standard warehouse forklift, VNA industrial forklift, ride-on forklift, and reach truck forklift. Which one you go for depends on the needs of your business. Each of these types of machine has its own advantages and specifics. Running and maintenance costs should also be factored in when choosing which one to go for. Forklift reach is essential for its effective use; the extended reach of your equipment should correspond to the height of your pallet racking system. Jungheinrich can assist with every step of this choice.